The Challenge


How might we inspire young people to cultivate their creative confidence? read the brief


*VIDEO UPDATE!* THXcube: Draw, sing and build your way to creative ideas!

THXcube inspires creativity in everyday tasks. Take any task that you need to do and use the cube to reinvent it! Toss THXcube or use any side to record your iteration, and share progress and publish a final project.

Video updates!

Special thanks to Mish, Lin and David for their help, and to everyone that contributed feedback and comments below. I appreciate it!



I started thinking about this #creativeconfidence challenge by thinking about creativity and confidence at their core. What is creativity? How do we build confidence?

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers: The Story of Success” he describes a divergence test that involves using your imagination to take your mind in as many different directions as possible. There is no one right answer because the goal is to have as many unique responses as possible. Since creativity involves the production of novel and useful ideas, you can see how something much closer to creativity is being measured here. I think if we can apply this mindset of creativity as a daily layer -- not as a standalone activity or after-school group, but as way to execute existing tasks and solve problems -- the result can be incredible.

So how can we transform a routine task like folding clothes or memorizing facts? By reinventing it a bunch of times! I call this concept 10x thinking, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop at 10 ideas.

For junior high kids, say the assignment is to memorize all the states in the country. Rather than everyone going off alone to spend time studying and testing themselves with flash cards, we can challenge kids to come up with a different way to remember the states.

This is where a little something called THXcube can help! THXcube inspires creativity in everything you can imagine.

  • Imagine the first kid comes up with an idea to make a song with all of the state names in it.

  • The next kid says the song should starts with the first letters of the states.

  • Another kid bounces off this idea to add that they should rhyme too.

  • A fourth kid chimes in to say that they can point out the states on the map as they sing along.

This can go on until at least 10 variations of the idea (or different ideas) have been generated. There are no wrong ideas because every idea is just another iterations of a previous or future idea! In the end, when the rhyming, mapped or alliterative song is created, the students will know they’ve helped each other and each contributed to their success.

Research shows that when we don’t dwell on negative consequences, we can be more self-confident because there is less worry about failure or the disapproval of others. Using THXcube, everyone can focus on the process rather than the outcome, and enjoy solving problems collaboratively.


THXcube is interactive, share-able, and adaptable. The 6 sides provide different formats to play off other’s ideas:

  • Side 1. Photo -- take a picture of inspiration or document a scene in action

  • Side 2. Voice -- record a thought or sing a song about it

  • Side 3. Video -- record a demonstration or do a little dance

  • Side 4. Draw -- sketch a design or jot down some notes

  • Side 5. Build -- create a prototype with modeling clay (don’t forget to snap a photo of this, or save it!)

  • Side 6. Playback -- Press play to see/hear/read what’s been done so far.

As the idea evolves, THXcube records each iteration as you go. You can use the “Playback side” at any point to review the progress before you start your building your idea. (Thanks for the suggestion, Bhargava!)


After this process, you can also check online at to see your how the project grew. Share this page with your class, family and friends to share your idea and get feedback. Add hashtags so that others around the world that are working on the same problem can comment and collaborate.

You can take it home and leave it on your desk for daily inspiration, pass it around a group in class to jump start a project, or mail it overseas for global collaboration. How great would it be to receive a different THXcube each week with a new project to build off of?


Use cases:

1. Creative group collaboration: "Bop-It" style group brainstorming! Imagine a standing circle of kids, super jazzed, pumped up, and loud - encouraging one another. The facilitator starts with a prompt: for example - how do we redefine lunch? "Lizzy" starts - and gets thrown the cube. The photo "side" lights up - so she has to use the cube to take a picture of her acting out a new iteration. Lizzy throws it across the circle to Bobby - and the "draw" side lights up. Bobby runs over to the whiteboard - draws the next iteration building off of Lizzy - and uses the cube to photograph it. (Thanks, Olivia!)

2. Desktop dose of creativity: Leave the cube on your desk. Every day, you have to add to the central idea you are working in the manner of that "side." Or, one side “lights up” every day so the user is prompted to step out of their comfort zone for the day. This can function as a physical interactive journal too!

3. Dream recorder (for future inspiration): “Night light mode" when the cube can be placed on the nightstand and used to record those inspirational dreams or crazy ideas that come to mind right before going to sleep or right after waking up. Quickly sketch something your finger or speak into the recorder to capture those idea bits before they disappear! Sometimes those are the best seeds of creativity just waiting to grow into something bigger.


- Toolkit (includes instructions, prompts, etc.)

