This week, we started our first round of brainstorming. On Monday, we did a warm-up exercise by brainstorming a team name. We thought of a lot of different ideas, from inno-crate to texo-skeleton. We had a time limit on our brainstorming, but we hadn’t chosen a final name yet, so we quickly combined all our ideas into ARTadillo-Inno-Crate-a-Pod. At a later time, we researched which of our name ideas were already company names, in order to narrow our options. Our final decision was ArtArmor.
Our next step was to start brainstorming ideas for our actual project. We each got a stack of 100 blank note cards, and had one hour to write an idea on each one. The ideas didn’t have to be complete or realistic, but we did have to fill out all 100 cards. We then color coded our cards to indicate who came up with each idea, and shuffled them together in a complete stack. Then we each took a section of the stack and read through the ideas, and wrote any additional ideas that we generated.
On Tuesday, we took all our 500 note cards and taped them up on the glass walls of the conference room in the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK). Initially, we taped all of them up in random order. Then, we re-organized them into four categories: materials, features, concepts, and geometry. We then broke these down further into more detailed categories. This enabled us to find overlaps in our brainstorming, and access our ideas more easily.
Once we had organized all our ideas, we went through the different categories and tried to brainstorm any more ideas that we could, if we thought of something that was missing. We also looked for trends in our categories that would become our “design blocks.” The intial design blocks were outside shape, interface with object, human interaction, and technologies. These were later broken down into more specific categories, and a materials aspect was added, as we compiled all our ideas into a key componets spreadsheet.