Saturday, June 17, 2006

Another possible creativity method using Google images

This is another approach gently nudging its way into my thoughts. I think it was Leonardo Da Vinci who said that we need to learn to see before we can learn to draw. In the book Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain, Betty Edwards explains how the left brain makes drawing difficult: we see something and recognise it and the left brain provides a kind of standard symbol or representation of that thing. So if we are looking at an eye and try to draw it we will most probably draw the left brain's standard representation of an eye. This method deliberately exploits that situation.

The method

The idea of this method is to look at a random Google image and imagine how someone would briefly describe and explaine the image (or the situation in the image) to me. I then think of the image I would've created in my mind if I'd only had the description. Then I look at the original image and use the difference between the image in my mind and the actual image as an idea trigger. Perhaps it's easier to explain with an example:

With this image I imagine that someone's brief description/explanation of the situation could be:

A player takes a shot in a football match

and visualise that situation as though I'd never seen the original image. Then I look to the actual image and consider the difference between my original 'image' and the actual image. I create an idea-sentence from that:

The idea is that a goalkeeper's head has to be below waist height when they save

(That is probably more of a lateral thinking provocation than an actual idea)

If a goalkeeper's head had to be below waist height then obviously they would perform at well below 100 per cent but this leads to ideas about deliberately hindering a goalkeeper's performance in some way. This could provide a fairer alternative to the penalty shoot-out: when a match ends with a draw an extra ten minutes could be played where each goalkeeper has to stand in front of a line, say, four metres in front of the goal, and he can't move inside that line. If there is no winner after that ten minutes then the goalkeeper has to stand six metres in front of the goal etc.

Hmmm. I think that's it so far. It hasn't settled into a concrete method yet. Let me know your thoughts.

Google images and ideas

The grey matter has been gurgling away and I'm getting a hint of a creativity approach that I wasn't even looking for, although I can't quite grasp the idea in full yet. I'm going to post what I've got so far and see if anyone can bounce back any thoughts. As an experiment I'll avoid deliberately working on this germ - I'll think of the idea briefly before I go to bed at night and see what the subconscious mind comes up with.

A starting subject and Google Images

The idea is to choose a starting subject (or perhaps specific context) and then treat a random Google Image as though it represents an idea about that subject. For example, I can start with a subject: the London Marathon, and observe any random image such as this one. I then kind of presuppose/pretend that the image is an idea about the subject - the London Marathon - and present that idea in a sentence:

The idea is that the London Marathon competitors run in groups.

and then use that to generate ideas (perhaps using it as a lateral thinking provocation). My initial idea is that the marathon organisers could group all the people who run a certain time in the marathon - say, those who finished between 3 hours and 3 hours 10 mins. The next year the competitors from that group could race against each other 'in their own race' where the participants would be racing against each other for a prize/pride/glory or whatever.

Example two

Subject: The World Cup
With this image I immediately thought of England's trophy cabinet from the World Cup! But here's the idea generated from the image:

The idea is that Fifa generate a single rating based on each team's World Cup performances for the past 20 years (or make it 40 ;) )

This leads to other ideas such as: trophies for best WC performers over 20 years, trophies for the best penalty takers etc.