Develop design skills by getting kids to think creatively

Children are curious by nature and only need to be nudged in the right direction to help them think creatively, says the writer.
Children are curious by nature and only need to be nudged in the right direction to help them think creatively, says the writer.PHOTO: SATURDAY KIDS

Design education is an investment that will give valuable returns in the future (Higher learning institutes to boost design education, July 4).

It is already the need of the hour.

As a design-thinking practitioner, I perceive design skills to be a "universal" requirement for future jobs.

It is, perhaps, the only practical methodology that allows an organisation or a nation to bring together diverse skill sets, aptitudes and attitudes onto a single platform for constructive problem-solving.

The root of design skills lies in empathy and it branches out in the form of creative intelligence.

While design skills can be introduced by higher learning institutes, the school is the right place to nurture empathy and creativity.

Children are curious by nature and only need to be nudged in the right direction to help them think creatively. Activities that engage them creatively will go a long way in opening up their minds to new ways of thinking.

The onus for the creative engagement of children need not lie squarely on schools; parents and caregivers, too, can take the lead.

Something as simple as a game of Pictionary can trigger creative thinking. Creative children can easily evolve to become design thinkers of the future.

Sudeepa Nair

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2019, with the headline 'Develop design skills by getting kids to think creatively'. Print Edition | Subscribe