Creative Thinking Prompt: Reinvent the Wheel
Originality, an elemental component of creative thinking, takes the usual and makes it unusual. Let’s take the wheel, a common object, and make it original.
What makes a wheel a wheel?
Make a list of all the different types of wheels.
What traits do all wheels have in common?
Brainstorm different ways or purposes that a wheel can be used.
Then, use SCAMPER to reinvent the wheel.
S = Substitute: Remove some part and replace it with something else.
C = Combination: Join or force together two or more elements of your subject to develop a solution.
A = Adapt: Change some part so that it works where before it didn’t work.
M = Magnify or modify: Consider the attributes of the subject and change them. Attributes include: size, shape, other dimensions, texture, color, position, etc.
P = Put to other uses: Think about your subject – why it exists, what it is used for, what it’s supposed to do. Then think up new and unusual purposes.
E = Eliminate: Remove any or all elements of the subject to find another solution.
R = Rearrange or reverse: Look at the subject from different perspectives. Turn it upside-down, inside-out. Make it go backwards, against the direction it was intended to go or be used. Similar to Reverse, modify the order of operations or any other hierarchy involved.
SCAMPER was developed by Bob Eberle based upon Alex Osborn’s creating thinking questions. Alex Osborn is the originator of brainstorming. Scamper is based upon seven creative thinking principles. Each principle views your idea in a different manner. By asking questions related to each principle, Scamper gets you thinking about which areas of your idea you can improve.