Chindogu and Scrapheap Spirit as Creativity Triggers

Paula Alexandra Gomes da Silva and Alan Dix

Computing Department, Infolab21, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
< Palexa on the Web > < Alan on the Web >

Paper at The First International Symposium on Culture, Creativity and Interaction Design, CCID2007, London, Sept. 2006

Download full paper (PDF, 3.34Mb), poster (JPG, 389Kb)


This paper presents an analysis of the process of group creativity during the Chindogu Scrapheap Challenge, an event that was held as part of a LeonardoNet Workshop in November 2005.

Workshop participants were divided in three groups and given a challenge specific to HCI. Immersed in the Scrapheap and Chindogu spirit, groups aimed at finding a solution to the challenge, using materials and equipment either provided by the organising committee or found by the group.

Groups generated a remote wild animal interaction device, a static mobile phone charger and an installation for catching cats' memories and dreams.

During the experiments we observe different ways of approaching the challenge: one structured and organised, contrasted with another nearly chaotic. External objects helped as sources of insight, but also limited potential ideas. Constraints importance was evident, not only with respect to themes, tenets and evaluation criteria, but also with respect to maximum completion time.

Keywords: Creativity, Innovation, Groupwork strategies, LeonardoNet, Chindogu, Scrapheap

poster (full size)


  1. de Bono, E. (1985). Six Thinking Hats, Little, Brown and Company.
  2. Dix, A., T. Ormerod, M. Twidale, C. Sas, P. Silva, and L. McKnight (2006). Why bad ideas are a good idea. HCIEd2006, Limerick, Ireland.
  3. Gabora, L. (2002). Cognitive mechanisms underlying the creative process. Fourth International Conference on Creativity and Cognition, Loughborough University, UK. 126-133.
  4. Ormerod, T., J. MacGregor, and E. Chronicle (2002). Dynamics and constraints in insight problem solving. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 28(4), 791-799
Full reference:
P. Silva and A. Dix (2006).
Chindogu and Scrapheap Spirit as Creativity Triggers. Proceedings of The First International Symposium on Culture, Creativity and Interaction Design, CCID 2006. LeonardoNet Network. pp.97-101.
Download full paper (PDF, 3.34Mb)
Alan's pages on Research and Innovation Techniques and essays on imagination and rationality and related topics
organisers: .:thePooch:. & LeonardoNet
related papers:
A. Dix, T. Ormerod, M. Twidale, C. Sas, P. Gomes da Silva, L. McKnight (2006). Why bad ideas are a good idea. in Proceedings of HCIEd.2006-1 inventivity, Ballina/Killaloe, Ireland. 23-24 March 2006   
abstract and paper
C. Sas and A. Dix (2006).
Exploring the Design Space
. in DIS 2006 Workshop: Exploring Design as a Research Activity, Penn State, USA. 25 June 2006   
abstract and paper
Dix, A. (2002).  Teaching Innovation, (keynote) Excellence in Education and Training Convention, Singapore 2002.

Alan Dix 23/3/2007