The big boss (my boss' boss) gave quite an interesting presentation on packaging innovations. I work for a metal packaging company - you've probably eaten or drank from one of our containers, and if you're in Europe a lot of those pretty tins they sell there are probably made by my company. Part of the boss-man's job is to lead the team tasked with developing creative packaging solutions to meet customer needs, use fewer resources, increase shelf appeal, stuff like that. One little blurb on one of his slides said "Creativity training." I was so intrigued by how you train someone to be creative I made him backtrack to that point (I'm sure my direct boss would have preferred that I ask something a bit more relevant, teeheehee).
First was something called "reverse brainstorming." It's where you come up with ideas to achieve the opposite result from what you want. Ford engineers (I picked this arbitrarily - I have no idea about Ford specifics - I drive a Subaru) may have sat around coming up with ways to make their cars less fuel efficient, slower, etc. with the true intent of circling back to improve upon those things. Or, for a crafty example, making bags takes time (sometimes a lot of it). If I wanted to apply reverse brainstorming, I might think "I should sew all the parts that require black thread at different times from those that require green so I can constantly change my thread/bobbin. I should not have all my materials at hand so I have to keep running back and forth." I know...not the best example... but I'm a little tired and don't feel like thinking of how I could make it worse in an effort to make it better :)
Second was "shrinking the box." So often we hear "Think outside the box." You know what's outside the box? Lots of stuff. Too many choices. The idea with shrinking it is narrowing your parameters and being creative within those. I usually get orders for a specific type of bag in specific fabrics and I can sleep my way through the stitching. Other times I get "Oh, just do whatever you think looks good." Oy. Sometimes I get "It needs to be yellow, with at least four pockets. And straps long enough to go across my body." Narrowing it down like that yet allowing some freedom makes it soooo much easier to create something more unique. A finite design area isn't necessarily a bad thing.
I don't know about you guys, but I thought these ideas really had something to them. I'm not sure if I'm presenting it great in a "crafty" way as opposed to an "engineering" way...but I'm sure you folks are creative enough to get what I'm shooting for here :)
I'm off to tuck in with my latest issue of Mollie Makes and then head to the land of nod to recharge for another round of meeting F. U. N.