Nimble: Thinking Creatively and Strategically in the Digital Age

Robin Landa
Distinguished Professor
Michael Graves College
Robert Busch School of Design
Kean University

Employers want to hire nimble thinkers—people who are not only content experts but who also are agile in adapting to new technology and new directions in their fields. With rapid technological changes and globalization, the ability to think creatively and strategically is crucial. What employers want are creatives who can generate big ideas—platforms that build community, branded utilities, unique content as branded entertainment that is so good it competes with all entertainment, disruptive business models that benefit everyone, marketing as service, and products that make lives better.

To prepare students to be nimble thinkers, advertising design education in the digital age must incorporate problem finding and imagination preparation. Students must learn to be content creators, storytellers, and create brand experiences people want to share. Students need to learn to create “pull marketing,” content that pulls people in and that is shareworthy.

Advertising design pedagogy needs to address:

  • imagination preparation so that original ideas and works can emerge
  • the methods to teach content creation people will find engaging, relevant or beneficial
  • advertising as content creation, with the credo: entertain; inform; be useful; or do good.

This presentation focuses on advertising design pedagogy, on teaching students to be nimble.


This research was presented at the Design Incubation Colloquium 2.5: Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) on Saturday, March 12, 2016.