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September 25, 2011

Where do great ideas happen?

Where do you go to clear your mind, collect your thoughts and do your best thinking? Do you find yourself out in nature or locked inside with conditioned air? Do you consider your thought-provoking location to be a private place from which most are excluded or do you prefer to have others around you? Is your best thinking sparked by other activities such as gardening or are you better described as looking like Rodin's "The Thinker"? Is that special place quiet or is it your music library that helps your thoughts surface? Do you need sensory stimulation to find focused introspection?

Share your ideas and help shape the dialogue in a meaningful way. Your contribution makes all the difference in building a stronger community. Remember, participation is caring.

08.20.11 / 11:53 AM
We've found that our best thinking is a product of both planned and unplanned activities. At Design is Love, we all have our own individual ways to spark our thinking: from long walks to sharing in conversation over lunch, each allows ideas to be generated. However, the best thoughts seem to surface later on when we're least expecting it (after they've been triggered). It seems, for us, that our best thinking arises from allowing our ever-active subconscious to continue our thinking as we move on to other activities like taking out the trash or filling out our time sheets. Then, the lighting bolt strikes us when we are back on our walks and enjoying our lunches and we have our very own "aha moment".
08.26.11 / 7:04 AM
An idea is not as obvious as an answer, it's something that hatches, and you need to be ready to take care of it.

To start my cultivation of an idea, i first "roughen up the soil" in my mind with a brain storm and association on paper to see whats already in there.

Focusing on a seed that's most intriguing i go out and do some research and follow a stem of sketches, thoughts, ideas that are not the very best(leaves), but necessary for the entire process.

A plant can grow wild, but gardeners often prune their flowers, shaping them to greater beauty and health. That's why other's inputs and thoughts on a project are so valuable!

The sunlight is my love toward the project and the water, my diligence all taking place in the soil of my mind.


I just realized that was off topic...umm unfortunately I haven't found a physical place to visit that's fertile with ideas. So when i get stale, i just move around to other places of research(anywhere with books) or relax outside in nature. I definately prefer nature and have a gardener approach ;)
09.10.11 / 12:49 PM
i feel like i do my best thinking while i'm traveling. specifically on the train, though flying is good too. in college i spent a lot of time on trains. i think it's the people-watching which leads to sketching and opens my mind up into full creation mode. there's also the world flying by outside with so much to look at and take in and in turn pour out. the shear kinetic nature of traveling activates me.

the pressure of having to be creative can be stressful for me, which makes what i do for a living difficult. some days i'm just off and when i'm confined to my desk or some other space i don't have the same natural results as the above scenario.
09.14.11 / 10:12 PM
"An idea is not as obvious as an answer, it's something that hatches, and you need to be ready to take care of it." - you

I thought this was pretty profound. I'd like to hear more. I feel like being off-topic is sometimes our responsibility as creatives.

I found your post interesting. Thanks for sharing. What do you do when you're under the gun, have to be creative and can't ride a train?


I'm going to get super specific. My favorite place to think is in the shower, in another country... specifically Paris. No boundaries exist then. No one exists then, just me and my ideas.
09.16.11 / 9:47 AM
@ townie_troubadour - first off, love the name. to answer your question, in the instances where i have to be creative it is usually dealing with my profession as a designer. those days exist, more than i'd like to admit.

anecdote: there is this singer/songwriter named andy friedman and in a song of his he goes: "when i feel like signing i paint the blues all day and when i feel like drawing, i sing the night away".

i think his lyrics capture my dilemma you're asking about quite well. in truth, i feel creative all of the time and that is because that is what i am. unfortunately, sometimes it goes like this: i need to design a stationery system and all i want to do is cut video and when i have to edit some animations, i just want to draw logos with ink and paperclips. it's then that i rely on tricks of the trade and google to jar something loose and get the juices flowing.

i do agree, shower thinking is pretty awesome. especially when it's a hot shower and you got a cold beer. don't knock it 'til you try it.
09.19.11 / 8:46 PM
@ townie_troubadour : ever observe how an idea exactly occurs?

They sometimes spontaneously pop into your head in a jolt of realization.
Something probably triggered it, and you had a path that lead you to it, and you can generally explain how you got the idea...

But there is no guarantee that someone will be able to trace your steps and have the same result.

With something like a small puzzle or a progression of events, many people can arrive at the same result with logic. Ideas aren't exactly logical. Inspiration is more received than conceived.

The metaphor i'd like to present is the brain being a radio. Ideas already exist.
We just have to tune in by thinking in the same 'wavelength'. Research, look at images, think, think and think until your brain is overheating! At that point there will probably be a lot of frustration, stress and confusion(noise). That's when you submit.

Relax! Go on a train, hop in the shower. Take a boat ride as Einstein did. Sit in the garden like Newton. You can't tell where the signal will be clear, but i believe once you find that 'spot'/condition ... you'll know. ;)

(Got it back on-topic. Yesss!)

PS- showers are my sound booth, i get real musical in there :P


We'll post the topic to start the conversation. Where it goes is up to you.

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