GO COLLECT STICKS
I typically start by collecting data in any form possible, with a broad stroke approach. Nothing is scrutinized, everything is gold. The internet yields a lot of intel but I don’t limit myself. People watching, overhearing random coffee shop conversations, art walks/galleries, hell even the grocery store are all things I use to get things cooking. In a world of desensitized materialistic consumption, I like to take my research into the personal realm and collect info by witnessing genuine human interactions.
TAKE A BITE AND DIGEST
Typically taken in different stages and bites that start with pulling keywords from snippets of data and research then creating mind-maps using a thesaurus and a dictionary. Then I take the keywords that speak to me and plug them into a Google image search and look for connections until something clicks. If not a visual project, than I look for that moment when the mind-maps start to sing and dance. The first ah ha moment.
Go for a bike ride.
THE A-HA MOMENT – WHEN THE DUCKS ALL LINE UP
Great Scott, or something of the sort. After my head has had some time to reverse engineer and re-assemble the problem, sometimes I get to the A-ha moment and the answer jumps out of the bushes. Crayola makes a great crayon for writing on the wall in the shower or a tape recorder on your nightstand. You never know when the idea will hit…
STAND THE IDEA UP TO SEE IF IT CAN…
kneel, crawl and (fingers crossed) walk on it’s own two feet. This is when the idea is tested to evaluate it’s strength. I like to do a little more research and find similar problems as the one I’m solving and stick my solution in to see if it fits, or comes close to it. Then I throw it around a bit in my network to get feedback from peers. Build prototypes, refine, edit and reapply until it is a slam dunk.