Brainstorm (PDES 2701)

Drawings for DAYS 0_o

Individual Idea Generation

The following “How Might We” statement was the primary focus of the brainstorming session described herein: “How might we easily transport bulky or irregularly shaped art supplies?”. The images below pertain directly to this statement and provide visual representation of my product ideas that could serve as solutions.

New Warm-Up Game

Telephone Drawing Game results: The left produced by Rose, the center by Jean, and the right by John
  1. Telephone Drawing Game: The first game played was sort of a combination of telephone and Pictionary, in a way. Each player was asked to draw an organic shape before passing their paper to the right. The second player, who now had their left-hand neighbor’s sheet, would then draw another organic shape, which was not allowed to touch the first shape, before passing it to the right for a second time. The third player would then have a minute to draw a picture using both shapes. Overall, this game went really well and produced some hilarious, if a bit terrifying results, in some cases. Some of the less disturbing drawings are shown above.
  2. Rhythm Clap & Copy Game: The second game played involved a player clapping out a three-beat rhythm which the other players would then copy. Then, a second player would repeat the first rhythm, adding another beat to make a four-beat rhythm for the other players to copy. This pattern of repetition and addition repeated until the rhythm had ten beats total, a feat that we never managed, as embarrassing as that is. A lot of the players got really confused really fast and couldn’t keep up, so we ended up playing one more round of the “Telephone Drawing Game” before moving on to the brainstorming section.

Session Organization

Then, on to the actual important part of the assignment!!

For my brainstorming group, I was actually really fortunate to get a TON of people together, eight including me. In the picture to the left, you can see the hands of the participants (They requested I not take a picture of their faces) who are named as follows, starting with the hand with the watch and moving clockwise: Vicky, Liz, Rose, Jean, John, Claire, and Sam. Below, I’ve given a brief description of the age, occupation, and art practice of each of these volunteers. Because I wanted input from artists in wide range of artistic areas, their experience is fairly diverse.

  1. Vicky: Vicky is the 50-year-old sister of Teresa, one of my interviewees from the previous blog entry, and extensively experienced with knitting and quilting. She also has past work experience with making clothes, although, she currently works as a receptionist.
  2. Liz: Liz is a friend of mine from last semester’s painting class, ARTS 1101, and experienced with painting and drawing. She is currently a junior at the University of Minnesota and majoring in art.
  3. Rose: Rose is the 30-year-old daughter of Jean, mentioned below, and a long-time quilter and seamstress. She currently works as a writer, although she continues to quilt extensively in her spare time.
  4. Jean: Jean is an 80-year old retired seamstress and sister of Claire, mentioned below. I met both of these women when volunteering at the Minnesota Historical Society in South St. Paul, MN, and I was lucky enough to see their artistic talents in person. Jean focuses primarily on quilting, although her other talents include needlepoint, beading, and tailoring.
  5. John: John is the 43-year-old friend of my boss and an experienced carpenter. He had made several carvings for the members of the parish for which I work and is currently trying his hand at metalwork and welding, in addition to woodworking.
  6. Claire: Claire, as mentioned before, is another elderly volunteer from the Minnesota Historical Society. However, although she too has experience as a seamstress, Claire specializes in bead work and rosaries.
  7. Sam: Sam, the final member of the group, is a 35-year-old accountant who used to work with my father. He has extensive background in calligraphy and typography, although both have become more of a hobby for him as of late.

The session itself took place in my dining room on the evening of Saturday, October 21st and was broken down, time-wise, in the following manner:

  • Warm-Up Games: 5 mins
  • Brainstorming (1st portion): 10 mins
  • Brainstorming (Asked to write characters on cards and brainstorm as if they were a specific character): 5 mins
  • Brainstorming (Asked to come up with worst ideas): 5 mins
  • Brainstorming (Asked to look to the pepper mill in the center of the table as inspiration): 5 mins
Post-It’s EVERYWHERE!! Each color Post-It belonged to a different person.

The end result was a total of 146 idea within 25 minutes, created between a total of 8 people. This resulted in an Ideas Per Minute Per Person (IPM pp) of 0.73, which wasn’t as high as I’d hoped. Overall, it wasn’t too bad, though! The energy was really great, and everyone seemed to at least enjoy it, even if the ideas produced weren’t exactly stellar.

Sorting & Voting

Sorting the categories took ages, but we ended up with six different categories (several of which were conglomerations of other, smaller categories, which you can see here). Unfortunately, they were not very neatly laid out, so, as you can see to the left, there don’t appear to be SIX categories. It looks a little bit more like we said, “Forget it” and made a dozen, but trust me. :) There are only six:

  1. Sewing Room
  2. Wearables
  3. Cylindrically Shaped
  4. Collapsibles
  5. Transport for Works in Progress
  6. Animal Partners (As in ways to get your pet to carry stuff for you. This is absolutely as ridiculous as it sounds.)

Top Ideas

The images below are sketches and descriptions of the top ten ideas produced in this exercise:

Creators, from left to right: Rose, Vicky, John, Liz
Creators, from left to right: Vicky, John, Liz, Jean
And I came up with both of these! Whoo!!

Thanks for reading! You’re done!!


  • Tue, Oct 17th: Send out emails to potential brainstormers, asking if they are available, submit timeline and outline on Medium
  • Wed, Oct 18th: Start planning out new warm-up game and what to get as “Thank You”s for participants
  • Thur, Oct 19th: Continue planning warm-up game, begin drafting own ideas
  • Fri, Oct 20th: Finish planning warm-up game, write intro to “New Warm-Up Game” section, continue drafting own product ideas
  • Sat, Oct 21st: Conduct brainstorming session!
  • Sun, Oct 22nd: Begin writing up “Session Organization” section
  • Mon, Oct 23rd: Finish “Session Organization” section, begin writing “Sorting and Voting” section
  • Tue, Oct 24th: Finish “Sorting and Voting” and “Top Ideas” sections
  • Wed, Oct 25th: Revise blog entry, post to Medium by 10:00pm
  • Thur, Oct 26th: Present blog assignment to group in class