I’m Not Creative, But...

A Sydney Ideas and Seymour Centre presentation as part of Vivid Ideas 2014

2 June 2014

Despite a scholarly environment that can be perceived as highly structured, inwardly focused and inflexible, academia continues to foster creative expression of all kinds.

Hear four University of Sydney academics from very diverse disciplines discuss how creativity underpins their teaching and research into cultural studies, arts education, microscopy and interactive technology design.

Discover how a creative approach allows each of them to impart both critical and creative thinking skills to their students and apply creative thinking to their own research.

I’m Not Creative, But… challenges the notion that hypothesizing, analysing, interpreting and evaluating are incompatible with creativity.

The panel will be chaired by Jackie Randles, NSW Manager of Inspiring Australia.


Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney. His research and teaching concentrates on how arts educators begin, then evolve and achieve growth in their careers and how students engage with arts and technology to learn and create in arts education. This work has evolved into a program of research and publication that engages with arts classrooms directly. His recent publications explore how aesthetic education is changing in the twenty first century; these include artnerships in Education Research: Creating Knowledge that Matters (with Kelly Freebody , 2014) and Masterclass in Drama Education (2011).

Ruth Barcan

Ruth Barcan is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. Her research explores the body in contemporary culture, with particular interests in nudity, nudism and complementary and alternative medicine. She is also a passionate teacher, and has just published a book on academic life and teaching and learning in the contemporary university, Academic Life and Labour in the New University: Hope and Other Choices (2013). Other publications include Nudity: A Cultural Anatomy (2004), and Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Bodies, Therapies, Senses (2011). She most recently was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Teaching (2014).

Lian Loke

Lian Loke is a Senior Lecturer in the Design Lab, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney and Director of the Masters of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts program. She is a design researcher, with the body as the central focus of her interdisciplinary practice. Her work explores the creation of body-centred artistic works and human-centred design approaches to interactive technologies and spaces. She teaches design thinking and encourages students to think critically about the design of creative applications of emergent technologies. She has a background in design, human-computer interaction, software engineering and dance.

Leigh Stephenson

Dr Leigh Stepheson is a researcher at the Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, a cross-disciplinary research centre at the University of Sydney. The imagery which he and his colleagues produce inspires the public as well as informs medical research, materials engineering, ‘nanoscience’ and biology. Starting in a pure mathematics background, he has dabbled in quantum physics, studied patent law, worked in modern solar cells, worked in alloy characterisation and has sojourned in Indonesia promoting informal science education. Currently he juggles huge data sets from an expensive machine called the ‘atom probe’, tap dances, trains his parents' new kelpie dog and makes overly elaborate science exhibits for a hobby.