Altshuller and History of TRIZ
|Posted: Dec. 8, 2022|
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Editor's Note (Toru Nakagawa, Dec. 8, 2022)
The (main) article on this web page was kindly contributed by the Author (Prof. Tomasz Arciszewski) and permitted for posting on this website both in English and in my Japanese translation by Taylor and Francis Group, on my request. We should appreciate very much the Author and the Publisher for their excellent work and generous contribution/permission.
This page is composed of three parts as follows:
 "Altshuller and History of TRIZ" (Tomasz Arciszewski) .
From "Inventive Engineering: Knowledge and Skills for Creative Engineers", Edn. 1, by Tomasz Arciszewski, Sections 9.1 - 9.2 (pp. 285-294) with 8 references mentioned there and Fig. 9.1, Copyright@2016 by CRC Press. Reproduced by permission of Taylor & Francis Group.
 (Selected) Communications between the Author (Tomasz Arciszewski) and Toru Nakagawa (Aug. - Nov. 2022)
 New Introduction to "Inventive Engineering": Six Years Later (Tomasz Arciszewski, Oct. 17, 2022)
I have been sending my Update Announcement of THPJ to the Author since ETRIA TFC2016, and received his reply last August as you may see in (a). Among his references I was much interested in reading his introductions about Altshuller and the (early) History of TRIZ in his Book "Inventive Engineering" ((b)). I obtained permission from the Author for me to translate the two Sections into Japanese and post them on my website (both in Japanese and in English). Then I asked the Publisher for their official permission, with the help of the Author. Meanwhile he newly wrote two articles for this website, "Mystery of TRIZ" and "New Introduction to "Inventive Engineering" ". I have decided the latter is appropriate for this page (in ) both for the readers and for the Publisher.
Part  is a nice introduction to Altshuller (Section 9.1) and the (early) History of TRIZ (Section 9.2), which are intermingled with each other. We may understand that the first section describes the facts and background of Altshuller's life, while the second section describes the emergence and development of the concepts in TRIZ through the life stages of Altshuller. The atmosphere and influences of Soviet society on Altshuller's life are described in one part. The novelty/creativity of Altshuller's work in finding various essence (like principles/patterns/laws) from a huge body of technological information is described as pioneering work of inductive knowledge acquisition (or Machine Learning in our present terminology). -- For clarifying the structure in Section 9.1, TN inserted the headings like 9.1.1, 9.1.2, etc. and got approval by the Author.
Part  is a record of selected communications with the Author and myself, concerning how this posting became possible.
Part  is Author's new introduction to his book "Inventive Engineering". He puts stress on the 5-part structure of the Book: Motivation (Chap. 1), Background Knowledge (Chap. 2, 3), Terminology (Chap. 4), General Designing Process (Chap. 5), and then Individual Methodics (Chap. 6 - 10). He wrote about TRIZ in Chap. 9 as one of the most important Methodics, in the wider scope of "Inventive Engineering". His Book is certainly a good reference for students and practitioners in TRIZ.
Tomasz Arciszewski, Ph.D.
George Mason University (USA)
 Altshuller and History of TRIZ (by Tomasz Arciszewski)
From "Inventive Engineering: Knowledge and Skills for Creative Engineers", Edn. 1, by Tomasz Arciszewski, Sections 9.1 - 9.2 (pp. 285-294) with 8 references mentioned there and Fig. 9.1, Copyright@2016 by CRC Press. Reproduced by permission of Taylor & Francis Group.
Chapter 9: TRIZ
Table of Contents
9.1. Creator: Genrich Saulovich Altshuller
Altshuller and the Author; Some TRIZ References; Background and School Days; Years at Naval Patent Department; Years in Gulag and subsequent three jobs ; Years allowed for public activities (1970-1974); Years of distributed development activities; Acomplishments and personality
9.2. History of TRIZ
Introduction; Period of Classical TRIZ (1945 – 1985) (Initial Discoveries (1945 – 1950); Transdisciplinary Learning (1950 – 1954) ; Developing the Algorithm (1954 – 1965, approximately) ; Developing Analytical Tools (1960 – 1970, approximately) ; Creation of Scientific Foundation (1970 – 1974); Distributed Development (1975 – 1985)) ; Kishinev Period (1982 – 1992); Ideation Period (1992 – now)
9.1. Creator: Genrich Saulovich Altshuller
9.1.1 Altshuller and the Author
The Author has a very personal attitude to the creator of TRIZ, Genrich Saulovich Altshuller, and to his method. The Author was in his early twenties and a junior faculty at the Warsaw University of Technology (it was 1972 or 1973) when he attended by a pure coincidence a seminar on TRIZ and unexpectedly discovered an entirely different way of thinking than the traditional analytical thinking of structural engineering.
