DOTS - How do you connect ideas?

Posted on July 17, 2014 by John Willshire

I'm really excited to have been invited to talk at Dots, a conference being put on by Brilliant Noise as part of the Brighton Digital Festival in September:

"Dots is about connecting ideas. Innovation happens when things are brought together in fresh ways. Ideas from outside of your field can make a profound impact when brought into step with existing practice. Dots is about sharing and celebrating ideas that have been created by connecting things in new ways, as well as the people who connect them."


Usually, at things like this, I'm asked to talk about Smithery work, but the guys have asked me to talk specifically about Artefact Cards.

Antony and I caught up briefly over email quickly, about what might be most interesting and useful for folk.

Antony said: "A lot of people will be talking about specific innovation projects - looking at a great cognitive tool, like Artefact would work really well. I think interesting questions to ask might be - when to use tools? Which tools to use? When to switch? How people use the tool differently?"

That's a good brief.

And one I'd like to think about for the next month and a have with the best information I can get on the topic, which in this case means asking you guys how you use Artefact Cards as a tool*.

Very simply, I'm looking for you (yes, you, at the back there... are you chewing..?) to answer four simple questions about Artefact Cards:


i) What do you use Artefact Cards for?

ii) When do you use Artefact Cards in your process?

iii) Why are Artefact Cards similar to other tools you've used?

iv) Why are Artefact Cards different to other tools you've used?


I've set it up a simple research form here - please do take five minutes to fill it out when you can, it'd be very much appreciated.

You can opt to make your feedback either private or public (e.g. I'll put some up here on the blog).

Thank you in advance



*Artefact Cards are, of course, a tool. I spent a while when I first started making them thinking they were a technique, and would write and talk about them as such. It was only when I started interviewing people about how they were using them that I realised they were less complex, more accesible.

I had started off seeing Artefact Cards through the lens of my own work, but I only understood them as a tool when I saw lots of peoples' work through the lens of the Artefact Cards.

And hopefully, by collecting and sharing all your stories again, that'll help you get more out of them, and make for an interesting talk at Dots.

Posted in Artefact Cards, artefactcards, brainstorms, cards, Interview, thinking, visual thinking



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