ASIT—a problem solving strategy for education and eco-friendly sustainable design

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Turner, S 2009, 'ASIT—a problem solving strategy for education and eco-friendly sustainable design', International Journal of Technology and Design Education, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 221-235.

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There is growing recognition of the role teaching and learning experiences in technology education can contribute to Education for Sustainable Development. It appears, however, that in the Technology Education classroom little or no change has been achieved to the practice of designing and problem solving strategies oriented towards sustainable design. Brainstorming, Brainwriting, SCAMPER, Metaphoric Thinking, Outrageous Thinking, Mind Mapping and other problem-solving strategies used in the classroom could be suitable for eco-design, however, there appears to be little research data on their use. This paper examines and presents the ‘Advanced Systematic Inventive Thinking’ (ASIT) system as an eco-design strategy. ASIT is derived from a more complex engineering-based problem solving strategy known as TRIZ (the Russian acronym for The Theory of the Solution of Inventive Problems). Drawing on Stable’s (in press) call for new approaches to address sustainable design and achieve solutions through Technology Education, this article traces the history of TRIZ and the development of ASIT. It then argues that the ASIT strategy can be an effective methodology to be taught and used in the Technology Education classroom to solve problems in the ‘eco’ or sustainable design context. Several design scenarios have been included to illustrate how ASIT can deliver eco-design solutions to problems. These examples demonstrate the flexibility of the methodology and the diverse range of applications in which ASIT can be applied.

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