An "Idea Mash Up" workshop with Richie Nainaney

Brainstorm, connect and mash with Richie Nainaney at our colearning campus in Dubai

Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting Richie Nainaney, Design Director and Co-founder of Orikami Lab at our NewCampus Dubai colearning campus. She conducted a highly proactive and engaging workshop to nearly 40 attendees who managed to walk away with new creativity bursts. Here's how she did it:

Richie's workshop was a collaborative idea-generation workshop; collaborative here referring to "the collaboration of elements that are unrelated but can be put together". She breaks this down with a few simple exercises.

"Designers don't actually get inspired by other designer's work. Instead [we could be inspired by] podcasts, or Chef's Table on Netflix, which are not at all related to the creative industry but is a source of inspiration" - Richie Nainaney

As the first exercise, she made her audience turn to one another and asked them to teach the other person something new. Whether it be to describe a book they just read, a movie they just watched or even, a song that they just listened to. The point of this exercise was to warm up the mind to start thinking creatively!

As a designer, Richie states that it helps to identify the three key "points" of the task before starting to generate ideas. These are:

  • What industry are you part of?
  • What product/service are you introducing?
  • Who is it for / What is it solving?

Now, the fun begins. She introduced three key areas - Health & Medicine, Earth & Energy and Human Needs. The workshop was broken down into three key exercises, and for the first part, the room was broken down into 3 sections, with each room representing one area.

1. Brainstorm and list out as many items as possible

Each audience member was given a marker and had to list out as many items as possible (whatever that comes to mind!) under these 3 areas on their surrounding whiteboard walls. Tesla, sleep, meditation, lonely, noodles, etc!

2. Connect with the words

Richie asked the audience to walk around the room and circle out any words that give them a postive/productive reaction. "If a word makes you smile, circle it!"

writing on board

3. Mash together the individual elements to create a concept

The audience was then grouped into teams of 5 and each group was given a blank A4 paper and they had to "mash together" elements from each of the 3 different areas to come up with a concept. The idea was for each group to come up with as many concepts as possible, and as quickly as possible. The key here is to not get tempted to flesh it out, as long as you're able to describe it in one sentence. The point of this exercise was to force your brain into this line of logical thinking.

The audience let their creative juices flow, and came up with incredibly creative concepts!

Group 1
Books + Elderly Health + Solar Power

Concept: An electronic book that teaches the elderly about balancing mental and physical health, powered by solar energy.

Group 2
Community + Therapy + Dancing Art

Concept: Everyone comes together in a community and they get ink on their feet. They then create art through their choreographed dancing techniques.

Through this workshop, the audience learnt that having an opportunistic mind and being more aware of your surroundings is the gateway to learning new things and fostering inspiration.

"Creativity is about having an open mindset. A designer isn't the only person who is creative, every individual has the capacity to be."


If you're interested in working with a mentor such as Richie, or getting access to workshops such as this, check out NewCampus’s new program launching in Feb 2019 in Singapore.

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