Andrea Beliczki

Retail Therapy

by for .  
45 +

Materialize your ideas using what's around you. 

It's easy to get stuck in a cycle of talking about our ideas, but design is all about action. Use this exercise to help your team move past theoretical concepts and start making things.



1. Assemble your team at a local retail store - the bigger, the better! A hardware store, container store, or big chains usually work best.

2. Choose one of your ideas to work on. For instance, we use this to prototype our idea of pop-up clinic for screening children under five years old.

3. Give everyone 15 minutes to explore the store and find final materials to use as props for your service or experience. Take advantage of the power of discovery to see how your ideas evolve as new props are added. A limited budget will only increase your creativity problem solving. 

4. One at a time, walk each other through the prototypes you've created, explaining how they would work.


This exercise also works well for exploring the future. Pick an emerging technology such as blockchain or synthetic biology, and send your team into a store to find to find products that you think will change in 10 years because of your technology. How would they change and why?

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