spark, genius and brilliance are not the product of a linear staged process, where one thing follows another. But rather creativity, by its very nature, is more random, less logical and much much more parallel in its consideration of influencing factors

We call this process Nuclear Thinking and it’s how raw creativity works. We celebrate this. We never forget this. It’s why some people are more creative than others. It’s why the world has no shortage of ideas, but great ideas remain elusive and rare.

what is nuclear thinking?

It’s a model for how creative people actually think. But it’s also a model for why so many innovation systems ultimately fail at an industrial level, because they are too linear, with every step dependent upon the last. This is why great ideas too often die within business - because there is no encompassing vision that can juggle all of the influencing factors simultaneously. It’s a process which depends upon bringing in the best talent only when and where it’s required (on the grounds that not

everyone is good at everything). And it’s a process which manages change on the fly, flexing and changing constantly towards delivery But, no question, you still need that logical linear process wrapped around it. First, to create the bandwidth and other inputs required to foster the best possible climate for creativity. And second to manage the whole process of navigating a great idea through to reality as quickly as possible.


Creativity depends upon building bandwidth of knowledge around all of the issues which can influence outcome. And that’s what our Foresight team does - understanding people and their needs and latent needs; building knowledge on technologies, sectors and competitors; understanding and mapping the dynamics of social and design trends 

and their importance and relevance to the objective; and evaluating the myriad factors which influence and affect the sustainability of the project’s outcomes. All of this also establishes future context, helping the business to understand the relevance and feasibility of new ideas and why some will be more successful than others.

shaping the future

It’s a fundamental tenet of Nuclear Thinking that visions be put in place as early as possible to connect ideas with potential outcomes. An idea can be expressed in a single sentence, but a vision brings that idea to life. It usually starts with a sketch, but progresses rapidly to three dimensional models (see later: Fast Reality), different kinds of prototypes and virtual realisations. 

Embodying an idea in some way is absolutely critical to its understanding and its evaluation. And the quicker that happens, the easier and less rocky is the path to market . . . because it becomes credible and understandable and a focal point for the business.

we embrace sustainability as an opportunity for innovation, rather than seeing it as a limitation

The smallest design decision can have long-lasting impacts on future generations. As much as 80% of the environmental impact of the products and services we use every day is set down in the early design stages. Sustainability’s either built-in, or it isn’t. At Seymourpowell, we make a point of putting sustainability first — designing for tomorrow today, rather than waiting until it’s too late. It’s not just about design. Brands and businesses are discovering that sustainability opens doors, driving creativity, growth and value. Consumers want to live more sustainably, and they need help doing it. Meet that need and you become successful and sustainable at the same time. That’s why sustainability is so important, not as an optional extra or afterthought, but as a foundation 

for our entire working practice. By building sustainability into the way we design and innovate, we can create a new generation of products and services for a better world — and help businesses thrive in times ahead. After all, sustainability asks us to rethink and reinvent almost every aspect of life: from the ways we live and work, to how we produce and consume. That’s an immensely exciting opportunity. As designers and inventors, it’s up to us to imagine a future we’d all want to live in — one that’s pleasing, prosperous, fair and green — and then make it happen. A better, more sustainable world won’t arrive by itself; we have to design it. And we’re going to.

fast reality

It’s our well equipped, integrated workshops and talented craftsmen which enable Fast Reality. Our ability to give physical form to a raw idea extremely quickly and effectively, or to test a mechanism, or to prove a functional principle, allows us to rapidly connect idea with reality . . . and with that, to establish feasibility and the means to test and research with 

users early (saving the money too often wasted in researching wonderful ideas that can’t be delivered). Plus, of course, our workshops come into their own downstream in development, ensuring that great ideas get to market as intended, by building and developing prototypes and models at key stages.