Sunday, November 13, 2011

Eugene Schtyne Activity Results

Following our Sticky Note activity with Eugene Schtyne, we sat down and sifted through our ideas, identifying and consolidating the ones that seemed to be similar. Here are photos of the original list and then a breakdown of the votes as a whole.

1 – Create dialogue with heating water - 3

3 – Where is it going - 3

4 – Who is around – 1

7 – 2,000 limit for project – 2

9 – What materials – 2

11 – Lack experience – 2

12 – No holes in walls or ceilings – 1

14 – How do we make a banal thing interesting – 2

15 – No southern face to use – 1

17 – Durability – 2

18 – Stealability – 1

19 – Time constraint – 2

21 – Different evaluations from different disciplines – 1

22 – Client & us Happy – 5

23 – Weatherproof – 1

24 – Childproof – 1

26 – Idiotproof – 2

27 – Does it function – 1

28 – How cheap can we make It – 1

34 – Fabrication of surface – 1

35 – Debugging surface/technology – 1

38 – How much water is necessary – 1

39 – How much water is usable – 3

40 – How many people will live in house? – 1

42 – How are we going to heat it -1

43 – How do we make it smart – 1

45 – Trade off of aesthetics vs. function and vice versa – 3

46 – efficiency of surface to accomplish – 1

47 – How do we manage info – 2

48 – Transfer info – 2

52 – Integration into house – 2

54 – Custom or commercial – 2

55 – How to respond to architectural limits – 1

56 – How heavy is the product – 1

57 – How sound is the structure – 2

60 – Inside or outside? – 2

61 – Integration into community – 2

63 – What type of liquid – 1

65 – Direct heating of water in module – how? -1

66 – Where is container in house – 1

67 – How do we stand out? – 5

69 – What is our ultimate audience? – 2

70 – Where is the water coming from? – 2

71 – Are we on or off grid – 2

72 – Prevent leakage of water inside house – 2

77 – What info are we collecting? – 1

78 – Is it portable – 2

79 – How will we install it - 2

80 – How do we make it worth 2,000 – 3

83 – How to maintain project (cost & who to fix) - 2

86 - Impact on environment (can we recycle parts?) - 6

92 – What pests will we encounter – 1

94 – Will chemicals leak into water – 2

96 – Can we maximize the use of solar panels -1

97 – Can we better insulate house – 3

98 – Is it annual, yearly, daily, seasonal? – 2

100 – How simple can it be? – 6

102 – Can we have interaction without contamination – 1

103 – Is it dangerous – 2

105 – Will we have liabilities – 1

106 – How do we control heat? – 1

110 – What is getting hot? – 1

112 – How do we direct heat/energy most efficiently – 2

Friday, November 11, 2011

Eugene Schtyne Visit Notes

From Presentations:

· Keep it simple – If the project idea is simple and we leave ample time. During stressful times people revert to their strengths and we should try to avoid this! People trying new stuff means sometimes they make new things or do it in a different and interesting way.

· Add to the worth with the $2,000: which would you prefer? $2,000 or our project?

· Were we specific enough as a group? Could we be more so?

“It’s about how this fits in the real world.” –Max

Eugene Schtyen

Reverse Brainstorming – Innovation vs. Invention

Between 2:00-3:00 is sleepy time! =P

· We have a project, not an organization, so we have timelines and deliverables.

· Rule of Cheese and Bacon – The cow gave the cheese, the pig gave it’s life. Somebody is going to take the brunt of things.


· 3,000 raw ideas = 1 successful product

· Stage of NPD Process

· It takes persistence. It’s all about making our mistakes better than others mistakes.

· Technology has become a winner takes all market

· We need to learn while doing. I need to force myself to try new things.

· The question, “how do we think outside the box?” is not the first question. The first question is, “What is the box?”

· We need to unlearn what is untrue

· There are hard barriers and soft barriers. An example of a hard barrier is our $2,000 budget. Soft barriers exist in the mind; it is what I think is possible.

Video 1:

It is an invention to speed up feeding at lunch (in a forced way) to increase efficiency. “It’s no good – it isn’t practical.” The thing that didn’t work was the electric motor. It is technology we take for granted.

Video 2:

Break throughs DO happen.

· There is no theory of creativity. We don’t know how it happens.

· Genius is not something that sits inside you: it’s based on what you do. It’s after the fact that it gets recognized.

· Copying IS something we use. For each of the examples shown there is an example of someone who didn’t. We want to practice and get the skill.

· The key word on the patents is IMPROVEMENT. It was always there during that time period.

