Welcome to the Socially Engaged Design Academy (SEDA) block on Idea Generation.

After selecting a need or problem to focus on, it is time to figure out how to address it. Rather than jumping to the first idea, or getting stuck on a single idea, the designer and his/her team should spend time generating many potential ideas, exploring a wide variety of ideas, and limiting evaluating during this concept generation phase. In this block, we highlight key aspects that support successful idea generation and brainstorming techniques that can help to explore the solution space.


After completing this block you will be able to:

  • Use concept generation in the design innovation process
  • Be cognizant of the type of thinking needed to conduct concept generation
  • Explore the solution space using different brainstorming techniques and keeping a design notebook
  • Recognize challenges you might face when generating ideas


Watch the following video by Steven Johnson (RiverheadBooks) to introduce yourself to how concepts are generated – where do your ideas come from?


This block requires assignment submittals, online course completion, and in-person review, so please pay special attention to all instructions.


Block Developed By: Nour Arafat, Maria Young, Aliya Jawad, Jin Woo Lee, Charlie Michaels, and Shanna Daly

With Support From: Michigan Engineering

Last Updated: September 27, 2017

Technical Issues? Email SEDA-help@umich.edu