The Mash-Up Method

The Mash-Up Method

What is it?

The "mash-up" method in brainstorming involves combining unrelated or seemingly disparate ideas, concepts, or elements to generate new and innovative solutions or insights. It encourages the blending or fusion of diverse perspectives, domains, or fields to create something unique and original.

The primary goal of using the mash-up method is to break away from conventional thinking patterns and stimulate creativity by forcing connections between unrelated ideas. By merging different concepts or elements, you can uncover fresh perspectives, identify novel solutions, and foster innovative thinking.

      When to use it

      When you need to get past obvious solutions, explore new possibilities, and break through mental barriers


      Remember to:

      1. Select two categories or concepts that are unrelated and not typically associated with the problem you are trying to solve
      2. Focus on quantity over quality
      3. Let loose and have fun



      Define the challenge you're facing

      Clearly articulate the specific challenge or problem you are trying to address. For example, if you're working on visuals for a sustainability-focused keynote and need a fresh way to approach a visual metaphor for uncertainty, you might write down: "How could I visually represent uncertainty in a way that is unexpected, thought-provoking, and aligns with the theme of sustainability?"


      Choose two unrelated categories

      Select one category that relates to your challenge, such as "Sustainability" in this case. For the unrelated category, think of an area or field that could provide interesting elements to explore, like "Outer Space" or "Team dynamics"


      Create columns for each category and define a high number of outputs

      Divide your workspace into two columns, one for each category. Aim to generate a substantial number of ideas, like 20 for each column. The quantity of ideas is important at this stage to increase the likelihood of uncovering unique and creative concepts.


      Generate ideas within each category

      Set a timer for a short period, such as 2 or 5 minutes, and brainstorm as many elements or ideas as you can within each category. For the "Sustainability" column, you might list concepts like "renewable energy," "nature," "ecosystems," or "sustainable practices." In the unrelated category column, you could write down items like "galaxies," "rocket ships," or "planets."


      Combine elements from each category

      Review the lists you've created and start combining elements from the two columns. Don't hesitate to experiment with seemingly unrelated or even silly combinations. For instance, you might combine "uncertainty" from the sustainability category with "galaxies" from the unrelated category to create a visual representation of uncertain paths among infinite possibilities in the universe. Embrace the unexpected connections, as they can lead to highly creative and innovative solutions.

       Guide coming soon