What does diverging and converging mean?

Diverging and converging are essential in the creative process. You might have never thought about the fact that you can establish “rules” for generating ideas. Have you not heard of this before or not done anything with it? No problem, you can learn about it. Read more here about what diverging and converging exactly mean, how you use them, and what the benefits are.

What is diverging?

Diverging literally means spreading out or branching out. To stimulate creativity, this concept is applied—you come up with as many ideas as possible. The beauty of this phase is that everything is allowed. It’s better to come up with 10 different ideas than to focus on just one very good idea. Expecting your first idea to always be the best is unrealistic; it really needs time to develop. So, don’t be afraid to present an idea that might not be well-received, as new thoughts can arise from it.

What is converging?

Once you have written down or spoken out various ideas, the next phase comes in—you start making comparisons and choices. Which idea is feasible? What excites you the most? And which idea is original? Evaluating your own ideas can be challenging, so it’s advisable to do this during a brainstorming session with one or more people. You can build upon others’ ideas and engage in discussions together.

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Concept development

Space for open expression

To ensure that your ideas keep flowing incessantly, it’s important to set clear agreements. This is sometimes necessary in group settings; the intention is not for people to criticize others’ ideas right away. The wildest thoughts should be spoken aloud. Therefore, try asking questions if something is unclear instead of providing comments. By creating a safe environment, everyone will feel heard and free to express everything.

Your creative process

Creativity is something you can learn! It’s a matter of practice. You can achieve this by diverging and converging. Speak out all your ideas and focus more on quantity than quality. You’ll notice that you learn a lot from this. Creativity isn’t just about waiting for a good idea to come; it’s about engaging in conversations and speaking up impulsively. Another person’s idea might lead to a new thought, and together, you can arrive at a great idea to proceed with.

Want to apply this?

Especially converging with a conversation partner isn’t automatic for everyone. Therefore, make sure you have people around you who are willing to discuss ideas with you without judgment. Look for a study group, for example, where you can brainstorm about design. As a graphic designer, it can be very useful to use someone else’s perspective on design. This way, you can learn from each other!

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