Hot & Cold 

An approach to briefing where information is presented in parts, using a combination of specific and expressive variables.

Active Time

15 - 45 minutes


Preparation Time

60 - 120 minutes



Agree on priorities

Collective Ideation



  1. Prior to briefing, identify the “locked requirements,” or requirements that cannot be changed e.g. outputs and objectives.

  2. Prior to briefing, break the specific requirements (the “cold” stuff) into individual parts and write down on separate pages.

  3. Prior to briefing, create expressive variables (the “hot” stuff) that is aimed at stimulating the imagination of the team.

  4. During briefing, use the combination of hold and cold stuff as catalyst to explore ideas. Try to combine individual and group exercises.

examples of cold stuff
examples of cold stuff

examples of hot stuff
examples of hot stuff

think of ideas based on this stimuli
think of ideas based on this stimuli

examples of cold stuff
examples of cold stuff



By presenting information in parts, we avoid information overload. In addition, combining “hot” and “cold” information serves as an attempt to balance flexibility/imagination and specificity/constraints.


Identifying locked, hot and cold requirements prior to briefing. Facilitates different approaches to ideation during briefing e.g. individual/group exercises.



  • List of the "locked" requirements, as well as the hot & cold variables

  • Initial ideas