Ideation Dice

At Polygon Door we believe everyone is creative –  or rather everyone can learn to act creatively – to use creativity -you’ve just got to learn the right techniques and approaches – and  practice them.

Indeed that term practice/practise is important because the most useful technique for unleashing creativity is just to get in and make something – and then make it again and again. This type of practice is a little different from that which you do when you learn how to play a musical instrument (which takes a lot of practicing).

Here there is no right or wrong way to practice except not practicing,  getting discouraged by the result, or not trying again differently. The challenge is to reflect on what worked when you were practicing and what didn’t and to change your approach to make sure that the good things are explored and the disappointing things are  improved or avoided.

Creativity doesn’t happen in your head it happens in the interaction between what you think and what you do/make. Take out the making and creativity won’t happen..

Here we are going to use one experimental tool/technique to get us thinking/making creatively.

We are going to invent a character – its going to look something like an insect or perhaps some other character that gets in a plays with our code….


Before we design that bug however we are going to think about its character and its relation to the world in which it lives.

While we will create our bug on a screen as a graphic we will also be giving it electronic senses (using sensors) and ways of acting (actuators) and we will be thinking a lot about the way your bug acts and why it act the way it does – and how this might tell us what it looks like.

We have invented three special dice in order to begin this process; One dice corresponds to the  sense of the bug – the ways the bug can seen the outside world. The second dice corresponds to the way the bug feels. The third dice corresponds to how it acts.

We will  throw all the dice 4 times. Each time we will record;

  1. a sense form dice 1
  2. a feeling from dice 2
  3. an action from dice 3.

The list that results will give us a set of traits that define how our bug will interact with the world and perhaps also what it looks like and how it acts.

Here is one example;

On dice one you might get the Button icon.|
On dice two you might get the Monkey (Playful).
On dice three you might get the dancer (motor/movement)

This means that one of your bugs traits is that when press the the bug gets playful and twirls his antennas? Its up to you to extend and adapt this story.


Think about how and why you character might be responding that way?
Think about how you can design your bug so that this interaction makes\ sense (does the button makes something happen in the bugs world that then translates as movement?
Think about how the traits might be related to each other and to other traits.

perhaps the bug button causes a pellet to fall onto the screen.
perhaps the ball is pellet gives the bug wings and allows him to fly?
perhaps the when there are no pellets the bug gets smaller and smaller so that we have to feed the bug in order for it survive?

Write a story describing your bug and all its traits.

What does this story tell us about how the bug might look. Does it need ears? Antenna? Wings? How many legs will it need?



What type of real world bug does the bug in your story resemble?
Do some research using the internet to work out what ‘family’ of bug your bug might belong to.
Is it a spider, a beetle, an ant? Some new combination of these? Use the internet to look for images of bugs that might look a little like yours – what traits do they have? how do they move?   how do they look?

Note down any interesting attributes you’d like your own bug to adopt.