Analogous Inspiration

Analogous Inspiration is a creativity technique that emphasizes on the human-centered design and encourages to look in new places to draw inspiration for new solutions, stating that looking in the same places leads to the same answers.


  • Duration
    Medium (about 30-60 minutes)
  • Complexity
  • Group size
    1 to 50 persons

This activity is not suitable online.

Description Long

In this method, a challenge, or desired state is broken down into general terms, and then by looking across other industries, organizations and innovation examples, come up with principles and tactics that might trigger a more tangible vision or serve to inform the actual challenge.



  1. List the desired activities, behaviors, and emotions to be investigated on a large sheet of paper.
  2. Write down a setting or situation where you might observe this activity, behavior, or emotion next to each of the elements.


  1. Explain to the participants which activities, behaviors, and emotions they have to investigate.
  2. Split the participants in groups.
  3. Vote and decide in your team on the site visits in order to observe and get inspired.
  4. Remember the participants; during your visit, have your ultimate desired state in mind and be open to any kind of inspiration.
  5. Document your observations.

Hints from experience

If preparations for a site visit are needed, make sure to make all necessary measures are taken in advance.

Tools list

  • Paper and pencil
  • Photo camera

References,. Analogous Inspiration. Retrieved 6 August 2015, from

Taylor, M. (2013). Finding Inspiration In Human-Centred Design. Retrieved 8 August 2015, from

Vianna, M., Vianna, Y., Adler, I. K., Lucena, B., & Russo, B. (2011). Design thinking the book. Retrieved 20 August 2015, from

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