Apply Different Filters



Observation is a multi-level activity. Whatever you Observe includes multiple aspects and dimensions. When you Zoom In and Out, Change Perspective, and Play with Abstractions you become exposed to many of them.

Some aspects and dimensions can be more effectively explored when you Apply a Filter that highlights them while masking others. When you examine such a dimension in isolation and then reframe it in the broader context, you gain new insights for future creations.

Filters can be applied to physical aspects as well as to conceptual ones. Changing Filters also changes the subject you Observe and your mental model of it.

actionable steps

No matter what you observe, apply different filters to it. Notice new traits and various associations. Consider their impact on how you perceive the observed subject. Consider also the interactions between different traits and how they affect one another.

Use all your senses. Don’t limit Observe to visual traits.

Apply this practice both to physical subjects and scenes and conceptual ones like ideas.

Use Filters that work on physical traits and Filters working on conceptual ones.

Don’t get hooked on one Filter, even if you find it useful. Keep Changing Filters to rediscover the observed subject.


Example 1

Observe a physical object. Isolate one aspect of it, like color, shape, texture, smell, sound, etc. Focus on that aspect and explore it while masking all other traits of the subject.

Apply the different Observation Axes (Zoom, Abstraction, and Perspective) specifically to the view you have through the applied Filter.

Explore how the filtered aspect interacts with the whole and affects it.

Example 2

Think of a challenge you are facing. Apply a conceptual Filter, for example, its historical trend. By exploring the challenge through these concrete glasses, you might generate insights otherwise masked by the challenge’s multiple dimensions and aspects.

further exploration

Share this page and help us inspire more people to realize their creative potential

Scroll to Top