The new design tactic is Combination. Combination is putting two or more elements that could related or not related to each other and explore the possibilities between those elements and generate a new idea or solution to a design problem. In a design process, this tactic may be used to discover and explore ideas, create new elements in design, act as a creative tool to widen the understanding within a design problem. Most of outcomes might not be fit in the problem, or beyond the capability we are able to produce a solution. But the key of this methodology is merging elements to give us a different perspective and give a new meaning of design.
Combination can be usefully explored endless range of design situation. It is important to recognise the kinds of uncertainty and complexity which can be represented with confusion. Combination is helpful when the rules governing definition and selection if elements seems can not be applied, for example if the structure of the problem has not been defined to a considerable extent by some well informed pattern making. Designers have to think beyond to their usual thought and judgments on principles when designing largely on the basis of experience.
The diagram shows the possible outcomes with combining 15 elements. First define elements, break down the object or design into elements like: functionality, aesthetic, material, ergonomic, color…etc. Then combine of two or more elements into an idea. From the diagram above shows 15 elements could generate 120 possible ideas. And each idea could test and evaluate with user experience and other design methods to refine the idea to fit the design problem.
- Look for unlimited amount of inspirations
- Break down elements from individual chosen object
- Mix and Merge elements to form new idea
- Textisfy and evlavate idea
Design Kit from IDEO is an online learning platform with practical tips on human-centered design. One of the method is quite similar to my new tactic. It is call “Bundle Ideas”, this method takes strong indivia concepts to solutions of substance. It is like a game of mix and match, putting the best part f serval ideas together to create more complex concepts. ( Design Kit, 2018)
- You’ve got lots of drawings and ideas up on the wall, so now it’s time to start moving them around and forming them into more complex solutions.
- Start by clustering similar ideas into groups. Talk about the best elements of those clusters and combine them with other clusters.
- Now, start building groupings out of the Themes and patterns you’ve found. Focus on translating what you’ve heard into practice, rather than just identifying similar ideas.
- Once you’ve got a few idea groupings, ask yourself how the best elements of your thinking might live in a system. Now you’re moving from individual ideas to full-on solutions!
The key idea on both of the methods are try to discover the ideas as many as possible, and by doing that we could generate more incredible designs.
Cutlery is an essential tool to human eating. The three main cutlery are fork, spoon, and knife. Hadron Gear designed Morsel Spork which is a combination of a spoon, fork, knife and spatula. He combine three main cutlery into one single utensil. By using Combination methodology he took each cutlery’s main element and create a new utensil. It changes how people would buy and use an utensil or cutlery in the future and potentially replaced a standard fork, spoon and knife as the Morsel Spork is an all in one product that makes people life much easier. And it is a successful example of how Combination could change the existing design or product, even cutlery has been developed a well functioning set of method on how to use it, yet a new design could potentially change human behaviour.
This is an ultimate goal of a Combination design outcome. SPECTA is a 12-in-1 Premium Machined Pen & Fidget Ball Combo by Funmodity industrial designer Shin Feng. It had multifunction such as pen for writing, bottle opener, and a pen stand. Merging a fidget gadget and a pen into a product, it brings meaning for both elements. Fidget gadget is promoted as helping people who have trouble focusing or those who fidget to relieve nervous energy, anxiety, or psychological stress. And when people are getting nervous or anxiety on writing their book, assignment, or report. Both elements from a pen and a fidget gadget give each other meaning to helps the user to solve the problem while they were writing. Without using Combination, pen will be just writing tool, and fidget gadget will be just a fidget toy. Therefore, this design tactic could bring a new meaning of itself, or redefine a product.