Apprenticing our Ability
Creative Acts for Creative People: How to Think, Create, and Lead in Unconventional Ways by Sarah Stein Greenberg
Ten Speed Press/d.School, September 21, 2021
Is design thinking an activity, a process, a mindset, or a toolkit? Sarah Stein Greenberg, executive director of Stanford's d.School, would say all of the above. Her new book, Creative Acts for Curious People, is an excellent resource for first-time and experienced design-thinkers alike. In it, Greenberg compiles a trove of design thinking exercises sourced from her innovative faculty. By design, the book is as pleasant to look at as it is simple to use. Over 80 "assignments" are arranged into helpful sub-categories such as, "See Things In A New Way," "Work Well With Others," "Work Toward Equity," and "Have Fun" – all worthy pursuits in our schools. The numbered assignments in Creative Acts, like design thinking itself, can be used iteratively and in a non-linear approach. Leaders will value "Cultivate Your Inner Ethicist" (#62). Amongst faculty, they will learn "How to Give Feedback" (#57). They will innovate via "I Like, I Wish" (#60), or obsess over "The Banana Challenge (#45)". Finally, they will forge relationships and build trust by asking "What's In Your Fridge?" (#16). If, among other things, design thinking is a toolkit, this collection apprentices our ability to rethink and repair our schools at a crucial time for maintenance.