Recently I found myself using all eight Studio Habits of Mind in my daily life. My husband and I are considering downsizing and moving into an apartment one of these days. But we have not yet found the right one. Recently we looked at one apartment and though it was in an ideal location, I felt ambivalent. It seemed too much like a hotel. The style was too new, and I wanted something more artsy, more funky. I wanted the apartment to EXPRESS who I am, and the apartment did not feel like me.
So I started ENVISIONING what it would look like if I painted some of the walls in rich colors. That would make it more expressive of someone with an artistic temperament. I envisioned the bedroom with one deep red wall. I envisioned the kitchen in the same way, with one wall deep red, looking out onto the dining room in a medium blue. I found myself trying to decide which deep shade of red I preferred, and asking myself if I could even discriminate among subtlely different shades. Then I started OBSERVING paint colors in photographs of rooms in magazines. I became interested in the field of interior design, and I looked at websites of designers, especially those who used rich wall colors. And so I was in a way using the habit of UNDERSTAND ART WORLDS as I tried to connect my own interior design ideas to those of professionals.
I also started envisioning space. Where would everything go? But I had trouble with this, and so I had to cut out little paper shapes and paste them into the floor plan to see how furniture could be arranged. I REFLECTED on this and realized that I was not so good at envisioning spatially and was better at envisioning colors. As I pasted in carefully cut out shapes onto the floor plan, I used STRETCH AND EXPLORE a lot. I kept moving things around trying out different possibilities, experimenting.
I also imagined (envisioned) myself spending hours scraping off wallpaper (realizing how ENGAGED I would be, and how readily I would PERSIST in this project because I so wanted my new dwelling to be expressive of my personality. And I thought about how careful I would need to be when painting walls – not my usual impatient impulsive self, dripping paint and cleaning it up later, but instead using STUDIO PRACTICE to carefully prepare for painting, and then applying the paint slowly with care and craft.
In the end, we decided against this apartment. But I am so glad we looked at it because it gave me an opportunity to use the eight studio habits without even realizing that’s what I was doing!
Ellen Winner is Professor of Psychology at Boston College and Senior Research Associate at Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education. She directs the Arts and Mind Lab, which focuses on cognition in the arts in typical and gifted children as well as adults. She has written over 200 articles and is author of four books and coauthor of three: Invented Worlds: The Psychology of the Arts (1982); ThePoint of Words: Children's Understanding of Metaphor and Irony (1988); Gifted Children: Myths and Realities (1996); How Art Works: A Psychological Exploration (2018); and co-author of Studio Thinking: The Real Benefits of Visual Arts Education (2007), Studio Thinking 2: The Real Benefits of Visual Arts Education (2013); Studio Thinking from the Start: The K-8 Art Educator's Handbook. She has served as President of APA's Division 10, Psychology and the Arts in 1995-1996, and received the Rudolf Arnheim Award for Outstanding Research by a Senior Scholar in Psychology and the Arts from Division 10 in 2000. She is a fellow of APA Division 10 and of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics. www.ellenwinner.com
How to cite this blog entry (APA 6th edition):
Winner, E. (2019, Aug 9). Using All Eight Studio Habits of Mind Without Realizing It [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.studiothinking.org/blog/using-all-eight-habits-of-mind-without-realizing-it