Open Eyes, Open Minds: Visual Thinking Strategies

Feb. 6, 6:00p-8:30p
Studio 1
Feb. 7, 11:00a-5:00p
Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford

Open inquiry, visual thinking, comfort with ambiguity, respectful collaboration, an iterative process—-all are fundamentals of design thinking, yet few experiences cultivate these elements simultaneously. One way to do this is by looking at and discussing art, which is precisely the kind of dynamic, problem-solving experience that fosters the habits of great designers. During this pop-up, you’ll learn the basics of Visual Thinking Strategies, an art discussion method rooted in research from cognitive psychology and art education (and used within education, healthcare, museums, and increasingly, the professional world).

We will spend a day at the Cantor Arts Center, where every participant will have the opportunity to lead a group dialogue about an original work of art. As discussion participants, we will experience how to look deeply, inquire openly, listen attentively, reason in evidence, suspend judgment, hold multiple perspectives, and integrate mistakes. As discussion leaders, we will practice how to steward rather than direct the conversation—-to create a learning environment, one that supports yet challenges the group as they take responsibility for interpreting an artwork’s ambiguity and layered meanings. Throughout, we will dwell on the benefits of the process of visual thinking, gaining awareness of our own shifting ideas and perceptions as well as how we impact one another.

This pop-up is open to students with all levels of design thinking experience. Each participant will be coached in the rigors of the method and reflect with the group on how the approach is applicable within design thinking practice. Walk away with concrete techniques to enhance collaboration and visual thinking, a sense of your own strengths and challenges within the group process, and a day and half of moving, stimulating encounters with art.

10 graduate students. Apply here with the Pop-Up common application.

Teaching Team
Dabney Hailey, founding principal of Hailey Group, LLC
Fred Leichter, Fidelity Investments
Suzi Hamill, Fidelity Investments