  • For individuals (use cases 2, 3, 4, 5)

  • For teachers/parents/schools (use cases 1, 4, 5)

  • For groups (use cases 1, 4, 5)

- THXcube (object)

  • Physical object allows for tangible interactions

  • Better for classrooms and groups to jumpstart creativity

  • Cost-effective, DIY-style: order the cube parts and use your own smartphones

  • Download THXcube app to each smartphone to assign “sides” to each phone

- Online platform (

  • Sharing -- Show the progress and iterations of your project with friends, classmates, family

  • Feedback -- Crowdsource useful tips or comments from a wider audience during and after your ideation phase

  • Collaboration -- Find others working on similar projects, get inspired by other projects.




Join the conversation and post a comment.

Yann Hirlimann

March 03, 2014, 12:52PM
How's the project moving?

Annie Ku

January 01, 2014, 01:10AM
This is great, Vicki! :) I tried clicking on the link, but I couldn't get anywhere.

Are there any instructions for making the THX cube?
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Tim Lee Chen

December 30, 2013, 16:13PM
Congratulations on being one of the winning concepts Vicki!
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Vicki Tan

January 02, 2014, 22:25PM
Thanks, Tim!

Mandy Pichler

December 18, 2013, 17:05PM
Congratulations, Vicki! I am so excited for you. If there is anything I can assist you with moving forward just let me know!

Congratulations, again!

Hao Dinh

December 17, 2013, 23:01PM
Vicki, congrats on being selected as one of the winning ideas. Awesome videos!
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Vicki Tan

January 02, 2014, 22:26PM
Thanks, Hao! Appreciate all your support along the way!

belen rodriguez lorente

December 16, 2013, 15:50PM
The idea is amazing, because you cover all the aspects: you have the app, the object and also the online platform. And I think that the idea of reinvent is a great way to inspire young people to be more creative confident.
Congrats for the prototype of the x-cube, I really love it.
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Vicki Tan

December 17, 2013, 16:37PM
Hi Belen, thanks so much for your kind feedback! I'm excited to hear that you love it!

Yann Hirlimann

December 16, 2013, 14:46PM
Fabulous idea Vicki. I had not come across it yet. I am actually running imagination Labs here in Senegal, with ImagiNation Afrika and this tool would just be fabulous for us to use! I like the fact that it makes use of all senses in a fun way! great
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Vicki Tan

December 17, 2013, 16:34PM
Yann, glad you think it's a good idea, and that you are already doing so much to kickstart creativity in Senegal. I'll be sure to keep you updated if THXcube develops into something you can use at Imagination Labs. Looks like you're off to a great start already!

Mandy Pichler

December 10, 2013, 20:48PM
New link to the "Grant Writing - Advice from the Trenches" document! This one should work, fingers crossed:
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Vicki Tan

December 10, 2013, 21:29PM
Hi Mandy, the link works for me and it looks great! Thanks for sharing.

Jason Tse

December 10, 2013, 17:53PM
Hi Vicki,

Wow! The amount of time and effort you've put in is amazing! I really like the idea being a physical object, something you can grasp, hold and feel. Just a note on the THXcube, it looks rather large, will it come in different sizes especially when smaller kids use it?
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Vicki Tan

December 10, 2013, 21:34PM
Hi Jason, thanks for the feedback! I think the fact that it is a physical object will really make it more exciting for young people. The app and online platform would go hand-in-hand to make THXcube available to those without the actual cube too!

The version I prototyped was pretty large because it had to accommodate for my iPhone. If I continued prototyping, I would likely opt for a custom square screen size that would fit in one hand. I'm also hoping that we can get a much softer (to the touch) material like soft cell phone cases, which should make the cube great for smaller kids.

What do you think the ideal size is? Do you have any suggestions for how to further improve based on size and material? Thanks!

Mandy Pichler

December 10, 2013, 16:26PM
Hi Vicki,

Congrats on the fantastic submission!

I just wanted to let you know that I created a document, which could be called Volume I, regarding grants. I've been having a difficult time posting it/uploading the google doc but I do have a link on my profile page for: "Grant Writing - Advice from the Trenches".

You should be able to access the link on my profile though I believe it brings you to my google drive. . .but it's there for you to peruse! Hopefully, it will help you secure some funding for your awesome program!

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Vicki Tan

December 10, 2013, 17:52PM
Hi Mandy, Thanks for your comment and the resource! I'll definitely check it out and let you know if I have any trouble accessing it. Also, let me know if you need help troubleshooting Google Docs :) I work there, and it should be a cinch to upload a document.

Sheba Aslam

December 10, 2013, 16:11PM
What a great idea! It reminds me of a better version bop it! I think THXCUBE could be implemented in several areas such as the classroom, home or a fun game at home. Have you though about the amount of storage needed for the execution of this?
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Vicki Tan

December 10, 2013, 17:43PM
Hi Sheba, I've been hearing a lot of references to Bop It! It's great that you thinks so too. In terms of storage, since THXcube is connected to the cloud, most of the data would be uploaded/stored there. It would need some amount of local storage just for recent playback.

