Design ideas 2023-06-17
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Design Sparks

Generate and browse design ideas on the web.
Generated by ChatGPT
Design Sparks is an AI-based web-app developed by The National Centre for Creativity enabled by AI (CebAI) that uses well-established creative problem solving techniques alongside AI to generate design ideas.

Users can input design problems or ideas into the app by typing, pasting a link, or uploading a PDF. The AI generates sparks, or design ideas, which users can save and browse through for later use.

Users can focus their idea generation by clicking on extracted topics, ask the AI to generate more ideas based on a specific spark, or adjust topic settings to analyze rare, common, or random themes.

Circular design will be a key pillar for more sustainable economies in the future. Design Sparks supports your creative thinking to generate ideas around preventing waste and pollution and creating durable, reusable, repairable and recyclable products.

A new set of sparks which direct the AI to generate ideas for more circular designs was launched at the Design for Planet Festival 2023, developed alongside experts from the Design Council and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

To try out this feature in Design Sparks simply go to theme settings, select the circular design option and click save.

The app allows users to choose a creative problem-solving technique to generate sparks based on.Design Sparks distinguishes itself from chatbots like ChatGPT with its interactive creativity prompts, curated knowledge, and insights components.

The web-app was developed to increase workforce creativity and improve productivity, competitiveness, and critical thinking. It was funded by Research England, with contributions from City, University of London, and over 20 industrial partners to the value of £7.6m.

The project is designed to be self-funding through licensing and consultancy services after the grant ends in 2024. Design Sparks is a valuable tool for service, product, UX/UI designers, and stakeholders to bounce around ideas, explore new perspectives, and possibilities.
Design Sparks was manually vetted by our editorial team and was first featured on June 16th 2023.
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Pros and Cons


Generates design ideas
Inputs: typing, links, PDF
Saves ideas for later
Adjusts theme exploration settings
Selectable idea generation methods
Infinite idea generation
Automatic idea generation
Better creativity prompts than ChatGPT
Curated knowledge components
Insights components
Encourages co-creation of solutions
Broad input options
Customizable creativity method
Established problem solving techniques
Exploration of new perspectives
Tailored responses to design problems
Save and reuse ideas
Refresh for new ideas
Co-developed with prestigious partners
Focus on workforce creativity
Designed for self-funding
Increases productivity and competitiveness
Enhances critical thinking
Serves various design roles
Extracted topics for focussed ideas
Benefit of 20+ industrial partner insights
£7.6m research based development
Large-scale project undertaking
Developed for UX/UI designers
Developed for stakeholders
Critical thinking stimulation
Browser remember saved ideas
Option to generate more ideas
Look at rare, common, random themes
Prompt problem-solving technique choice
Hard refresh for fresh ideas
Interactive creativity element
Insightful tool built-ins
Challenges users with new solutions
Long-term project lifecycle
Quality ensured by high-profile investment
Aids with increased workforce creativity
Improves productivity
Promotes competitiveness
Streamlines creativity process
Accessible and user-friendly web-app


No mobile application
No real-time collaboration
No API Integration
Can't share sparks publicly
Unclear about data security
No user community
Limited customer support hours
Dependent on grant funding
No multilingual support
No training resources


What is Design Sparks?
How does Design Sparks generate design ideas?
Can I input my own ideas into Design Sparks?
What does it mean that Design Sparks 'generates sparks'?
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How is Design Sparks different from a typical chatbot?
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Does Design Sparks remember my previous ideas?
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What is the National Centre for Creativity enabled by AI?
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Does Design Sparks offer licensing and consultancy services?
How does Design Sparks prompt interactive creativity?
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