Breaking habits?

Does anyone have any tips for breaking design habits? I keep seeing the same motiffs pop up over and over again in my work, and a lot of times I can’t get away from a singular concept when I’m trying to do some ideations. Any good ways to break yourself out of design habits? Like I just go for what’s automatically easiest; I always start with a curved line from left to right, for instance.

This may sound silly, but when I was starting out I found it helpful to think about how other designers would approach a problem ie, how would Dieter Rams handle this, or how would Raymond Loewy, Stark, Norman Bel Geddes, Noguchi, Seymour-Powell, Giugiaro, and so on. It helped to get me out of my perspective.

Also, think of the concepts as slots, if you are going to present 5 concepts, then think well I want one to be mostly rounds, one to be right angles, one to be made of triangulated forms, a fully organic one, an additive one, a subtractive one and so on.

one of my professors gave us an exercise that was a form generation matrix.
see the 8th page of this document for some examples

That’s exactly how I approach a project if I have little to no direction from the client… the first round of concepts is just a menagerie of different ‘styles’ in the hope that at least one will stick as part of the ‘I don’t know what I like, but I know I don’t like that’ routine with some clients.

My typical 3 would be radiused corners (retro), sweeping long curves (sleek) and finally a design that’s all squared off (modernist). A bit formulaic I know but with clients like that it’s the best way to get things moving forward in a positive manner.

It seems trite when your write it down, but overall I agree with this. I look at it as getting into a parking lot. Once we define what parking lot we want to be in, we can start looking for a space and really designing. The trick is to make sure that all of the veneered styles have merit. I also like to show, or explain the pros and cons of each style from the consumers perspective and how it relates to the competitive landscape, ie this type of design will stand out more, this will blend more and so on.