Connecting the Dots between the Arts and Everything Else!

Full Course Description

Creative Process is offered this upcoming Winter 2015 semester on Monday from 3:00-5:00pm and Wednesday from 3:00-6:00pm. See the LSA course guide for seat availability: UARTS 250 Class #22210

Students from across campus work together to explore creative problem solving through hands-on activities led by faculty from the College of Engineering, the School of Art & Design, the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, and the Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning. Weekly colloquia, readings, and discussions supplement studio projects.

The course meets for five hours a week, with four hours of that time spent in studios. Student groups work in round-robin sequence with faculty from each academic unit, rolling up their sleeves to visualize innovative images/objects, create original sound pieces; define imaginative spatial solutions for human interaction; and invent computerized, mechanized movement work. The focus of the four studio/critique components of the course is hands-on experience in creative work through short individual and/or collaborative projects. Students create projects in the four categories, then discuss/critique as a group both the creative process and resulting projects.

  • Verbal/Symbolic Language
  • Visual Images/Objects
  • Sound
  • Movement

Each faculty member has particular creative expertise in one of the four categories, and each category offers a wide range of creative possibilities. Students experience working with four different kinds of practitioners and develop a sense of the vast range of options available for carrying out creative work in these four categories – and ultimately in their own disciplines.

A mid-week colloquium, where all faculty and all students gather for an hour, provides students with conceptual, historical, and contextual information about creative processes across a wide range of human endeavors. Colloquia include lectures, films, other presentations, and discussions.


Students are required to keep a comprehensive journal recording their ideas, experiences, and reflections in the course. Digital documentation is encouraged. Faculty periodically evaluate journals. The journal plays a key role in developing the final project/presentation.

On the first day of class, students receive “prompts” that become the genesis for their final projects. During the course, students present several iterations of their concepts for realizing their final projects in group critiques and brainstorming sessions. Shared ideas engender risk taking and potential for creative invention far beyond the scope of original concepts. During the last segment of the course, students realize and present the final comprehensive iterations of their “prompts.”

The entire faculty team evaluates each student. Criteria for grading includes:

  • Attendance,
  • Class participation,
  • A comprehensive journal,
  • Four mini-projects,
  • Evidence of intellectual and creative process development, and
  • A culminating project/presentation.

Course specifications:

  • Team-taught by faculty from the College of Engineering; School of Art & Design; the School of Music, Theatre & Dance; and Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning
  • Open to undergraduates from all University of Michigan colleges and schools
  • Satisfies LSA Creative Expression elective
  • 4 credits
  • No prerequisites