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The idea of thinking

The idea of thinking

by Design SyncMay 12, 2015

As a designer our profession is to provide creative solution on any given project, no matter how big or small. As we start analysing a brief our creative sensor kicks in, activating our brain cells to come up with ideas. While we might be experts at thinking creativity, but have you ever wonder that creative thinking in itself can be studied. Dr. Edward de Bono, the master mind of creative thinking has theoretical studies the thought of creativity, which leads we’ll look at the vertical and lateral thinking.


What is Vertical Thinking?

Vertical thinking is basically a sequence of proceeding one state of information to another state. It is a way of thinking that will always be either right or wrong. There are two judgments that a vertical thinker will do to get the right answer and that is answering a question in a yes or no format. This format will allow a problem to be solved with only limitation to one single result in other word vertical thinking has a traditional way of thinking logically. Vertical thinking is selective were it seeks to prove and establish points or relationships. It is a type of thinking that is very broad and simple to  a particular problem. A vertical thinker has thoughts that are the same to most other people, this is mainly because we are educate that way. If a person was to solve a mathematical equation a vertical thinker would apply the most appropriate formula that has been set to achieve this mathematical equation. Because this person is always using the same formula that every other people would use he or she is thinking vertically because they know that if they apply the equation probably to that particular formula he or she will get it right. If we put this theory in a designers context for example designing a poster, we would have the heading, image and a short description. It is very conventional and doesn’t involve much risk to convey the message to the target audience.


What is Lateral Thinking?

Lateral thinking does not solve a solution by just focusing one perspective of thought, it goes beyond the boundary of what people would normally think to achieve the final result. Lateral thinking does not have any boundaries instead it involves exploring or creating many other solutions to achieve an answer. A lateral thinker has constant movement of thinking, It’s a thinking method that will always changes to be different. It generates new ideas and new approaches that escape from old ones. This type of thinking does not just answer a question but instead it is a thinking method that requires to ask the question. Following the previous example from the vertical thinking, if the mathematics equation was to be answered by a lateral person then he or she would try to create his or her own formula then applying the mathematics equation to that formula, because this person is creating his or her own formula and not using the most obvious and appropriate one. This thinking method has the possibility to determine the mathematical equation quicker, or possibly slower or even not achieving the answer at all.


Thinking method that works

The comparison of vertical and lateral thinking differs not by obtaining a better answer but by undertaking different process of thinking to achieve that particular answer. Both of these thinking methods right or wrong depend on the situation. As mention vertical thinking has thoughts that will always be right however lateral thinking will only determine its answer by exploring or creating a solution. One of the other features that differ these two thinking method is that vertical thinking features a continually whereas lateral thinking features a discontinuity. Lateral thinking has a purpose of movements from one concept to another. This thinking method recognises no adequate solution instead it tries to find a better solution. Lateral thinking strives with hope for a better pattern that can be arrange by reconstructing a particular problem. Whereas vertical thinking is a selective process, it will only judge an answer using profs and established points to determine its answer. Both thinking methods differ because vertical thinking is concern with stability and the other are concern with change and movement. The problem with vertical thinking is that it is very board, it promises at least a minimal result because there can only be one right answer, whereas lateral thinking increases the chance of maximising the result but makes no promises to achieving the right answer. With lateral thinking you may come up with a brilliant answer or you may come up with nothing at all. Sometimes the lateral thinking process can take a long time in determining the answer, on the other hand it can also be a quicker way of finding out the answer however it really depends on the situation. The result of lateral thinking is very unpredictable whereas vertical thinking the answer is more certain to be correct if correct procedure it followed. This a more stable format to achieving an answer because it takes no chance in altering a sequence to achieve an answer, Most people would assume that it would be more sensible to solve a problem with vertical thinking even if the result is wrong, however the lateral thinking method can not always be under estimate because it’s different. Sometime an answer is better to be solve using the lateral thinking method because it can better, more precise to answer a question ask. Lateral thinking can not be a method that should always be use because it deals with probability of achieving a correct answer. However this goes the same with vertical thinking, if a person always thinks vertically then he or she will get no where because there is no movement and no changes hence no new ideas will be discovered. We can not be bias to either one thinking method of being right or wrong, sometimes it’s better for us to use both thinking methods in our lives in order to solve a problem that we may face, Edward De Bono stated that “lateral thinking turns up an idea, vertical thinking will develops it. Vertical thinking comes to a dead end, lateral thinking changes the approach so that vertical thinking can proceed again”. Usually lateral thinking simply involves an approach or rescues someone who has been stuck by a particular idea and vertical think is really a method that we can use to be certain to solve a problem.

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