TenX Thinking

Published 2nd February 2015

Written by: Willy Adam

Design over the years has tended to move in small, comfortable steps. Motor vehicle design for example began by firstly emulating carriages using spoked, wooden wheels and ‘coach-built’ bodies, then gradually moving towards more streamlined and sleeker-looking designs through many stages. True there have been maverick examples too advanced in design for their markets and customers, but we seem to be content with the evolution-not-revolution approach in design.

At Google there is a new way of thinking being proposed: TenX. What this means is taking an existing problem or product and, rather than using the usual routes to coming up with a solution to it as it is, looking ten steps ahead and imagining what the solution would be or the product perform like a long way down the road. Then the challenge becomes making it real now!

This might seem like taking a gigantic leap away from the familiar into sci-fi, but reimagining the ‘phone’ has turned it into something quite different from a few years ago while the pace of change in some technologies has accelerated our ideas of what is possible.

On the other hand technology needs to keep up to make some things possible, while other developments such as electric cars and solar power are restricted by social, political and economic considerations. However TenX may prove a useful tool for expanding students’ creativity and risk taking.

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