What is Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT)?

What is Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT)?

What is Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT)?

About two years ago or so I discovered a different system to create ideas that had reinvented the wheel (sort of and I’ll get to that in a bit). Derived from Genrich Altshuller’s TRIZ engineering discipline Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT for short, and so I don’t have to keep typing that out) was developed in the mid 1990s in Israel and is a practical approach to creativity, innovation and problem solving.

I have found it to be a very useful tool to invent and problem solve. SIT is essentially made up of five thinking tools:

1. Subtraction
Remove an essential component from a product and find uses for the newly envisioned arrangement of the existing components. This abstracted arrangement is known as a ‘virtual product’. Think of a bicycle (yes this is the bit that refers to the wheel). It normally has two wheels right? Well if you subtract one of those wheels you have a gym bike. A perfect example of the subtraction method.

2. Multiplication
Add to a product a component of the same type as an existing component. The added component should be changed in some way. The 2 keywords for this tool are: 1) more and 2) different. These represent the two stages for applying the tool: 1) add more copies of something that exists in the product and 2) change those copies according to some parameter.

3. Division
Divide the product and/or its components and rearrange them to form a new product. Using this tool forces consideration of different structures, either on the level of the product/service as a whole, or on the level of an individual component. Dividing a product to many pieces gives the freedom to reconstruct it in many new ways – it increases our Degrees of Freedom for working with the situation.

4. Task Unification
Assign a new and additional task to an existing resource. Less affluent cultures are more likely to adopt the Task Unification mindset. For example, the Bedouins use camels for a number of different tasks: transportation, currency, milk, skin for tents, shade, protection from the wind, burning feces for fuel. More affluent societies tend to jettison resources.

5. Attribute Dependency
Creating and dissolving dependencies between variables of a product. Attribute Dependency works with variables rather than components. Variables are easy to identify as those characteristics that can change within a product or component (e.g. color, size, material).

I realise this blog has just touched the surface on this great method but hopefully it has wetted your appetite to learn more about the approach. For much more information on this I have found Drew Boyd to be a great advocate for SIT and if you’re interested. His website is here http://drewboyd.com/systematic-inventive-thinking and there’s also a great course from Drew on Lynda.com, look it up if you’d like to know more about SIT.


Yours in creativity

Sean

Welcome to the blog

Welcome to the blog

Welcome to the first blog post

Why create a blog? Do bloggers actually ask themselves this question when setting out on their blogging journey? Do they just blog because it’s something to do, they’ve heard you can monetise it, that blogging can increase traffic to your website, that Google likes you to blog? I have certainly asked myself why create a blog? The conclusion I have reached is that I wanted to share with who ever is lucky enough to read the information ;), things that inspire me and everyone associated with Thumbnail Creative. Also, it would be a good vehicle in which to share some knowledge, give back if I can and also simply reach out to like minded people out there on a range of topics, although creativity will no doubt be the main theme in here.

Creativity encompasses an awful lot in everyone’s everyday life. Stop and look around you right now. What can you see? I’m betting 99% of everything you can see (that’s man made) started as someone’s idea, then was thought through and created. Ideas are everywhere around us. For some of you, the chair that you are sitting on whilst reading this started as a ‘thumbnail’ sketch and ended up as the comfortable location for your bottom to rest as you absorb wonderful information ;). Ideas and design affect all of us every single day of our lives so I’ve picked a broad canvas on which I hope to dab just a few paint strokes over the course of time. My name is Sean Lane and I have a passion for ideas and creativity. It is my sincere hope that anyone reading this, shares that passion or at least has a slight interest in all things creative.

So wish me luck in this new venture. My goal is to share the creative world with you all, to hopefully inspire someone to look at the world around them and appreciate the role that design and creativity plays in their every day lives. Most of all if I can help to inspire someone to be more creative themselves that would be more than I could hope for.

Yours in creativity

Sean