Fight Fixed Thinking

Posted on May 10, 2012
Archive : May 2012
Category : Triz Blog

Fight Fixed Thinking

I was reading the column by Oliver Burkeman in The Guardian and I realised that following the TRIZ trimming rules would do a great job on the candle and the rings problem. 

You would imagine that the joining or holding piece had been removed you’d look to see whether any of the missing functions could be carried out by the remaining objects. This could be by the Candles, pins, boxes, air, wall etc.

Some new solutions proposed by TRIZ to more closely match the requirement of the question to stick the candle to the wall.

  • Open the box. Pin the box to the wall so that it makes a pouch the candle can sit in against the wall.

  • Put drawing pins into the wall but sticking out a little, then soften the candle so it gets lodged behind the pins.

  • Use two pins to hold a third pin so it sticks out point first.  The point sticks in the candle job done.

Another principle from TRIZ is idea concept. 

Using the concept from the two rings: 
Break one end of the candle, liberate the string and tie it around the pin which is stuck in the wall. Light the other end – though this probably also needs bending round to avoid the wick getting smothered in melting wax.

Now if none of these solutions meet the requirements, there’s a whole load on inventive principles to help improve the ideas, however looking at each part of a system and seeing what other functions it might fulfil is something we could/should be doing everyday in our engineering practice.  

Look what I've invented - square wheel

Adding a part to solve a problem …. what else could it do for you today?

Have fun TRIZ'ing!


Andrea Mica

MSc Industrial Design Management of New Product Development from Delft University of Technology; TRIZ facilitator, trainer, problem solver and consultant for Oxford Creativity - a TRIZ company based in Oxford, United Kingdom.

Andrea Mica

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