Assignment 4


Brainstorming With Some Sillies!

Assignment 3 helped me create two problem statements with which to guide assignment 4. They are:
1. Taylor needs a quicker way to get from riding the lift to powder-ready because he spends a lot of time strapping back in after each lift ride.
2. Isobel needs a helmet that is conscious of her music needs while looking good because at present, she has created a temporary (and not always satisfactory) solution.

Changing these into "how might we" statements =
1. How might we create a way to keep a snowboard on feet that allows easy on and off between rides?
2. How might we protect a snowboarder from head injury while making music access possible?

I conducted a brainstorming session with some friends from the Architecture program in the College of Design a few days ago. Now I know that Architecture is rumored to be one of the most strenuous and trying programs at most colleges, resulting in little sleep and some crazy studio nights. Let me assure you, this also creates one of the most hilarious brainstorming environments I've witnessed yet!
Pictured from left to right, Jessica White, Dennis MacAvaney, and Aicha Boujnikh. Not pictured from this session, Jake Brzezicki and Lane Madich

Before the session, I asked each of the participants to brainstorm a few ideas for each statement to get them thinking about the objective of the brainstorming session. They brought these and we added them to the center of the table after everyone presented them.

Next, we played my new brainstorming game! The purpose of the game is to get your brain going with associations and building off of others' ideas. The structure of the game is one person starts with the first word that comes to mind and the next person has to say the first word that comes to mind based on the previous word. The game has 2 minutes per session and the team has to generate as many associations as possible. This became quite funny as well...

Next... the brainstorming begins!
Paper waiting for ideas...

Jess meant to look prepared... instead, it looks like she really enjoys Prismacolors!

Ideas waiting to be sorted!

Then the group used the silent sort method after pinning up each "how might we" category on wall. The three categories created with the first statement were, "boot innovations", "snowboard innovations", and "ideas that carry the concept of snowboarding with a different method". The three categories for the second statement were "helmets with smart technology" "non-conventional head protection", and "customized head protection". I chose to have each participant use a black marker to mark their favorite ideas with a circle. The purpose of having them use the same color was because they're all friends and I didn't want them voting on a particular idea just because a certain friend had voted. The IPM for the first category was .6 and .8 for the second category.

Top 5 Ideas from Category 1:

Top 5 Ideas from Category 2:

Thanks for reading!


Hello Katie,
We share the theme of snowboarding :)
Re-stating your theme from assignment 3 would have been good before jumping into the problem statements (I don't think I did so myself, just realized this now).

I find the second half of your first statement slightly confusing, but I'm assuming the "easy on and off between rides" means easily get on and off ski lifts? If so, I would suggest rephrasing it to "How might we easily get on and off ski-lifts without detaching from the snowboard?".

What I like about the game you came up with is that you can't prepare yourself in advance for what you're going to say. Congratulations on the IPM, 0.8 is very good!

I do feel that some of the ideas presented could have used a little more description for those who did not attend the brainstorming session, just to understand what's going on (The last two from the first topic and the Laser-guidance system).


I enjoy the photos that accompany your post. They do add to the content. I am photo challenged - I intend to take them, but always seem to forget. Seeing them put to good use helps to keep the notion active.

Your post is quite thorough in documenting your activity. The HMW statements follow from your problem statements of the previous week and seem (to me) functional. Your game as described loosened people up and set the mood.

The sketches take a bit of viewing to decipher due to small writing. It is, however, possible to understand the intent of all. You did generate the full complement requested.

IPM's were admirable! I was curious about how you introduced your group to the concept of brainstorming? What was your review of the rules? Did you encounter any difficulties? Some discussion of these would be helpful.


Hello, I like the layout of the pictures and subtitles in the beginning of your post, however it would have been beneficial to use bolded words to separate the two sets of ideas as well. I also think it would have been beneficial to restate what your given theme was before you listed your problem statements just to make it clearer for the reader. I am impressed that you were able to gather fellow designers/architects for your session! I myself had a hard time recruiting people who were from other majors!

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This page contains a single entry by muell829 published on November 17, 2013 2:02 PM.

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