Next, came a small book by Altshuller, a translation from Russian. The translation was bad, the book was written in a Soviet propaganda language required from all Soviet writers, including engineers, but the message was intriguing and fascinating at the same time: we can create inventions on demand. The Author has found his calling.
About six months later, the Author became a co-founder of the Heuristics Group in the Polish Cybernetic Society and tried to invite Altshuller to Warsaw. The invitation was sent by a person travelling to Moscow and mailed from Moscow, otherwise it would never reach Altshuller (KGB in action). The reply came in a similarly convoluted way: "I would love to come but I am under a house arrest. A prototype of one of my inventions caught fire during the tests and I was accused of sabotage" (Only much later the Author discovered that it was an invention of a semi-autonomous floating device for cleaning oil spills in the ports).
The next personal interaction with Altshuller came more than ten years later, (in the mid-eighties) when the Author was working on an invited talk on the design research in the Easter Europe and contacted Altshuller about his contributions to this area. That ultimately led to the cooperation with his "disciples" and with the Ideation International Inc., which was co-funded by several close associates of Altshuller and is now the leading TRIZ company in the world.
(In fact, the two key TRIZ experts from this company, Alla Zusman and Boris Zlotin, named TRIZ Masters by Altshuller, have cooperated with the Author to make sure that the chapter on TRIZ truly represents the Altshuller's ideas and the State of the Art). Obviously, this chapter is only an overview of the method that is sufficient to learn about it on the conceptual level but definitely it is grossly insufficient to become a TRIZ expert, or even a TRIZ practitioner.
Some TRIZ References [See below in References ]
Fortunately, there are many books and articles on TRIZ (Altshuller 1984, 1996, 1999, Altshuller et al. 1999, Altshuller and Shulyak 2002, Arciszewski 1988, Clarke 1997, Orloff 2003) and several companies, including Ideation International Inc., are offering all kinds of courses.
9.1.2 Background and School Days
Figure 9.1: Genrich Altshuller. (With permission. Drawn by Joy E. Tartter)
19881998) was born in Tashkent, in the former Soviet Union. His parents were journalists and intellectuals. He was raised in the family that highly valued learning, knowledge and books. It was a reflection of his parent's profession, but also a part of his Jewish heritage. (Jews were always treated in the Soviet Union with a lot of suspicion and often made "scape goats" in the society govern by terror and subjected to constant efforts by the Soviet authorities to divide it in order to control it). In fact, his Jewish roots were always a factor in his life and made it more challenging for him than for the other people also struggling in the Soviet Union. On the other hand, this difficult situation forced him to become more independent and entrepreneurial and definitely helped him to develop his unique personality.
Early in his life Altshuller became an avid reader, reading mostly science fiction novels. His passion helped him to develop his extraordinary imagination but also convinced him, at least on the subconscious level, that everything is possible when engineering knowledge and imagination are combined. He was reading and dreaming about interplanetary travels but also dreaming about becoming a sailor and travelling on this planet. This motive of travel, both imaginary and real, is important to understand his personality and its similarity to the personalities of the great Renaissance creators. For them, travels were also personality forming and strongly contributed to the development of their minds and even more to their transdisciplinary understanding of the world.
Altshuller began working on his dreams about travel when he entered a Special Naval School after completing Grade 8 in a regular high school. The 2nd World War came but he was allowed to complete the School's program and after that he was sent to a school for pilots and navigators. He graduated from this school when the war just ended, so instead to the front, he was sent at his request to continue his military service with the Soviet Fleet located in Baku. Because of his limited but diversified education (Naval and flying schools) and his interest in inventions (He patented his first invention of a scuba diving system when he was only 14) he was assigned to the Patent Department.
