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Islamic University

Faculty of Engineering

ENGR 102
Brainstorming is a structured group-oriented technique for
conceiving design alternatives.
It consists of a group of individuals letting their
imaginations run wild, but in accordance with certain
procedural rules.
The objective of a brainstorming session is to generate as
many design concepts as possible.
Individuals should be encouraged to mention all their
ideas: the more outrageous, the better.
No criticism of individuals or ideas and no facial
expressions or body language that convey negative
reactions should be allowed.
Get your group and advisor together and think out loud
about your design topic.
Everyone gets a turn to contribute ideas and you should
continue until you run out of ideas.
As you come up them, have one of your team members
write the ideas on the blackboard or flip chart so everyone
can see them.
Sometimes they will trigger new ideas.
Ideas should be stated briefly so they can be summarized
in two or three words.
At this stage, no discussion or criticism of any idea is
Discussion and/or criticism inhibits participants and stifles
the brainstorming process.
Later, after the brainstorming excersise you should clarify
the ideas by writing one or two sentences about each idea.
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Usually, the person who first suggested the idea is best

able to clarify what he meant.
Writing down can be done after the brainstorming session.
Give everyone a couple of ideas to write about.
Discuss them at your next meeting.
After each idea has been described in a sentence or two,
discuss, refine and prioritize them.
The chances are that low priority ideas are not worth
What to Brainstorm?
Step 1 - Define the problem you are hoping to solve.
Create problem statement; put your problem in writing.
Refine it by brainstorming. What are the desirable
characteristics of an optimum (best) solution? What makes
it the best solution?
Step 2 - What skills do you need to know in order to
formulate and refine a solution?
Step 3 - What data do you need to formulate a solution?
Does the data exist and where can you find it?
Step 4 - What constraints will you have to consider in your
design? There are always constraints that must be
considered. There is never enough money or time. People
may not like an idea or project, or may be unwilling to buy
a new product unless if it meets certain conditions.
Economic, safety, social, political, aesthetic (appearance),
legal and environmental concerns are examples of factors
that can impose constraints on a design.
Step 5 - What kind of analyses should you do to
demonstrate that your design solves the problem?

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