Why Is It Important To Ask Why?

Nov./Dec, 2011


Do you ever wonder why things are done a certain way?

Then upon pondering, receive the answer: “Because it’s always been done that way?” Should we be satisfied with this answer? Or should we find the “why” behind the process or product, and strive for improvement? Just because it’s always been done a certain way doesn’t mean it’s the right way or best way.

Now, think about your business, your company, your life. What issues are you faced with that could be approached differently simply by asking why, and then, why again?

For example, the IDSA (Industrial Designers Society of America) defines industrial design as “the professional service of creating and developing concepts and specifications that optimize the function, value and appearance of products and systems for the mutual benefit of both user and manufacturer.”

These are people who are trained to recognize improvements, producing an enhanced value driven product or service.

By introducing an industrial design graduate into the fabricating and manufacturing profession, it provides an extra point of view in designing new products or refining old ones to better perfect the needs of manufacturing.

A known problem in American design and manufacturing is that designers know very little about manufacturing. Some of the best designers may spend hours working on a design, only to redo it, because the product can’t be made the way it was designed with the manufacturing tools available.

Industrial design, paired with innovation, produces a new perspective to include product suggestions relating to human characteristics (ergonomics), needs and interests. Combining these ideas with a CAD department can polish off a new or refined product.

When exposed to training programs directed towards the processes and requirements of manufacturing, the designers’ understanding is heightened by the use of new materials and technologies. This gives him or her first-hand experience in the different departments/processes to ensure that each product is designed and manufactured in the most cost efficient manner.

Then by involving design and manufacturing members as team players together in a creative role can enhance the methods, standards, processes and overall effectiveness of collaborative efforts to produce the fruits for the common goal.

Very similar are the bee and the flower. Bees fly from flower to flower collecting nectar to make their food. When they land in a flower, bees get pollen on their bodies. Then when flying and landing on the next flower, some of the pollen rubs off, pollinating the plant. In this mutuality relationship, the bees get to eat and the flowers get to reproduce.

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