Design ideation through improvised comedy processes

Hatcher, G. and Ion, W. and MacLachlan, R. and Wodehouse, A. and Simpson, B. and Sheridan, M. (2016) Design ideation through improvised comedy processes. In: 4th International Conference on Design Creativity (ICDC 2016), 2016-11-02 - 2016-11-04, Georgia.

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We argue that the processes of creating successful comedy are comparable to the processes of designing an innovative product. Our research explores how constructs of humour may be applied to the early phase of engineering design, when divergent thinking is assumed to be most valuable. During a series of exploratory workshops, the principles and processes of creating improvised comedy presented an opportunity to reinvigorate the design process, and overcome some of the common barriers to effective group brainstorming. This paper discusses the link between improvised comedy and design creativity, and the early development of a new improvisation-based approach to design ideation.