Spaghetti Tower

Type of record:
  • Reflection tool
  • Activation method
Handout PDF-Export Add experience
Ideal innovation phases for this method:
  1. Innovation Phase
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. 8
  10. 9
  11. 10


The Spaghetti Tower is an entertaining and insightful exercise that encourages participants to build and experiment. Several teams of ideally four people compete against each other.

The task is to build a freestanding tower as high as possible within 15 minutes. The materials are:

An equal number of spaghetti and one marshmallow per team for each team (example: 30 spaghetti and six marshmallows). These can be extended by adhesive tape, tapes, scissors ... but the teams should always have the same materials.

The Spaghetti Tower is not only a warm-up, but can also provide assessments of the planning and implementation of the task based on team observations.

One can almost always see that team members quickly fall into a long planning process and use a relatively short time for implementation, where often only one model is created and often does not keep it freestanding - and thus the task is not fulfilled.

Especially in Design Thinking (and also with young children, who show us how to do it) it is important to test ideas directly, to try them out and to learn from them what works and what doesn't work. The message of this exercise is: Testing and learning earlier is better than too much theorizing in advance.
  • Effective for all innovation types
  • Effective for disruptive innovations
  • Effective for incremental innovations and improvements
  • Effective for low complex challenges
  • Effective for medium complex challenges
  • Effective for radical innovations
  • P4 Synthesize (create leading questions - take a stand)
  • P8 Early Prototyping (testing the idea directly on the user)
Register now for free