The Art of Invention: The Creative Process of Discovery and Design

The Art of Invention: The Creative Process of Discovery and Design

by Steven J. Paley
     
 

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What makes a great invention great? What does it mean to be an inventor? How do you go about inventing? How do you harness and apply your creativity? In today's complex and highly competitive world, is it possible for the lone creative individual to succeed? All these questions and many more are answered in The Art of Invention.

Written in an engaging personal

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Overview

What makes a great invention great? What does it mean to be an inventor? How do you go about inventing? How do you harness and apply your creativity? In today's complex and highly competitive world, is it possible for the lone creative individual to succeed? All these questions and many more are answered in The Art of Invention.

Written in an engaging personal style that exudes enthusiasm and speaks directly to aspiring inventors everywhere, Steven J. Paley's goal is to inspire and guide those who wish to invent while making the exciting world of inventing come alive for interested readers of all backgrounds.

Our world today is filled with technological marvels that not long ago seemed like fanciful science fiction. How did these techno-wonders come to be the popular items we now take for granted as common place? The Art of Invention takes readers "behind the scenes" to peer into the process of invention and to explore the principles of creative problem solving, needfinding, design, and entrepreneurship, through both personal examples and case studies of successful inventions. While the focus of the book is on the creative process, it is the elements of design-simplicity, elegance, and robustness-that Paley considers essential to many great inventions.

Inventing is an art, and therefore there is no definitive right or wrong way to go about it. However, there are proven paths to success. Paley mines his many years of experience to detail for readers the exhilaration, frustration, and triumph that animate the inventive process. Full of insights and practical guidance from a successful inventor and entrepreneur, The Art of Invention will open new avenues of creativity for budding and accomplished inventors alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"The goal of any design is to be simple, elegant and robust," Paley states early in his passionate first book, and this guiding principle runs throughout his examination of the process of invention. Paley knows his subject matter well. He includes anecdotes about his own inventions and those of his father, such as the MicroDuster, "a can of compressed gas used for cleaning in critical environments." The author also focuses on the work of others, exploring inventions from the paper clip to the personal computer in an attempt to demonstrate the creative mental processes that drive innovation. According to Paley, defining the need comes first: "The more specific and well-defined the problem; the clearer the solution," he writes. After the need is defined, a good invention requires a research phase, brainstorming, and a period of time where the subconscious mind works on the problem until it arrives at a clear solution. Then begin refining and testing. Clearly, Paley's system has application to any creative undertaking, and readers across a wide spectrum of occupations and interests will find inspiration. Illus.
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From the Publisher
"Steven Paley’s Art of Invention tells it like it is. This is an excellent introduction to the psychology of the inventor and to the nature of the inventive process."
–Henry Petroski, author of The Essential Engineer:
Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems

"Steven Paley gets it exactly right…. Read this book and be inspired."
–Bill Burnett, executive director of the Product Design Program and consulting assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781616142230
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
12/15/2010
Pages:
300
Sales rank:
874,883
Product dimensions:
9.16(w) x 11.70(h) x 0.54(d)

What People are saying about this

Ronald D. Fellman
"A must-have for any inventor. Easy to read and understand with simple, clear examples. The Art of Invention teaches creative thinking in a way that inspires us to invent. Through numerous practical examples and fascinating case studies, Steven Paley guides us on a journey through the world of creativity in engineering. This is the first book that I have ever seen that shows both the aspiring and experienced inventor a clear path to successfully fulfill their goals." --(Ronald D. Fellman, Ph.D., former professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of California at San Diego, a life-long inventor, founder of several high-tech start-ups including QVidium and Path1 Network Technologies.)
Bill Burnett
"Steven Paley gets it exactly right. Invention is both an art and a science and it starts with an appreciation for technology, a keen sense for business opportunities, and above all a deep understanding human need. It also requires a childlike curiosity, a sense of wonder, and the optimism to believe that you can make a difference. Read this book and be inspired." --(Bill Burnett, executive director of the Product Design Program and consulting assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford University)
Thornburg
Steve has nailed it - Invention is an art we can all appreciate and experience for ourselves." --(David Thornburg, PhD, director, Thornburg Center for Space Exploration)
Henry Petroski
"Steven Paley's Art of Invention tells it like it is. This is an excellent introduction to the psychology of the inventor and to the nature of the inventive process." --(Henry Petroski, author of The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems)

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