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Creativity techniques

Creativity is the action of combining previously unconnected elements together… it's the ability to generate novel and useful ideas and solutions to everyday problems and challenges

What are creativity techniques?
Creativity techniques encourage us to think differently about problems and encourage new ways of thinking.

  • They help you to generate ‘new’, fresh ideas
  • Can provide a fresh perspective
  • Enable you to share and build on other people’s ideas
  • They also encourage new ways of thinking – which we need to move towards sustainability

Rules of creativity

  1. Do not criticise other peoples ideas
  2. Suspend your judgement – do not criticise your own ideas
  3. Be as crazy as you like, listen to each other, have fun.
What if?

What if? is a useful tool for generating ‘fresh ideas’ and a new perspective on a problem. Creativity techniques like this used in a group help you build on each other’s ideas and encourage new ways of thinking - which is an important element of successful ecodesign.

The activity is aimed for the idea generation stage of the design process and is probably best used in small groups.

The Activity
Write the product or ecodesign strategy that you are focusing on in the centre of a large piece of paper

In your group, generate a whole bunch of ‘What if…’ questions related to the improvement option that you are considering, e.g. if they were looking at energy reduction they might ask:

‘What if…we wanted to do the opposite?’
‘What if…money was no object?’
‘What if…we needed the solution tomorrow?’
‘What if…there was no oil left in the world?’

Write the ‘What if…’ questions on the large sheet of paper, coming up with possible solutions to their questions, e.g. 'What if there was no oil left…?' -> "We could use alternative technology like solar or wind, or we could walk/ride a bike”.

By the end of the session your group should have generated a whole range of new ways of e.g. reducing the energy consumption of their product.

Circle the ideas that they like the most and which you think you may be able to use.

Random words

Random words is a short introductory activity can be used to help them generate inspiration for problem solving and encourage them to think in different ways.

The Activity
Write the product or ecodesign strategy that you are focusing on in the centre of a large piece of paper

Select a random word from a box of pre-prepared words from your teacher and write the word in the middle of their piece of paper.

Your group then has 3 minutes to work together to come up with and write down as many words associated with the random word that they have selected.

  • e.g. Pencil
  • Sharp
  • Point
  • Wood
  • Lead
  • Write
  • Letters
  • Books
  • Blue & white
  • Blunt
  • Rubber
  • Erase

Now apply any of the words that you have generated to the problem of energy reduction, again these solutions should be written down.

By the end of the session your group will have generated a whole range of new ways of reducing the energy consumption of their product.

Circle the ideas that you like the most and which you think you will be able to use.

Random Words – early alphabet examples
Adult
Aeroplane
Air
Aircraft Carrier
Airforce
Airport
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