Momina Salam

Editors note: We’ve been very happy to have Momina working with us over the summer as our intern. As a student studying a creative subject we asked her in this post to consider how she comes up with ideas. Enjoy –and let her know what you think in the comments.

Hi, my name is Momina Salam and I am currently studying Interior Architecture & Design at University of Hertfordshire -and I’m an Intern at Creatives Hub.

I’m an enthusiastic traveller and love exploring. Being an outgoing person means that I’m always up for anything and everything at anytime and anywhere. Ok, now that’s a bit of over exaggeration simply because I’m not always travelling or going out and having fun, and also because I love my home so much that I literally love to stay indoors. Well, who doesn’t love their home ey?

Right, let’s move onto the purpose of writing this blog…

There are many ways that I come up with different ideas and that does not mean that there’s only a limited amount of time when creative ideas come into my mind. In fact, one of the greatest times when an influential idea pops into my mind is when I’m sleeping or when I wake up middle of the night.

In this post I will specifically focus on three ways that inspire me and help me think creatively. bubble diagrams, culture and exhibitions.

Bubble Diagrams

It usually takes time for me to start a project because I have to think of a design concept and a theme. Recently when I had to redesign an old deserted building into a new space, I began by doing an online data analysis. Data analysis is particularly about doing primary and secondary research, where you learn about a specific object by doing surveys, questionnaires etc.

When I did my data analysis, I had to research particularly about the character, transport, building utilities, crime stats and the street itself. The research allowed me to visualise and understand what spaces were already around the building and what was not. From there on, I took the first step to draw a bubble diagram and wrote down all my ideas. Looking at my ideas and data analysis, I decided to design a restaurant because there were only one or two restaurants near the building.

Other Cultures

Another idea that I like to use is, exploring and researching about different cultures, traditions, pattern and colour. I believe that every country is full of architecture, full of history and full of culture. Going back to my recent project about redesigning a building, I incorporated Japanese and Moroccan pattern and texture into my restaurant design by separating the two cultures into different floor levels. However, I separated the two cultures into different levels because I wanted to show the major and minor similarities and differences.


As a creative student, I like to visit different exhibitions, so that I can get new trend ideas and be inspired by them. Back in November 2014, I was lucky enough to visit the Biennale exhibition for Architecture in Venice, Italy.

The exhibition takes place every two years, and the contrasting exhibits represent various countries. I loved attending the exhibition because it was so broad in terms of exhibiting a range of cultures, that allowed me to get a better insight of the different countries and traditions. I think it was the Biennale exhibition of architecture that made me so enthusiastic and inspired me to combine two different cultures into one project.

Creative Blocks

There are other times where my mind gets completely blanked and I feel like I lose the ability to think creatively. In order to overcome these creative blocks, I like to go outside and get a bit of fresh air or then I take a five minute break to surf on my phone, specifically on social media apps like Instagram and Facebook because the accounts and people that I follow, inspire and influence me.

Similarly, if I struggle to get my thoughts drawn or written on paper, I have a tutorial with my tutor and one question my tutor always asks me is “WHY?”. To be honest, sometimes I don’t know why or how I came up with a certain idea, but most of the time, the tutorial is literally like five minutes long and by reflecting on my idea and the question “why?” I seem to suddenly have a clear vision of my work. I don’t know what I’d do without my tutors! Five minutes may seem so short, but oh my, it’s always a privilege to speak to someone who has to go around and speak to thirty students in such a short time!

So that’s the end of my different ways of thinking creatively and how I overcome my creative block. Thank you for reading to the bottom of my blog post. Do you creatively think the same as me and overcome creative blocks similarly, or am I the only crazy human who thinks like that? Haha!

P.S: I’ll be reading all your comments, so share any advice you have for a student like me. Thanks in advance! 😀 (In case you haven’t noticed, I always say thank you/thanks a lot).

Thanks again,
Momina 🙂

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Momina Salam

Intern for Creatives Hub | Interior Architecture & Design student

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