A tool for designers in a rut

The MIT Media Lab created a Mad Libs-style game to provide instant design inspiration.


Ever play Mad Libs as a kid, the word game that uses phrasal templates to create absurd short stories? Now you can play it at work, if you’re a designer with a mental block.

The MIT Media Lab has created a tool for designers in a rut. Built from the insight that designers work within a set of “a few design ‘variables,’” the game called design(human)design randomly fills in five categories to present a design challenge.

The categories are: the artifact, the inspiration, the experience, the attributes and the medium. So, for example, a player could be asked to design an object inspired by cameras that is tactical through textures using collage (where the italicized words are generated randomly).

There’s a print version with physical cards, as well as a website that generates new combinations with each refresh. The objective is to present players “with a random selection of design variables to act as a ‘structured serendipitous’ creative prompt,” according to the MIT website.

Next time you’re stuck, you know where to turn.

via FastCoDesign