Studio Blue is a one-of-a-kind resource at the Collins College of Business designed to give TU students practice employing the creative process by solving real-world problems. Studio Blue’s benefits are two-fold: students learn to harness their innovative abilities; and actual problems are solved for companies, non-profits and other organizations.
Universities have traditionally emphasized analytical decision-making and neglected imagination and creative problem solving in business education. Meanwhile, companies 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 fundamental 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, magnetic and dry-erase walls, a viewing room for focus groups and observations, an array of cameras and other brainstorming tools.
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– A campus-wide contest in Fall 2008 where student teams competed to create solutions for how to create value out of outdated pizza boxes.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 attempted to develop innovative ideas and solutions to a major social issue facing Oklahoma.