Pimp the Elevator – an innovation exercise

Teachers here at the faculty prepared a small exercise for us that will also be used in the upcoming “Empower to the people” event. The idea was to “pimp” the elevator so that people coming to the event will actually “feel”/see that the elevator is taking them to a FabLab, by modifying it as we please (except to tamper with the wiring and elevator mechanics).

pimp the elevator

This was also a “train your innovation muscle” exercise, where we tried different approaches to generate creative ideas/concepts in order to achieve our goal. More on this at the end of the post.  To make you understand better, we had to access that part of the brain that is responsible with design, immersion, impression, feelings – which is not quite what a tech person is proficient at. But, inspite of this, it proved to be something that i had a lot of ideas in.

We were split into teams and started brainstorming and finding ideas. Another great resource for this was elevator pranks videos from Youtube. I’ve splitted the elevator into areas (floor, mirror, buttons, ceiling, walls) so that we can also identify ideas for each part and then grouping then based on themes (we were suggested to use an “empowerment” theme, and we also included elements from drama, drama/horror themes).  We ended up with an inspirational/empowerment ideas that included posters with motivational quotes, posters with famous creators, unusual elevator music (choruses from famous songs) and a light show effect by using the lights in the ceilling.


Reverse brainstorming

Reverse brainstorming helps you solve problems by combining brainstorming   and reversal   techniques. By combining these, you can extend your use of brainstorming to draw out even more creative ideas.

To use this technique, you start with one of two “reverse” questions:

Instead of asking, “How do I solve or prevent this problem?” ask, “How could I possibly cause the problem?”

Instead of asking “How do I achieve these results?” ask, “How could I possibly achieve the opposite effect?”

Negative brainstorming

A method that use brainstorming to generate bad solutions to the problem, and then see how those could be transformed into good solutions. One way to generate ideas is to generate good solutions through brainstorming.

But negative brainstorming takes a different angle on that. The method is a two-step process, that consists of first generating the worst solutions to the problem. Later transforming them into good solutions. This can be a fun way to use brainstorming in a silly manner, to work solving problems from a different angle.


Normally, the teacher had to choose the team with the best ideas and we had to implement them, but we are going to implement ideas from all teams. I’ll get back with some pictures when we are actually pimping the elevator.

Credits for the logo