The effects of time and incubation on design concept generation Academic Article uri icon


  • The optimal length and format for concept generation is largely unknown. One experiment compares a 50-min session to a 2-h session, observing that senior undergraduates generate more ideas and a greater variety of solutions with additional time, although high novelty solutions are developed within the first 50 min. A second study finds that more novel solutions are generated after an incubation period, although it is at the expense of feasibility. Comparing the two studies shows that incubation generates a greater quantity of ideas, while extended time aids in high quality and novelty. Since the 50-min and 2-h groups generate similar numbers of high quality and high novelty solutions, a 50-min ideation period is effective for developing high quality, novel solutions. 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Tsenn, J., Atilola, O., McAdams, D. A., & Linsey, J. S.

citation count

  • 42

complete list of authors

  • Tsenn, Joanna||Atilola, Olufunmilola||McAdams, Daniel A||Linsey, Julie S

publication date

  • January 2014