Inspired by Tom Lehrer’s The Elements, I wrote the Structural Elements Song to be an itinerary to an educational world tour of structural form. Like The Elements, it is set to the tune of a Modern Major General by Gilbert and Sullivan.Continue reading “The Structural Elements Song”
Today I’m sharing a principle of workshop design about how we gather feedback in workshops. But the principle also applies more widely to how we get feedback in design.Continue reading “From would you think to what do you think – avoiding hypothetical feedback”
For anyone attending one of my conceptual design training courses, the second question I ask is what is conceptual design*. In this post I’ll give the definition I use and why I find it helps trainees.Continue reading “What is conceptual design? – the defining features”
One of the first questions I ask people in my conceptual design training is can you define design as a process. In this post I explore why describing design as a process helps teaching and learning about design. I then share three models for describing design as a process, including my own.Continue reading “How describing design as a process helps teach design”
For me the Designer’s Paradox is a key concept in helping people understand what the process of design is. The term was coined by my colleague at Think Up Ed McCann.
The Designer’s Paradox states that the client doesn’t know what they want until they know what they can haveEd McCann – see Think Up (2018). Conceptual Design for Structural Engineers (online) – notes and resources. Available here [Accessed: January 2021].
In this post I’ll explain why I think this observation is so useful and how we can use it.Continue reading “The Designer’s Paradox – the key to unlocking the brief”
This week’s Weekend Engineering Works post is about Ticket to Ride winning strategies. The game involves racing against other players to build a network of railway lines across different counties and continents. What I find exciting about the game is the recreation of an age of bold and adventurous engineering: the railway era. I particular enjoy building routes that I have travelled down in real life. But what I enjoy most is dreaming up winning strategies, and then testing them out.
In this post I describe my few of my more successful Ticket to Ride wining strategies. Alongside, as you might expect from this blog, I’ve also provided some wider musings on their philosophical implications.Continue reading “Ticket to ride winning strategies – weekend engineering works”
Continue reading “The Eiffel Over Mantra for Facilitation”
The facilitator comes with nothing and leaves nothing
The participant comes with something and leaves with much moreOliver Broadbent
I regularly ask this question on my ‘How to Have Better Ideas’ workshops (the sequel to ‘How to Have Ideas’). It’s a short question that triggers a wide range of answers. But the one I am looking for is this:
‘A good idea is one that meets the brief’
My aim is marrying up the brief and the idea. I want to emphasise that the two should match. If the idea doesn’t meet the brief, then we have three consequences:Continue reading “How do you know if your idea is any good?”
You are in a state of flow. The next action flows from the previous. You are in the moment. Then boom, in comes an email that sets off a chain reaction of anxiety and worry. At least that’s what just happened to me. Your creative surplus – time and attention – gets burned on managing your personal response to that email. You are back to zero. What do you do next?Continue reading “The email that knocks out creative surplus”