What is Brainfarm?

Innovation is risky. The cost of getting a new product, service or manufacturing method wrong is high. Our Brainfarm foresighting package reduces the risk of failure, saving time and money.

Brainfarm is a ‘look before you leap’ approach to innovation. It is a method 4c have tested and refined over 15 years to ensure that the right questions are asked at the start, to avoid designing the wrong solution. We recommend Brainfarm to clients who need fresh eyes on a persistent problem or are at an early stage in developing a new product for their market.

3 Step Process


Core problem definition and contextual research with interviews and parallel products

(4-6 weeks)


Divergent thinking, ideation, investigation through sketching, prototyping and testing

(1 intense day)


Refining what we’ve learned and working with you to carve a direction of development

(2-4 weeks)


How does Brainfarm work?

Brainfarm identifies optimal solutions, refined to sketch or simple prototype form, ready for further design development. Unlike traditional innovation methods which focus on perfecting a single idea, we use divergent thinking and fast prototyping techniques to ensure the entire solution space is considered, before filtering and converging on the optimal concept.

The process is delivered by our experienced team of professional designers and engineers along with ‘wildcards’, selected individuals with expert or alternative perspectives, who help us to challenge ingrained thinking.

Our environment is designed to allow the Brainfarm team to focus intensely on the problem in hand, including full access to our in-house workshop equipped with tools to rapidly progress ideas from sketches to physical prototypes.

The process is facilitated by a member of 4c’s senior team, experienced in stimulating creative thought and managing idea exploration to deliver clear outcomes.

The Outputs

What can you expect to get from a Brainfarm? Typically, a Brainfarm results in 5 – 10 viable concept solutions for further design and development. The Brainfarm process provides assurance that the chosen design directions are both feasible and optimal, since a diverse range of alternative solutions will also have been identified and investigated. Following on from the Brainfarm, we can work with you to write a brief for a design project to develop one or more of the concepts.


Key deliverables from every Brainfarm are a comprehensive written report and a short ‘trailer’ style video. The report is an important reference for future product design and development. It contains sketches and notes on ideas generated during the Brainfarm as well as a record of how these were identified, investigated, refined, selected or rejected.