Any suggestions for amount of storage? How many recent projects would you expect to see on the cube?

Irving Calderon

December 10, 2013, 05:31AM
I love your idea! I think it is an extremely fun way to use technology to help kids open up and engage with their peers. I just have one question you mentioned that the THXcube is economical. However, lets say a teacher uses it in her classroom. Only a few can play at once unless there are several cubes that would require several phones.How would this be economical in an underprivileged school where smart phones would not be as readily available? Is this something you've considered?

Mel + Frank

December 09, 2013, 21:55PM
Vicki—keep meaning to tell you that we love this idea. Great way to keep young participants engaged and present in improvisational, rapid, creative prototyping. Especially drawn to the idea of the cube lighting up in a bop-it version! Think this would be a great hit with our kids and would be happy to gather their feedback on any future prototype.
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Vicki Tan

December 10, 2013, 05:33AM
Hi Mel + Frank—Thanks for the feedback! I also love the light-up bop-it idea. It would be really great to continue prototyping these exciting features with more time and resources! I will be sure to reach out when there's something for your kids to prototype.

PS. Saw from your portfolio site that you're in CA, and really love your work, especially the Study Guide series!

Mel + Frank

December 10, 2013, 15:32PM
Yes, we are based in PA and so could be easy to connect to help with prototyping efforts.

PS. Thanks!

Meena Kadri

December 09, 2013, 20:43PM
Nice work on the prototype, Vicki and great to have you back onboard! Just wondering – is supposed to be live? The link you've added is coming up blank from my end. Also, I know you've been away during our Refinement phase – but was wondering if you'd had any time to try some part of your idea out with any potential end users? We've been quite amazed to see what can be learnt even from small scale observations like Hao's session with his nephew based on the Electronster concept:
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Vicki Tan

December 09, 2013, 22:10PM
Meena, thanks so much for your help last week, and to the team over the weekend! So great that they were able to get my page back up. I loved Hao's proto session with his nephew -- thanks for sharing. was just an example of the online platform where projects would be uploaded and where online collaboration could take place. With more time, it would be really exciting to develop that, particularly considering all that I'm learning from using the OpenIDEO platform :)

Unfortunately, most of the weekend was spent building the prototype and I haven't had any access to any real children! I know this sounds strange but... living in San Francisco, kids are hard to find!

I've got a lot of interest from a FB post calling for teachers and parents, but I'm just about out of time to visit a classroom in person. I will add some insights I gathered from one teacher's comments because I think they're helpful nonetheless.

Lastly, I did run a "wizard of oz" style session with some friends and asked them to run through a thought experiment using THXcube. I had just gotten done doing laundry and found that some clothes were missing, so we used THXcube to come up with solutions to the laundromat problem. I'll upload a video later today after a bit of editing!

Meena Kadri

December 09, 2013, 22:53PM
Can't wait to see the laundromat brainstorm – that's hilarious!

So glad we could get your post back up – especially to see your awesome prototype. (I guess I was confused about because it is showing up in your post as an active link) As always – we hope that passionate folks on our platform might continue to develop their ideas after our challenge phases are completed. Seems like you've got so much good stuff going on here – we hope you'll keep exploring, experimenting and growing your idea.
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Vicki Tan

December 10, 2013, 07:38AM
Great idea and encouragement to keep building. I hope at least to grab some enthusiastic folks from OpenIDEO in the Bay Area to help me!

PS. Here's that silly video I was talking about.. more to come!

Meena Kadri

December 10, 2013, 22:26PM
Rocking video updates, Vicki!

Bettina Fliegel

December 05, 2013, 06:27AM
Congratulations Vicki. This is such a creative and fun idea!
  I have a few ideas to share. Have you considered having several options available on each side? I was thinking about it and for some kids being put on the spot with a specific category might expose a vulnerability. I understand why you made it this way and I personally love it but I was thinking for example about my nephew. He has a very active mind but if he received some of the prompts I am not sure he would do them. With your example "redefine lunch" the way he thinks he would probably come up with H20 + protein + carbohydate. (He is a young teen but he would still like a game that prompts you to think out of the box.) If he had the option to choose/press one of all of the options he could fit that into "Write". It is still a creative idea. I am just wondering how to give each kid a chance to participate. Maybe have one prompt on each side but also have a "or anything goes" next to it?
  I was also thinking about the actual cube. I read in your conversation with Bhargava that you are interested in having the cube record previous iterations. Really beautiful! I was thinking about a physical prototype. What if you had something that folded in on itself. Maybe made of mylar or vinyl that could be written on and wiped off for a new run. Then I was looking at your images. The second image in particular. It made me think of origami. The idea of an origami cube came to mind. If each iteration could be written on interior folds, something to that effect.
   I look forward to seeing how this cube itself evolves.
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Vicki Tan

December 09, 2013, 18:57PM
Hi Bettina,

So sorry for the delay in my response! Thanks so much for your comments and thinking about your nephew using THXcube.

