Idea Depression or How to Find Inspiration in a Hamburger, Sandwich or a Cake
Photo: Pixabay Do you feel that there are no new ideas?
You browse around on the Internet, talk to friends and read newspapers but you find nothing exciting. There is no revolutionary way of doing things or solving problems. You have seen it all before or rather something just like it. Nothing exciting at all.
Chances are that you lost your Interesting Attitude, and you are now suffering from a total apathy or lack of feelings towards anything or anyone. You are just continuously assessing anything and anyone as good or bad. There is no interest at all like attention, curiosity, concern, engagement, taking part or responsibility.
The good news is that one part of the problem linked to “idea depression” is not serious and you can easily overcome it. Interesting things are not out there, you have to create them, construct them and design them. This approach to interesting things may require an effort but exploring possibilities with things that you observe in your daily life, or problems that you want to solve is not only more rewarding, it is also at the very core of creative thinking. By applying a curious approach and creative tools you can develop the most exciting and interesting ideas. There is simply no need for looking for ideas, rather you create them.
Christopher Simmons decided to show that there were no creative problems that could not be solved by eating a hamburger. Using tools and approaches to creative thinking that he had learned as a designer, writer and educator, he looked at the world through eating hamburger both “critically and with wonder”. Designers tends to be observant of the world, even when they are eating. After having had burgers for lunch a few times in a row, he started to pay attention to them. He asked questions:
If a burger is on a muffin, is it still a burger?
If the meat is changed, what happens to the essence of the burger?
The idea emerged to write a book about burgers and he started to write about this observations every week. He realised that he was writing a blog even though he had not published it. But he did and the blog became a success even though some of the visitors did not realise that the blog was about design. They thought that it was about the burgers.
The Burger The portrait. Here’s the burger, here’s actually what it looks like. There’s no environment there’s really very little styling. I’m trying to faithfully and intimately capture the personality of each burger. Make it big, make it clear, make it unambiguous. It’s a burger, end of story.
The Review Then there’s the review. The goal here is to recreate the experience. Usually I focus on taste. Sometimes it’s the service or the environment. It really depends on what makes the strongest impression on me.
The Leap The other one is a huge leap. Here’s what I think this needs or it could need. That is the “design insight” or take-away.
What Christopher is doing is exploring possibilities through beef and buns, I suppose it is similar to my lunch breaks which are sometimes spent reading cake blogs. All these wonderful fluffy creations that I would probably neither eat nor like but they spark ideas. So looking closely means that you can come up with ideas. And instead of burgers, you could adopt a designer’s approach to sandwiches.
Then there is another aspect involved in “idea depression”. Where does all your good ideas end up? When I think about all my thoughts and suggestions and see, well, nothing. That is enough to make me depressed. Most of the ideas are also not written down. They are simply lost.
The solution is of course the trickier leap towards doing things.
Step one. Write the idea down!
Step two: Leave the idea and then return and see if you can improve upon it. Play with it! Modify, change, reverse, etc.
Step three: Talk to people about the idea.
Step four: Observe their reactions
Step five: Make a decision and either create another idea or start the process. And it is now the real work begins someone told me. . .