How to nurture Creative Engineering Thinking
Engineers often say we contribute to solving a problem. Well, that is half right. Sometime we may cause a problem. I agree there is no such thing absolute solution. The solution in the old day may be a problem in the present. So, we want to build an open-mindset, and acknowledge when we are not perfect, and ask a question more than respond to a question.
It is my thought that Engineers should thrive to identify, discover a problem first with the bare eye, out of the status quo, and look for a solution. In other words, we don't have to wait until we receive a problem statement defined by someone.
It requires we need to teach creative thinking at an engineering program. Creativity comes from training in diverse perspectives starting from observation and recognition.
1. Stop, take a break and look around you.
All of sudden, things are coming to your eyes, like the meaning of bench. Appreciate it and add your meaning. Creativity starts with observation and recognition. The purpose of the object you appreciated will come to your mind as a form of inspiration and stir your motivation. The sketch is a universal language to visualize inspiration and motivation.
2. Learn from anywhere by asking a question; Why, How, and What.
Why did they do it? How did they overcome constraints? What extra measures and cares did they have to do in making it work? What are the benefits and values for end-users, communities, and cities? Asking fundamental questions and seeking for answers can open our eyes beyond. There is no such thing as one greatest unique solution but only project-centric solutions.
3. Experiment visualization and mockup by using logics. "Logics get you there from A to Z. Imagination get you everywhere." say Albert Einstein.
Learn new digital technologies, design tools integrated with engineering, and fundamental manufacturing, 3D printing, Laser cutting, CNC router, etc. Seeing is believing. Believing will be lasting with hand-on experience only. By building your skills, your creativity will advance forward.
Start small for achievable goals.
A digital tool like a Grasshopper plugin is full of data and process logic. Practicing logic gets you from A and Z.
Build your expertise by mastering fundamental engineering while you are asking why it is important and what is the purpose of your expertise.
4. From Design to Realization
Engineering is not only solving a problem but also providing well-being and protecting the life of humanity and the value of your living and working space. Design to the Realization process is about creating a profound way of our life.
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