Divergent Christmas present!

An opportunity to test the deck of divergent cards within the design process. The cards have been carefully designed as part of a piece of PhD research to help designers work around creative blocks by offering divergent actions to tackle the task at hand. The cards draw inspiration from a similar deck of cards developed by musician Brian Eno and artist Peter Schmidt called oblique strategies. This version of the deck has been honed to balance convergent and divergent processes through the switching of media within the architectural design process.
How to use the cards:

  • Reach a creative block
  • Select a card at random from the divergent deck
  • Perform the action
  • Carry on designing

For the purposes of the research please keep the deck of cards on hand whilst you are designing. Keep designing until you reach a creative block and then take a card at random. It is up to you how you translate the card. It could be that the action is very literal and just a case of following the instruction. For instance a card that contains the word mirror may see you horizontally flip an object. However you can be more divergent in your translation and perhaps look into a mirror whilst designing.

Record (revised times)
4 x, 3 min films which show you using the divergent deck. Use the following structure as a guideline:

  • 30 seconds showing and describing the creative block
  • 30 seconds showing the random selection of a card and your interpretation of it
  • 2 min seconds of you interpreting the card and performing the action
    Along with the video you should have a narrative track describing the creative block. It is also useful to record failure and the action not leading to a creative leap.

During the test please record the process with a smart phone or other digital camera and where possible stabilise the view with a tripod. The focus should be the design process and as such you should re focus the camera throughout to capture the subtle nuances of you interacting with media and the deck. I am happy to edit the film if you provide me with all of the captured media.

The footage captured from using the tool will be edited and shown to a focus group made up of expert designers. The focus group’s footage along with the edited small projects footage will be used to help the researcher develop the tool as part of the PhD research. Extracted stills along with the edited footage will also be used within publications and exhibitions to showcase the research. Prior to any form of publication the researcher will provide participants with a copy of the edited footage to view and ask for further consent. All material gathered for this research will be treated as confidential and securely stored on a university provided computer.