Another little bit from the "Design Process" chapter of my up-coming design book Alice Through the Proscenium:
System – Try dividing a design into “systems”: a skyscraper is designed by thinking of its skeleton (steel frame), its skin (glass), its circulation (elevators), and its services (air, power, water, sewer) as separate, interwoven systems.
Be Dumb – Dumb #1: try to design without preconceptions. Be naïve. Modern artists like Picasso worked to regain the simplicity of a child or “primitive” artist. Aim for the innocence of a new-laid egg. Dumb #2: Later, try looking at your design and drawings as if completely stupid. Avoid assumptions, study the drawings, find where you go wrong, then clarify ambiguities. We can get locked into our own angle of view, making a fresh viewpoint one of those “Aaahhh!” moments of suddenly seeing the hidden picture in a fool-the-eye puzzle.