Tag: conceptual design

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…

Changing the key system to generate new ideas

Changing the key system is a technique I teach to help people develop new ideas when their thinking has become stuck. It’s one of my techniques for ‘turning…

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…

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…

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…

Training course – Introduction to Conceptual Design for Structural Engineers

This course, which I deliver at Constructivist for the Institution of Structural Engineers is my longest running conceptual design training course. It is an introductory course, which splits…

It’s the invisible ingredients in the design dough that makes it rise

There used to be a sign outside a bakery in London that said something along the lines of, ‘it’s the invisible ingredients – love, care and attention –…

Unreliable briefs – finding the deeper design narrative

It is tempting to think of a design brief as wholly reliable, a document that contains all the information necessary to execute the design. But design briefs are…

The satisfaction of learning what the buttons can do

I am reminded this morning of much I like working out what all the buttons do on a machine. Quite often the machines we use, be they an…

#15 Show-notes – Oliver Broadbent interview by Alexie Sommer – Creativity, climate and clowning

I spend most of my time designing creativity training for engineers. In this episode we flip the format. Alexie Sommer, Independent Design and Communication Director and collaborator on…

Creative Surplus

Creative surplus is the time we have to invest in thinking creatively, just like a financial surplus allows us to make financial investments. I like the term because…

Notes from IStructE Academics’ Conference 2018

There was great energy at today’s IStructE Academics’ Conference, the theme of which was Creativity and Conceptual Design. If you are visiting this site for the first time,…

Secretly teaching design – notes from our curriculum planning day at Imperial

I am just back from taking part in a Design Thread workshop at Imperial College, the aim of which was to co-ordinate activity between the various design-relevant courses…

The perils of false modesty

I just read this great paragraph on the debilitating impact of false modesty on judgement.

What makes a good conceptual design statement? – working notes

Today I am working on course material related to defining what is a good conceptual design. I think, in construction at least, it is quite difficult to identify…