Category: CreativityPage 1 of 3

Notes on building local

This month I am writing an article on that explores what if we restricted construction material use to those from a local catchment. Rather than a global supply…

Too many emails – the Eiffel Over guide

I am a connoisseur of email-reduction strategies, so I share this for friends and colleagues of mine who I know are struggling with this at the moment. The…

Recognise the desert to return it to life

When renewable systems are over exploited they fall into a desertlike state. In this state the system population is too low to support regrowth and the system structures…

Nothing to say but lots to show

I have nothing to say but lots to show you – Walter Benjamin. I heard this quote this morning on In Our Time and it really struck me….

Analogue Skills for Design at the University of Bath

Today at the University of Bath I am running a workshop on Analogue Skills for Design. This workshop fuses material from my conceptual design teaching with my observations…

Act it out – embody your ideas

‘Act it Out’ is my favourite technique for shifting creative thinking from the mind to the body. This post is another in my series on Turning the Kalideascope,…

What if you could present only using questions?

What if you could present only using questions? Why might you want to? Well, do you want your answer to listen or to think? What is the most…

What does regenerative design mean for engineers?

As I wrote in my last post, this summer I have been thinking about regenerative design, and what it means for engineers.  In the context of climate breakdown,…

Towards Regenerative Conceptual Design

I have had the great fortune of having spent three weeks in France, a good portion of it cycling. Touring is a great way to leave behind your…

Find the disputable brief in your project

The disputable brief is a term I’ve coined to describe the bits of the brief that make your project worthwhile and different. It is easy to write a…

Inspiration from balance : when the day = night

This week day equalled night. I see the seasons as sine and cosine waves. Peaks and troughs for different phenomena offset from one another. At the summer solstice,…

Turning the brief into requirements we can test

In my last post I asked how do I know if my ideas are any good? My answer was that a good idea is one that meets the…

How do I know if my ideas are any good?

It’s a simple question. When I ask people what they want to get out of a training course with me on design or creativity, a common answer is…

From would you think to what do you think – avoiding hypothetical feedback

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…

What is conceptual design? – the defining features

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…

How describing design as a process helps teach design

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…

The Designer’s Paradox – the key to unlocking the brief

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…

Thinking book mark: handedness

One way I use this blog is a jotter for ideas that I’m mulling over and discussing. By having all these musings in one place, I’m creating a…

How do you know if your idea is any good?

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…

The email that knocks out creative surplus

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…

Merely create something today instead of worrying

When then there’s too much going on to do your creative work then merely create something. I picked up this term ‘merely’ concept from Seth Godin in this…

Apply the OOOOOO

In my second post on building creative surplus – the time and energy we need to invest in creative thinking – I describe the OOOOOO, an approach for…

Creative surplus and how to get some

Creative surplus is what you invest in order to create new ideas. Like operating surplus – or profit – it is what is left over when an organisation…

Does your project need a creative boost?

Here’s four things you can do straight away to give your project a creative boost. Write down the brief. What are you trying to do? Who are you…

Start building daily creative habits today

You are a world class performer at living your typical day. No one else has practised the precise set of habits, in the same precise sequence that makes…

Seneca says don’t be scruffy – trawling this blog for sales advice

Today I’m preparing for a session I’m giving at the University of Cambridge tomorrow on how to sell ideas. To help prepare, I’m going back through old posts…

Asking what if – change the frame for new ideas

Asking what if. It’s my go-to technique for stimulating rapid idea generation in groups. In this post, the latest in my series on creative thinking tools for projects,…

Use your Professional Palette

We move now in my series of posts on tools for creative thinking from gathering inputs to stimulating new connections. This is what I call ‘Turning the Kalideacope‘….

Preparing the colours for your Professional Palette

There are some inputs to our creative process that we build up over time so that we are ready to draw on them whenever we work on a…

Creative thinking tools for projects: the Eiffel Over guide

We need creative thinking tools in our project toolkit to get the most out the opportunities that a new project offers. Projects provide a setting in which people…