Idea Depression or How to Find Inspiration in a Hamburger, Sandwich or a Cake

New Brave Design Thinking Approach

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Can you design something so that people stay politically engaged? How would you design a fabric that is made out of waste? What if it was possible to design a spot where people feel safe? Or a game that provides people suffering from Alzheimer game with a channel of communication?

The artist and innovator Daan Rosegaarde says.  “You make the things, but the things also make you. . . Good design never stops. You must remain a voluntary prisoner of your own imagination.”

Design thinking is different from analytical thinking and the underlying idea is to build up ideas that embraces big issues (we will explore  differences and similarities between analytical and design thinking in another blog post). Design thinking can be part of a way to find solutions to problems associated with social issues, politics, ecology, energy, and health. This approach is also different making something pretty and beautiful to look at. Designing a new cutlery can be an art where different materials are used to create something that is visually attractive. The cutlery should also be designed in a shape and way that it feels good to use them.

Yet you can push the design thinking  further. For example, you can design cutlery as part of a new innovation –  an incubator that transforms plastic waste into mushroom. Sounds incredible!

The Fungi Mutarium is a prototype to grow fungi around recycled plastic wastes, breaking down and digesting the material as it develops. It may take weeks for the plastic to be fully digested so they are ready to be eaten. To help with the eating of these fungi a moon spoon was designed that helps you scrape the tiny fungi from the pods.

Watch the video below and check out this idea at Livin Studio.

The ultimate goal of design thinking is the discovery of the best outcomes for all the participants. Questions are the core in design thinking,  at the Design Academy Eindhoven the focus is on the following questions.

  • What do you want?
  • What do you like?
  • What do you think the world needs?
  • What do you make?
  • And Why?

Design thinking is a fascinating topic and if you want to read more, Daan has contributed to the book Looks Good Feels Good Is Good – How Social Design Changes Our World.

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Ish – Thinking – Thinkibility Boost

As an introduction to a series of blogposts about conceptual thinking we will start by paying attention to “ISH-Thinking”. A concept is an abstract pattern in the brain that stands for some regular, recurrent aspect of the world, and to which  any number of different words can be attached. Sometimes ago we already pointed out the relation between thinking and language, as in our posts How Thinking Patterns are CreatedBanging the World into Sorting Boxes and Key Concepts as Optical Filters. As we see in the picture below a toddler is confronted with a an almost insoluble problem. He has to place a square block in a box, which, however, only has openings in the form of a circle and a triangle. ISH-thinking

Perhaps the toddler might solve the problem by redefining the block as two pyramids stuck together. The block is “pyramid-ish” and might fit the triangle opening.

In our daily lives, we often try to give meaning to a diffuse situation by drafting a metaphor that is more or less “like-ish”. Mostly the metaphor does not fit exactly, at least not literally.

  • by doing that he stuck a knife in my back
  • I feel butterflies in my belly
  • at this moment she is very instable
  • their relationship is stormy

Mostly we don’t have any problem at all in using these ill-defined concepts. It helps us to articulate confusing and in particular emotional situations to “get grip on them”. Less prevalent is “ish-thinking” to describe seemingly well-defined physical objects. You will rarely hear someone who discusses a concrete thing (a bridge, a museum, a coffee shop) as ” thing-ish” like bridge-ish, museum-ish, coffee shop-ish). Yet, Starbuck is coffee shop-ish. Also, a kind of museum which would work like a modern library could be called museum-ish or library-ish: Art-works will be transported from the basement to the museum room at the request of the museum visitor, like in libraries with books.

And this is surely “bridge-ish”:

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In this instance it’s about inviting people to cross a body of water in an unconventional manner… by using an inflatable bridge equipped with giant trampolines.

Is it a bridge or is it a gigantic trampoline? Or both, or more or less?

We are sure that the moment you begin to think about an ish-bike, an ish-refrigerator, sunglasses-ish or a sweater-ish for the winter, you will get rid of existing preconception on how they should look. Instead, you may  start to think about alternative forms and functions. That is because by adding the suffix “ish” to the noun, you give yourself permission to think in alternative designs. We came across a similar idea (Ïsh-thinking- ish”) in Fuzzy Concepts:

A fuzzy concept is a concept of which the boundaries of application can vary considerably according to context or conditions, instead of being fixed once and for all. This means the concept is vague in some way, lacking a fixed, precise meaning, without however being unclear or meaningless altogether. It has a definite meaning, which can become more precise only through further elaboration and specification, including a closer definition of the context in which the concept is used.”

There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept. fuzzy conceptTo follow our future series on Conceptual Thinking, subscribe to the blog

Design Principles – Throwback Thursday

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For the Lazy Thursday post today we have chosen to bring together some posts we wrote about Design Principles.

We are sure that in the future we will continue pay attention to Design and Design Thinking as different from Problem Solving and (Social) Engineering. Don’t miss and subscribe…

THURSDAY-2619

Do You Need New Eyes? – Thinkibility Nibble

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The art of non-building!

Marco Canevacci is a member of Berlin-based architectural collective Plastique Fantastique. An architect who is not interested in building buildings, instead he focuses on structures that are impermanent. Soap bubbles, pneumatic machines and loupes (French for magnifying glasses).

The bubbles can be squeezed into any urban scenario and they transform our perception of time and space.

It takes 20 minutes to inflate a bubble and they are made from fireproof PVC. These bubbles have been erected tucked between trees, in public spaces, and wedged under a bridge. The aim with a number of bubbles that was installed in Copenhagen during the summer was to inspire people to explore social and urban issues in a playful setting.

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If you reflect on the videos you may become aware of spaces that you see every day on your way to work but suddenly they have a shape that you have not noticed. Finding solutions to problems is a bit like this – you have to reflect upon familiar procedures and ways of doing things, yet you need to see the situation  with “new” eyes.

“The pneumatic structure is a medium to experience the same physical setting in a temporary extraordinary situation,”  says Marco.

Go here to watch more videos.

AEROPOLIS – BODIES & TREES – 2013.08.18 from plastique fantastique on Vimeo.

Photo http://glamgrid.com/genuine-aeropolis-by-plastique-fantastique/