Harvard Business School

studio2sustain provided the culminating “Rapid Leadership” exercise for the new Harvard Business School FIELD curriculum for 912 first year students. We used the Energy Necklace Sculpture Challenge, a hands-on arts and science sculpture-building exercise that integrates the iterative and design processes with interdisciplinary thinking as a means to foster collaborative leadership and creativity. The exercise was a Harvard Business School Note, and was presented in two phases, design and construction. Teams were instructed to change leadership half way through the exercise, and leaders were pre-selected. Students worked in groups of five for this very challenging 2-hour exercise that included designing a model of a public sculpture commemorating the 375th Anniversary of Harvard, and an artist statement. Photographs of the site were available for model still-life photographs, and all projects and accompanying artist statements were immediately uploaded to a website for an on-line gallery of the day’s event. This first-ever sculpture exercise at Harvard Business School was a terrific success.

studio2sustain used a ten minute video introduction to simultaneously introduce the exercise to 912 students with staff placed throughout each studio-classroom center of the new Hive: HBS building and Innovation Lab. Professional artists and architects provided design critiques and construction guidance throughout the exercise. Final projects were presented on-line and, in some instances, to the entire class. Group feedback sessions followed the exercise where students evaluated the leadership roles.

“We used studio2sustain’s Energy Necklace exercise to help our first-year MBA students learn about exercising leadership, effective teamwork, and the fundamental of the design process. The students simultaneously enjoyed the exercise and learned from the experience. For us as a faculty, it was a pleasure working the studio2sustain team to tailor the exercise to our learning objectives. Susana and Kathryn were open and responsive to our needs, while helping us understand the power and potential of the exercise and how to make it work best for our students.”
Professor Joshua Margolis of Harvard Business School

“Students take turns to lead a group engaged in a project such as designing an “eco-friendly sculpture.” They learn to collaborate and to give and take feedback.”
The Economist, December 3, 2011; FIELD of Dreams