Creative Thinking Lecture / Workshop

Monday 16th January

Methodology – Working method

  1. Brief
  2. Research
  3. Initial ideas – generating lots of ideas
  4. Ideas development – experimenting
  5. visualisation – what the idea looks like: reflect/refine (feedback from other people)/relfect/refine/…
  6. refined idea

Idea generation:

  • brainstorming
  • mind mapping


Creative Thinking Techniques:

  • Brainstorming
  • mind mapping
  • forced analogy/random word (noun)
  • the checklist
  • 6 thinking hats
  • lateral thinking
  • picture association
  • scamper
  • lotus blossom
  • attribute listing
  • metaphorical thinking

Forced Analogy

  • way of making you think differently
  • random word (nouns)
  • e.g. mobile phone ; boat – connection?


In groups we had to put to practice the ‘forced analogy’ creative thinking technique. Given two random nouns, using a mind map, we had to brain storm ideas to make connections between the two things. It was a really interesting exercise as you wouldn’t expect ‘dog’ and ‘key’ to have any connections at all but once you start discussing them it’s surprising how many things you can think of. I enjoyed this way of thinking and with the amount of ideas we generated it’s definitely a process I will use in the future.


Lotus Blossom

Carrying on in the same groups we had to research another creating thinking technique – ‘lotus blossom’. On initial research, it looks like quite a complicated process but once you break it down, it’s actually really similar to a mind map, just a lot more structure.

The structure starts with a central idea/theme the expands with solution areas or related themes in a repetitive way. It encourages you to have a fully fleshed out idea space before considering complete.

Here is an example of how the structure looks:

Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 14.06.03.png


  1. Enter the idea/problem in the centre box (box I)
  2. Brainstorm related themes/ideas and put in the boxes surrounding (boxes A-H)
  3. Use these as the centre of the eight surrounding ‘blossoms’
  4. Brainstorm related themes and enter these in the eight boxes surround the centre blossom
  5. Completion of the diagram, there’ll be 64 ideas relating to the original problem/theme



Author: ellenreiddesign

First year Graphic Communication student at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

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