I think that having several options available on one side is a great idea, and definitely a possibility depending on how we end up making the cube. In the current build, THXcube would utilize participant iPhones loaded with the THXcube app. Ideally, the group could choose the features of each side that would fit the project.

Another thing to think about is whether your nephew might be inspired to try one of the other sides besides write? Maybe he could use the modeling clay to mold what the h2o+protein+carb looks like, or maybe he could speak his thoughts or draw a diagram? I think we can surprise ourselves when we are supported to try other options!

What do you think? Does having some rigidity push you out of your comfort zone, in a good way? Or is it preferable to have more freedom to decide "anything goes"?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Thanks for collaborating!

Bettina Fliegel

December 13, 2013, 04:08AM
Hi Vicki. I am happy to see you back on the page here at OpenIdeo.
   I have been thinking about it. Rigidity does push you out of your comfort zone in a good way if you are in game. Some kids just might not join the circle if they think they will expose a weakness. I think that some kids minds are very creative but they do not have the same abilities when it comes to expression. So for example they might have issues with dexterity so they are less comfortable drawing or modeling - as compared to kids the same age. Therefore they might feel inhibited in these areas of expression.
    I am not certain but my hunch is that some kids would be more apt to do play this cube if they could feel their way into the game. So perhaps for the first few rounds there could be a choice mechanism and as the rounds progress it becomes more rigid, and in that way maybe more challenging, but now they are hyped up and into it and more willing to take that risk. They have had a few rounds of successes because they chose a form of expression they are confident with. Now deep into the process they just react. What do you think? I am just thinking about inclusivity. I guess you would have to try it out with many kids, not just kids that jump at the chance.
  I love the physical aspect of this product and idea. It is really kid friendly. I think kids and parents will love it.
  I also love your video! Did you make it yourself? It is a great ad for your idea. Congratulations.
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Vicki Tan

December 14, 2013, 01:03AM
Hi Bettina,

I accidentally (oops) deleted the page last week but luckily the engineers at OpenIDEO were able to save it!

I appreciate your feedback considering the point of view for kids that are less creatively inclined and less comfortable stepping out of their comfort zones. In the same vein, it would be interesting to have the interactions evolve over time for all audiences: for the shyer kids, they would start off with a few rounds of writing and notes (as you suggested), this would then progress to drawing and building. For those who have been using the cube longer, this could continue to progress, and they would be challenged to go beyond singing and dancing. Maybe role playing or combining things like modeling and drawing their process.

Yes! I did make the video quickly :) to make it easy for people to learn about THXcube without having to read everything. So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks again for sharing you thoughts. They've been really helpful as I think through how different types of kids might interact with THXcube.

Bettina Fliegel

December 16, 2013, 06:17AM
Great idea Vicki. Having interactions evolve over time keeps everyone engaged! Maybe the starting point can vary from kid to kid and then just let the games begin! This cube is going to be so much fun! Good luck.
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Vicki Tan

December 04, 2013, 01:44AM
Insightful comments from my teammate Grace that I thought I'd share:

- I love the "build on it, anything goes" vibe that the cube promotes. I think more of that especially around elementary/middle school age would be tremendously beneficial for keeping that innate creative energy alive. I'm sure you already know about this, but the concept really reminds me of a kid version of Hit Record, the JGL (love of my life) collaborative production company. My impression is that anyone can add bits and pieces of animation/music/video/illustration/photography, etc. and eventually it all builds on each other to become a "final product."

- Perhaps an element of the "cloud" is that it could provide a teacher or parent with an easy way to mix the six things together in a beautiful, intuitive, easy-to-use way. Sort of like animoto or another auto-photo-reel/video program. I think that having a "final product" to present or at least a cool way to document the process is a key benefit of this idea and a key building block toward creative confidence. One of my favorite elementary school activities was we used to play "story time telephone" where we would each add a sentence to a story and illustrate it and our teacher would collect all of the sentences and "publish" (re: staple) them in a book for us to distribute at the end of the year (re: photocopied b&w "books"). Much like this idea, "story time telephone" blended off-the-cuff creativity with collaboration, confidence-building, and simplicity.

