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Magical Beings

Contributed by
The Sustainability Atalier

This method stimulates metaphorical thinking and creative non-linear ideation.


Participants imagine various aspects of their project or topic as a type of animal (magical or real) and then together, participants create a hybrid animal that expresses the most important aspects of each individual contribution.


  1. Ask each person to imagine some aspect of their topic as an animal
  2. Ask them to note down the key characteristics of the animal as it relates to the topic.
  3. Next, ask them to 'push the metaphor' and think of other qualities that could overlap.
  4. In the group, each person shares their animal
  5. Finally, together, the group designs a hybrid animal that includes the most important aspects of each person's thinking, adding additional ideas that emerge during the sharing and discussion process.
Place on U
10-30 minutes
Materials Needed
  • notebook and pencils
  • option to use collage (or share images online via whiteboard)
Human-Nature Connection
Disruptive Practices
Ideation & Brainstorming
Metaphorical Thinking
Tip and Experiences

On-line adaptation

  • Use an whiteboard to post photos of animals
  • Include time for individual contemplation and group discussion
  • Designate one person as a facilitator whose role is to make sure that everyone contributions are respected and included
Relevant References & Resources

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