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Fall '22 INT 310:Creativity Project

Professor Ramya Swayamprakash had students in INT 310.01 Creativity and Innovative Problem Solving create a kolam design, a south Indian design like chalk painting but with rice flour for their midterm. Students did this on the walkway in front of Lake Superior Hall. Students, staff and faculty who walked by were able to watch the creative process.
Throughout the semester, students had been considering creativity and innovation through case studies worldwide and through historical examples. In so doing, they had been critically evaluating what makes an individual creative or not. A kolam is a floor pattern usually made with ground rice flour. Originally from Tamil Nadu, in South India, kolam has passed down generations for thousands of years wherever the Tamil diaspora went including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. Traditionally drawn by women of the family, at least once a day, the kolam is supposed to bring prosperity to the household.  Kolams are very structured. INT 310 students are studying innovation and creativity in space and time, applying those insights to innovate and improvise within the structure of the kolam.

The students did a couple of rounds of iterations on their designs. Students got feedback from Professor Swayamprakash. Students were very receptive to the idea and enjoyed reading about the history of kolams as well as watching videos about how they are made. During the process, they were challenged to work with the medium (wet rice flour and rags) on to the floor. "At the end of the process, they were really impressed by themselves, and so was I", shared Professor Swayamprakash. The students also received feedback from the GVSU Art Gallery as well.





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