- The sixth "tap" bucket is the most elusive one for me right now. Have you considered something more physical/wacky (dance? facial expression? etc.). Mostly I ask since the other ones are a little more static, so might be cool to have one outlier

- In my head this looks like a rubix-cube like toy that has surfaces that you can interact directly with (ex. draw like you would on a tablet except with your finger, or take a photo like you would on a smartphone) - except, still cheap/pliable enough that you could throw it around with a bunch of kids and not have a heart attack. Another potentially cool idea would be to have the cube be more of a "dock" and have the draw/sing/text elements be "projected" onto the surface around it, sort of like this. Not sure if that kind of technology exists yet, but hey that's what IDEO is for.
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Whitney Edwards

December 01, 2013, 15:11PM
I love this idea! It really highlights the process which I think is a very important concept to explore with young adults. When everyone continues to build on the same idea, kids can see how their ideas contribute to the whole and everyone gets a sense of investment and accomplishment. When each idea is improved upon by the group, it becomes apparent that everyone's thoughts are important and appreciated, encouraging ongoing creative thinking and contributions.
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Vicki Tan

December 04, 2013, 00:38AM
Hi Whitney, Awesome -- thanks for the positive feedback! I agree that the process is just as important as the outcome, and is definitely the learning part of the experience.

Do you have any suggestions on how I can further improve thx cube?
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Bhargava -

December 01, 2013, 12:41PM
Hi Vicki, great concept. I have a slightly tangential comment: there is a type of folktale called a "chain folktale". An example :

When I read about your project, I was interested in how it would (or won't) allow the user to see the evolution of the idea. What if there could be a way for a person to not only make the change, but also record what the idea behind it is, and then the cube itself could be used for "playback" of the evolution of the project ?
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Vicki Tan

December 04, 2013, 00:55AM
Hi Bhargava, thanks for sharing the chain folktale idea! I totally see the connection and agree that it's important for the user to be able to see the progression of the idea.

This reminds me of a note my friend sent:
[One of my favorite elementary school activities was we used to play "story time telephone" where we would each add a sentence to a story and illustrate it and our teacher would collect all of the sentences and "publish" (re: staple) them in a book for us to distribute at the end of the year (re: photocopied b&w "books"). Much like this idea, "story time telephone" blended off-the-cuff creativity with collaboration, confidence-building, and simplicity.]

I haven't quite sorted it out, but think it would be great the if the cube could project the previous iterations! (Think virtual keyboards or StarWars-esque projections

I'm not sure if this technology exists, or is affordable for this sort of tool, but the playback is definitely a great idea! Perhaps a "playback" button could play or display whats been done so far. So say you're on iteration #6, the first thing you would probably do is hit "playback" to see what you or others have already done. Then you would add your #7 idea.

It could be useful to be able to review in several different modes, whether it's the first time you're hearing it or if you just need an abbreviated reminder of what's been done.

Do you have any thoughts on how to best show the progression? From earliest to most recent? Online vs. in the physical cube?

Hao Dinh

November 29, 2013, 07:02AM
Vicki, I plan to provide another Field Note update on all the Refinement ideas by Sunday (Dec 1). Let me know by Saturday 6 pm EST USA if there is anything you want me to highlight to help progress your concept. Any prototypes completed, any assistance needed, any breakthroughs or anything you want to highlight. You can provide me video or text. I will consolidate. Thanks in advance.
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Vicki Tan

December 04, 2013, 00:58AM
Hi Hao,

Apologies again for the delay. I'm back at home with my laptop, just now sifting through responses. Have you already posted the Field Note update? Is there an email where I can send a video?

Thanks much!
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Tim Lee Chen

November 27, 2013, 23:40PM
Great idea Vicki! I definitely see this idea being integrated into the primary school system! I truly believe that by teaching the youth at a young age to build the habit of indulging in acts of creativity on a regular basis, we would enable them to boost their creative confidence. We as 'humans' get more confident in our abilities to do 'things' through practice, repetition and the process of reiteration. By building the habit of practicing creativity on a daily basis, we also therefore boost creative confidence as well.

In this challenge, I also had an idea that paralleled the idea of boosting creative confidence through daily acts of creative repetition. Maybe by taking a look at my idea, you may gain some inspiration on approaching a prototype for your concept.

Hopefully this different perspective on 'everyday tasks' can provide you with some neat inspiration for developing your idea!
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Vicki Tan

December 04, 2013, 01:07AM
Hi Tim, thanks for your feedback and sharing your concept! I fully agree that starting young and practicing regularly will help the next generation be completely comfortable with thinking creatively.

I love the idea of "Create YOUR Journal" simply for the fact that it's just fun! It also makes for a beautiful little scrapbooking souvenir of the time that you made it. Definitely gives me inspiration on how to help nudge young people to think creatively.

In my mind, this would happen before the thxcube/10x thinking process. I'm thinking I can incorporate this style of a journal as a precursor/toolkit. I think it could be helpful to have an online journal that anyone could print out with ideas for things to innovate on. Sort of like a jumpstart for using thx cube.

What do you think? Have any ideas on what questions or prompts would be the most interactive and useful for young people? Did you use the wreck journal and what activities were most inspiring?
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Vicki Tan

December 04, 2013, 05:21AM
This also reminded me of the non-planner by Kerri Smith / Little Otsu. A non-traditional approach to daily plannings!
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Tim Lee Chen

December 12, 2013, 23:00PM
Hey there Vicki, sorry about the late reply, but for some odd reason it looked like this concept disappeared from openIDEO!

