Friday, 19 April 2013

Creativity Exercise: Design Combinations

Rhiannon came up for a few days to my place and we've been planning and crafting and brainstorming!

I found an idea in "100+ Ideas for Teaching Thinking Skills" by Stephen Bowkett that I thought would be fun to try.

Basically you make two lists of key ideas or themes, randomly combine two, and think about what the crossover would be. We did a list of items you could make and a list of themes. Then we rolled dice to get a random combination each and came up with a design idea.

Round One: A Household item in the theme of fairytales. Rhiannon designs a Sleeping Beauty castle trivet.

Round One: A toy in the theme of the movie Inception. Tanith designs nesting dolls - an idea inside a sleeping man inside a sleeping man...

It was fun and challenging. Like most things, the combinations that seemed the most challenging ended up being the most fun and producing more unusual ideas.

Round Two: A hat in the theme of sushi. Tanith designs a stack of empty sushi train plates.

Round Two: cake in the theme of vikings. Rhiannon designs an adorable helmet and beard combination.

I was hoping we could use this to come up with actual usable ideas, but some of our designs fell outside our areas of expertise. I think it was good for our brains regardless. It could certainly be adapted in other ways that would focus more on our crafts and interests.

Round Three: A Van Gogh greeting card. Tanith at first designs a disturbing ear card then a sunflower seed idea that is slightly more tasteful

Round Three: A Jungle Animal bookmark. Rhiannon designs a twisted vine with various animals (after some decisions about what lives in jungles - not giraffes, for example)


  1. This is really great, guys! I agree that even if you don't end up making anything you came up with the exercise is brilliant in and of itself! But those Inception nesting dolls are genius!

    1. We were writing the list and I said to Rhiannon, "Pick a movie."

      "Inception," she responded, looking at our DVDs.

      I was so desperate not to roll Inception!! But it was challenging and fun in the end!