What If

Developing an Idea - How to tap into the creative mindset

“Ideas are what sparks anything else”

Coming up with ideas may come natural at times but often it is a process in itself.
A creative block that just seems to last for forever can lead to an uncomfortable spiral of unproductiveness.

Here are a few tricks and tipps to help you get your creative juices flowing:

“Start with what you already know”

Generating ideas is the goal here.
They can be anything: From serious to sad and all the in-between thoughts that pop up.

Start with any information that is given to you for the finished result such as a garden-design, a drawing or a new product that you are creating. It doesn’t matter for now if you feel the information is not relevant like:
dates, season, limitations, size, area and so on.

Another way to get your thinking juices flowing is to think about limitations that might be existing from the start in the case of garden design it is mostly related to the available space or even climate, wether a site is exposed or sheltered but also things like time-frame, materials or other information from the client.

When you have no client or a client that gives you free range try to imagine and create one for this particular project. What would they think about the project, What emotions or thoughts would they have.
There are many angles and directions this can go in. There is no right or wrong at this stage.

These little exercises should help you to get your thought-process going.

“List of Objects”

Sometimes when you are starting with a new project there is nothing that speaks to you immediately.
A great way of generating a conscious stream of thought is to look at whats is right in front of you.

Empty your bag or look at what objects are around and write a list of contents such as:
Pen, Lunch, Lamp, Phone Chargers.

Any object will do and if you still feel stuck think of categories to summarise them, differentiate larger objects and direct them. Then think about what they might have been used for before the ended up in your life.
Touch the objects and study them. Experiment with them and see what comes naturally to you.

Your mind will take over from there and lead you in many directions. Note them down as you think them.

”What if” your pen was made of the last piece of graphite on earth?
”What if” your phone charger was a teleportation device, where would you go?

“Developing a relevant Idea”

Your creative mind is already racing with ideas waiting to be explored.

Make sure that the thoughts don´t lead you astray by remembering the context you are creating in.

It is time to hone in onto to develop the mere thoughts and ideas into something tangible.

Once settled on one relevant idea that sparks your interest you can start to develop a concept out of it. This doesn't mean that other thoughts that might reappear and can´t be incorporated into your development.

Refine the idea and relate it back constantly to the goal you want to achieve for example a garden design.
Going with the graphite idea mentioned above:
”What if” you could incorporate shapes from graphite quarries?
”What if” you would introduce different stages of graphite into the design?

Besides diving deeper into what a particular idea can look like it is important to acknowledge what is realistic. Research can be quite effective to inform you about processes, new elements and being able to evaluate how feasible your concept is.
This takes the idea into a concept. Thinking about the implementation of your idea to reality or the physical constraints that limit how you can develop the concept.

For me personally the most important thing in this overall process is to allow anything to happen as well as writing down ideas and even draw little sketches to see if something would visually work.