Today we had to take a course on what divergent and convergent thinking is, learning what the difference is and how to participate in doing them. 

Divergent thinking takes place by setting yourself a time limit and thinking of as many useful ideas for a specific object, no matter how crazy the ideas are. Items including a Tea stirer, plant pot, brick and an ice skate were what we had to analyse and think of ideas as quick as possible! 

We then had to think of a skin texture for aliens in a children’s book, such ideas came out as latex, fur, sick, cats whiskers, leather, stone, teeth, tree bark, human skin, tree bark and so on, the list got a bit big for just a 10 minute brainstorm.

After, we had to group up with the person next to each other and analyse each other’s lists finding the most realistic one for the scenario thinking about health and safety, maturity etc. My friend and I both agreed on three ideas which caught our eyes and sounded the most realistic, these being:

  1. Velcro- making the book interactive by giving the audience a chance to customise their aliens was thought to be a great idea to get the children more involved in the story.
  2. Teeth- unlike the Velcro the teeth gave the book a horror kind of feel to it. They would be made up of plastic then glossed to look more realistic and also making it feel more alive.
  3. Tree Bark- we thought of using actual tree bark but realised it would make one hell of a mess of the book and start to mold over. Therefor the same as the teeth, we’d have to create the texture from scratch with a material like plastic.

Breaking down all the ideas to these three is an example of convergent thinking, where you have to analyse all your ideas and pick out the most realistic ones which can actually be done. 

Divergent and convergent thinking is used all the time for a graphic designer, it makes your mind feel free to put any ideas down no matter how rude or crazy they are. Great ideas usually come to mind when you’re relaxing and not trying to think of something new, thus making sure to always have a handy note pad and pen or smartphone near by to then let out your ideas. Expect the unexpected.