Concept and sense of self
Being able to observe the trajectory of an idea in the future, as explored in the last stage, lends itself to being able to see the origin of an idea as a representation of it's past trajectory. You can think of this dimension as being the past, and the concept as a vehicle for navigating the space and time dimensions. With a sense of past we can create a timeline of the history of your idea's frame of reference along with the history of the ideas that interact within our frame of reference and the idea's frame of reference.
The individuation of a concept is a process of being aware of a point of origin contrasted with a point of destination. The notion of "Self" comes from the ability to explore oneself in relation to the self's origin and vision, and we treat your idea the same way. The vision provides a universal sense of direction your idea is heading in, while the concept provides the individuation of the universal sense of direction. Just like multiple individuals can represent humanity, multiple concepts can represent the essence of your idea.
After completing this stage, the idea will be a tangible concept with an internal reality that has a set of desires and limitations, fears and dreams. The next stages will explore how to identify these properties of your concept, and build a representation that will allow the concept to authentically engage with the world.
How to create a concept vehicle
Creation of the concept, is analogous to that of creating life. This is the most integral stage of your idea's development and that's why there is a guiding archetypical principle connecting this stage with the development of every other stage, except the world itself. Like a self, a concept is an adaptive, responsive construct that requires dynamic action based on the feedback received from its agency; stages 7, 8 and 9, and like a self it identifies with the spatial and temporal dimensions that it exists in, represented by stages 1-5.
So for creating a concept, we need to identify how the concept identifies with itself, and its point of origin. To do that we aggregate the findings of the previous 5 stages. The hierarchy of influences should begin with the original inspiration, then an ideal point on the contrast spectrum is used for defining what type of concepts should even be considered. The universal function expressed by the vision follows, finally the spatial and temporal considerations to designate a form.
Leading with the inspiration
The inspiration and first causes that we identified in stage 1 should be used as the reference point for guiding the concept creation. We recommend referencing "The Motivator" archetype, for how to keep the concept aligned with the original inspiration, and how to stay motivated amidst the impending difficult decisions and chaos that will ensue from the integration of multiple perspectives.
We will use the example of flight to demonstrate each stage of concept creation, but creating a concept is not limited to only physical ideas; the analogy of flight can be applied to other physical ideas and non-physical ideas - if you want to find out how to apply this to other types of ideas please don't hesitate to reach out, we thrive on engagement with the community.
The reference point for creation of the concept will be the first principles we decided on during the First Causes stage - in our case this was flying to get somewhere faster. Whenever there is a conflict, challenging decision, drop of morale or motivation; reference the guardian archetype and this inspiration to get you beyond the struggle. This is the veto clause of your concept development. It is the only thing that should not change throughout this process; if you do change it then we recommend starting from scratch and finding a new inspiration and first cause.
The reason we focus so heavily on the initial first causes and inspiration, is because there is meaning to why it was your original inspiration. This was created by your awareness to what you pay attention to, it serves as the origin for the energy investment you have put into the idea development to this stage. The development of any idea should be led by the unrestricted space of your active imagination, rather than the practical implications that narrow it's scope in the dimensions that follow the imagination. The active imagination, has a much better connection to universal wisdom than logical filters that will arise during the concept creation. We should use logic, to make decisions, but not to replace the imagination's creative capacity.
"An individual's self concept is the core of their personality. It affects every aspect of human behavior: the ability to learn, the capacity to grow and change. A strong positive self image is the best possible preparation for success in life." - Joyce Brothers
In a "living" universe, the concept of an idea is the core of the ideas personality. In the vision we identified the archetypical universal essence of your idea; analogous to the collective unconscious "human nature" essence that provides the context of every individual person.
This stage will explore how form embodies the archetypical universal essence of your idea, to provide a unique living concept and sense of personality that will be used as the reference for building the physical representations.
Get ready to bring your idea to life!
The form of your concept
The functions, first principles and categorization of ideas have been established, the next two phases of conceptualization are bringing these categories into our space and time frame of reference.
In defining the space and form that the idea takes up stage, you may have identified multiple configurations with different forms, shapes, substances and distributions. It is the path of "The Specialist", the archetype responsible for mastering spatial considerations that will be relevant here. In choosing a spatial form for your concept you need to keep in mind the nature of taking up too much space, and not taking up enough. You also need to be aware of the critique of the approaches you have already considered for determining the spatial form. You might be thinking within a narrow epistemological view (limitations of your philosophy on knowledge), or a narrow ontological view (your chosen model for how reality works). You will most definitely be thinking within a worldview that has some form of limitations itself, and the Specialist archetype is the perfect remedy for evaluating the very foundations of the way you are thinking.
