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Art Synectics

- Tools for Creative Thinking

Synectics Definition
The term Synectics is from the Greek word synectikos, which means bringing forth together, or bringing different things into nified connection! Synectics is abo t making connections!

"t is a way of mentally taking things a#art and # tting them together to f rnish new insight for all ty#es of #roblems!

Synectic thinking is the #rocess of discovering the links that nite seemingly disconnected elements! The Synectic Triggers Synectic Trigger mechanisms cataly$e or create new tho ghts, ideas and

The %& Design Synectic Subtract Change Scale Prevaricate Triggers

Repeat Combine Add rans!er #mpathize Animate Superimpose Substitute Fragment Isolate "istort "isguise Contradict Parody Analogize Hybridize Metamorphose Symbolize Mythologize Fantasize

Piet Mondrian tree series

Subtract. Sim#lify!
'mit, remove certain #arts or elements! Take something away from yo r s b(ect! Com#ress it or make it smaller!

Think) *hat can be eliminated, red ced, dis#osed of+ *hat r les can yo break+ ,ow can yo sim#lify, abstract, styli$e or abbreviate+

Theo Van Doesburg Com#osition -the cow.

D !"



Repeat a shape, color, form, image or idea. Reiterate, echo, restate or duplicate your reference subject in some way.

Deborah $utterfield,
steel, welded!

Palma, /001, fo nd


$ring things together. %onnect, arrange, lin&, unify, mi', merge, wed, rearrange. Combine ideas! Combine ideas, materials and techni2 es! 3ring together dissimilar things to #rod ce synergistic integrations! *hat kind of connections can yo make from different sensory modes, frames of reference or s b(ect disci#lines+

(dd. )'tend,

e'pand, or otherwise de*elop your reference subject. (ugment it, supplement, ad*ance or anne' it, Magnify it+ Ma&e it bigger. Think: What else can be added to your idea, image, object, or material?

Man Ray


Marcel Duchamp

Mo*e your subject into a new situation, en*ironment or conte't. (dapt, transpose, relocate, dislocate. Ada#t the s b(ect to a new and different frame of reference! 4ove the s b(ect o t of its normal environment5 trans#ose it to a different historical, social, geogra#hical or #olitical setting or time! 6ook at it from a different #oint of view! Think: How can your subject be

$oris (rt,ybasheff


3ring life to inanimate s b(ects by thinking of them as having h man 2 alities!


Romare $earden, Prevalence of /078

itual: Tidings,

*erlap, place o*er, co*er, o*erlay+ S #erim#ose dissimilar images or ideas! 'verlay elements to #rod ce new images, ideas or meanings! S #erim#ose different elements from different #ers#ectives, disci#lines or time #eriods on yo r s b(ect!

(rturo "errera, 9ntitled !""#


ldenburg $icycle Wheel

%hange Scale.

4ake yo r s b(ect bigger or smaller! Change #ro#ortion, relative si$e, ratio, dimensions or normal grad ated series!
Ron Muec&, S%ooning cou%le


)'change, switch or replace+ Think) *hat other idea, image, material or ingredient can yo s bstit te for all or #art of yo r s b(ect+

-illiam -egman



Separate, di*ide, split+ Take yo r s b(ect or

idea a#art! Dissect it! Cho# it # or otherwise disassemble it! *hat devices can yo se to divide it into smaller increments- or to make it a##ear discontin o s+


Separate, set apart, crop, detach+ #se only a part of your subject. /n composing a picture, use a *iewfinder to crop the image or vis al field selectively! :Cro#: yo r ideas, too, with a :mental: viewfinder! Think: What element can you detach or focus on?


12eeffe, The Orchid 3453

Salvador Dali, Tem%tation of St& 'nthony

Roc&y Davies, 3race;ace

Distort. Twist your subject out

of its true shape, proportion or meaning. Think: What kind of imagined or
actual distortions can you effect+ ,ow can yo missha#e it+ Can yo make it longer, wider, fatter, narrower+ Can yo melt it, b rn it, cr sh it, s#ill something on it, b ry it, crack it, tear it or s b(ect it to yet other :tort res:+


%amouflage, conceal, decei*e or encrypt+ "ow can you hide, mas& or 6implant7 your subject into another frame of reference8 "n nat re, for e<am#le, chameleons, moths and certain other s#ecies conceal themselves by mimicry) Their fig re imitates the gro nd! ,ow can yo a##ly this to yo r s b(ect+

Donald 6Rusty6 Rust

"ybridi,e. %ross!fertili,e+ -ed your subject

with an improbable mate. Think: "What would you get if you crossed a ______ with a=====+:
Creative thinking is a form of :mental hybridi$ation: in that ideas are #rod ced by cross-linking s b(ects from different realms! Transfer the hybridi$ation mechanism to the se of color, form and str ct re5 cross-fertili$e organic and inorganic elements, as well as