· There is nothing creative about trying 6,000 different things. Edison’s biggest constraint was big wires and cost. It’s the rest of the system that’s creative. The lightbulb wasn’t the breakthrough; the parallel was the breakthrough. It all depends on the viewpoint. WE DON’T SEE THE BIG BREAKTHROUGHS.

· The video plays on our stereotype that there is a puzzle. IT’S NOT A SIMPLE COMBINATION. Looking back is way easier than looking forward. Everything is obvious in hindsight.

· In 1935 it was still a joke about how electric motors didn’t work.

· Ford put together crazy ideas. It was brilliant. I took this, that, and the other thing, never tried on this scale, and put them all together.

· The movie doesn’t show the inventive effort.

Conventional Wisdoms – SOFT BARRIERS

1. “Everything is a trade off.”

2. “Solving problems is just like solving puzzles.”

3. “Invention is the same as innovation.”

4. “Creativity is a trait, not a skill that can be taught. You either have it, or you don’t.”


Quality vs. Price

Risk vs. Reward

Accuracy vs. Speed


Breakthroughs happen when we break trade offs.


Edison – Before: bright lights = high cost and high current

GM – Before: better car = higher $ and more people

B&N – (Before Amazon Solution) Before: more choice = higher store cost

Yahoo – (Before Google) Before: more $ = more annoyance


Potential green energy?

Raise you hand as high as possible….


Jigsaw puzzles in 1766 (British Empire) were toys for high middle class, so that kids could teach themselves.

Has a pre-defined answer

Considered solved when the answer is found

Doesn’t create any risk

Idea for artificial environments


May or may not have a solution (open-ended)

When solution is found it doesn’t necessarily mean it will succeed in implementation or in the marketplace

Carries investment risks and has unintended consequence


San Francisco’s low flow toilet. Junk/crap gets stuck and starts stinking. Caring people did more damage than good.

ATF Fast & Furious. Arms ended up in Mexico. Not a controlled experiment like they thought.


You don’t just throw stuff together and it works

Creative thinking: approach problems as obstacles. Remove the obstacle to open up new opportunities.


Invention & Innovation: Different words for the same thing?

Portrayed as old vs. new

It starts in the head. Then it has to get made. Then people have to use it.

Lots of ups and downs: it’s a process.

Invention is a personal or small group event.

Innovation is a network of social events

Society rewards innovation…not invention.

Chair vs. Stool: we take technology for granted.

The way you phrase problems is important!


Genius = Guardian deity who watches over

Talent = Balance, weight. Who can lift the most?

Creativity = 1670’s quality of creating. “out of nothing.”

Richard E. Nisbett Quote

Mihaly Csikscentmihalyi chart

Rewarding students for hard work over cleverness yields better results.


Recognize a good problem.

From an innovators perspective, most problems are not worth solving. We HAVE to be innovators.

Idea FIRST, THEN throw stuff together.


Lycra material science. Then obesity hit and it didn’t make people look good. Amanda Kennedy.

Yahoo vs. Google. Yahoo paid Google 7.1 Million to do search engine work for them. Yahoo tries to get people as many pages as possible. Google shows relevancy: what people want to see, not what they want to show.

STEP #1 FOR PROBLEM SOLVING: Find high value problem


Brainstorm was invented by Alex Osborn in 1930’s. It became popular in 60’s.

1. Defer judgement

2. Quantity beats quality

go Go GO!

Criticism ruled out

Free wheeling


Combination & improvements are sought


Designed to solve simple problems that don’t require value judgement

A supplement not a solution

Use as an ore


Illusion of Group Productivity (small groups)

Social Facilitation (mere presence)

Better for simple tasks, worse performance on complex tasks

Group Polarization (group think)

Risky or cautious shift

Social Loafing – More people to pull rope, less force each one applies

Everyone should have their own task and it should be significant



Free exchange of ideas

Good feelings


Quality of ideas unknown

Don’t know what you missed

Rat hole solutions


“counterproductive way of spending time”


The Goal: Discover Problems

Explore problem space quickly

The more problems the better

Remove psychological inertia

Get rid of problem fear and brain clutter

The Technique

Apply enhanced brainstorming rules

Look for problems, not solutions

Ran out of problems? Seek help from the 3 magicians

List now, refine level


No criticism

No solutions

No fear

No rat-holing

Build upon ideas of others

Keep moving

No more than 2 hours


Define short-term & long-term time frames

Consider key restraints that define the time frames

Imagine that I have $10,000 earmarked for short-term investment

Imagine that each line on the Problem List represents a company that developed the best solution

Invest no more than $1,000 each in companies that in your opinion will provide the best short-term return

Make sure total at the bottom is = $10,000

Repeat the exercise w/ $10,000 earmarked

TRUE QUESTION: what is worth working on?

