Ideation is the creative process of generating, developing, and communicating new ideas, where an idea is understood as a basic element of thought that can be either visual, concrete, or abstract. Ideation comprises all stages of a thought cycle, from innovation, to development, to actualization. As such, it is an essential part of the design process, both in education and practice.

Methods of innovation

Problem solution

This is the most simple method of progress, where someone has found a problem and as a result, solves it.

Derivative idea

This involves taking something that already exists and changing it.

Symbiotic idea

A symbiotic method of idea creation is when multiple ideas are combined, using different elements of each to make a whole.

Revolutionary idea

A revolutionary idea breaks away from traditional thought and creates a brand new perspective.

Brainstorming is a group creativity technique by which efforts are made to find a conclusion for a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its members.

In brainstorming, criticism of ideas generated should be put ‘on hold’. Instead, participants should focus on extending or adding to ideas, reserving criticism for a later ‘critical stage’ of the process. By suspending judgment, participants will feel free to generate unusual ideas.

To get a good long list of suggestions, wild ideas are encouraged. They can be generated by looking from new perspectives and suspending assumptions. These new ways of thinking might give you better solutions.

I’ve thought about this issue of influence a lot recently, and it’s kind of driving me crazy.

Architects are great problem solvers. They work diligently at solving problems that clients pay them to solve. This sometimes leaves problems that clients do not want to pay to have solved underserved and unaddressed. I really feel like the way architects can become more relevant and have more influence in society is to become more entrepreneurial in nature.

Defining problems that affect peoples lives, investing resources into developing feasible solutions, engaging with other industries and following through to bring new products or ideas to market are all ways architects (or anyone in that respect) can become more relevant and have more influence on society.

If we wait for clients to bring the problems to us then it’s too late, we will always have to play by their rules and the issues we (as individuals) feel strongest about will always take a back seat.

Good decorators must constantly feed their heads. They never stop hitting the refresh button. It doesn’t matter whether they’re looking for inspiration or sources, or looking with admiration or disgust. The point is they never stop looking. For that reason, there isn’t a bad design book out there, because every image has something to teach the discerning eye; every project conveys lessons to be teased out. There aren’t terribly many books that actually try to teach the reader something useful about the profession.

It helps to put today’s work into a context of the evolution of style. But we have also kept in mind that we don’t want to read books that put us to sleep.

Design methods is concerned with the “how” and defining “when” things happen, and in what desired order. Design Methods is challenging to implement since there are not enough agreed-upon tools, techniques and language for consistent knowledge transfer. While there are many conceptual models and frameworks, there needs to be more granularity of tools and techniques.

The act of designing in architecture is a complex process. Many designers, when probed for reasons to explain their actions, are either unable to answer questions, or provide explanations that are not true descriptions of their actions. Frequently the designer will answer that his or her reason for making a particular design decision is based on ‘feeling’ or ‘intuition.’ Under this model the design process assumes a ‘mystical’ aura. Architectural designers can create, yet are unable to say how they do so. Often that which can be explicitly discussed by the designer is the least significant part of his or her design process. It is unlikely that designers are ‘channeling’ information from cosmic sources. Rather, they are working with knowledge that is largely tacit. This thesis attempts to de-mystify the process of architectural design. Through a close scrutiny of existing literature, incorporation of personal experience as an architect, and testing of theories with lay, novice, and expert designers a theory of design methodology is proposed.


Image reference Baumgartner, J. (2013) How to evaluate ideas. Available at: http://www.innovationmanagement.se/imtool-articles/how-to-evaluate-ideas/ (Accessed: 23 October 2016).

Ideation (creative process) (2016) in Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideation_(creative_process) (Accessed: 23 October 2016).

Brainstorming (2016) in Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainstorming (Accessed: 23 October 2016).

The influence of an architect (no date) Available at: http://archinect.com/forum/thread/56637087/the-influence-of-an-architect (Accessed: 23 October 2016).

Translated (2013) Dominique browning’s book list. Available at: http://www.designersandbooks.com/commentator/booklist/dominique-browning (Accessed: 23 October 2016).

Wiggins, G.E. and Schön, D.A. (1989) Methodology in architectural design. Available at: https://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/14498 (Accessed: 23 October 2016).