How to have ideas – in-house training for engineers


Unlock your creative potential with our ‘How to Have Ideas’ workshop, led by award-winning trainer Oliver Broadbent, to enhance your idea generation skills and innovative thinking. Delivered in-house.

To enquire, drop us an email.


Our half-day ‘How to Have Ideas’ interactive workshop introduces a simple framework for understanding where ideas come from and how to systematically improve our creative capacity for idea generation in projects. Delivered recently to graduate engineers from Ridge Consulting at the Institution of Structural Engineers, this workshop is crucial for professionals looking to enhance their creative thinking skills, especially in the context of the climate emergency and a rapidly changing economy.


By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Describe and use a simple framework for developing ideas.
  • Break down a brief into useful inputs for a creative process.
  • Describe various inputs for idea generation in design.
  • Curate inputs for the design process in a way that supports collaboration.
  • Use two techniques for generating new ideas based on these inputs.
  • Identify the steps they need to take to turn some of these techniques into habits.

Target audience

This workshop is designed for engineers, designers, and professionals in related fields who want to bridge the gap between technical expertise and creative thinking, crucial for developing innovative designs that meet the needs of people and the wider ecology.

Course content

The workshop lasts between 3 and 3.5 hours, depending on your schedule, and breaks down into four parts:


  • Where ideas come from
  • Introducing the ‘Kalideascope’ model for idea generation

Filling the Kalideascope – Gathering Inputs for Design

  • Exploring the brief
  • Curating information in design

Turning the Kalideascope – Forming New Connections

  • Asking what if
  • Using your professional palette

Personal Action Plan

  • Identifying next steps to turn these skills into habits

Teaching methodology

This workshop combines theoretical instruction with practical, hands-on activities. Participants will engage in interactive exercises, group discussions, and personal reflection to reinforce learning and develop practical skills.

About the trainer

This workshop is delivered by Oliver Broadbent, award-winning trainer in design thinking with ten years of experience delivering design training in the built environment for teams from board level to new graduates. Oliver leads the delivery of conceptual design training at the Institution of Structural Engineers. He is an 1851 Fellow in Regenerative Design and co-author of two books: “The Conceptual Design of Buildings” and “The Regenerative Structural Engineer”.

How to book this course

To enquire about booking this course please drop us an email.

Further background to this ‘How to have ideas’ course

Creative thinking is often a gap in the formal education and training of engineers. Yet, in the context of the climate emergency and a rapidly changing economy, creative thinking is crucial for developing designs that meet the needs of people and our wider ecology.

Making the case for divergent thinking

Our ‘How to Have Ideas’ course provides participants with a simple model for idea generation and techniques to structure creative thinking in the early stages of a project. We emphasize the importance of divergent thinking and explore how to gather and curate inputs for the design process to foster collaboration and innovation.

Don’t just do something, sit there

We conclude the workshop by encouraging participants to integrate these techniques into their daily practice. The key takeaway is to make time for creative thinking at the outset of new projects—don’t just do something, sit there and think creatively about the response.

Additional information

Course Date(s)

3rd May