Problem Mapping (Timing – Value)

I. Walkthrough the list of problems

II. Discuss & place on the diagram

Good Exercise:

What constraints do I take for granted?

Look for overlaps: can we knock off other problem by solving one?

Categorize later with group (Cluster)

Whatever I’m doing now has merit in the real world

Free consumer survey –Very Important Data

“I want everyone in the world to use this.”

If you tell a good story, you can get people to buy into it.

My top 10 might be useless. Eventually worthwhile stuff emerges.

Don’t get locked into my top 10.

Distinguish between things & problems

Define problems & sometimes solutions begin to stare us down


Question to provoke problems: What do we not know?

Building extremely good products gets people involved.


People work because they are excited to work on an insanely great problem.

What problems are we trying to alleviate?

To be in trouble can be a positive thing.

Good Book: Four Horsemen of Marital Apocalypse

#1 Contempt

#2 Defensiveness (should say, how can we make it better?)

Steve Job in 2001

How he presents his product

1st Question – WHY? Long-term Question/Viewers Question

The more you work on something, the more you talk/think HOW (short-term question)

Spend A LOT of time on presentation

Addresses market! Not speculative. Large market.

Shows current examples

Shows order of magnitude change.

Quantum Leap – Entire music library at all times with you.

It’s not about sleekness. It’s about user. What it does is next.

Problem: cost, size, and amount of music


Ultra-portable – size of a deck of cards

Hierarchy of problems: not just great feature, big solutions.

Offers solutions to EVERY problem

Last thing on list: Apple Design


Several magnitude changes.






Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Solar Water Heater Ideas/Inspiration Generated Over Break

Artist: Derek Parker and Jason Chakravarty

Location: Along Arts Drive

Created: 2006

Installation: 2006

Materials: Aluminum and neon

Artist: Ray Hein

Location: East entrance, Visual Arts Center

Created: 1970

Installation: 1970

Materials: Rolled copper sheets and forged bronze

Acquisition: Art Alliance-commissioned piece. Artist donated his time; Mr. and Mrs. Leon Lyon donated funds for material and Royal Metals of Santa Ana fabricated the metal from the artist’s macquette.

David Harber

Giles Rayner

Phil Eames

Neil Wilkin

- Jenny Pickford (Images not included here)

Paul Margetts

Material Idea:

A slide:’’

Frank Gehry Bentwood Furniture…(make out of flattened pipes instead?)

Inspired by crustaceans


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Week Four

For the second week in a row I was wrong about how I estimated our group dynamic. The week before, I thought our group was doomed, and then we did a 180 and quite well by my estimation. This week, I thought that our group had enormous potential for working really well together, and that it was going to be a good week. I was dead wrong. Thing went downhill from the start, and just kept going downhill at an exponential rate.

This week I had the team of Maria, Ted, Stephanie, Brian, and Justin. The project we got handed was the Heat, Sliding, and Annually project, and since this was the week before we would present to Mitch and Gina, pressure was on. The group before us had created a solar water-heating project that used half cylindrical shapes with reflective material inside that would redirect light toward a central black tube. Unfortunately for that group, their acrylic gears weren’t strong enough, and the structure was too heavy, so they burned out their servos and in class their model didn’t work. It had some other flaws, such as the bulky box that supported the central tubes, which, coupled with their location on top of the roof, would act as a snow collector. However, the main premise was a good one, and the form was efficient to my understanding. I wasn’t too worried about function; we just had to start by rethinking the gears or making them of a different material.

The professors, following the critiques, told us that thus far in the course groups were completely redoing projects every week instead of truly building upon the one we were given. They wanted us to knock that off, use what we were given, and improve upon it. Karl also made a point of stating that two of the projects needed to work on spectacle, while the other two needed to work on function. Since the light project and the wind project did not receive the critique of being unlike a spectacle, whereas the water and heat projects did, I thought our group would take that critique to heart and focus in on that portion. I thought we would maintain the current function and find a way to bolster the spectacle.

Yet again, I was dead wrong. The very first thing our group did in class was to attempt to change everything about our piece. I was among those who voiced the query as to whether or not the Powerhouse had a water heater yet, but after the professors told us to stick to it, we all dropped that topic.