In response to your comments, I definitely agree that the idea of "Create YOUR Journal" could be used as an exercise prior to using the THXcube. The idea of "Create YOUR Journal" was to create a personal object that allowed user's to freely express themselves creatively (initally without the fear of peering eyes), while also making it an object that allowed this creativity to be shared with others afterwards. I believe if that foundation was established, it would greatly build on how user's would utilize the THXcube.

As for what prompts I find the most interactive for young people, I believe visual indicators such as images, colors, video, etc.. trigger the most response from the youth. I think you've captured that quite well within the THXcube prototype and the videos updates. I do have one random idea that I would wonder if it's worth exploring.. But have you considered the surface material of the THXcube itself (as concept designs at this stage)? I had a vision of it just now as a cube that has a markerboard or chalkboard surface, so that as the cube is passed around, others can jot down notes, sketch and brain storm directly on the surface of the cube structure itself. Although there isn't a large amount of free surface space on the cube, this might increase the 'playfulness' value of the cube, which may in turn increase creative confidence as well as aid in producing stronger ideas for the challenges provided by the cube. I know that some of my craziest ideas comes from doodling on note pads, white boards in class rooms and my sketch book. I know that chalkboard paint is available so it could be something worth exploring to make another prototype/sketch model and paint the surface with chalkboard paint to see if this becomes effective.

And I've always thought about using a wreck it journal.. However, I've never actually used one. I think part of the reason being that I use a sketch book already. (This might be a flaw in the idea!!) The non-planner by Kerri Smith looks awesome as well! Definitely a fun idea that parallels this concept! To add on this, I'm actually making my own "Create YOUR Journal" prototypes, which I am gifting to a group of my close friends as Christmas presents this year. I'm going to try to make each one a little different since this is a diverse group made up of engineers, consultants, healthcare professionals and businessmen. But I wanted to use my creativity to try and enhance their creativity through this concept of "Create YOUR Journal". Although the age group is quite different, I am eager to see how each of them approach it. I'll post the findings after the initial gift exchange and reactions!

Masheyat Chowdhury

November 27, 2013, 21:06PM
Great idea, very inspirational and a fantastic way to boost confidence!
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Vicki Tan

December 04, 2013, 00:53AM
Hi Masheyat, thanks for the positive feedback! Do you have any thoughts on how I can continue to refine thx cube?
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Vicki Tan

December 04, 2013, 05:51AM
Thanks, Hao! Appreciate the shout out and really loved watching the compilation video on the shortlisted ideas.
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Vicki Tan

December 05, 2013, 17:08PM
Hi Hao, Not sure if you can update your field note still, but here's a little blurb:

THX CUBE is a tool to inspire creativity in everyday tasks. Take any task that you need to do and use the cube to reinvent it by drawing, singing, dancing or building! THX CUBE should be toss-able, share-able, and idea inspiring.

As the idea evolves, THX CUBE records each iteration for playback on the cube on online. Whether you’re working on something alone or with a team, the user can build off of the last pattern, draw or build, add to it, or reinvent it with another side! You can take it home and leave it on your desk for daily inspiration, pass it around a group in class to jump start a project, or mail it overseas for global collaboration.

How great would it be to receive a different THX CUBE each week with a new project to build off of?
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charles rabier

November 22, 2013, 14:17PM
Hi Vicky ! 10X Box's really a good and funny way for making youngs testing their creativity.
Do you already prototype it (for example the way olivia vagelos told to you) ? and test it with your friends ? If not, don't take more time to do it. That'll give you concrete insights.
I'm really curious and impatient to read / look / hear at those insights.
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Vicki Tan

November 23, 2013, 01:12AM
Hi Charles! Thanks for the support. I haven't prototyped it yet -- I've been traveling out of the country since I posted my idea. Inconvenient timing but I hope to continue when I get back.

I'm hoping to crowd source some helpful tips in the meantime. Any ideas for what would work well for you or young people you know?

Hao Dinh

November 22, 2013, 00:02AM
Vicki, my name is Hao Dinh, the Challenge Community Champion. Congrats on being shortlisted. So many good ideas thus I want to make it easy for folks to quickly educate themselves on the ideas so they can focus on helping refine the concepts.

Can you provide me an elevator speech of your idea, maximum 10 seconds audio/video. Or you can reply to my post with text. I plan to consolidate the elevator speeches into one Field Note. (Field Notes are weekly challenge updates)

My thought is to provide you an opportunity to hype up your concept, ask for whatever assistance you need or provide suggestions on how to prototype your idea.

Much appreciated if I can get your elevator speech by Friday (November 22) 11 pm EST USA.

