Rip and Mix is a creative process. It is a tool that enables you to come up with lots of ideas very quickly. It is a very visual way of working and highlights that starting with user needs is not the only approach to innovation. The tricky bit is sketching ideas very quickly and intuitively.

Snook ran a workshop on Rip and Mix with design students at Glasgow Caledonian University. In the past we have used this method to design communication products and services for the elderly – ripping and mixing communication products used by a wide range of stakeholders with communication products specifically designed for the elderly. I have used this tool addressing the question “How can we reduce waiting times in NHS surgeries?” ( link to service design cafe event )  – ripping and mixing products and services focused on time and the passing of time with various health services and other services that require ‘waiting’ such as the theatre…

The students had been working on semiotics and affordance so for this workshop we decided to work around cash machines for the visually impaired – ripping and mixing all products designed for visually impaired people and all products and services around retrieving finance (ranging from physical money to intangible information )

“Snook’s Rip and Mix workshop was just what my year 1 and 2 undergraduate design students needed. It enabled them to move out of their design comfort zones and propose, through sketching, twenty ideas each on a design problem. The technique utilises semiotics which really helped the students understand the importance of visual analysis. It was fun, energetic, engaging and above all useful. At a post-workshop de-brief the vast majority of students said they would use the technique in the future on a variety of design problems – product, interactive and 3D.  Not one student reacted negatively to the technique – and those who were initially unsure began to see the relevance after the workshop. Overall it was a fantastic opportunity that I’d like to build into next year’s curriculum again.”

Dave Wood, Lecturer in Digital Design at Glasgow Caledonia