Business Students Tackle a Blue-Sky Approach to Reinvigorating the Foosaner Art Museum

How might we reimagine the Foosaner Art Museum so it becomes a unique, world-class, creative and extensively used space?

That was the challenge presented to business students in the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business’s Foundations of Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship class.

“We teach the students to think about the world in a different way and to proactively pursue solutions. We like the students to work on real-world challenges,” says business professor Tim Muth, who is advising the students along with instructor of management Robert Keimer, DBA.

Zero boundaries were put on the assignment. Students were instructed to use a design thinking mentality to come up with blue-sky ideas to pitch in a five-minute presentation to university leadership and community stakeholders.

The design thinking process includes learning how to empathize with specific audiences, starting with the  end user. This involves the students going into the community to conduct interviews and solicit feedback from Eau Gallie Arts District residents and businesses. Students then define the users’ needs to start the ideation part of the project: the fun stuff.

The students design tangible prototypes to present to users and get further feedback. Then, they iterate the prototype based on the reactions they receive. The final step is the team recommendation: the “sell.”

What’s unique about the marketing challenge is that it addresses a real-world scenario to make the museum more engaging to the community. The ideas and pitches conducted during the final presentation have the opportunity to make a real impact on the use of the Foosaner Art Museum.

“This project really pushes most students out of their comfort zones, so it will prove to be a great learning opportunity,” Keimer says.

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