Cultivation of Creativity
Creativity is a seed with power that can change, and even rock the world.
As society continues to develop, technology infiltrates and changes our lives. Creativity and human-centric mindset become increasingly essential. If we could plant a creative seed in our children and cultivate their creativity from a young age, it will have an important and positive impact on the growth and social development in the future.
With this belief, PMQ Seed — a creative summer programme for children, starting from 2018, has collaborated with various local creative parties and education organisations. When organising a series of education programmes, workshops and exhibitions, we took design thinking at an early age as the foundation and a crossdisciplinary learning as the key feature. Together with a playful approach as the teaching guideline, we enriched their childhood with creative designs.
With years of effort, we have brought laughter to the community and also the human spirit piloted by a team of coordinating units and over 30 designers that help to bring a way of thinking on the past and the future through the eyes of the children.
A Journey of Learn Each Other
During the growth journey, the first year of the PMQ Seed Programme started from scratch to cultivate the creative foundation based on an experimental spirit. The kids who attended the summer camps mastered a basic concept of design thinking and activated their innate creativity in games. With the experience and observation in the first year, the programme in the following year was based on IDEO’s book Creative and Self- Confidence to encourage kids to think and have the courage to express themselves. During the practices and trials in teamwork, they could achieve creative autonomy. “We emphasised the mentorship in which kids could express themselves during the daily briefings. It’s not one-way teaching but an approach to escape from the usual classes in school,” said Iris Chow, the Director of Branding & Development at PMQ.
On this basis, the third year of PMQ Seed set with the theme of “empathy” to highlight the spirit of people-oriented design. With different role-playing activities to let students experience the importance of “put yourself in other people’s shoes” and also lead the students to understand more about themselves. The spirit of empathy also infused into the PMQ Seed team and designers. This year, we added the BEING BEINGS Train the Trainer Workshop and invited the Hong Kong Design Institute to teach design thinking to school teachers in a 3-week programme. We also arranged clinical psychology therapists to explain children’s psychology and empathy, and a programmer to lead an online teaching course to support the design and education team’s skills on children education. The curriculum was more in-depth to fit the educational needs for kids.
The sooner the better. It is crucial to cultivate creative seeds at an early stage. PMQ Seed has teamed up with Little Green Feet to hold a brand-new BEING BEINGS Mini-camp designed for kids aged five to eight and their parents. Taking picture books as the medium, the camp encouraged kids to learn more about ‘empathy’. The onward campaign in 2021 would also continue to deepen the theme of empathy to extend their thinking to the concerns of the Earth and nature.
Multi-disciplinary of Empathy
Iris described that it was a valuable experience to bring together a group of enthusiastic peers and teams under the PMQ Seed Programme. It was a chance for us to help the kids foster empathy and understand their thoughts and emotions. It was also important that the kids were willing to learn and improve, as well as to solve problems and adjust their mindset when facing endless challenges.
“We’ve been learning every day during these years. People often think that we teach the kids, but in fact, we are learning from them. Education cannot be quantified and the kids are born with imaginations and creativity. Our role is to accompany them to find a suitable path for them.”
It is hard to find a partner along the journey. In a series of crossdisciplinary co-creation, kids, the schools, teachers, parents and the creative design team have grown up along the path. “Service and communication are the aims of design. Some designers learned how to communicate with the public in a language that even kids could understand and also put this thinking in future design. Some schools even continue to invite the participating designers to organise workshops after our programme.”
“Many people think that creativity is only something that we learn in visual arts classes. In fact, creativity can be applied in any course or even interdisciplinary applications. Apart from kids, PMQ Seed also hopes to further deepen its impact by nurturing designers, teachers and parents to pass on their knowledge to the kids.”
* This programme is sponsored by Create Hong Kong of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Wonder, Open-minded & Create
Taking the themes of “Wonder”, “Open-minded” and “Create”, the WOW Summer Camp for primary and secondary students stimulated their innate creativity through games. Their final creative works were displayed in the exhibition as well.