Engaged Collaborative Ideation supported through Material Catalysation

Jan Capjon


Leaders, researchers, engineers, designers, users and investors have diverging norms, thought patterns, languages and foci for creativity [5]. In play with shared toys children manage to overcome basic differences and create shared visions. Could similar engagement support collaborating grownups in creating breakthrough products? Through studies of design behaviour, cognitive psychology, neurobiology and phenomenology I have in my doctoral thesis [6] concluded that if design actors are allowed to play with their ideas in shared reality, this can be achieved. The condition for efficiency of such a process is that ‘toy’ physicality can represent emerging ideas so quickly and cheaply that they can become ‘catalysing’ parts of the game. For the first time in history such an approach is now possible through employment of Rapid Prototyping (RP) technology. Research on such interaction between mental and physical representation is summarily presented in this article – from theoretical and empirical viewpoints. For some readers an access through the case studies first may be preferential.

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