CREATIVE CARDS:    Our final design was a toolkit , a deck of 42 activity cards that highlight and celebrate  Creativity Explored's values.

CREATIVE CARDS:  Our final design was a toolkit , a deck of 42 activity cards that highlight and celebrate  Creativity Explored's values.

INITIAL RESEARCH:  We started by visiting Creativity Explored's two studio spaces and interviewing staff about the organization. Through our research we uncovered a need for the organization to document and celebrate their values so that they withstand future growth and transition. 
Photo by Nina Menconi.

GENERATIVE RESEARCH: To uncover the values, we conducted a second round of interviews, and asked each person to write a love letter to the organization.

IDEATING: We took those nine values and brainstormed and sketched ways of celebrating them within the organization..

UNCOVERING NEEDS:  Through our research we uncovered nine values that grouped into three categories: Environment, Community, and Learning.

CELEBRATORY ACTIVITIES: Each activity is meant to be a daily reminder of the organizational values and a celebration of the culture.


PROJECT TYPE: Design Consulting and Strategy


COLLABORATORS: Emil Alex, Emily Booth, Kris Fung, & Daniel Olarte

Creativity Cards were a toolkit created for a non-profit organization in San Francisco called Creativity Explored. This toolkit aimed to help the organization recognize and celebrate their cultural values in a fun and engaging way, as well as ensure that these values withstand future growth and organizational transition.

Creativity Explored is an amazing organization that offers studio space and art instruction to adults with developmental disabilities. A warm, welcoming and vibrant cultural melting pot, their organizational culture is one of their defining traits. How might we ensure that the values that make up this culture withstand future growth and transition?



We started by interviewing members of the organization, with the goal of organically uncovering the shared values of this organization. We asked people to write love letters explaining exactly what it was that they loved about this organization and share that with us.

We synthesized this data, and uncovered nine values that naturally grouped into three themes (Environment, Community, and Learning) that were at the core of their culture. Next we searched for a way to celebrate these. We ideated, and sketched, drilled into each value, and then stepped back and looked at the whole.

We created Creativity Cards, A deck of 42 activity cards designed to be completed by students and teachers in the studio. Each activity is designed to be done with materials found in the studio, and can be completed in a day. Each card corresponds to one of their core values, and is designed to celebrate that value. The deck is color coded, split into three groups that correspond to the three core themes.



This project taught me a lot about trusting in the design process. We had some tough moments with our clients balancing some conflicting wants and needs. This project taught me that my process is my North star, serving as guidance through a changing and turbulent landscape.

If I were to do this project again, I would work to keep our client more involved in this process, so that they can experience the value of these methods for themselves.

PROTOTYPING AND TESTING: We prototyped our design for the toolkit, and presented it to the Creativity Explored Leadership Team this summer. They loved the concept, and asked us to facilitate a workshop using the cards at their next all team meeting. We plan to test the design and make iterations to the deck.