ME313 Ambidextrous Thinking

ME 313, Ambidextrous Thinking, serves as an introduction to the unique philosophy, spirit and tradition of the Design Division. It grows directly out of, and contains much of the content contained in the undergraduate Visual Thinking class (ME 101) which has been taught at Stanford for over 25 years. ME 313 continues to stress drawing because drawing is both a powerful cognitive skill and a useful metaphor for design and creative problem solving. At the same time, the new name suggests that we would like to encourage more than purely visual skills.

"Ambidextrous" means the ability to use both hands. Combining "ambidextrous" with "thinking" creates the image of being equally facile with both the right and left sides of our brain. While we have no desire to tie the validity of this course to current brain theory, it has been established that there are basic differences in the modes of brain function found in the right and left hemispheres of the brain. Schools universally emphasize "left mode" or verbal, quantitative, and logical skills. ME 313 will focus on "right mode" or visual, spatial, kinesthetic and intuitive skills, but will do so to foster a balanced or whole-person approach to problem solving.


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