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Combining Ideas: How to combine ideas for creative thinking breakthroughs
This creative thinking exercise will amaze you!
Combining ideas is one of the fundamental exercises in creative thinking. When you combine ideas you are following in the footsteps of mankind's creative breakthroughs. Ever since cavemen twigged that a stick could be a weapon and a tool, something to build shelterwith andsomewhere to hang your saber tooth fur coat off the ground... we've been combining ideas.
You and I combine ideas all day long without even realising it. We are often doubling or tripling the value of an action... letting it serve different purposes. But with deliberate creative thinking we want to make use of this skill. We want to make use of our lateral thinking abilities. We want to combineideas in extraordinary ways so we can come up with stonkingly brilliant and original new ideas.
Creative Thinking Exercise 001: Combine Ideas
Here you can get some practice at combining ideas. Choose at random two words from the lists below. When you've selected two words, think about the words. Get clear in your mind what each represents. In a notebook, do a rough mind map of each word and fugureout what each means and represents to you.
For example, say I have chosen the word stone (as in a pebble) and the wordcamera.
First, I look at stone. And I figure its: hard, mineral, roundish, smooth, textured, solid, cold, that it can be used as a weapon, or decoration, or to build with, or to play with, as a weight.
Next, I look at camera. A camera can be a pin-hole camera, film camera,digital camera, video camera. It captures photos, pictures, images, or movies. It has a shutter to let light in. It has buttons to adjust settings or initiate taking a picture or filming. There's usually a lens that can be adjusted to focus near or far, and a lens cap. The camera shutter opens briefly to allow light in to register on a sensitive film. I don't know how it works in a digital camera so Iwill take a trip to Wikipedia to find out. You could further think about all the ways that cameras are used: to capture and record events, to entertain, for art, to create dramatic images to sell things, for security and so on.
Once you have gotten clear on what each word means to you... then you can start combining ideas. Think about how the one thing relates or could relate to the other.
*Could you make a camera that looks like a stone? For a novelty item or for spy purposes.
* Could you make a stone look like a camera? Carving a stone sculpture of a camera.
* Could you defend yourself by throwing a camera or use it in some kind of catapult?
* Could you hunt and kill an animal with a camera?
* Could you design some kind of stone-like camera that you could throw nearwildlife in order to film it? I think I've seen remote control movie cameras camoflaged as stones or rocks that can drive slowly over rough terrain to get close to animals.
* Stones are used to build walls. Could you build a wall of cameras, or a whole house of cameras where every 'brick' had the capacity to film or record information or events in the house? Hmm sounds a bit like the realityTV BIg Brother house!
* Or could you build houses out of old cameras or disposable cameras that aren't wanted anymore?
* Could cameras incorporate more natural mineral elements than manufactured chemical-based parts?
* Could stones be painted with some kind of film to measure and show environmental changes?
* Cameras shutters let in a certain amount of light via the focal lens toleave an impression on the film. Is there some kind of application where sunlight could be focused through a lens onto stones? The stones would absorb the heat energy and perhaps that could be released somehow at a later time when it is dark.
* Stones can be heated in fires, is there anyway of stone-cladding cameras so that could be used in fires. A remote controlled camera that can explore...
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