Creative Toolkit


Notes from Google Doc:


Creativity is very individual; it is different for everyone. It is the skill of having ideas and bringing them to be. Generating ideas that are new to the world are the advanced level goals but the smaller goals, ideas that are new to you, need to be celebrated too. Achieving these will allow progression to occur. In order to achieve this, we must defer judgement and embrace the lesser quality ideas, in order to identify the high quality ideas. Quantity is better than quality in brainstorming, unusual ideas are better to be included. Merging some of these ideas can help to bring more together. 

Lateral Thinking

When trying to conjure up new ideas, we typically follow familiar routes in our minds. Lateral thinking requires provocation to identify different thought processes. Ideas are best found when taking from other things. The best transport innovations have come from research about nature. Lateral thinking can be taking an ordinary subject and imagining the difference if it was changed slightly.


Juxtaposition will try to pick out ideas from something that is typically unrelated or opposite to the focal point. Juxtaposition is the most related to the neurological science behind creativity. It forces thoughts that are taken from a completely new path. A problem tree can help to generate ideas. This is taking a problem and analysing it without judgement. The roots are the cause of the problem, the trunk is the problem. The branches are the effects of the problem. This allows you to think of a new pathway without taking too much time to find it.

Lotus Blossom

The lotus blossom allows us to intentionally think of different ideas by focusing on one factor and expanding it, then taking one of those expansions and taking it further. This repeats and generates a lot of ideas until quality ones are found. This is a variation of the mind map method.

Reframing, Bad Questions and Constraints

Reframing considers a subject by changing the situation, user or goal. This allows you to come up with ideas based on different perspectives. Bad Questions are a way of stating the obvious things that would not be useful, in order to identify what really needs to be done. Constraints provoke ideas because it may force them to think things that are not obvious.

Time, Space and Habits

Space impacts our ability to think of ideas. Ambient noise in coffee shops, being sat in a car or sitting on a park bench can often accelerate our minds. Going somewhere new, or doing anything new; literally walking new paths, will allow our minds to take new paths. Time often helps, just waiting a little bit longer rather than settling may allow a greater idea to appear. Only make a habit of things that are actually useful for you. Test things out, but only take forward what really works.


Assignment 1: Juxtaposition
10 ideas based on photography and "jurisdiction".

Court room photography.
A group of people deciding when the shutter button should be pressed.
A picture of someone on their knees pleading.
A photograph of the jury.
A depiction of Oliver Twist, with the straw being drawn.
Pictures of people being arrested.
Acquiring the rights to a photograph.
Crime Scene Photography.
Picture of a permit.
People playing Rock Paper Scissors

Assignment 2: Problem Tree

Problem: Tight Budget
Roots: Rent and Bills, Subscriptions, Spending, Income
Effects: Low Disposable Income, Can't treat myself, little budget for food, can afford rent - won't be homeless, minimum wage - not at tax level, no scope for freedom, indebted to others.
Solution: Cut off subscriptions if not required, reduce unnecessary spending, seek pay rise.

Assignment 3: Lotus Blossom
7/8 Ideas based on "Camera"

Camera: photographers, tourists, teenagers, security
Security: live feed, clear visibility, tracking, mobility
Clear visibility: exposure, whitebalance, sensors, latency
Sensors: thermal, kinetic, audio, light
Thermal: theft, health, visitors, identification
health: covid19, illness, fever, weather
weather: density, distribution, true temperature.


I have tried the other methods in a notebook. I found reframing really useful, bad questions are good when you are stuck and need to find rhythm. However, I have noticed that, for me, juxtaposition and lotus blossom are the best. I understand why the engineers love lotus blossoms, it's easy to visualise in excel.