The form of the idea should be referenced to the vision - does it optimally achieve a universal function or user solution? How does the chosen parameters of the shape correlate with performing relative to the functions expressed by the vision? Remember this stage is only about understanding the shape relative to a fixed point in time; what is the relationship of the form with the people that will engage with the idea, is it larger than them, is it close to them, how is it oriented in relation to performing its function - what are the physical properties necessary that need to be added to achieve the function?
Then we need to consider where the spatial form fits within the spectrum of opposites, and if the form is too ambitious or not ambitious enough relative to an ideal location on the X axis spectrum. Finally the form should be compared to the inspiration and first principles; does it really achieve our original inspiration? Is it in good faith, relative to the intention we set out with in the original inspiration?
The final piece
Finally with a form established we can start considering how all the possibilities of the form will affect our functional vision, how it might change in time relative to your idea spectrum and whether in time the form will consistently embody the first principles and original inspiration. This is also the stage where we can implement an ethical dimension to the form.
Universal principles don't have an implicit ethical dimension; we can only prescribe an ethical dimension to an embodiment as ethics is relative to change to causality; what is changing and what is changed by the form. How does the form of the idea change not only itself, but those who engage with it? How does the idea influence the ideas around it as it moves towards your frame of reference? To explore these themes we recommend embodying the archetype of "The Evaluator".
The ethics of most ideas incentivized by commercial interest will have an alignment with the ethics of our materialist era, i.e. utility and appealing to consumers materialist bias. We make no claim as to what a universal sense of ethics should be, but suggest that you be aware of the ethical assumptions that your embodiments are based on, so that you have a better idea of the entire impact it will have, and can see the bigger picture. We do however recommend not limiting your concept to a materialist or utilitarian ethical bias, as on a universal scale these are a very narrow scope of activity.
If you are developing an idea for commercial, or consumerist interest, then that should be made explicit in the vision and first principles so that the form will be consistent with the values of the inspiration you are trying to bring into the world. If you are hiding the commercial or materialist inspiration, this will manifest in the final product as something undesirable and uncontrollable - it will exist in the shadow of the creation and manifest in a repressed form like any other repressed inspiration. The hard rule in determining the ethics of your idea is be authentic, and be honest - the best form is one that embodies the true intention of the idea, and the products with the most impact will be those that are founded on strong concepts.
With your concept defined based on its ethics (or value), ideal form, functional vision, contrast and first principles, the next step is to start populating this concept with other concepts that exist like it. We've populated similar ideas, but with the newly defined ethical dimension and form dimension, we can also get a sense for other concepts out there that either try to either create a similar value as your idea, or take a similar form, or even embody the same vision. You will want to be aware of ideas that embody a similar vision as they could work with you to bring about the vision.
It is also useful to populate similar concepts that fulfill the form, and function of your idea to get a sense of potential supply chain problems and solutions, and see how other concepts with similar shapes and distributions were created. Here we will also get an idea of the types of concepts out there that exist that could help fulfill the spatial requirements of the idea, e.g. a manufacturer or distributor. We can also see who is working towards concepts that embody the opposite of what we embody with our ideal level of contrast defined. Concepts which are in direct opposition to the function or first principles of your idea are most likely going to be considered as competitors.
The living concept
We appreciate that this is probably the most difficult stage of your idea development but bringing ideas to life is no easy task. By the end of this stage, and if you have embodied the archetypes along the way, you should have a sense for what the concept is and what it wants to set out to do. The concept should come "alive" in your senses and imagination as something that has a journey of its own. If it doesn't feel or sense alive yet, then keep at it - apply the archetypes and come up with new forms until you find one that draws your attention and gives you that eureka moment.
Only move onto the next stage if you have confidence that you have a concept that feels alive, and has depth to it that you know you could spend months trying to explore the meaning of. We can't successfully determine the concepts will and agency, required in the next stage, without a living concept - so invest your attention and intention in this stage until you know that you have something to cooperate with. It will happen. Remember if you have doubts consult the guardian archetype.
If you would like some help conceptualizing an embodiment of your vision, populating your potential competitor and alliance awareness, or any of the individual processes described in this stage then please contact us! We thrive on engagement with the community and would welcome any suggestions, requests, or feedback that you may have.
Integrating the idea spectrum
Our second reference point for the concept creation will be the spectrum created in the second stage; the X axis, and spectrum of ideas that inhabit the spectrum. In our example of flying; the X axis label for the spectrum was lift, and the spectrum was populated with various ideas with relative values of flying or falling, e.g. balloons, birds, stones, parachutes etc.
