Progressive Hybrid Design Approach

Simple, but Deep:

There is not a "set in stone" roadmap for learning and applying hybrid design methods, but here is the general, high-level process:

  1. Define the Current Situation:

      • What was the original problem statement?

      • What has been the impact of not solving the problem for different stakeholders?

      • What were the requirements or goals for any solution?

      • Who wanted the problem solved?

      • Analyze past attempts to solve the problem.

  1. Understand more Deeply with Science-Based Causal Analysis*:

      • Identify the attributes and functions of all objects.

      • Identify relationships between objects.

      • Each layer of the analysis is driven by equations and/or reputable research, i.e., not through brainstorming.

      • Identify all potential factors, even those outside of the person's expertise.

      • Research and/or bring in outside expertise to understand details of all factors, e.g., psychology, sociology, other physical sciences, etc.

  1. Redefine Problem Statements:

      • Using the "Science-Based Causal Analysis"*, we identify objects where "turning the knob" of an attribute to the opposite setting, regardless if there is a problem with it, which would eliminate all or part of the problem.

      • Identify "contradictions, i.e., where you want to have one attribute be capable of having two different states. For example, to have better fuel economy, I would like the engine to be very small. But then the engine may not have enough power for steep inclines or heavy loads. So, I would like to have the engine be small, and I would like it to be large.

      • As it becomes clear that there is not just one way to solve the problem, create a list of contradictions to be solved.

  1. Develop elegant solution concepts:

      • Criteria for "elegant" solutions:

          • Elegant solutions are simple, inexpensive, and free of compromises.

          • Note that compromises are considered to be trade-offs, or by definition, do not fully satisfy either of the desired attribute states. For example, deciding to buy a car with a medium-sized engine would not provide ALL of the desired fuel economy, nor would it provide all of the desired power. Another, fancy term for compromising is to "optimize", which again is just a trade-off.

      • For each of the contradictions, define a new problem statement.

      • For each new problem statement, review the categories of ways to separate the opposing properties (Separation Strategies from TRIZ**).

      • Create a list of potential solutions stemming from each separation strategy, for each problem statement.

*Science-Based Causal Analysis (aka Physics-Based Causal Analysis)

**TRIZ - Theory of Inventive Problem Solving