The Creativity Lab: Interdisciplinary Creativity in Higher Education


  • Anna Griffith University of the Fraser Valley, Canada


Creative interdisciplinary collaboration,, creativity education, , experiential learning,, innovation


This qualitative study explores how educators can foster creativity across disciplines through a conceptual framework for creative interdisciplinary collaboration. The article introduces the Creativity Lab process model, which generates collaboratively developed, multifaceted but cohesive project ideas. The author argues that while creativity and collaboration are recognized as important 21st-century skills, opportunities for learning the granular mechanics of creative interdisciplinary collaboration are not yet fully integrated into higher education. The process model addresses this and offers a practical way to foster creative confidence in participants, encourage pluralities and possibilities through gamification, and emphasize integration and cohesion of multiple perspectives in ideas. The article concludes that educational institutions have an opportunity to build the capacity of students and faculty to become skilled at creative collaborations across disciplines, and the Creativity Lab process model offers a specific approach to doing this.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Anna Griffith, University of the Fraser Valley, Canada

ANNA GRIFFITH, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the School of Creative Arts at the University of the Fraser Valley.  Her research sits at the intersections of creativity, sustainability, and Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (EDIB). Email:


Botella, M., Zenasni, F., & Lubart, T. (2018). What are the stages of the creative process? What visual arts students are saying. Frontiers in Psychology, 9.

Brett, N. (2018, December 20). Future graduates will need creativity and empathy, not just technical skills. The Guardian.

Bruno, C., & Canina, M. (2019). Creativity 4.0. Empowering creative process for digitally enhanced people. The Design Journal, 22:sup1, 2119-2131.

Buchanan, R. (1992). Wicked problems in design thinking. Design Issues, 8(2), 5.

Cook, V., Major, L., Warwick, P., & Vrikki, M. (2020). Developing collaborative creativity through microblogging: A material-dialogic approach. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 37, 100685.

Craft, A. (2014). Possibility Thinking: From what is to what might be. In S. Robson, & S. Flannery Quinn (Eds.), The Routledge international handbook of young children’s thinking and understanding. London: Routledge

Cross, N. (1982). Designerly ways of knowing. Design Studies, 3(4), 221–227.

Cross, N. (2001). Designerly ways of knowing: design discipline versus design science. Design Issues, 17(3), 49–55.

Daly, S. R., Mosyjowski, E. A., Oprea, S. L., Huang-Saad, A., & Seifert, C. M. (2016). College students’ views of creative process instruction across disciplines. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 22, 1–13.

Friis Damm, R., & Siang, T. Y. (2020). Design thinking: Get a quick overview of the history. The Interaction Design Foundation.

Guyotte, K. W., Sochacka, N. W., Costantino, T. E., Kellam, N. N., & Walther, J. (2015). Collaborative creativity in steam: Narratives of art education students’ experiences in transdisciplinary spaces. International Journal of Education and the Arts, 16(15), 1-38.

Hasso Plattner Design Thinking Research Program (2010, November 8) An introduction to design thinking process guide.

Hämäläinen, R., & Vähäsantanen, K. (2011). Theoretical and pedagogical perspectives on orchestrating creativity and collaborative learning. Educational Research Review, 6 (3), 169-184. doi:10.1016/j.edurev.2011.08.001

Jónsdóttir, S. R. (2017). Narratives of creativity: How Eight teachers on four school levels integrate creativity into teaching and learning. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 24, 127–139.

Karakaya, A. F., & Demirkan, H. (2015). Collaborative digital environments to enhance the creativity of designers. Computers in Human Behavior, 42, 176-186. DOI:

Lewrick, M., Link, P., & Leifer, L. (2018). The design thinking playbook. Wiley.

Livingstone, L. (2010). Teaching creativity in higher education. Arts Education Policy Review, 111, 59–62.

Michalko, M. (2006). Thinkertoys. Ten Speed Press.

Mitchel-Marquis, K. (2021). Research Notes.

Parameswaran, U. D., Ozawa-Kirk, J. L., & Latendresse, G. (2019). To live (code) or to not: A new method for coding in qualitative research. Qualitative Social Work, 19(4), 630–644.

Peter, R. (1987). Design Thinking.

Powers, A. (2018, April). Creativity is the skill of the future. Forbes.

Pennington, D. R. (2016). Coding of non-text data. The SAGE Handbook of Social Media Research Methods, 232–250.

Reiter-Palmon, R., & Leone, S. (2018) Facilitating creativity in interdisciplinary design teams using cognitive process.” Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science, 233(2), 385–394.

Saldaña, J. (2011) Fundamentals of qualitative research. Oxford University Press

Saldaña, J. (2016) The coding manual for qualitative researchers, (3rd ed.) SAGE

Schmoelz, A. (2018). Enabling co-creativity through digital storytelling in education. Thinking Skills and Creativity, Vol. 28, pp 1-13. DOI:

Serrat O. (2017) The SCAMPER technique. Knowledge Solutions. Springer, Singapore.

Swirski, T. (2012). Towards the Digital Creativity of Action. in K.C. Lee (ed.) Digital Creativity: Individuals, Groups, and Organizations. Springer.

The Business-Higher Education Forum. (2018). The new foundational skills of the digital economy: Developing the professionals of the future

Walsh, C., Chappell, K., & Craft, A. (2017). A co-creativity theoretical framework to foster and evaluate the presence of wise humanising creativity in virtual learning environments (VLEs). Thinking Skills and Creativity, 24, 228-241.

World Economic Forum. (2017). Accelerating workforce reskilling for the fourth industrial revolution.

Jezard, A. (2018). The 3 skill sets workers need to develop between now and 2030. World Economic Forum

Ziv, S. (2019). 10 traits that will make you a successful leader, according to Google's internal research. Business Insider

Additional Files



How to Cite

Griffith, A. (2023). The Creativity Lab: Interdisciplinary Creativity in Higher Education. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education, 12(1), 85–108. Retrieved from