“how might we make healthy food more convenient?”

my general ideas

I sat down for over an hour a day or two before the brainstorm, and came up with some decent ideas to fit our prompt. I didn’t just churn through ideas as one might in a brainstorming session, though; I tried to generate some that were well thought out.


new warm-up game

As a warmup game, I tried my own version of Wordball: Spellingball. One person starts with a letter, the next person clockwise from them adds another letter, and so on. When someone decides to end the word, they say the last letter and point to someone of their choice, who says the first letter of the next word. This new word should be related to the previous word. The game continues as such.

Warmup games, including Spellingball

session organization

My brainstorming session occurred shortly after noon on Sunday, October 23rd in the Gold study room at Middlebrook Hall. The participants were as follows:

  • Gaby, a biomedical engineering student
  • Andrew, a mechanical engineering student
  • Sam, a computer science student
  • Jordan, a philosophy student (filled in at the last minute)
  • Myself
From left to right: Gaby, myself, Jordan, Andrew, and Sam

One of the things I wish I would have done better is getting a more diverse brainstorming group. I wasn’t able to get ahold of any professionals related to our theme in the time-frame given, and one person that had agreed to brainstorm ended up getting on the wrong train and was halfway across Minneapolis at the beginning of the session (thanks to Jordan for filling in!). Despite this, we came up with a lot of ideas and had a great time. Some notable aspects of the session:

  • Warm-up games included Zip Zap Zop, Wordball and Illogical Wordball, and Spellingball.
  • The brainstorming itself lasted 37 minutes.
  • 85 ideas were generated.
  • IPM was clocked at 0.46.
  • We used negative brainstorming and rolestorming as well as regular brainstorming techniques.

Time lapse:

Brainstorming time lapse (also my first YouTube upload)!

sorting and voting

We used a simple multi-voting process where each person made dots with their color Sharpie on their five favorite ideas. Nine categories resulted:

  • Societal Change
  • Commercial Services
  • Tracking
  • Food Modification/Alteration
  • Convenient Transport
  • Silly
  • Negative Reinforcement
  • New Food Items
  • Enhancement

These pictures also include ideas from negative brainstorming and rolestorming; I think some of them are quite hilarious (like the fat-injecting taser)!

Categories from sorting, with votes

top ideas

I re-sketched the 10 best ideas with Sharpies, each in its original brainstorm color. Unfortunately, I couldn’t follow the results of the multi-voting exactly; some of the ideas that were voted upon the most didn’t fit quite right with what we’re trying to accomplish. I tried to select ideas that were novel and relevant, and included at least one from each person in the brainstorm. They aren’t ranked in any particular order.

  • Ready + Fresh by Gaby:
  • Bar Compactor by me:
  • Banana Pressurizer by Jordan:
  • Partitioned Tupperware by Gaby + Andrew:
  • Edible Pencils by Andrew:
  • Healthy Swallow-Safe Toothpaste by Gaby:
  • Slim Pocket Granola Bars by me:
  • Edible Wrapping Film by me:
  • Edible Disposable Utensils by Sam:
  • Key Ring Vitamin Capsule by me:

timeline (moved from the top)

  • tuesday 10/18: email prospective brainstormers
  • wednesday 10/19: same as above, start brainstorming myself and develop warm-up game
  • thursday 10/20: finish from wednesday
  • friday-sunday 10/21–23: host brainstorming session
  • monday-wednesday 10/24–26: re-sketch and organize brainstorming results
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