Design something that changes behaviour.
Pick a habit or a behaviour and design something that controls that behaviour. For example, broad avenues where built Paris with the aim to better control riots and revolutionary uproars.
This design should embrace a positive approach to controlling and changing the behaviour. Also select another criteria that must be used in the design. Suggestions need to embrace ideas such as environmentally friendly, use solar power, can be used by young children. . .
Design thinking can be defined as the “transformation of existing conditions into preferred ones” (Herbert Simon, Sciences of the Artificial”). So in a way design thinking deals with improving something to make sure that our future is improved. This approach to thinking helps use redefine what an object is.
Does is sound tricky, well, it is not really that difficult.
Take a subject, and set yourself the task: Are there alternative ways to perform the function? Can it be improved?
Some suggestions for subjects:
Pick something in your kitchen such as the fridge, water tap, water kettle or washing machine. Something that functions excellently. Then improve it, design a better one.
Choose a transportation vehicle on your way to work – bicycle, car, train. Design a better one – faster, more comfortable, easier to use. . .
Choose something that annoys or irritates you, and design something that functions better. Computers and smart phones will do a good job here. But also problems at home for example, your neighbour has a private parking place on his land next to his house, but uses it as a basketball court, and parks his car instead in the street in front of your door; you don’t have a private parking, so you have to park your car in the street. But now the place is occupied by your neighbour’s car. Or maybe you have a trailer parked opposite your home in your street, but drunk pub-goers throw it in the creek next to the street. It happens all the time, whatever you do to prevent it – a new lock, making it heavier. . . so design a better solution.
If you have problems to decide on what item to do some design thinking, take an object from a random object generator. Take one object and stick to it till you can proudly announce your new invention.
I found some interesting designs that challenge our thinking. It is easy to hold a distinct view on how certain things should look, what the purpose it, who the item should be designed for. . . It is useful to give the creative muscles a workout by exploring underlying concepts in designs. What common rule has the designer tried to break free from.
Today, the importance of creativity is highlighted but many organizations provide few opportunities for people to explore new ideas and to train to become more creative. Somehow the great innovative ideas should just appear on demand. This is a great misconception and in order to get ideas that stand out, it is crucial to learn to twist ideas around and to see possibilities with new angles.
Ponder over these questions while you look at these pictures.
Define the main characteristics of a vase?
What is the main purpose of a vase?
What is the purpose of a fish tank?
Who is a fish tank for?
What is a carpet?
When does a carpet stop being a carpet?
What is the core idea of a t-shirt?
Does the humble t-shirt becomes more interesting when thousands of laser-cut polygons are used to create a t-shirt?
Lots of ideas flashed through my mind when I saw the organic shape but bicycle was not one of them.
Arion 1 was designed by a team of engineering students from the University of Liverpool. The bicycle is more aerodynamic than most cars and the bicycle is encased in an inverted teardrop shell. This shape minimises the resistance and the bicycle can reach a speed of 145 kmh (90mph). The rider of the bicycle is as low as possible and it may not be the most comfortable bicycle to ride.
Every year the International Human Powered Vehicle Association (IHPVA) hold a speed challenge in Battle Mountian Nevda. The team from Liverpool University hopes to pass the rigorous testing in 2015 and break the world record that is currently held by TU Delft and VU Amsterdam universities, which recorded a speed of 133.78 kmh (83.13 mph) in September 2013.
You can read more about design thinking and organic forms here.
Recently we came across a handsome book by Jodie Newman called Business Creativity. In the chapter about Creative Toolkit, we found five tools that we clustered around the theme Change Point of View, because basically they come all down to the same principle.
As we earlier pointed out each of us looks at the world from our Point of View, based on our experiences and agreements made by relevant others regarding how to attach meaning to the world. Everyone creates a kind of bulb around him or herself, wherein the world manifests itself as completely logic. How these logic bulbs are created – individually and collectively – is described in our blog post Language is not Innocent – How Thinking Patterns are Created.
A way to escape from your own logic bubble is to do something what is like an out-of-your-body experience. Something that detaches yourself from your body, like visiting a distant location. This could lead to a change in perception on a challenge or problem you have, which is – per definition – creative thinking.
There are several ways to do this, as illustrated in the mind map below.
Prepare a list of 8-11 brands,customers, jobs, celebrities or stakeholders. Use logos, photos and images.
Imagine (or ask directly) how this brand, customer, jobholder, celebrity or stakeholder would solve the challenge in question.
Capture ideas that come to your mind until you have nothing more to add. Then pick up another brand, customer, jobholder,celebrity or stakeholder.
Other Thinking Strategies that we have paid attention to in this blog are: