We are all familiar with Leonardo da Vinci as an accomplished Renaissance master and prolific creator of masterpieces. Also well known is his forward-thinking integration of art and science which fed his practical and inexhaustible expression of creativity in many areas.
While da Vinci’s genius often appears inherent (and therefore, unique to him), his mindset and practice—dedication to process, commitment to intellectual and artistic production—has lessons for anyone who seeks to be more creative.
The theory of multiple intelligences put forward by psychologist Howard Gardner connects da Vinci’s genius to a modern understanding of human intelligence: that we are gifted with an almost unlimited potential for learning and creativity. Gardner proposes that we all possess multiple intelligence-related abilities: musical−rhythmic, visual–spatial, verbal–linguistic, logical–mathematical, bodily–kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal, and that we exercise these abilities to different degrees. Yet, as da Vinci exemplified, creative genius is nothing if not supported by regular practice.
Drawing on the work of da Vinci experts, Martin Kemp and Michael Gelb, this course will explore da Vinci’s mindset and practice as a means to exercise (and expand!) your multiple intelligences through daily practice. In addition to mind-stretching assignments, the course will introduce visual journaling as a tool to capture your creative learning journey.
Required: Michael Gelb, How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci (Dell, reissue 2000)
Virajita Singh, assistant vice provost, Office for Equity and Diversity; senior research fellow and adjunct assistant professor, College of Design, University of Minnesota, began her artistic journey before studying architecture in India and the US.