Chris Murphy · 23 April, 2021

There’s a lot to read on this page, so here’s a tl;dr so you know what’s coming:

Idea Factories is a three week, cohort-based course, focusing on improving your thinking, your creativity and your ability to drive innovation, by harnessing the power of reading and writing organised through a personal knowledge management system.

You don't have to be a writer to benefit from this course. Rather I'll focus on the role that reading, writing – and systematic note-taking as a springboard into writing – can play in improving your thinking.

It’s Never Too Late to Learn

When I started on my writing journey, all I had was an E grade in my A-Level English. I've now written six (or seven?) books; written for magazines worldwide, starting with a short review of an album – Afro-Cuba (The Jazz Roots Of Cuban Rhythm) – for WIRED in the mid-90s; and countless articles off- and online.

Writing is an incredibly beneficial skill and it’s never too late to learn it.

Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. A lot of what people call intelligence boils down to curiosity. —Aaron Swartz


In this short course (five evenings, plus supplementary work), I’ll explore the process of ‘designing a mind’ through the creation of a latticework of mental models, fuelled by reading and writing. I’ll cover:

Although there are many forms of input and output, I’ve focused on the importance of reading and writing as the backbone for the course, based on: feedback by existing members of The School of Design; and my own practice.