10 years ago, when we started on the journey of bringing Arts-Based trainings to India brings arts in design thinking, we were sure of the power of arts as metaphors, as simulations that helped in expression, deal with ambiguity, and look at alternatives. Sharon Levine, a professor of medicine at Boston University and an early inspiration, had said “If you don’t deal with ambiguity, you will make mistakes. If you become fixated on one thing and don’t think about other possibilities based on your physical exam, then you do yourself and your patients a disservice.”
Our greatest inspiration was Joel Katz at Harvard Medical School tried bringing art appreciation to medical students, and found great success. “Our anecdotal observation is that students who do this course have come back to us years later and said, ‘Oh, I feel much more prepared and much more confident in my ability to do physical exam,'”, Katz says.
Katz and his colleagues published a study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine showing that after completing the class, students’ ability to make accurate observations increased 38%. When shown artwork and photos of patients, students were more likely to notice features such as a patient’s eyes being asymmetrical or a tiny, healed sore on an index finger. Observations by a control group of students who did not take the class did not change.
After over 10,000 hours of Arts-Based trainings, we have seen the power of the arts to unlock potential, get past barriers and inspire exploration and creativity.
And now, when we use art in Design Thinking, we continue to see fantastic results. Arts has helped participants become more creative, look at problems through different lenses, find inspiration in applications, and come away more enriched and empowered. Results we will be leveraging actively at the ubqt Design Thinking School.
So excited to bring all that we love, all that have worked so well, all together.