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Creativity in Action: Five Expressions of Creativity at Humber College

The front-facing facade of Humber's LRC building at North campus.
5 minutes

By Saran Davaajargal

When you think of creativity, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? You might be thinking of painters, sculptors, singers and dancers. But artists are not the only creative people. All of us are creative! Nowhere is this clearer than at Humber College, where we see creativity around every corner. Creativity is found everywhere, whether it’s in the form of a curriculum, research project or artwork. The wellspring of creativity at Humber is continuously nurtured through curiosity, exploration and collaboration.

In his book Radical Creativity, Dr. Kenton S. Hyatt—an international facilitator and coach in the field of human values, an educator in human communication and an artist—offers the following valuable insight into the relational nature of creativity. He writes:

“If creativity is truly inherent in the human condition, then we ought to be able to observe or recognize it in whatever situation we find ourselves, wherever we look. That is because it is a distributed process and phenomenon, but it is not limited to being distributed across the brain or limited to the internal workings of the mind. It is found within the individual, but it extends beyond us, through our interactions with one another. Creativity is both an internal and external phenomenon.

At Humber, expression of creativity often extends far beyond the individual—its effect rippling across various channels to find its way to classrooms, workshops, research projects and ultimately to the broader community beyond Humber. In this article, we invite you to explore five inspiring expressions of creativity from the Humber community.


In Humber classrooms, students are encouraged to develop their creative thinking and problem-solving skills through many avenues. From Fashion Management to the Baking & Pastry Arts, programs across Humber are designed with curricula that foster creativity. Some of the questions Humber students recently explored in the classroom include: How can 2D artwork be re-created using Virtual Reality (VR)? Can the denim industry be made more sustainable? Can custom cookie molds be created using 3D printing?

To explore questions such as these, Humber students collaborate with their peers, faculty members and the wider community. Additionally, students also have the opportunity to work with scholars and students from global partner institutions through Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL), a dynamic form of virtual exchange that connects students with their peers around the world. In a recent example of a successful COIL collaboration, Humber Fashion Management students collaborated with scholars and students from Senac University in Brazil and Nottingham Trent University in the UK to explore a wide range of fashion sustainability case studies. You can learn more about their collaborative journey in SPARK Issue #4.

Research projects

In addition to classroom curricula, creativity also finds its rich and dynamic expression in research projects conducted by Humber faculty members, researchers, and students. From social innovation to sustainable architecture to system integration, Humber’s research and innovation community has a wide range of research interests that are explored through applied research projects. At the center of the projects are real-life challenges faced by industry and community partners. To help solve these challenges, Humber researchers work on a multitude of research projects that combine creativity with interdisciplinary collaboration. From building a robotic painting arm that reduces safety hazards to developing an application that helps with indoor navigation, Humber researchers continuously demonstrate that creativity is the magic ingredient of successful research projects.


Beyond the spheres of research projects, creativity is also nurtured and fostered through workshops. ORI offers a wide range of workshops encouraging and inspiring creativity in its participants. A prominent example of such workshops is the Innovation Workshop Buffet series, offered free-of-charge, 90-minute long virtual training sessions developed and curated by a team of experts. Through sessions that cover a wide range of topics from design thinking to data storytelling to values-based innovation, the workshop participants develop their creativity through exploring human-centred frameworks, re-thinking problem solving and learning to tell stories using data. The workshop sessions run throughout the year, and registration information can be found on Humber Research and Innovation website.

Centres of Innovation

Creativity is also one of the hallmarks of Humber’s Centres of Innovation (COIs). Across the COI network, faculty members, staff, students, community and industry partners collaborate on interdisciplinary projects to solve real-world problems. With focus areas ranging from social innovation to entrepreneurship to health and wellness, the COIs are addressing some of the most pressing challenges using creativity and innovation. From organizing an ‘innovate-a-thon’ that addressed the challenges of a local school to using a Research-Creation framework that uses a creative process to present research findings, the COIs are integrating creativity in all steps of the research and innovation journey. You can learn more about the creative endeavours taking place in the COI network in SPARK issue #3.

“Campus as a Canvas”

Last but not least, Humber Galleries, which is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2022, is one of the most prominent campus destinations for inspiring and expressing creativity. As part of Humber Galleries’ initiative “Campus as a Canvas,” artworks created by Humber students and the wider community are displayed all around the campus. From the Ten Symbols of Longevity installation created by artist Jieun June Kim to the mural assemblage Humberthropocene created by artist Anya Mielniczek and community members, Humber campuses are manifestations of creativity that finds expression in a myriad of ways.

The sparks of creativity found throughout the campus are also amplified through collaboration with the wider community. As part of a recent partnership, Humber College is the Etobicoke site for the largest Nuit Blanche to date. The event celebrating contemporary art took over the Humber College Lakeshore campus on Oct 1, 2022. Visit the Nuit Blanche website to learn more about the event and the artists who came to Humber this fall.