Dominic Wilcox is a designer and inventor who questions the normal way things work. He challenges the very simple things we take for granted to create new unexpected possibilities.
The video shows us that our instinct is to accept the current solution rather than ‘attack’ it with questions. When you’re coming up with new ideas that sort of fresh thinking is what you need.
Enjoy the inspiration!
The film highlights how easy it is to accept how things are without question. Part of the appeal is that Dominic Wilcox re-purposes everyday objects. The result is unexpected contraptions that tickle us.
Clearly in digital-life we rarely have the chance to re-purpose junk-shop finds. The point is that we do have the ability to ask questions that throw a whole new light on the solutions we’re taking for granted.
Generating new ideas – 5 good questions
Innovation means doing something differently to arrive at a better solution. The challenge we face is to how to unthink the conventional solution so we can see something different.
To see what these questions can do let’s take the extreme examples of the video and apply them to product design:
- Every product satisfies a need – break down that need into small parts.Is there a different way of serving the individual parts of the need you satisfy? Such as lowering a building rather than going up in a lift…
- What is the reverse of your product? There may be more than one answer here, for instance the reverse of a bungee jump could mean hauling someone up on a rope or as we see in the film dropping land on their head.
- How could you downgrade the product? This may suggest a way to then upgrade it. An extreme example of a downgrade would be to replace a smoothie-maker with a football. This may then suggest the way to upgrade a smoothie-maker would be to incorporate fitness advantages…
- What other uses are there for your product? Even silly uses like a storage chamber in a shoe…
- What if we did it a different way? ‘What if’ can spark unforeseen possibilities as opposed to the conventional response to a ‘why’ question. An example would be observing birds by listening rather than watching.
If you enjoyed the film you’ll love the book…
Dominic Wilcox has exhibited his playful and thought-provoking designs all around the world.
The book comprises over 120 drawings of his inventions. Every page is designed to make you feel happy, excited and intrigued.
Looking at the pictures isn’t just fun it wakens up your thinking. It’s clear that there must be new ideas out there that you haven’t found. Consider the book as a thinking manual, something to look at when your mind is blocked. You’ll then see that there are always other solutions, just come up with a silly one and the juices should start flowing.
Very often the challenge is getting away from conventional answers in order to arrive at something better. The key to that process is asking questions that make us think. That’s what Dominic Wilcox does, and it’s what his creations make us do too.
Please share this article if Dominic Wilcox made you think or made you smile :)