I’ve found Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies a powerful way of breaking out of a creative rut. In music, I often used them within a band to force us to shift our thinking. We would end up swapping instruments, inverting chords or playing with a new dynamic. In the end, we may end up coming back to the original idea but that was always with a fresh pair of eyes.
My random idea generator generates excellent random ideas. pic.twitter.com/kQa9kEQabS
— Alex Flowers (@axflowers) March 8, 2016
Outside of music I still find them extremely useful. When I am working on a design project, thinking about a workshop or generating ideas with someone, they always come in useful. I’ve never been able to afford my own set (although I have tried creating my own…) so I set about making an inspiration idol that can sit on my desk and if I ever get stuck, I can call on it for help.
I used an NFC tag and then set up a page to randomly generate one of the original Oblique Strategies. Now, I can just tap my phone against the idol and I’ll get taken to a page on my site with a dose of fresh thinking!