Blue Sky Ideation

Individual Idea Generation:

How might we fill un-utilized space effectively with books?

Individual 30 Ideas:

Reader’s Toolbox(1), Horizontal Book Stacker(2), Hidden Panel Stand(3), Rotary Books(4), Hanging Books(5), Book Tower(6)
Pop Up Hanging Book Shelf(7), Banister Clamp Shelf(8), Fridge Book Holder(9), Under-desk Bin(10), Chose Your Height Book Tower(11), Chair Back Book Holder(12), 3-Book Lamp(13)
Flat Shelf(14), Table Drape Pouches(15), Closet Shelf(16), Long-box with Partitions(17), Bookmarks and Bookends(18)
Shelf Chair(19), Overhead Reader(20), Spring Loaded Book Deposit(21), Shelf Extender(22), Cup Shelf(23), Book of the Day Box(24), Disco Book Box(25), Tissue Box Book Stand(26), Book and Pen Holder(27), Plug Stand(28), Bendy Book Case(29),
Angled Shelf(30)

New Warm Up Game:

In addition to the game “What’s Different?” we also played “Red Ball” for 5 or so minutes before brainstorming commenced. Depicted Below is the page from my design notebook describing the game.

It reads:

Each person faces inwards towards one another. Person A goes first. Person B through E get 10 seconds to study person A’s appearance. Person A counts down from 10. When person A finishes counting, all persons turn to face outwards. Persons B through E now count down from 10 while person A changes one thing about their appearance (a shoelace or button, direction of their hair partition, etc…). After 10 seconds everyone turns around. The first person to blurt out what’s different becomes Person A for the next round.

Session Organization:

Lucas(Left), Carston(Left-Center), Lauren(Right-Center), Emily(Right)

I had 4 friends attend my brainstorming session.

Lucas: Is triple majoring in Finance, Accounting, and MIS. He aspires to be a consultant and is involved in entrepreneurship. Lucas is Italian, but grew up in Brazil. His parents now live on Long Island and own a restaurant.

Carston: Is majoring in MIS and is also interested in consulting. Carston is from the Twin Cities area and enjoys hiking, biking, and laying around in his hammock. Carston is studying abroad in the Spring in Norway.

Lauren: Is also studying business. She is from Minnesota, and is a bartender at Rive Bistro and Bar.

Emily: Is majoring in MIS, but also has a background in Accounting. Emily is from a suburb of Chicago and is a big fan of the Bachelorette and napping.

Each participant was assigned a different color. Lucas was orange, Carston was blue, Lauren was red, and Emily was yellow. I used the green marker and generated new ideas during the session. I introduced my own 30 ideas after the voting process was finished (not depicted below). Participants voted on these separately and a consensus for the best ideas was formed.

It was a bit hard to keep everyone focussed during the session, and the Ideas per Minute was relatively low. We averaged .55 ideas per minute per person, coming up with only 44 ideas in the 20 minute session. There were some time constraints with some of the participants that may have played a factor, with exams and classes directly after the session.

Sorting and Voting:

First, I had the participants organize the ideas under a picture, like we did in class. After that we gave titles to the categories. Some ideas fit under multiple categories, so the categories were refined and ideas were designated out of one category that did not fit and into the others.

The categories:

Existing Product Integration, Hanging and Display Focused Products, Blocky and Household Item Replacements, Mass Storage, and Silly and Play Integration

Existing Product Integration, Hanging and Display Focused Products, Blocky and Household Item Replacements, Mass Storage, and Silly and Play Integration

The voting process consisted of participants making an X on the idea that they liked best within the given constraints. I told them to mark in green the ideas that they thought were the most innovative or creative and to use black to mark the ideas that were the most practical for this project (of which I gave them a description) and most likely to be found in a major retailer like Target.

Here are the 5 categories as marked with all participant’s votes.

Top Ideas:

Lauren in Group Ideation Session
Myself in Group Ideation Session
Carston in Group Ideation Session
Original Ideation Session
Original Ideation Session
Original Ideation Session
Original Ideation Session
Original Ideation Session
Original Ideation Session
Emily in Group Ideation Session

One point that came up during voting was that many people just store their books for display purposes, and never re-read them. That’s why the display table was selected as one of the best ideas.


I plan to do individual idea generation on Thursday Oct. 19 from 1:30pm to 3:30pm, I will also brainstorm a new warm-up game at that time. On Friday Oct. 20, I will email associates and invite them to join my joint creativity session, as well as reserve a room to conduct the session for Tuesday Oct. 24, from 1:30pm to 3:30pm, or somewhere in that time span. I will redraw and scan the best ideas on Wed Oct 25 and finish the blog post from 6pm to 10pm.

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