9.1.3 Years at Naval Patent Department
It was the crucial moment of his life. In his new position Altshuller had access to patents and his role was to assist other inventors of all ages to prepare their formal patent applications. He has already developed his investigative skills but in contrast to the other researchers focused on the psychological aspects of human creativity he was interested only in the engineering creativity, i.e. in the development of inventions. He was looking for the "engineering" mechanisms behind inventions and for the "secret" engineering knowledge that could become a foundation of inventions in all areas of engineering. He was simply looking for the "Holy Grail" of the engineering creativity. Also, as a result of his work with the other inventors he has realized that their inventions were accidental and that at this time (Mid-forties) there was no engineering method in the Soviet Union that could be used in a systematic way to develop inventions when they were necessary.
In 1948, Altshuller was a young man in his early twenties. He was patriotic and confident about his inventive skills, not to mention already a successful inventor. He strongly believed that a new science of inventing could be "invented" and that he was the best person to do it. In fact, at that time several Inventive Principles were already discovered and Altshuller felt comfortable that he could teach his new emerging science. In the tradition of the Soviet Union he wrote a letter (with a friend, R. Shapiro) to Stalin.
In their letter they have criticized the state of the innovation in the Soviet Union and offered to develop a Soviet science of inventing. It is not clear if the letter ever reached the Stalin's desk. What is clear, however, that whoever read their letter (Most likely KGB operatives) did not like it, and their critical remarks were considered "treasonous and anti-Soviet".
9.1.4 Years in Gulag and subsequent three jobs
They were both arrested in 1950, tortured and the court sentenced Altshuller to the 25 years of internal exile, i.e. he was sent to a prison camp in the area of the city of Vorkuta in Siberia. He was working in a mine but because of his technical skills he was given an engineering job and was able to survive several years of Gulag. The situation had tragic consequences for his family: his father prematurely died and his mother committed a suicide.
Only in 1954 Altshuller was rehabilitated and allowed to leave Siberia. Soon, in 1956 he published (together with Shapiro) his first article in the Journal "Psychology Issues" on the evolution of engineering and on the general trends behind this evolution. Much later, these ideas evolved into the Patterns of Evolution (See Section 9.7).
After his release from the Gulag, Altshuller had three regular jobs. He worked in a cable manufacturing plant, as a journalist, and at the Construction Ministry of the Azerbaijan Republic. The sequence and nature of his jobs may remind the reader about Osborn and his professional evolution (Discussed in Chapter 7, Section 7.1.). Most likely, it is not a coincidence that we have just discovered a sequence of jobs providing a body of knowledge necessary and various perspectives required to think big and to support this thinking with a sufficient knowledge to implement great and novel ideas.
In terms of thinking styles (See Chapter 3, Section 3.2.), working in a manufacturing plant expands one's "Executive Thinking Style", a journalist uses mostly "Judicial Thinking Style", i.e. he/she judges various events and shares with readers opinions. Finally, working in a ministry helps to develop "Legislative Thinking Style" since ministries issue all kinds of regulations and codes. In this way Altshuller, like Osborn earlier, had a chance to acquire all three kinds of thinking styles. (This discovery may become another key to the reader's successful career). During this time period Altshuller also expanded his education and studied petrochemical engineering.
By now, he had talents, experience, a large body of diversified knowledge, and has mastered all three thinking styles. He was ready for action but first he needed at least some independence from the Soviet system, which was brutal, totalitarian and stifled human creativity. He became a science fiction writer, a very successful one with books translated into several languages. That gave him some financial freedom and allowed him to go back to his dreams about changing the world.
9.1.5 Years allowed for public activities (1970-1974)
Altshuller never forgot his calling: the creation of a science of inventing. He continued working on it and tried to get some support and recognition from the Soviet Society of Inventors and Innovators (SSII). It was an organization entirely operated by the Soviet authorities and actually controlling all innovation-related activities in the country. Without some measure of support, or at least acceptance from this organization, it was virtually impossible to do any work in the area of innovation, not to mention to do any fundamental research with potentially great impact. Not surprisingly (See the Section 9.4. on the Vector of Psychological Inertia) his ideas were ignored for more than ten years.
