“Thinking outside your brain.”

It’s a familiar phrase for students working in studio, but allow us to provide some context.

A key piece of effectively creating in studio is collaboration.

But how can students, faculty, and content experts collaborate when the subject of collaboration—an idea, a concept, a thought—is contained inside our brains?

Enter: model-making.

A fundamental design tool, model-making might sound like an obvious endeavor for architects, who create prototype after prototype of their work before breaking ground.

And the work of collaborative creation in studio requires a similar process.

In EthicsLab, the tables are covered with yards of butcher paper, and the cabinets are stocked with everything from wire and clay to chipboard and plastic figurines—lions, tigers, and broccoli, oh my!

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Fully equipped with a variety of model-making tools and supplies, students are able to “think outside their brains” as they sketch their ideas, create prototypes, and collaborate with one another, critiquing and adding to their peers’ creations.

By making models in real time, as their ideas develop, students are able to create in collaboration with one another.