Innovation through humour techniques

Gillian Hatcher

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


The emergence of an innovative design can be compared to the telling of a funny joke- both combine seemingly unconnected ideas in a way that is both surprising and satisfying. The research expands upon this analogy, and the established link between humour and creativity, by exploring how humour creation processes may be applied to group ideation in the early phase of the design process. The poster will illustrate these linkages and present a new creative method based on the principles and processes of improvised comedy (‘improv’). Improv is a comedic performance style in which the dialogue, characters and scenes are created entirely in the moment, with no pre-planning or script writing. However, successful improv relies on rules and processes. The proposed ‘design improv’ method uses the ‘Yes And’ technique to build a ‘base reality’ for a concept uses the ‘If Then’ technique and embellish a single idea that stands out as being most surprising or interesting. Preliminary findings have demonstrated that this novel approach to ideation may expand the solution space, leading to bold, innovative ideas; and overcome some of the common barriers to effective group ideation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2017
EventStrath Wide Researcher Conference 2017 - Strathclyde
Duration: 30 May 201730 May 2017


ConferenceStrath Wide Researcher Conference 2017


  • innovation
  • humour
  • creative process


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