Tolerating ambiguity inside the creativity classroom

  • Creative Suite
    Creative Suite  This classroom, located in Miller Hall near the Undergraduate Suite, is unlike any place of learning on the campus of the College of William & Mary.  David Williard
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As you walk into William & Mary’s Mason School of Business, vanilla-cream tiles catch your eye as the sunlight streams down from the third-story atrium and reflects off the lobby floor. The walls, painted the colors of warm beach sand and cool teal water, seem to illuminate as wrought- iron stair railings lead you to the second floor.

At the very end of the hallway, nestled in the back corner, are two locked doors hiding an unknown space from the outside world. What could be behind these walls? Computers, high-tech gadgets, the latest business invention? 

Students who entered the Miller Design and Innovation Studio for the inaugural “Solving Creative Problems” course this spring – co-listed between graduate business and theatre, speech and dance – were shocked to discover a space they had never seen: an unfinished ceiling; commercial grade concrete flooring; movable tables and chairs; black foam boxes to sit on, shift and manipulate; and rolling whiteboards for brainstorming. The castered design looks and feels more like an art studio than a classroom.