Week Eight: Concept Development

Updated: Dec 10, 2021

This week's lecture was in the form of interviews with:

  • Torsten Posselt (FELD)

  • Matthew Jones and Michelle Dona (Accept and Proceed)

  • Wouter Dirks (Studio Dumbar)

  • Stijn van de Ven (Eden Spiekermann)

  • Luke Veerman (Eden Spiekermann)

What methods and approaches do you take to aid idea generation and an in-depth project outcome?


  • In a project, many things can change, personally, project wise, colleagues and ideas.

  • Structure your process early on.

  • Start with an idea, play with it, sit with it and let it fail.

  • There's a good chance part way through your project that you might realise your original idea isn't going anywhere.

  • The process of being hands-on and prototyping can work well.

  • Failing is very important in a designer's work.

  • You can learn a lot from failing.

  • Failing and analysing is critical.


  • Start every project with a workshop.

  • Look at imagery.

  • Triangulate, look at the brief from your point of view, the client's point of view and (most importantly) the consumer's point of view.

  • Inkblot tests.


  1. Strategic brief.

  2. Research (brainstorming).

  3. Strategy.

  4. Design.

  5. Review with the client.

  6. Feedback.

  7. Create two concepts


  • Sketch as much as possible in a day.

  • Write the idea down.


  • Taking it further than the client wants, it's easier to scale a project down than up.

  • Create as many ideas as possible.

  • Exhaust all possible routes.

  • Be sure that you've looked at all possible options.

  • Involve others.

  • Get everyone's opinion.

I really liked the quote from Posselt about failing; it reminded me of the talk with Eric Kessels from Brief One. Generating ideas is all about failing, but within the time you think of an idea and disregard you've learnt something in such a quick moment, you've assessed how it would work from start to finish, realised it's rubbish and are onto a new one with that new knowledge in your mind. Failing can be embarrassing sometimes, but embarrassment is a great teacher. It allows us to quickly learn what went wrong and how to avoid it in the future.

David Carson Ted X (2003) Design and Discovery

  • Everyone has intuition.

  • The more you stop thinking about the answer/idea, the quicker it'll come.

  • Surf shot.

  • Cigarettes.

  • Drawing on who you are in your design work will allow you to create unique work.

  • Have fun!

Image: Essay | Don't Mistake Legibility for Communication - Analysis | Essay Company

Image: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/554505772856406007/

Artswat, (2007), The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher

  • We live by symbols.

  • Typography expressing the sentence.

  • Look around you.

Workshop Challenge

  1. Safe spaces: spaces set up in public areas such as parks or near schools, colleges and universities with seating where people could talk with friends, family, co-workers etc about issues surrounding mental health. Maybe these could be pods with soundproofing so people could talk in absolute confidence.

  2. Quotes on posters: this would work like those lost dog posters you might see where you can rip off a number from below. However, these posters would contain positive quotes surrounding mental health at the bottom, which people could read and take if they found comfort from it. The idea is that they would pass this quote on through conversation.

  3. Volunteer reward system: a system set up to reward volunteers with classes that support mindfulness, such as yoga or meditation.

Image: https://www.seekpng.com/ipng/u2q8y3q8r5o0q8q8_rorschach-inkblot-test-the-rorschach-technique-or-fake/

Images: https://brainfall.com/quizzes/inkblot-quiz-are-you-normal/


flex.falmouth.ac.uk. (n.d.). Log in to canvas. [online] Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/954/pages/week-8-lecture-concept-development?module_item_id=56256 [Accessed 20 Nov. 2021].

Carson, D. (2019). Design and discovery. [online] Ted.com. Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/david_carson_design_and_discovery [Accessed 18 Nov. 2021].

Essaycompany. (n.d.). essaycompany.com | Essay | Don’t Mistake Legibility for Communication - Analysis. [online] Available at: https://www.essaycompany.com/essays/design/dont-mistake-legibility-communication-2998 [Accessed 17 Nov. 2021].

www.youtube.com. (n.d.). The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meKUDU0sH5w&t=387s [Accessed 19 Nov. 2021].

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