Recently, I was delighted to receive a message from my friend, Frank Grunwald, Visiting Lecturer at Purdue University, telling me of his plans to incorporate Systematic Inventive Thinking into his spring Industrial Design course. An expert industrial designer himself, Frank has extensive experience in consumer product design and new product development. Over the last several decades, he has designed small appliances, audio products, televisions, and other consumer electronic products for major corporations including General Electric. I couldn’t think of a better person to instruct these students on utilizing the patterns of SIT.
Frank’s teaching approach was fairly straightforward: after providing his 16 students with a two-session introduction to SIT he divided the class into four teams and set them lose to apply the five innovative templates to various products. Each group chose three products to run through the SIT process and subsequently picked the most promising of the three to develop into a final proposal.
Not only does Frank’s approach demonstrate how feasible it is to integrate the SIT process into academia, his students’ final products show that SIT is accessible, applicable, and advantageous to users of any age and field of interest.
The following are the final products from Frank’s students. These rising stars clearly put their best innovation foot forward. Click on the images below to read more about their products.