Now, the statement that you should: ‘ignore everything and everyone,’ comes with a few caveats: sharing knowledge is a great thing and we would never dissuade someone from helping others or passing on knowledge. When we say 'ignore', what we really mean is don't be blinded by endlessly looking at other peoples’ work or get bogged down with the same old methods of doing things.
By remaining separate from conventional design, construction methods and 'best practice' guidelines you leave yourself open to new concepts; things that have never been seen before; completely fresh designs, rather than continually producing slight variations of other peoples work.
One of the easiest ways to produce something unique is to have no prior knowledge or preconceptions of the thing you're designing. Obviously, this makes the task much harder, but not impossible!
Simplify the Problem
Forgetting everything you know about something can be tricky. You have to simplify the problem; take it back to the initial requirement and redevelop from there. For example, most people think the requirements for a coffee table are that it should be a regular shape; square or round, have four legs and should be placed in the centre of the room. However, when you think about it, all it actually exists to do is provide somewhere to put a coffee cup, a glass, a magazine etc. Most designers would go about tackling this in a very predictable way: they would usually opt for a conventional shape with conventional legs. If you get bogged down in research on how other people produce things, so will you!