Thank you in advance,

Hao Dinh

November 22, 2013, 04:50AM
Sorry Vicki, I meant 30 seconds not 10 seconds.

Also some tips on developing an elevator speech
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Vicki Tan

November 22, 2013, 10:50AM
Hi Hao, Apologies for the delay. So excited that my concept has been chosen as one of the top!

I'm currently out of the county with limited access to Internet (on a tiny island called Mabul in Malaysia). Is there any way to extend the deadline? I'll be back in the city in a couple days, then back home with my laptop on Dec 3rd.

Let me know and I'll do my best to do what I can. Thanks much!

Hao Dinh

November 23, 2013, 04:49AM
Vicki, send me the video/audio/text when you can. Thxs

Meena Kadri

November 25, 2013, 05:23AM
Hope you're having an awesome trip to Malaysia, Vicki. Given the enthusiasm you've shown for collaboration on this challenge, we know that you'll dive in when you're back with plenty of refinement goodness!


November 21, 2013, 20:44PM
Great job, Vicki, on your Top 22 idea! We loved how interactive and tangible your idea is, and how it can kickstart creative thinking for anyone who's stuck. During Refinement, we hope you'll try actually building a prototype and trying it out with young people you know. What works? What doesn't? What needs to change? In particular, we eager to hear how this 10x cube could help young people who don't already think of themselves as creative. How might a math student use this cube to jumpstart her efforts to work out a math equation, for instance? Finally, we wondered if this actually needs to be manufactured or if it's something that could be available for anyone to download – what do you think? For more tips for this Refinement phase, check out and catch our Lowdown on Refinement at
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Vicki Tan

December 04, 2013, 05:57AM
Hi there, OpenIDEO! Thanks for the tips. I'm a bit behind but will do my best to get prototyping and feedback in the next week.The questions towards the end of your post are particularly helpful because I think solving for those can really increase impact for the less obvious users.

Tangential to the download idea, there could also be an app because most smartphones have the functionality to record audio, take photo and video, etc. I'll definitely incorporate these ideas during the refinement phase and see what my peers and other young people think!

Meena Kadri

December 04, 2013, 22:54PM
Welcome back Vicki! Exciting to check out the use cases and we're certainly amped at the notion that you might reach out to potential end users to help evolve your idea in a human-centered way. It's been awesome to see how this has been helping shape many of our shortlisted Ideas – and we know it'll add awesome insights for yours too.

élodie soler

November 17, 2013, 13:50PM
Hi Vicki - very interesting concept! Sounds easy to use and efficient!! I like the way that your concept would leverage creativity.
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Vicki Tan

November 22, 2013, 12:02PM
Thanks, Elodie! Any ideas on how I can make the concept even more accessible or usable?

Elaine Cen

November 15, 2013, 04:36AM
What a cool idea!! Can't wait to hear more :)
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Vicki Tan

November 22, 2013, 11:57AM
Thanks, Elaine! I'm excited to prototype this to see what else develops :) Any suggestions for how I can improve the cube or concept?


November 13, 2013, 20:10PM
Congrats on this post being today's onsite Featured Idea!
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Vicki Tan

November 13, 2013, 22:02PM
Woohoo! Great way to get feedback. Thank you!

Ryan Ward

December 10, 2013, 01:28AM
Just saw it as a featured post and loved the idea! Keep up with the great work and I am very impressed by the prototype!
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Vicki Tan

December 10, 2013, 05:27AM
Thanks, Ryan. I appreciate the feedback and support!

Meena Kadri

November 12, 2013, 02:10AM
Fab idea, Vicki – and we're digging the updates. We especially love that you're taking a wide view of what constitutes creativity – an important aspect on this challenge.
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Vicki Tan

November 13, 2013, 16:49PM
Thanks, Meena! I'm more excited about the new cube idea but am not sure how to get more feedback on this iteration. What's the best way to get feedback from here?
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Olivia Vagelos

November 13, 2013, 17:23PM
For prototyping the physical cube - a super low res cardboard box, a camera and a whiteboard could definitely do the trick to get valuable feedback. You could write each "instruction" on the side like a home made die. Give a tester a prompt, the cube, the camera and the pen. They could "toss" the cube on a table. The side facing up is the next iteration step. Get some music going, get them excited and have them rapidly work on an idea for ten "tosses."

Excited to see where this goes!
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Vicki Tan

November 14, 2013, 17:03PM
Great suggestion! I love the idea of McGyvering a cardboard cube together. A flip cam/goPro would be helpful, or even something tangible like play doh might be fun too!

Unfortunately, I'm leaving town (today!) for the rest of the month so won't be able to prototype anything before the idea phase finishes. To be continued in December...

