Category Archives: The Design Process

The Design Process

4 Creative Thinking Techniques – Design tools for Brainstorming, Generating ideas & Concept design

1] Mr Squiggle Technique:

The basic premise of the show: children wrote in with their “squiggles” and Mr. Squiggle would turn them into recognisable drawings by connecting lines with his pencil nose. More often than not, the picture would be drawn upside down.

Instead of starting with a traditional thumbnail, draw a large squiggle shapes on a blank document. These shapes serve as the scaffolding for a more detailed drawing. There aren’t many ‘rules’ for this exercise, but it’s important to stick to the initial scribble for the major shapes. Inside of those forms you’re free to elaborate and add details.

[The idea of “automatic drawing” has its roots in the early 20th century. The surrealists (visual artists and writers) coined the term to describe their cutting edge creations. For them it was a way to tap into the subconscious and create unorthodox artwork.]

Mr squiggle Wassily Kandisky Wassily Kandisky


2] Observation into Visualisation: Remember when you were little and you would lay on the grass and look up into the clouds trying to make out animals and things.

You can get inspired from anything and everything. Ideas are everywhere, you just have to develop your ability to see something in something else. From your observations can you turn them into visualisation sketches?

Seagal kangaroo paw

Example of observation to visualisation - Samuel Purdie
Example of observation to visualisation – Samuel Purdie
Example of observation to visualisation - Samuel Purdie
Example of observation to visualisation – Samuel Purdie
Example of observation to visualisation - Samuel Purdie
Example of observation to visualisation – Samuel Purdie


Samuel Purdie’s Blog – Drawing from inspiration – Please visit Sam’s Blog to see his most current work. Sam is currently studying Industrial Design



Research + Inspiration Stage:

Research- for information and ideas:

Required research skils include:

  • collection
  • analysis
  • interpretation of information
  • annotating

What is Research?

Involves the collection of visual information, data and articles to assist in the understanding and development of the brief.  Research continues throughout the design process.

What information is collected?

  • Visual information
  • Factual material
  • Inspirational visuals or materials Information about the audiance
  • Historical background to the task
  • Product Benchmarking- What are the competitors current trends?

All the research collected must be analysed and annotated. How can the research collect help in the solution to the problem.


Literary Resources: books, magazines, journals etc

Electronic Resources: Internet and On-line Database

Verbal Resources: From the source of the original need itself, the client. Market Researchers- conduct surveys. Discussions with experts in the profession.

Historical Resources: Books, State Librry archives, old photographs, newspapers and journals.


Inspiration does not need to be related to your topic/subject.

Inspiration can be anything. The key is to train your eye to find something interesting in the most randomess things.

Fabrics, Sculptures, Shapes within Nature, Automotive etc.

When you have collected your inspiration – use them by creating visualisation drawings. Always annote where your inspiration arised from.

Methods, Materials & Media during Research Stage

It’s crucial that you find visuals that demonstrate how the 3M’s can be effectively used in a final. These examples should act as a starting point for you to begin your exploring and experimentation.

7-etching-2 collage Derek Gores - Tutt'Art@ - foam print 2 foam print Foam%20Print il_fullxfull_338612400 lennon-does-collage-brian-buckley linoprint online-collage-maker spotted_owl_6_5x6_5_etching_birds__animals__38af75ef53dacbf5d825d2df47c9fab6

2458915174_ff5c2ac23b_z science experiments p067_the_polyphonic_spree images (2) main_poster_facts img_51732 clubmaster3 Aesthetic_Apparatus_RAYBAN

The Design Process: Development Stage

Welcome to this lesson where we will learn all about the design process.

There are 2 stages you need to remember during the development stage.

Zaha Hadid

Form Alternatives/ Variations

Form variations
look closely to how the designer has made changes to each sketch exploring possible design alternatives
Example of animation design - design variations
Example of animation design – design variations. Look at the subtle changes the designer is making in each sketch

The 3 Ms