When conceptualizing an embodiment, each concept must be referenced with it's relation to this spectrum. We recommend exploring the archetype of "The Director" to understand the best mindset and approach to evaluating the concepts on the spectrum, and choosing an ideal point on the spectrum that you want to embody.
Decisions on what concepts can be identified as being valid or not, should be based relative to the logic of the first principles identified in the first stage. This requires a logical approach which is best embodied by the archetype of the emperor. The second veto power should be given to the master of the idea's spectrum, as they have an idea of where concepts fall on the spectrum, and if they fall onto the spectrum at all or belong in another category of principles.
This stage also requires an identification of the ideal spot on the spectrum; we need to be grounded in the stark reality that compromises will most likely need to be made in order to have a realistic concept of the vision. e.g. we may want to be able to fly forever or have unlimited lift, but within the confines of reality, we must be able to choose a point on the ideal spectrum which is more accessible to us in the present frame of possibility.
This is also where frameworks and structures are created that can help us determine what concepts are in, and what concepts are out. A consistent law or system should be devised for determining what concepts should be considered and which concepts should be put aside. These laws should be based on a desired reference point on the spectrum. e.g. if we choose that we want our concept to lift as much as a balloon, then we can create a law or framework that rejects all concepts that lift a lot more or less than a balloon. These laws should be the governing influence behind all future infrastructure that is built. This also applies to digital products, where the guiding laws might suggest that we don't overengineer certain aspects of concepts as they exceed realistic design within the limitations of time and space.
Integrating the vision
In the vision phase (first 3 stages) we explored how to combine multiple principles into a cohesive idea vision that expresses its universal function, and then we populated the fused space with examples that attempt to embody the synthesis. Having an idea for the composition of the synthesis of principles in the idea, e.g. the synthesis of lift & controllability, or the synthesis of idealism and business, can give us insight into how we can recombine the composition to give us a greater advantage. This is the point in concept development where we consider the function of the idea, which could be a solution to a end user problem or, even more impactful; a universal function or will.
Like any healthy relationship, the successful combination of different ideas requires compromise, alignment, constructive communication, boundaries and deep self awareness of one's flaws and expectations of the other. We approach this analogy to idea development in the section on "The Idealist", which we recommend you read to better comprehend approaches to composing meaningful ideas.
The reason the vision and ideality statement takes less priority to the first principles is because it is likely that some mistakes may have been made when choosing the X and Y axis that compose the vision. The vision should be the reference point for easily accessing the original inspiration; but it is not the original inspiration itself. The vision should therefore be the primary reference point in determining how to structure the concepts, but veto power belongs to the reference of the inspiration itself. There can be no mistaking the original inspiration, only a mistake in the interpretation of what it means.
The vision is also the statement that can be shared externally to those that are not necessarily privy to the original inspiration. The original inspiration should be captured by the vision, but we should also be aware that the vision is still an abstraction of the original inspiration and should be treated as such. This also means that we can modify the vision, if we find throughout the conceptualization of the idea, that the X and Y axis might need to be re calibrated as they aren't realistic or they were the wrong way to interpret the original inspiration. This way the adaptations can be made to the vision on the fly with reference to a consistent statement. Visions are also likely to change in time, and we want to make sure we have the capacity to adapt and modify the vision to stay relevant to its time frame. An inspiration is universally consistent independent of time, whereas a vision may have different meanings in time, depending on how the spectrums were created; i.e. new concepts are identified that could better explain the ideas' X and Y co-ordinates.
The "Idealist archetype can help us when we try to fit a problem - solution perspective to our concept. We don't want to make the problem solution framework the core component of our concept design, but it can inform the evaluation of different concepts based on its ability to solve a problem.
The problem with identifying problems, is that they are usually referenced upon a consumer's frame of reference, rather than a universal frame of reference. If a universal problem has been identified, then this should inform concept design. If the problem is confined to a customers frame of reference, then a solution to this problem should only inform concept design if and only if the inspiration of the idea, and it's first principles include the consideration of a customer.
As you can see in our philosophy, we believe consumerism and customer centric concept development to be a limitation on creativity and developing ideas with broad long lasting impact. Inspired ideas that solve universal problems, or achieve universal axioms will be appealing to a customer regardless if it solves a problem for them.
Inputs: Inspiration, Vision, X & Y Axis, spatial and temporal considerations
Outcomes: Unique concept
Archetypes in focus
Specialist to help specify the form requirements
Motivator to bring in the inspiration and first causes
Director steers the concept towards the contrast spectrum
Idealist measures how far the concept is from reality
Evaluator measures the impact of the motion
Debater points out the weaknesses of the concept
Executioner is able to kill the idea if required
Artist adapts the idea into the world