It's a set of six dice - each one has a theme; the themes are:
Rolling the dice generates one of 46,656 different unique combinations - which the inventor can then use as inspiration for a brainstorming session.
Some of the combinations are nonsensical, but this itself can be provocative - and the ideas that flow from your imagination in this process don't necessarily have to fit all or any of the original criteria - it's just meant to spark the imagination.
Step 1: Making the Dice
I planed the piece until it was square (about 2cm) in section (as the piece was originally a thick dowel, there was a slight rounded chamfer on each edge, but this didn't matter, as I would be sanding chamfers on all edges of the dice anyway).
I clamped a stop to my mitre jig and cut six cubes (tip: cut a slice off the end first to make sure it's cut square - then lay this slice down and use it to accurately position the clamped stop - that way, you'll cut perfect cubes)
I sanded each face of each cube, then sanded a small chamfer on each edge - this makes the dice more comfortable to use - and helps them to roll a little more. It's a lot of sanding - 36 faces, 72 edges and 48 corners, but it's worth taking the time to do it properly.
If you can't find suitable timber, or can't be bothered with all that cutting and sanding, it's possible to buy blank dice or wooden cubes from craft stores.
Step 2: Decorate the Faces
So I drew them by hand onto each face - using a CD marker pen - then painted them (where appropriate) with acrylic paints, touched up the outline again, then wrote the labels underneath with a fine graphic pen. It's worth testing all of these media on a scrap piece of wood, as some inks will tend to bleed into the grain - and some woods are more absorbent than others.
The icons comprise:
Materials: Metal, Wood, Plastic, Edible, Paper, Organic
Motive Power: Manual, Electric, Clockwork, Solar, Wind, Water
Scale: Giant, Mini, Pocket, Portable, Wearable, Inhabitable
Device: Robot, Vehicle, Computer, Game, Tool, Art
Consumer: Family, Personal, Office, Home, Industrial, Public
Action: Flying, Random, Self-Build, Underwater, Stealth, Disposable
A high-quality PNG version of this icon set is attached - it can be printed on self-adhesive paper and attached to premade blank dice. Obviously, these aren't the only possible categories of icons for a set like this, and other possibilities exist within each category.
Step 3: Make a Bag
The six dice pack nicely inside the string bag and it fits comfortably in the pocket .
Step 4: Play the Game
Giant Random Industrial Metal Clockwork Robot - this could be an idea for a story - or maybe just elements of this combination are provocative - how can we use randomness industrially? - How would you make a random device based on clockwork mechanism? Is it possible to make clockwork toy robots from industrial scrap metal? etc...
Wearable Organic Wind Stealth Home Vehicle - hmmm... tricky, but maybe it could provoke thoughts on sustainable laundry drying methods for camper vans used by crack commandos. OK, work with me... the point is, this starts you thinking in new directions - what about a foldable fabric wind turbine for charging a camping lantern?
Manual Random Pocket Wood Personal Game... I'm picturing something made from wooden cubes... Any ideas?