ˈīdēˌāt/ (verb)

form an idea of; imagine or conceive; think.

In the design process, the ideation stage is one in which you focus on generating ideas. We spent a couple weeks on this particular stage with our small groups, thinking about our respective environmental issues. Armed with black Sharpies and neon post-it notes, we dove in. After week two, we did a little reflecting.


What does this word mean to us?

“It means opening your mind to all the possible problems, all the possible solutions--even if they are not yet realistic.”

“Discover; understand; dream; think; know; realize; sketch; design; rough; perfect; development; communication; sharing; believing; conquering.”

“To generate human ideas and explore the realms of possibility with our minds, our pencils, our peers. It means a chance to share my voice and imagination.”

“To let your mind run, to imagine without limits or barriers. All ideas are valid; all ideas are right.”

“Opening up your mind in order to allow yourself to be creative. Taking your creative thoughts and using them to form ideas.”

What has our experience with ideation been like as part of the design thinking process?

“It’s been creative and exciting because we all have so much hope for what this world could be like. It’s a little challenging, but engaging, as I work my problem into realistic solutions.”

“I have discovered that simple things like using visuals makes you more open minded...and using Sharpies increases your confidence.”

“We began thinking very small and got bigger and better. As the ideas evolved we got more passionate and closer to reaching a solution.”

“Simply put--lots of post-it notes. A ridiculous amount.”

“It’s been very fun because you can say all the wild and far out ideas you come up with, without immediately having to look at the disadvantages and downfalls of those ideas.”