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12.5.4. TRIZ: Contradiction


How To Invent (Almost) Anything > 12. The TAO Design Process > 12.5. The TRIZ Sequence > 12.5.4. TRIZ: Contradiction

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Contradiction is the fourth step in the TRIZ sequence. It is, in many ways, the heart of TRIZ, where any solution can be viewed as be focused on resolving contradictions.

Fig. 12.5 The TRIZ sequence

Now that you know perfection, you will be able to see problems in a clearer light. Find the things which are preventing you from creating the ideal solution. In particular, find things that fight one another, where gaining in one area loses something else in another. Really good inventions minimise loss and maximise benefit.

Look at your ideas for doing something and imagine doing it much more powerfully or much quicker or more accurately. If you imagine increasing this by a very large amount your brain should start shouting at you ‘but then …would happen’. That’s the start of looking at your contradictions.

Remember the two types of Contradiction suggested in TRIZ. There are physical contradictions, where you want the impossible, such as wanting something to be both fast and slow, or hot and cold. You can only solve these contradictions by doing these things in a different place or at a different time or with a different structural arrangement. So I can have it cold now and hot a second later, or it can be rigid now and flexible later (a structural change or a change of state of materials), or I can have it hot at this end and cold at another.

There are also technical contradictions, which are where it just seems to happen that when you do A then B happens more. For example, when you run your machine faster, it breaks more often. These are easier to address, for example by changing the design or materials used.

What is preventing me from creating more living space? I want garden space too! Increasing living space outside the house also decreases the garden space. Here is a contradiction. It also decreases my wealth, which could be treated as a serious creative problem.

Other parts of the TRIZ sequence are:

Other sections in this chapter are:

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