On Tuesday we spent the morning in trendy coffee outlet Prufrock and, as a bit of starting research, started to observe the interactions between people, products and services that we saw played out in there, with a view to designing things for that particular space. Two hours later, we knew a hell of a lot more about coffee, and were somewhat buzzing after drinking so much of it.
Using our observations as a catalyst, we spent the afternoon working through different ways of generating ideas around this location. It was really enjoyable and productive, so I thought I’d share some of the methods we used…
1. Idea Carousel
You have a set amount of time to come up with a loose idea for a product and draw it on some paper. When that time is up, you pass it along to the person next to you, and they have the same amount of time to further iterate that idea. You keep passing it around the group until everyone has contributed.
2. Ask a Question
Similar to the previous one, except it starts with a question relevant to the topic you’re interested in. The second person tries to offer some answers to the question, giving a springboard for the next person to generate ideas. The final person then takes those ideas and tries to culminate the process into a more fully-formed design.
3. Convergent Drawing
A technique that Ben and I learnt very early into our Goldsmiths Design careers, convergent drawing involves starting to use the process of drawing as a way of thinking. You start by drawing an object at either side of a piece of paper, preferably very visually different to each other. Then, over time, you begin to merge the two forms into new things with your pen, allowing those forms to inspire possible functions or novel interactions.
I found that by mixing up the way you generate ideas, and making it into something of a game, you could achieve a lot more than if you just sit around discussing things. If you have some of your own interesting methods for coming up with ideas, we’d be really interested hear about them!
Posted on: Aug 12, 2011 at 10:28 AM
- mintfoundry posted this
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