A deep dive into creative thinking: The now-wow-how framework

DS 75-7: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED13), Design for Harmonies, Vol.7: Human Behaviour in Design, Seoul, Korea, 19-22.08.2013

Year: 2013
Editor: Udo Lindemann, Srinivasan V, Yong Se Kim, Sang Won Lee, John Clarkson, Gaetano Cascini
Author: Ericson, Åsa; Törlind, Peter
Series: ICED
Institution: Luleå University of Technology, Sweden
Page(s): 337-346
ISBN: 978-1-904670-50-6
ISSN:  2220-4334


Innovation strategies are becoming even more vital for manufacturers that wish to turn their business into a service based one. Integration of product and service aspects in early design stages insists on approaches where all competences are used for to provide the foundation for new solutions. Often such creative work is expected to randomly come from ordinary work tasks or from passionate geniuses. Few companies apply an intentional and coherent process for bringing together mixed teams to create ideas for radically new product and services. Besides describing the background for the development of a radical innovation workshop format, this article presents a three-step framework for a collaborative process in which the participants’ diverse competences and skills are seen as the source of creativity. The framework, called now-wow-how, allows a workshop to be planned, designed and conducted in order to analyze an existing situation (now), a preferred alternative future (wow) and elaborate on how these two can be bridged (how). The paper provides examples of creative methods that can be used to conduct each stage, and also a guide for how to facilitate a creative workshop.

Keywords: Creativity, design practice, early design phases, innovation, teamwork


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