4eret '##enheim


%ontradict the subject9s original function. %ontra*ene, disaffirm, deny, re*erse+ 4any great works of art are, in fact, vis al and intellect al contradictions! Contradict laws of nat re s ch as gravity, time, etc! Think) ,ow can yo vis ali$e yo r s b(ect in connection with the reversal of laws of nat re, gravity, magnetic fields, growth cycles, #ro#ortions5 mechanical and h man f nctions, #roced res, games, rit als or social conventions+ Think: How can you use contradiction or reversal to change

Street artist nknown


Ridicule, mimic, moc&, burles:ue or caricature+ 4ake f n of yo r s b(ect! :>oast? it, lam#oon it! Transform it into a vis al (oke or # n! @<#loit the h mor factor, 4ake $any, l dicro s or comic references! Create a vis al o<ymoron or con ndr m!

Marcel Duchamp , (&H&)&)&

Pre*aricate . ):ui*ocate.

.ictionali,e, 6bend6 the truth, falsify, fantasi,e. Altho gh telling fibs is not considered acce#table social cond ct, it is the st ff that legends and myths are made of!

D ane ,anson, Drug Addict ,sculpture 34;<

(nalogi,e. %ompare. Draw associations+ See&

similarities between things that are different. 4ake com#arisons of yo r s b(ect to elements from different domains, disci#lines and realms of tho ght! Think: What can + com%are my subject to? What logical and illogical associations can " make+ >emember, stretching analogies is a way of generating creative o tcomes, new #erce#tions and #otent meta#hors!

)mpathi,e . Sympathi,e. Relate to

)dward -eston, %e%%er /0&1

your subject= put yourself in its 6shoes.6 "f the s b(ect is inorganic or inanimate, think of it as having h man 2 alities! ,ow can yo relate to it emotionally or s b(ectively+ Trans#ose yo rself into yo r s b(ect!

4!C! @scher magic mirror /087


Transform, con*ert, transmutate+ Depict your subject in a state of change. +t can be a sim%le transformation ,an object changing its color, for e<am#le. or a more radical change in which the s b(ect changes its config ration! Think of :cocoon-to-b tterfly: ty#es of transformations, aging, str ct ral #rogressions, as well as radical and s rreal metamor#hosis s ch as :Aekyll and ,yde: transm tations!

Shepard .airey, )$-. series

Symboli,e. "ow can your subject be imbued

The Toasters

with symbolic :ualities8 A vis al symbol is a gra#hic device which stands for something other than what it is! -;or e<am#le, a red cross stands for first aid, a stri#ed #ole for a barber sho#, a dove bearing an olive branch for #eace, etc!. B blic symbols are clichCs insofar as they are well-known and widely nderstood, while #rivate symbols are cry#tic and have s#ecial meaning only to their originator! *orks of art are often integrations of both # blic and #rivate symbols! Think: What can you do to turn your subject into a symbolic image?

(ndy -arhol, Marilyn Diptych

Mythologi,e. $uild a myth around your subject.

"n the 71?s, Bo# artists :mythologi$ed: common ob(ects! The Coca-Cola bottle, 3rillo Bads, comic stri# characters, movie stars, mass media images, cor#orate logos and other s b(ects became the vis al icons of twentieth cent ry art! Think: How can you transform your subject into an iconic object?


.antasi,e your subject. #se it to trigger surreal, preposterous, outlandish, outrageous, bi,arre thoughts. Think: /What0if/ thoughts: What if automobiles were made of brick+ *hat if alligators #layed #ool+ *hat if insects grew larger than h mans+ To invent, one m st be contrary and go against established conventions and stereoty#es! >emember, inventors create great inventions only by breaking the :r les:!
Ryohei "ase, The last thing we do

*rite this downD

Eo m st choose an everyday ob(ect -toothbr sh, toaster, keys, chair, etc!. and 7 different words Eo m st have 7 different drawings -different words b t ob(ects can be the same. Draw in yo r sketchbook first, then " will give yo good #a#er Eo can se news#rintFtrace onto good #a#er tooD

Eo will be graded onG

,aving all 7 drawings com#lete Heat and finished work Creativity ,ow well yo r word a##lies to yo r ob(ect -Scored o t of /11.

(rt!Thin&+ -ays of -or&ingA

3. /dentity+ >. (naly,e+ Set the #roblem or task, identify the s b(ect! @<amine the s b(ect5 break it down, classify it!

?. /deate+ Think, fantasi$e, #rod ce ideas! Generate o#tions towards a creative sol tion! >elate, rearrange, reconstr ct! 5. Select+ Choose yo r best o#tion!

<. /mplement+ B t yo r ideas into action! >eali$e it! Transform imagination and fantasy into tangible form! @. )*aluate+ A dge the res lt! Think abo t new o#tions and #ossibilities that have emerged! Go back to Ste# I/!

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