Economic Boost Expected From Teaching Creativity

"Maybe we could jump-start our economy" by infusing business know-how into art and design, a college president here suggests.

Dr. Larry R. Thompson, who heads Ringling College of Art and Design, notes that "every man-made object, from your coffee cup, to the chair you are sitting in, to the watch on your wrist, was created by an artist or designer. Product design, advertising design, interior design affect every single thing we do."

Writing in a college publication called "Creativity@Work," Dr. Thompson notes that his institution has created the nation's first four-year program to teach business to creative types. It's called The Business of Art and Design. Its lead faculty member, Dr. Wanda Chaves, says, "We're convinced this revolutionary new academic program will produce the business leaders of the future. It integrates the study of business and the study of studio art and design -- marrying the right and left brains into one practice."

She adds, "The art and design degree is in some ways the quintessential business degree. It's not just about creative businesses. It's about making any business more creative."

Ringling College is located at 2700 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota FL 34234. Web