The contradiction of design as a new pedagogical tool

The pedagogy of the 21st century has been integrated into higher education institutions, especially in the training of engineers.

The goal of this new framework is to design a student-centered, technology-supported pedagogy to foster innovative teaching and learning that can improve students’ technical and soft skills, which are key to preparing students in their future workplace.

Picture above: picture by Pixabay from Pexels

In this regard, a problem-based approach has been introduced in the engineering program aimed at creating an industrial ecosystem during the course of the students.

This initiative inspired students’ innovative and creative thinking to produce graduates expected to have high skills in applying content knowledge to real-world problems (technical skills) and strong communication skills, IT skills and information, digital skills, problem-solving skills and teamwork (soft skills).

What are the inventive principles of TRIZ?

TRIZ is the Russian abbreviation for “Theory of Inventive Problem Solving”, a worldwide method of creativity established by engineer and scientist Genrich S. Altshuller and his colleagues in the Soviet Union between 1946 and 1985.

The universal principles of creativity, according to TRIZ, are the foundation of invention. These concepts are identified and coded by TRIZ, and they are used to make the creative process more predictable.

To put it simply, whatever problem you are facing, it has probably already been solved by someone somewhere. Finding that answer and applying it to your challenge is what creative problem solving entails.

Product development, design engineering, and process management are all areas where TRIZ comes in handy. TRIZ is frequently used in Six Sigma quality improvement methods, for example.

TRIZ Key Tools

Here are the two main tools of the TRIZ principles:

  1. Eliminate contradiction

An important TRIZ principle is that most problems are rooted in fundamental contradictions. Therefore, in many circumstances, eliminating these inconsistencies is a reliable method of solving a problem. TRIZ distinguishes between two types of inconsistencies:

  • Technical inconsistencies: These are classic engineering “compromises” where you can’t achieve the desired state because something else in the system is preventing you from doing so. In other words, while something is improving, something else is deteriorating.

  • Physical inconsistencies: These are circumstances in which an object or a system is subject to opposing and conflicting needs.

  1. Generalize problems and solutions

Here are the main findings of the TRIZ research:

  • The same problems and answers can be found in various sectors and sciences. You can predict innovative solutions to a trial by describing it as a “contradiction”.

  • Patterns of technical evolution tend to recur across industries and disciplines.

  • Outside the discipline in which they were produced, creative inventions frequently incorporate scientific effects.

Learning these repeated patterns of problems and solutions, understanding the contradictions that exist in a situation, and discovering new ways to use scientific effects are all part of the TRIZ process.

You then apply the generic TRIZ models to the unique scenario you face and develop a generalized solution.

Advantages of TRIZ

TRIZ is most effective when other Six Sigma tools have failed to complete the task. It gives another approach to identify solutions along the DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) or DMADV (design, measure, analyze, design, verify) phases of the Six Sigma process.

Project teams can use TRIZ to globalize a problem and research how others have overcome similar problems.

Teams probably won’t need to design their solution as one has already been developed. Knowing the many combinations of the 40 categories that may apply to a given situation, on the other hand, can help you find new solutions.

picture by Helen Lopes from Pexels

How does this principle help students?

The inventive principles of TRIZ have been developed to help students generate innovative concepts for product development in the design process.

TRIZ’s inventive principles have been widely applied to conceptualize the initial design phase of a new product. Engineers are trained to solve complex problems using systematic methods such as TRIZ to improve productivity.

In addition to this, they are also trained to be aware of possible solutions to problem sets that can enhance innovation in product design.

The inventive principles of TRIZ are a powerful method of problem solving because they can provide various tools such as technical contradiction and physical contradiction. The role of contradiction aims to strengthen innovation for product design.

The basic concept of contradiction concerns a situation in which a conflict could arise to improve one parameter of a system, resulting in the deterioration of another.

Although contradiction is a powerful tool in problem solving, the use of engineering contradiction or physical contradiction alone cannot help develop new ideas for new products.

However, the contradiction matrix must be used to find the aggravation and improvement parameter that forms from the contradiction statement to derive the associated inventive principles.

Therefore, the first step to start in a contradiction matrix is ​​to transform the parameters of aggravation and improvement into typical parameters by referring to the 39 parameters of the system.

Next, the inventive principles recommended from the contradiction matrix are identified. These inventive principles are the general recommendations. Then the engineers had to interpret it into specific technical ideas to solve the original problem.

Basically, various kinds of systematic problem solving methods have been proposed to increase creativity in product design. Based on the inventive principles of TRIZ, some innovative design ideas can be generated by using the analysis of technical contradictions and physical contradictions in product research and development.

Final remarks

TRIZ as a 21st century pedagogy can be promoted as an active, project-based learning activity to increase an individual’s involvement in real-world issues to inspire a mindset and improve skills . Besides, it also helps to develop one’s creative design thinking skills.

Check out this world-class teaching technique at UOW Malaysia KDU Engineering Programs which are taught by professionals who strive to create students who are both intelligent and innovative. To have more information on the different engineering courses we have by depositing your requests here!


This content is provided by UOW Malaysia KDU Penang University College Sdn Bhd.

Interested in having your ads on Malaysiakini? Contact the announcements team at [email protected] or whatsapp on +60 17-323 0707 for urgent matters.

Abdul J. Gaspar