Ideas Workshop: Combinations

In round 2 of the Ideas Workshop we explored idea creation through combinations. The exercises included:

  1. Taking two disjoint ideas and combine them in as many ways as possible.
  2. Combining unrelated images and captions.
  3. Word creation: on one sheet of paper, make a list of word beginnings around a theme, one per line, on the right edge going down the paper. On a second sheet, make a list of independent word endings going down the left. Then put these two pieces of paper together, and slide them past each other to create novel combinations on the fly.


  • Usability tip #5: When writing word beginnings and word endings on separate sheets, use two people working independently to get the most creative combinations.
  • Side-benefit #6: Combining items saves you the trouble of having to come up with original ideas. The creative output becomes the combination of other people’s work.