Extend or expand
Develop your reference subject
Augment, advance or annex it
Magnify, make it bigger
What else can be added to your idea, image, object, material?
Remove certain parts or elements
Compress or make smaller
What can be reduced or disposed of?
What rules can you break?
How to simplify?
How to abstract, stylize or abbreviate?
Contradict the subject’s original function
Contradict visually and intellectually, yet remain structurally integrated
Contradict laws of nature such as gravity, time, human functions
Contradict normal procedures, social conventions, rituals
Contradict optical and perceptual harmony e.g. illusions
Ridicule, mimic, mock, burlesque or caricature
Make fun of your subject, roast it
Transform it into a joke, limerick or pun
Make zany, ludicrous or comic references
Make a humorous cartoon drawing of the problem
Fantasize your subject
Trigger surreal, preposterous, outlandish, bizarre thoughts
Topple mental and sensory expectations
How far out can you extend your imagination?
What if automobiles were made of bricks?
Alligators played pool?
Insects grew as large as humans?
What if night and day occurred simultaneously?
Repeat a shape, color, form, image, or idea
Reiterate, echo, restate, or duplicate your reference subject in some way
Control the factors of occurrence,
Repercussion, sequence and progression
Cross-fertilize-wed subject with an
What would you get if you crossed a ___
With a ___?
Cross fertilize color, form and structure
Cross fertilize organic and inorganic elements
Cross fertilize ideas and perceptions
Transform, convert, transmutation
Depict your subject in a state of change
Change color, configuration
Make structural progressions
Make aging (cocoon to butterfly)
Make Jekyll and Hyde transmutations
A visual symbol; stands for something other
Than what it is
Design an icon for your idea
How can your subject be imbued with symbolic qualities?
Public symbols are cliché, well know and understood
Private symbols are cryptic, have special meaning to its originator
Works of art are often integrations of both
Public and private symbols
Turn your subject into a symbol
(public or private)
Build a myth around your subject
Transform your subject into an iconic object
Bring things together
Connect, arrange, link, unify, mix
Combine ideas, materials and techniques
Bring together dissimilar things to produce
What else can you connect to your subject?
Connect different sensory modes, frames of reference, disciplines
Make subject bigger or smaller
Change time scale – seconds, minutes, hours
Days, weeks, months, years
Change proportion, relative size, ratios, dimensions
Exchange, switch or replace
What other idea, image or material can you substitute?
What alternate or supplementary plan can be employed?
Twist subject out of its true shape
Proportion or meaning
Make imagined or actual distortions
Misshape it yet produce unique
Make it longer, wider, fatter, narrower
Melt, crush, bury, crack. Tear. Torture, spill
something on it
Camouflage, conceal, deceive, encrypt
Hide, mask, implant subject into another frame of reference
Conceal by mimicry, like chameleons or moths
Create a latent image that communicates subconsciously
Separate, divide, split, dissect
Take your subject or your idea apart
Chop up, disassemble it
What devices can divide it into
How to make it appear discontinuous?
Separate, set apart, crop, detach
Take only a part of your subject
Crop your ideas with a "mental" viewfinder
What element can you detach or focus on?
Mobilize the visual and psychological tensions
Control the pictorial movements and forces
Apply factors of repetition and progression
What human qualities does the subject have?
Overlap, place over, cover, overlay
Superimpose dissimilar images or ideas
Overlay elements to produce new images,
Superimpose elements from different perspectives, disciplines, time
Combine sensory perceptions such as sound and color
Superimpose several views to show different moments in time
Move subject to a new situation
Adapt, transpose, relocate, dislocate
Adapt subject to a different frame of reference
Out of its normal environment
Transpose to a different historical, social, geographical setting
Adapt a bird wing model to design a bridge
How subject can be converted, translated, transfigured?
Sympathize with subject
Put yourself in its shoes
What if subject has human qualities?
Relate to subject emotionally, subjectively
Fictionalize, "bend" the truth, falsify, fantasize
Use subject as a them to present ersatz information
Interpret information differently to mislead or confuse
Seek similarities between things that are different
Compare with elements from different domains, disciplines
What can I compare the subject to?
Make logical or illogical associations
Possible original source Design Synectics by Nicholas Roukes.
HOME | ABOUT | CONTACT | ADVERTISE | NEWSLETTER | © Incredible Art Department