Creativity in teaching and learning is vital

I firmly believe in inspiring students to be inquisitive and curious in order to develop their creative potential, which in turn leads to the development of good lateral thinking and problem solving skills. I found the following article about creativity in schools very interesting.

Creativity in schools sounds good – so what’s the hitch? by Anne Harris, Senior Lecturer, Creative Arts Education at Monash University.

via Blending

curiouser and curiouser … Image via Blending






As a visual learner I found this synopsis of Cosmigraphics: Picturing Space Through Time in 4,000 Years of Mapping the Universe by Maria Popova very interesting and would like to share it with you.

I particularly like the thinking that has gone into the development of illustrations that deal with very complex concepts and which aim to convey these to a broad audience. It’s a different way of storytelling though pictures.

image depicting mutliple galaxies

cosmigraphics154 – image depicting mutliple galaxies



Attention to details

Looking at the finer details of objects provides a new perspective and appreciation of their design, colour, texture and form. Here’s a few images that have inspired me.


Making an entrance – first impressions

Having just been to Morocco I’ve been reflecting on the many intricate and beautifully embellished doors and gateways I saw, and how these enticed me to enter with an expectation of grandeur beyond. And yet, I also entered astonishingly beautiful establishments via obscure, plain doors, often in non-descript walls that gave no hint of the architectural treasures inside.

As a graphic designer, I have always placed emphasis on the ‘visual gateway’. In relation to content, this may be the cover of a book, a wine label or the home page of a website. Yes, I know, you should “never judge a book by its cover”, and yet I am intrinsically drawn to a book by its cover, meaning that I have consciously made a selective decision before I read any content.

After my Moroccan experience I still feel that first impressions are really important, but I will try to be more aware of ‘hidden gems’ behind plain facades. I know I already do this with people – rather than make judgments based on exterior personas, I look for the true character within. Maybe I need to be more sympathetic to visually unappealing gateways, but when it comes to content, I know I will always promote the importance of a well designed and visually appealing entry image for a first impression.


Behind this beautifully adorned window is a small, simple room once used by students


Old Medina alleyway, Marrakech


A beautiful doorway in a nondescript lane, Marrakech


Peace and tranquility pervade in the proportions of this courtyard, Marrakech


Courtyards provide quiet spaces filled with light, Casablanca


Entrance to a suburban home in Casablanca


Inner spaces open to the sky


This beautiful Riad couryard with pool is behind a relatively unassuming door in the old Medina of Marrakech


Beautiful entrance, Casablanca

Beautiful grids

” Once a grid is invented it may bend, crumble or shatter, but its organising principle never disappears” Hannah, H Higgins, The Grid Book.

The grid creates an underlying structure that is used in art, graphic design, structural design, architectural design, typography, packaging, websites, maps and databases. Grids are all around us; they can be organic, man-made, natural, distorted, 2D, 3D, simple and complex. Some designers now see the grid as a conservative organisational principle, however the beauty that emanates from its use cannot be denied.

By thinking creatively, educators can build many different learning experiences using the grid as a theme.

Here are a few images to illustrate the diversity, complexity and beauty that can be evoked from grids.

Victor Vasarely

Varvara Stepanova-1920s

Varvara Stepanova-1920s

Tom Davie | Grid Posters

Tommaso Sartori

Winter Sinking Strokes: Modern architecture of Tokyo

by safa pirshiri

Light of Hope, Sheykh Lotf Allah Mosque
by safa pirshiri



pineapple skin

Pineapple skin

Mosque of Herat, Afghanistan

Morrocan Trade Bank by Norman Foster

detail from ceiling of the main mosque in Rajah Bazaar

Detail from ceiling of the main mosque in Rajah Bazaar

UK-based studio random international

Interactive light installation
UK-based studio, Random International

Indian hand-drawn patterns


#floorstract #deco #interiors

University of Oxford HAWKINS\BROWN

University of Oxford HAWKINS\BROWN


Badshahi Mosque – Lahore – Pakistan

Winter Sinking Strokes: Modern architecture of Tokyo #architecture


Alexander ceramic tile │Giles Miller Studio

Al-Rifa’i Mosque Window

Aerial views of the Dutch landscape by Gerco de Ruijter.



Safavieh rugs paro

Safavieh rugs paro grid

All above images via

What’s in a brief?

I’ve just been reading a blog by Krishna and am impressed with this statement that appears on it:

“We see what we expect to see. What we know, or think we know, influences us so strongly that we
 are often blind to change, to new 
views and new opportunities. This 
is true in all aspects of life.

The challenge is to see and learn
 everything around us with fresh eyes.”

I love it!

I’ve been thinking about the way I interact with clients who find it hard to articulate what they want when it comes to a visual design brief. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that they don’t have a literal concept in mind – no designer wants to be ‘the pencil’ for someone else’s visual concept, but I do need a brief to help me meet their expectations. However, I also want enough latitude so I can provide concepts that allow the client to “see and learn with fresh eyes”.

I have a wonderful client who willingly embraces the opportunity to see and learn with fresh eyes and who trusts me with total creative freedom. Her briefs are usually something like this:

Client: “I want some images to work as inspiration for some yet to be developed courses that will be aimed at people of different ages, experience and background”

What a wonderfully ‘open’ brief, but I need to get a narrower perspective. I don’t want to set any pre-conceived notions so I try to get more information by asking the client to describe her big-picture thoughts through abstract terms such as emotions, colours, style, relationships and metaphors; eg “if this project could be described as an animal what sort would it be?” “what colours do you spontaneously think of when you think about this project”,  “give me 10 key words that immediately come to mind when you think about this project”, “what’s the main effect and outcome you want”, “what don’t you want” (usually clients are quite clear about this one).

My client really appreciates this approach and from it has evolved a really good working relationship.

Here are some images that I created for such a project. These images were used to inspire creative course titles and content in the early development stages of a learning program, and were then used in a successful marketing campaign for that program.

Revealing the inner self

Revealing the inner self © Bev Puckridge

Fisher in the ocean of opportunity

Fisher in the ocean of opportunity © Bev Puckridge

The voyage of dreams © Bev Puckridge

The voyage of dreams © Bev Puckridge

Flightpath  © Bev Puckridge

Flightpath © Bev Puckridge