Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Technology and thinking outside of the box

Artists often work on projects while thinking outside of the box, ie they may use a non-traditional medium to work from. In this regard, how does this compare to work or tain of thought that may be required as a designer in the Design Graphics Engineering Technology trade?


Scott S. said...

It's very important to think out of the box, it's a necessary skill. A skill I must get better at. I also believe there's a time, place and circumstance that's appropriate for out of the box thinking. Don't shut your own foot. So, saying that don't most artist have a some kind of "canvas" in front of them that they can express themselves freely on atopic. If someone dislikes, disagrees or even if there topic "doesn't work" they can call it subjective art. But, if someone dislikes, disagrees or if it "doesn't work" with my line of work, peoples lives are at stack. There is rules, regulations, and standard that must be followed. No questions asked!! I'm not trying to be closed minded; I know there are times that out of the box thinking needs to take place and those thought are sometimes better than the traditional, I just can't think of any.

apprentice said...

True, for example, when taking an art class an assignment might be given for the students to do a piece that represents the use of line and with the requirements for it to be 17 x 22 and done in charcoal. It is interesting to see the results. It is not unlikely that students will show up with their assignments that often vary from anything like a 4 x 5 color pastel realistic picture to an abstract bedroom-sheet painted with house paint.... and it seems to be an acceptable practice. In the school of technology however, it is all too often and true that drawings and designs must meet certain specifications and standards, so it becomes almost second nature for the design to fall within everyday norms.

I think this is still very acceptable for the development of the design itself, however, I also feel that there is a beginning trend for this industry to attempt to take the design a step further… and that is to take the design and to present it in a non-traditional manner.

Companies that are moving away from developing 2-d drawings (done by the drafters of the past) and into the area of virtual 3-d representations (completed by design engineers) often are doing this without recognition that there may still be a gap that falls in between. In the name of relational modeling, can this new trend replace the prints and designs of the drafter with virtual mockups? As in previous discussions should the role of the drafter be abolished so that design work goes direct from engineering concept through the hands of the design engineer and on to production? If so, when does “buyoff” of the design happen? Could what or how the design is presented accomplish “buyoff”, and can this be done or should this be done by outside of the box methods?

Hezz said...

The term is used loosely to describe non standard thinking or problem solving. However, there is no reason to believe that this is always the best solution. The greater issue is how far outside the box you are. Solutions just outside the box usually are the best because they take into account the requirements of the box.

Thinkers who are too far outside the box generally are pure artists and rarely come up with useful solutions to problems. But they are to be admired for the vision or experience they bring to us. But they generally don't make good engineers or designers. A good example of this was the newspaper article posted on the wall in the technical building a while ago about a guy who quit his job to try and sell a snow bike made from a bike frame and a snowboard.

The newspaper praised him up and down but I could see the total flaw in the design. He didn't bother to look at other designs that didn't work in the past. The design won't sell because it's a bad design. Though not a bad concept.

The designer needs to be fundamentally grounded in reality but with an artistic twist or flare. Hopefully working just outside the box but not loosing sight of the box. We need to bridge the gap between the pure analytic engineer and the artist.

Summers said...

I’m a Mechanical Designer for an automotive safety product facility here in the Ogden area. So I’m working in the Design Graphics Engineering Technology trade. I agree whole heartedly that you need to think and design outside the box. In this tough economy designers are being challenged to create products and tooling under stringent budgets and tight time constraints. When it comes to thinking outside the box, it is very important to efficiently create and present concepts and ideas. A good designer needs to have many multimedia tools in his or her arsenal. They must be an efficient 3d modeler on several different software platforms, understand many different engineering standards for 2d communication, and present their creations using all multimedia tools and skills. I know the future of mechanical and architectural design will need to be streamlined and efficient. Outside of the box thinking with tools to back it up, is the key to success.

gavin said...

yes this is the case. in the design graphics field you are givin different projects to work on and to make your presentation of your work unique and stand out from the others you need to think outside the box and use your imagination to design something freakin AWESOME!

Adam said...

Technology is changing so much and so dramatically. More often times than not people find really good ideas when they are exploring radical ideas. I think that you have to explore those radical ideas for group members to feel comfortable enough to share all of their ideas. When this exploration happens good ideas will present themselves. Also i think the key in technology is finding something unique and different from anything else. That is what people want these days.

Troy said...

There’s an old adage that says, “If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always got”. It today’s ultra-competitive manufacturing environment – especially for U.S. based manufacturing – there is a stronger than ever need to continuously improve the way we do business. Thinking outside the box is absolutely essential for survival.
This translates back to DGET careers as well. A prime example is evident in the cost savings and improved time to market that can be realized my utilizing model based mockups instead of costly prototypes and marketing units. It is becoming very commonplace today for very complex products to be designed and produced completely from data extracted directly from 3D models.
The big question is, “What is next?” It is important for the next generation of designers to continue thinking outside the box in order to come up with the next big technology leap.

Adam Miya said...

I think that thinking outside of the box is incredibly important. From my experience in working as a civil engineering designer, technology is the last thing that happens in the design phase. More and more, ideas are communicated though pencil and paper. Strong communication skills are very important to being able to take an idea from paper to digital design. Where design collaboration is happening at an increasingly faster pace, it's important to be able to take traditional technologies and use them in ways that might not have been the original intent of the technology.

M said...

Millie Allred
Thinking outside the box is very important when in comes to any field in design. Any person can come up with a design, but the designers that get the most regard are the people that have thought “outside the box” and have come up with unique new perspectives. The human race would not be at this point if it weren’t for people who have thought outside the box. And maybe if we could all do it more we would be farther. Sometimes people get to far fetched with their ideas, it takes practice. Sometimes a group effort while thinking outside the box makes the reality of the thoughts and ideas come to life better than the thinking by oneself. All in all I think that thinking outside the box is where the everyday mundane life is turned into the unique lives that we all live today.