Whats in your inspirational toolkit?

5 Mar 2006 - 1:05pm
730 reads
Vishal Subraman...

Taneem's gift Q made me wonder what toys/artifacts/games/methods do
folks use for inspiring design concepts? If the question is too generic,
specific instances would be cool too.

Brenda Laurel's Design Research : Methods and Perspectives
has a few interesting examples like Design improvisation, play as
research, spontaneous cinema as a design practice etc. The last one
talks about a project where the sociologist William Whyte employed
interval recording techniques to track people walking on the streets of
New York for 16 years. His hypothesis was the main thing that attracts
people is other people (Street Life Project).

I use IDEO's method cards pretty often too.

IDEO Method Cards: 51 Ways to Inspire Design.
Palo Alto, 2003. Keep people at the center of your work! Ask them how to
help. Look at what they do. Learn from the facts you gather. Try it
yourself! Ideo has become a leader in design by keeping people at the
center of the design process. These cards show some of the methods we
use to inspire great design. Each card describes one method and includes
a brief story about how and when to use it. This is not a "how to"
guide. It's a design tool meant to help you explore new approaches and
develop your own. Use the deck to take a new view, to inspire
creativity, to communicate with your team, or to turn a corner.


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