Augustana College's Center for Creativity opened in the fall of 2018 in Rock Island. Students are encouraged to think creatively and collaboratively there in a comfortable lounge-like space filled with bean bag chairs and couches and illuminated by soft lamp lighting.
The "C4C" or "CatLab"—short for catalyst—offers a variety of creative outlets for students such as a piano keyboard and learning module, where multiple students can interconnect their computers to share ideas and stimulate new strategies and ways of thinking outside of the traditional, more structured educational format. The walls are covered with white boards where students can write anything they want—from thought provoking questions, to poetry, to difficult math equations.
Creativity is the essential component of all artistic expression, but it is also necessary to solve most of our world’s most complex problems—whether technological, scientific, or mathematical. Creativity helps to define who we are as human beings.
Listen to our conversation here with Augustana music professor John Pfautz, who was the driving force behind the Center for Creativity. He shares why creative thinking is vitally important, why experimentation and failure are essential aspects of learning, and why the ability to think creatively is necessary for people in all academic fields.