So we then proceeded to argue for hours over the course of this first meeting and all following ones. I tried, futilely, to say that the darn thing was efficient enough and that we should focus more on spectacle. The form just fine, but couldn’t we stick it into the roofline perhaps? Or even indoors under a skylight? Or figure out a way to protect it without hindering its spin motion? If it were indoors then cleaning it would be easier, although, yes, we might lose efficiency. Yet since the pipes had to be covered by a clear panel anyways, what would that matter? Then I proposed that we focus more on using the combination of light and water; improving the light fixture idea the previous group admittedly failed to execute completely. Couldn’t it be a really awesome ceiling light? I also pitched that the half cylinder could be finished off into a full cylinder, allowing for the project to exist in the ceiling line instead of under or over, since a half cylinder would allow precipitation in.

Even in saying all this, I admitted that maybe there could be greater efficiency. Maybe I was dead wrong about how efficient it was, but since Garrett took point on presenting the efficiency and he was rather convincing, I didn’t see how the current efficiency was an issue. So in moving forward on my own, I brought forward some visual elements I found

To go on explaining the war that ensued for the following hours seems futile and disrespectful of my fellow classmates, which is something I don’t desire. So in moving forward, Maria did a marvelous job with an Eco diagnostic. She really stepped up to the course standard of learning new things by undertaking the entire program. What she generated was very professional looking, and great for seeing temperatures relative to the months of the year and for observing where the wind primarily comes from. Justin called his uncle and got information regarding water heating. We learned the dimensions of the installations his uncle works on, and how they function. We also learned the price point of $7,000 for that type of installation, and hoped that our being able to reduce cost to below $2,000 would be a selling point for us. With other facets, it was stated that the cylinders had to go because the form was disliked and because the sheer number of them needed was undesirable for mechanics sake. This left the form to become a flat panel. Since we no longer had the ease of rotation for protecting the piping (which was to be copper for the most efficiency), we needed something else. The something else then became a set of cabinet doors that would be reflective, which would inevitably take up far more of the roof than we could afford. It was decided to think more on how this protection would actually work, as well as ways to consider spectacle more greatly without losing any function.

But apparently I was wrong in thinking we decided on these two items. In stepping back, I came up with a way for the “doors” to work, pitched it in the next meeting with a quick cardboard demonstration, and without any protest at all it was accepted. No other ideas were brought the table.

I have never had one of my initial ideas readily accepted without debate or conversation even once in this class until this moment. I hated it.

While I like to argue my point, and if I think I’m correct I’ll stick to my guns, I prefer to debate things. I want to hear the pros and cons from another perspective and I want to hash things, pooling ideas and resources, until something good rises to the top. I know I don’t know everything. Many days I feel as if I don’t know anything at all. But never ever did I want this idea to be nonchalantly accepted and then executed (no matter how well rendered or calculated by Ted). I didn’t know how awful it was to have a first idea accepted until this occurred. It just doesn’t happen in art & design at all.

But since everyone else was finally sufficiently pleased with the efficiency of our piece, I thought that maybe NOW we could get to working on spectacle. Instead, I was unceremoniously told that if I wanted spectacle, I needed to figure it out and do it myself. Oh. And no touching the form. Oh. And the dimensions were to be delegated by efficiency as well, so no messing with that either. Blatantly stated: They did not care at all about spectacle.

It is to my shame that I confess my reaction following this time. I lost it. I have never lost it like this ever if my memory serves me right. I just exploded. After 6 hours of trying so hard to convince, debate, plead, and argue (repeat times ten, with the order of the various attempts sporadically rearranged), and after even appealing to their sense of respect for our professors by emailing the trio with the situation (written as unbiased as possible and approved by my group members) and reading aloud the responses…. I couldn’t take it. How can anyone disregard Karl’s perfectly clear answer? “Spectacle without function is meaningless. Function without spectacle is crap. If you make a project that is only about spectacle or only about function, you will get a C in this class.” And then to state that they believed our form was spectacle like? To ignore the truth so profoundly?

I should have walked away. I should have done something else. I shouldn’t have lost it. I did.

Deflated after losing it, I apologized meekly, and set to work making the model I did not respect with everything I possessed. It would be as good as I could make it. Brian and I went to work on the form and Justin worked to figure out the code.

It took us a while, but we made the thing work. The largest difficulty resulted from the fact that we had no good servos to work with, since they had been burnt out the previous week. We attempted to use two small ones, and they couldn’t handle the weight of the flaps. We did make it so they could move independently. So, holes were drilled, pieces painted, components glued, acrylic sandblasted, wiring arranged, screws tightened, light installed, and metal bent.