Individual Idea Generation:

How might we declutter the desk space while maintaining convenience and functionality?

New Warm-Up Game:

The warm-up game I decided to use with my group was one that invovled adding elements to a drawing until a “scene” was created. I started the drawing with a circle in the middle, then passed the sheet of paper to the next person, they added an element, and passed it, and so on. This activity got the participants in a fun, relaxed, and creative mood. It also created a feeling of accepting towards each others’ ideas, which was crucial to a successful brainstorming session.

The final “scene” created through this warm-up activity

Session Organization:

For the brainstorming session, I organized a group of four people to meet near the entrance of the school of design (Rapson Hall) where there was plenty of board space to hang up many ideas. The weather was sunny and relatively warm, so everyone seemed to come in a good mood. The four partipants were:

  • A Mexican-American senior male from that enjoys skateboarding and working out
  • A Romanian-American senior female interested in architecture
  • A senior male pre-dental student that enjoys photography and travel
  • A senior male that enjoys building furniture

The warm-up game used was the one descibed earlier in which the participants took turns adding an element to a drawing to create a scene.

This photo shows the participants’ hands after finishing the warm-up activity (note: one of the four particpants came late and did not make it in time for this photo, so there is one arm missing)

I dedicated 35 minutes to this brainstorming session, and the group managed to come up with 41 ideas — an IPM of 1.17. Below are the 41 ideas at the end of the 35 minute session.

Sorting and Voting:

For the voting part, I assigned an open circle (°) to represent an idea that is feasible and a filled-in circle (•) for ideas that we thought were creative. Each participant used a different colored marker and had 4 votes for which ideas they thought were feasible and 4 more votes for which they thought were creative.

Next we started the sorting part of the brainstorming session, we silently arranged the ideas on the board without communicating in any way. This allowed each participant to put the ideas in categories that they had in mind without being influenced by anyone else. Once everyone was satified with how the ideas were arranged, we discussed what we thought a fitting category name would be for each section. We decided on:

  • Built-in
  • Lighting
  • Novelty
  • Added Space
  • Utensil Holder
  • Rotating
The ideas sorted in their final order under the category names with the particpants’ votes

Top Ideas:


Like what you read? Give Itai Epstein a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.