Fil Salustri's Design Site

Site Tools


Oppose Convention

Conventional solutions are “easy” because they're known to work. Sometimes, it pays to head in an entirely different direction, albeit only with respect to part of your design intervention.

Identify a characteristic or embodiment of a conventional design, then find the opposite of that characteristic. The opposition may be with respect to only some aspect or the design. For instance, if convention calls for design interventions that are lightweight, then consider what could be done if you designed an intervention that was intentionally heavy; alternatively, if convention calls for an intervention that is fundamentally electric, try to think of a purely mechanical solution instead.

Some examples of this include:

  • Given a “low tech” transportation medium (e.g. a conventional, human-powered rickshaw), consider a “high tech,” fuel-cell powered solution.
  • The popularity of larger smartphones (starting with the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note) ran against the convention that smaller is better.
  • Going against the convention of Uranium-based nuclear reactors, new efforts are demonstrating that Thorium-based reactors are cheaper, cleaner, and safer.

See also riff by attribute.

design/oppose_convention.txt · Last modified: 2020.03.12 13:30 (external edit)