Studio Blue is a one-of-kind resource at the Collins College of Business designed to teach students the creative process by solving real-world problems for companies as well as not-for-profit organizations. Studio Blue’s benefits are two-fold: students learn to harness their innovative abilities; and organizations receive a range of fresh ideas and solutions.
Universities have traditionally emphasized analytical decision-making and neglected imagination and creative problem-solving in business education. Meanwhile, companies “on the street” need pools of creative talent to draw upon to compete in a global marketplace that demands innovation. Studio Blue brings together business education, innovation and the real world. It gives students the rudimentary tools for creative problem-solving and guides them through the creative process as they solve real-world problems.
Studio Blue can be thought of as a creative greenhouse where ideas germinate and bloom. Innovation is learned and applied to real-world business problems in a free-flowing environment equipped with mobile furniture, iMacs, magnetic and dry-erase walls, a viewing room for focus groups and observations, an array of cameras and other brainstorming tools.
We are fortunate to have two individuals who are the principal people providing oversight and inspiration to Studio Blue. Charlie Wood (Ph.D., University of Missouri) is the Faculty Director who has been the champion of the Studio Blue concept since its beginning. He not only has his own students doing projects in Studio Blue, he also assists other students and competition teams working there. Jacob Johnson (a TU business school graduate) is the Creative Director who provides creative spark and helps groups work more effectively together. Jacob also consults with a number of companies and organizations on projects ranging from developing promotional materials to developing video and written materials for employee development.
Studio Blue first opened in the Summer of 2008 and has already been involved with a number of projects for different organizations. Among the projects are:
- Gilcrease Museum—A student team in a graduate class conducted qualitative research and developed psychographic segments for the museum; Student teams in an undergraduate class developed several proposals for revamping the museum’s retail store;
- Resonance—A team of graduate students developed training materials for its CertiRestore (furniture restoration) franchise
- Mazzio’s Innovation Challenge—A campus-wide contest in Fall 2008 where student teams competed to create solutions for how to create value out of outdated pizza boxes
- Creative Juices Competition—In conjunction with Entrepreneurship faculty, Studio Blue assisted teams of TU students in a national competition sponsored in part by Google.
- Numerous student projects for not-for-profit organizations in various classes
- Social Innovation Challenge—A competition with student teams from universities across the state in Spring 2009 in which teams will attempt to develop innovative ideas and solutions to a major social issue facing Oklahoma.