This week you’ll continue to do applying seven modes of thinking that were covered so far.
Use the exercises below and have fun.
Applying Analogical Thinking to Problem-Solving
To think analogically, take your idea and consider:
1. What else is like this?
2. What have others done?
3. What could we copy?
4. What has worked before?
5. What would professionals do?
Think of ways that related problems have been solved.
Examples: Sir March Isumbard Brunel solving the problem of underwater construction by watching a shipworm tunnel into a timber, and of Alexander Graham Bell inventing the telephone receiver on the model of the human ear.
Technique: Observe nature & ask; How have animals, birds, flowers, insects, worms, snakes and so on solved similar problems?
Make yourself part of the problem to imaginatively create a new perspective.
Examples: What would you be if you were a dazzling dinner for important guests. Think of yourself as an extremely efficient floor mop. If you were a checkbook, how would you keep from getting lost?
Think of a fantastic, far-fetched perhaps ideal solution, which can lead to creative yet practical solutions.
Examples: How can we make a carriage propel itself – car? How can we make a perfect drain, which can eat up bones or waste – disposal? How can we make an oven clean itself, a freezer defrost itself, a motor tell us what’s wrong?
requires applying an imaginary comparison of the problem to something else
Example: a vision of a snake swallowing its own tail gave the Dutch physicist Kekule a key insight into the benzene molecule.
Technique: Try to think of a two-word self-contradictory title or oxymoron for a particular problem, which will stimulate ideas (e.g. gentle toughness, simply complex)
Applying Symbolic Thinking to Problem-Solving
1. Create a symbol for your invention
2. Create a logo that represents your idea
Applying Analytical Thinking to Problem-Solving
Example problem: Develop a better bandaid.
What are the current attributes of a bandaid? In the table below the attributes are listed in the first row and alternates are listed under each attribute:
stick on flesh colored plastic rectangular gauzed
magnetic red or green cloth round medicated
tie on flower pattern paper triangular cellulose
glue on transparent Tyvek octagon sawdust
paint on black metal square plastishred
velcro words (ouch) wood trapezoid plastic
clamp on stripes rubber animals cotton
Try it yourself
What are the current attributes of a … (whatever you are trying to improve)? List as many attributes as you can.
size/shape color material price pictures
List that you can make to your object/process/phenomenon.
Create an alternate product for anything. Think about your idea and ask yourself “What if…?”
“Whatiffing” is a very powerful exercise that stimulates your imagination and fantasy.
Applying Synthesis Thinking to Problem-Solving.
How you can recombine your object/process/phenomenon?
Combine your object/process/phenomenon with something else.
Applying Holistic Thinking to Problem-Solving.
Formulate the concept (main idea) behind your invention.
State the ultimate goal of your project.
Applying Systems Thinking to Problem-Solving
List subsystems/components that constitute your project
Applying Dialectical Thinking to Problem-Solving
Describe the opposite components of your project
Describe the dynamics/change that may happen to your project
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