Adam Steggles

November 07, 2013, 05:54AM
Great idea and one that really helps kids to think outside the square!
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Vicki Tan

November 07, 2013, 20:45PM
Thanks, Adam!
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Ashley Jablow

November 04, 2013, 20:39PM
Nice one Vicki! I love the idea of encouraging students to look at the same problem or question 10 different ways. How are you envisioning this type of thinking or this approach being delivered to young people? Through a toolkit? A specific class? Through games or apps? I'm eager to hear what you think!
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Vicki Tan

November 05, 2013, 18:20PM
Hi Ashley! Thanks for helping me dig deeper. This got me thinking that it would be really interesting to deliver this in an object form. I'm imagining something like a cube, where each side is gives you a different way to play off the previous iteration. It could be really cool if it was made of that matte soft rubbery material and simple, with just a button or panel on each side.

1 - Photo
2 - Voice
3 - Video
4 - Text
5 - Draw
6 - Tap (or something else!)

As each person records, says, draws or writes their version of the idea, this object would record the history of work. You could build off of the last pattern, add to it or reinvent it! You could take it home, pass it around a class, or mail it overseas.

Lastly, I would love for this little 10x cube to be connected to a project website and the cloud, so that the projects are uploaded as people build on them. In my mind, this would make the everyday tasks a bit more fun!
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Olivia Vagelos

November 13, 2013, 17:18PM
Vicki - I'm digging the combo physical and software side of this concept.

Maybe it could have a couple of different modes:

The desk, personal inspiration: Put it on your desk - every day you have to turn it so a new side is facing you - and you have to add to the central idea you are working in the manner of that "side."

"Bop-It" style - group brainstorming!:
I'm imagining a standing circle of kids, super jazzed, pumped up, and loud - encouraging one another. The facilitator starts with a prompt: for example - how do we redefine lunch?
"Lizzy" starts - and gets thrown the cube. The photo "side" lights up - so she has to use the cube to take a picture of her acting out a new iteration.
Lizzy throws it across the circle to Bobby - and the "draw" side lights up. Bobby runs over to the whiteboard - draws the next iteration building off of Lizzy - and uses the cube to photograph it.

Then integrating with a web platform - maybe it streams it all to the cloud - and you have a visual diary of this brainstorming iteration - where you can make further notes and builds - and other people can contribute and comment!

Stoked on this idea. Keep it going!
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Vicki Tan

November 14, 2013, 17:28PM
"Bop it" is exactly what I was channeling when I thought of the rapid iteration style of passing around the cube. There's something about the beat of the music and the time pressure that makes it exhilarating. In this vein, we could incorporate a voice that says the prompt.
This could push kids to interact with the set of tools differently:
"Draw it!" -- "Sing it!" -- "Dance it!" -- "Tap it!"

Love that we arrived at the same thought here! I think this is the most exciting use of the cube, perfect for injecting a lightning bolt of creative inspiration to an every day task.

I'm also really feeling the solo use case as a desk piece for personal inspiration. This makes 10x thinking accessible to everyone, any age, that may just need a creative prompt. I also thought it would be fun to have the "light up" functionality here, so the user is prompted to step out of their comfort zone for the day.

It would also be awesome to have a "night light mode" where the cube is placed on the nightstand and can be used to record those inspirational dreams or crazy ideas one has, right before going ..sleep. Sometimes those are the best seeds of creativity just waiting to grow into something bigger.
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Shane Zhao

December 01, 2013, 20:03PM
Viki, I love the idea of encouraging kids to reinvent the everyday task! I wonder what would happen after the different ideas generated by students are collected within the "cube"? How would the ideas be shared with a wider audience? And would there be plans to encourage kids to implement their creative solutions?
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Vicki Tan

December 04, 2013, 00:47AM
Hi Shane, thanks for the comment! You've brought up an important question that I just touched upon in my first post, so I'll be sure to elaborate in my update:

I was thinking that thx cube would sync with an online platform where students (and friends, teachers, parents) could see the progress of the project. If the owner makes the project public, perhaps anyone online could comment and further build off of the project (very much like openIDEO)!

The idea is for the physical cube to show the progression and store the history of iterations, and for the online platform to allow for sharing, saving and collaboration.

I haven't had much time to think about encouraging kids to implement creative solutions, as the cube is mostly focused on ideation and kickstarting creativity. Do you have any ideas for encouraging implementation? I imagine this would happen post-cube in the online platform or collaboration phase. Thanks for helping me brainstorm!


November 04, 2013, 19:02PM
Great to have you onboard Vicki! We notice your post is currently unpublished. Was this your intention? We'd love to have it included on the challenge. You can publish it by hitting the Publish Entry up there on the right of your post (or delete it by following options on the Update Entry button). Looking forward to seeing more of you on conversations across this challenge…
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Vicki Tan

November 05, 2013, 18:21PM
Hi team! Thanks for staying on the lookout. I did indeed mean to publish it, so I fixed that now :)
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