I am currently working on a few projects, but one if them is pretty cool.
It’s a design competition where we have to come up with an “object, furniture piece, or lighting” which will be constructed from a 2400mm x 1200mm x 7mm sheet of cardboard.
I’m not asking for designs here, but wanted to know what techniques people use to unleash their creativity. I have done a few DeBono random word games, some free writing (writing everything you can think about a subject in a short period of time) and some other tips I picked up along
So far I’ve come up with a few cool angles to approach this task, but it got me thinking about how other designers expand their minds into innovation and creativity.
Recently for form ideas. I’ve been just scanning random pintrest boards. Thinking of how I could re interperet my current problem with random piece of inspiration.
For your prompt. Example of thought process.
Scan this: http://www.pinterest.com/pleatfarm/outfitaccents/
Find this: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/556053885213776277/
Idea: Use cardboard negative space cut outs to create shape. Maybe the light shows through the cutout of a florescent bulb
Which would lead me down this path:
In a given material competition you are looking for differentiation. I would take the basics of the brief and see how I could make it different by interpretation of the basics and or the brief.
What states can the cardboard be? Torn, wet, compressed, burned, delaminated, laminated, cnc cut, printed, dyed, soaked in resin.
Once I had a state of the basic material, I would look at the brief, lighting for example. Well, if I burn the cardboard it will create light, no one said for how long in the brief. The same for the other parts. I would look for a solution that would set me apart from the common.
Then I would look to combine those two interpretations into something that looked interesting.
Take nothing for granted in the basics, most people will.
We are somewhat limited by the method of CNC cutting. We have to submit designs as DXF/DWG patterns and assemble on the night.
I have been thinking about the notions we have about cardboard. It is seen as a low value material, often hidden inside a glossy outer box with marketing.
Also, that children often enjoy playing with the box which a present came in rather than the present itself.
We did a project in school where we could only modify a square card 3 times by either:
It was quick to iterate and we turned our best forms into wall sconces. Simple, but interesting results. Reminds me a bit of your project. Sometimes setting limits helps you to focus or think about it differently…
There are a few methods I have used on here: http://www.creativity-project.net/probdel.php
They might seem ridiculous, but if you push far enough through some of the methods, you can start to get some really different ideas. I go with a ‘no idea is a bad idea’ at the start, as it might spark something that leads into a great and practical idea. I also find that it helps to pump out as many ideas as possible in a set time-limit at first so that I don’t overthink the task/restraints/drawbacks, and to refine the ideas I like into something practical and usable afterwards.
The assumptions method (if you’ve looked at the link) for example, would get you to write down 100 assumptions you have about the task/product, and to then begin to challenge the assumptions you feel most strongly about. I find that it helps to get out of a particular mind-frame and open up the thought process.
Anything that I can use to visually link a bunch of random ideas can help as well, i.e. mindmaps.
I may see what you come up with at the event
One of the best quotes on creativity I’ve read (and I can’t remember where I read it) is ‘being creative’ is a way of working and is about linking disparate ideas.
Techniques about doing something completely different (go for a walk, mow the lawn), or changing one of the parameters to something almost ridiculous, help me when I’m stuck.
There’s also stuff like Ideas for Ideas:
and their creativity cards:
the ideo method cards: