Unfortunately, it is a sad fact of life that the world is going to suffer from a significant lack of new products, ideas and concepts
It is an indisputable fact that the best Engineering concepts , designs and ideas almost always started life as sketches on the back of a cigarette packet or envelope or drinks coaster over a “few” “social” drinks after work, when a few engineers would always get together to discuss “the meaning of life”.
Engineers are the major source of innovation and there is a fundamental problem. We now have a significant lack of essential “tools of trade” and are breeding a generation of Engineers without the basic skills or training in certain essential facets of Engineering, in fact these key skills are on the verge of extinction.
These days cigarette packets are “out of favour” and anyway, there's no free area on them and the glossy surface might make them look more appealing but does nothing for free hand sketching. With the rapid rise of emails and pdf 'ing almost everything, (take particular note of the ...f'ing) envelopes are a rapidly disappearing concept. The drink coaster might be the only remaining bright spot, if a few drinks after work isn't killed off by the “be socially responsible” brigade.
Having something to sketch on is only one half of the challenge. With the rise and rise of CAD and computer based personal media, how many young Engineers carry a pen or pencil in their top pocket. How many actually know what a pen or pencil is used for. How many would actually be able to use one.
Sadly most young Engineers wouldn't know how to hold a writing implement, never mind actually use it. They are more likely to spend their time trying to figure out where the battery goes.
Tuesday 5 July, 2011 10:01 AM