Bio


GRACE HAWTHORNE is an entrepreneur, artist, author and educator. She is the Founder/CEO of Paper Punk, an award winning creativity tool and toy for the 21st century, and Adjunct Professor at Stanford's Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (aka: the d.school). While she is building Paper Punk to be the LEGO of the 21st century, she teaches courses on creativity, failure and abstract-to-concrete and leads a groundbreaking research project on creative capacity building recently covered by Scientific America and Wired magazine.

Previously, she cofounded ReadyMade, the culturally groundbreaking design magazine for GenXY. As its CEO/Publisher she showed people how to transform ordinary objects into extraordinary design and turned the hip indie startup into a nationally recognized lifestyle brand. She led the sale of ReadyMade to Meredith Corporation (NASDAQ: MDP) and continued as its President/Publisher. Grace co-authored the award winning book, ReadyMade: How to Make Almost Everything (Crown/Potter, Thames & Hudson).

Prior to ReadyMade, Grace was a creative producer and business strategist in Hollywood for studios, talent agencies and privately held entertainment properties. Her artwork has been exhibited in several national museums including the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum Triennial. She graduated cum laude in Art/Visual Communication from UC Berkeley and also holds an MBA from the Anderson School of Business at UCLA and an MFA from the UCLA School of Film and Television. Grace believes anything is possible and wants everyone to make cool things with their hands.

Academic Appointments


  • Adjunct Professor, Hasso Plattner Institute of Design

Patents


  • Grace Hawthorne. "United States Patent 8,989,608 Folded Block Structure Kit and Method for Making", Mar 17, 2015

2018-19 Courses


All Publications


  • Creativity in the Twenty-first Century: The Added Benefit of Training and Cooperation DESIGN THINKING RESEARCH: MAKING DISTINCTIONS: COLLABORATION VERSUS COOPERATION Mayseless, N., Saggar, M., Hawthorne, G., Reiss, A., Plattner, H., Meinel, C., Leifer, L. 2018: 239–49
  • Changes in Brain Activation Associated with Spontaneous Improvization and Figural Creativity After Design-Thinking-Based Training: A Longitudinal fMRI Study. Cerebral cortex Saggar, M., Quintin, E., Bott, N. T., Kienitz, E., Chien, Y., Hong, D. W., Liu, N., Royalty, A., Hawthorne, G., Reiss, A. L. 2016

    Abstract

    Creativity is widely recognized as an essential skill for entrepreneurial success and adaptation to daily-life demands. However, we know little about the neural changes associated with creative capacity enhancement. For the first time, using a prospective, randomized control design, we examined longitudinal changes in brain activity associated with participating in a five-week design-thinking-based Creative Capacity Building Program (CCBP), when compared with Language Capacity Building Program (LCBP). Creativity, an elusive and multifaceted construct, is loosely defined as an ability to produce useful/appropriate and novel outcomes. Here, we focus on one of the facets of creative thinking-spontaneous improvization. Participants were assessed pre- and post-intervention for spontaneous improvization skills using a game-like figural Pictionary-based fMRI task. Whole-brain group-by-time interaction revealed reduced task-related activity in CCBP participants (compared with LCBP participants) after training in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior/paracingulate gyrus, supplementary motor area, and parietal regions. Further, greater cerebellar-cerebral connectivity was observed in CCBP participants at post-intervention when compared with LCBP participants. In sum, our results suggest that improvization-based creative capacity enhancement is associated with reduced engagement of executive functioning regions and increased involvement of spontaneous implicit processing.

    View details for PubMedID 27307467

  • Pictionary-based fMRI paradigm to study the neural correlates of spontaneous improvisation and figural creativity SCIENTIFIC REPORTS Saggar, M., Quintin, E., Kienitz, E., Bott, N. T., Sun, Z., Hong, W., Chien, Y., Liu, N., Dougherty, R. F., Royalty, A., Hawthorne, G., Reiss, A. L. 2015; 5

    Abstract

    A novel game-like and creativity-conducive fMRI paradigm is developed to assess the neural correlates of spontaneous improvisation and figural creativity in healthy adults. Participants were engaged in the word-guessing game of Pictionary(TM), using an MR-safe drawing tablet and no explicit instructions to be "creative". Using the primary contrast of drawing a given word versus drawing a control word (zigzag), we observed increased engagement of cerebellum, thalamus, left parietal cortex, right superior frontal, left prefrontal and paracingulate/cingulate regions, such that activation in the cingulate and left prefrontal cortices negatively influenced task performance. Further, using parametric fMRI analysis, increasing subjective difficulty ratings for drawing the word engaged higher activations in the left pre-frontal cortices, whereas higher expert-rated creative content in the drawings was associated with increased engagement of bilateral cerebellum. Altogether, our data suggest that cerebral-cerebellar interaction underlying implicit processing of mental representations has a facilitative effect on spontaneous improvisation and figural creativity.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/srep10894

    View details for Web of Science ID 000355548100001

    View details for PubMedID 26018874

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4446895

  • Pictionary-based fMRI paradigm to study the neural correlates of spontaneous improvisation and figural creativity. Scientific reports Saggar, M., Quintin, E., Kienitz, E., Bott, N. T., Sun, Z., Hong, W., Chien, Y., Liu, N., Dougherty, R. F., Royalty, A., Hawthorne, G., Reiss, A. L. 2015; 5: 10894-?

    Abstract

    A novel game-like and creativity-conducive fMRI paradigm is developed to assess the neural correlates of spontaneous improvisation and figural creativity in healthy adults. Participants were engaged in the word-guessing game of Pictionary(TM), using an MR-safe drawing tablet and no explicit instructions to be "creative". Using the primary contrast of drawing a given word versus drawing a control word (zigzag), we observed increased engagement of cerebellum, thalamus, left parietal cortex, right superior frontal, left prefrontal and paracingulate/cingulate regions, such that activation in the cingulate and left prefrontal cortices negatively influenced task performance. Further, using parametric fMRI analysis, increasing subjective difficulty ratings for drawing the word engaged higher activations in the left pre-frontal cortices, whereas higher expert-rated creative content in the drawings was associated with increased engagement of bilateral cerebellum. Altogether, our data suggest that cerebral-cerebellar interaction underlying implicit processing of mental representations has a facilitative effect on spontaneous improvisation and figural creativity.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/srep10894

    View details for PubMedID 26018874

  • Targeted intervention to increase creative capacity and performance: A randomized controlled pilot study THINKING SKILLS AND CREATIVITY Kienitz, E., Quintin, E., Saggar, M., Bott, N. T., Royalty, A., Hong, D. W., Liu, N., Chien, Y., Hawthorne, G., Reiss, A. L. 2014; 13: 57-66
  • Creativity training enhances goal-directed attention and information processing THINKING SKILLS AND CREATIVITY Bott, N., Quintin, E., Saggar, M., Kienitz, E., Royalty, A., Hong, D. W., Liu, N., Chien, Y., Hawthorne, G., Reiss, A. L. 2014; 13: 120-128