Only in 1970 the SSII arranged for Altshuller the first all-union seminar with about 30 participants from various cities. In the same year the SSII allowed Altshuller to establish the Public Laboratory of Inventive Methodology and the Azerbaijan Institute of Inventive Creativity in 1971. Both institutions immediately attracted a number of talented people interested in engineering creativity and the serious research and work on the method began. This work led to the establishment of School of Inventors in many cities in the Soviet Union. A momentum was building, which might significantly change the state of innovation in the country and to improve the Soviet economy.
There was only one problem. The entire movement was nearly impossible to control by the Communist Party and the SSII ordered Altshuller to close his schools. When he disobeyed the order, the SSII closed his Laboratory. In this way, communists proved again that maintaining their power and control was much more important for them than the interests of the society, but it is a different story which unfortunately had dramatic consequences for Altshuller. He had to resign with a group of his close associates from the Azerbaijan Institute of Inventive Creativity and look for other ways to support their activities.
9.1.6 Years of distributed development activities
However, activities in this area continued. In 1974 the second edition of the book "Algorithm of Invention" was published and a documentary film under the same name about Altshuller and TRIZ was released and became very popular among engineers and inventors. Altshuller's students and people who learned about TRIZ from his books started establishing TRIZ schools in various cities with Altshuller's involvement and support, for example in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Gorky, Perm, etc..
In 1980, the first TRIZ developer and practitioner seminar was organized in Petrozavodsk and such seminars became regular events organized every other year. In 1989, the Russian TRIZ Association was established and Altshuller became its first President.
Ten years later the International TRIZ Association [MATRIZ] was established.
[Note (TN, Oct. 30, 2022): On the life of Altshuller after 1974, you may refer to Section 188.8.131.52 . I would like to insert a brief note here (See also my Trip Report to Russia and Belarus in 1999 ):
Till 1985, Altshuller was in good health and constantly communicated with his many associates and students who were working to practice and develop TRIZ further in various cities in and around USSR, and was the leader and coordinator of TRIZ development. In 1985, he declared to his followers "We have already developed TRIZ for engineering good enough. I will shift my research focus on the personality of creative people (and how to develop such a personality)". Thus further developments of TRIZ were carried out by his followers in various places and in various directions.
Later he became weak in his health and moved to Petrozovodsk, but kept communications with his many followers. When Russia TRIZ Association (in 1989) and International TRIZ Association (in 1998) were established, Altshuller became the President. In the summer of 1998, he selected 65 followers in the world as "TRIZ Masters" and issued the diplomas with his signature. Altshuller passed away on September 24, 1998.
All the records of books, papers, articles, communications, accomplishments, etc. by Altshuller are archived in the Official Altshuller Foundation Website operated by his heritage. https://altshuller.ru/world/eng/index.asp ]
This organization (MATRIZ) is still active with members from all continents. The organization allows exchange of results among TRIZ scholars and stimulates the global research on TRIZ. It also organizes international conferences that are always big events for TRIZ scholars and practitioners. The organization is still growing and that proves that Altshuller's ideas are still valid and worth studying.
9.1.7 Acomplishments and personality
Altshuller has an outstanding record as an inventor with tens of commercial patents in various areas of engineering, many of them have been used by the industry validating the method used to produce them. He was also a prolific writer with 14 books and the countless number of articles.
Not differently than Osborn or Gordon, Altshuller has also become interested in teaching children creativity. In fact, he believed that young minds are much more suitable for learning TRIZ than adults and actually incorporating its principles into their thinking. In the
midseventiesmidsixties he regularly published monthlyweekly inventive contests for children in a popular magazine for children and young teenagers. The response was tremendous and results of these competitions were used to write a book "And Suddenly an Inventor Appeared…" He has also developed a creativity program for high school children and wrote several books on the subject.
Unfortunately, the Soviet authorities were highly suspicious of these activities, because creativity could be also used to improve the Soviet system, which was unrepairable and could collapse at the first attempt to improve it, as it actually happened when Gorbachev introduced "Perestrojka", or "Improvements".
Altshuller was a charismatic intellectual leader who has created a great following in many countries, which is still growing. All his writings are in Russian. Some of those that have been translated into English suffer from poor translation done without understanding his cultural and intellectual background, but that may change. It is too early to estimate his global impact on the Inventive Engineering, but there is no question that he has become a cult person and many of his former associates and friends consider him simply a genius. The Author still has one or two letters from him and most likely they are his most precious possessions.
As a man, Altshuller was a surprising humble person, nearly embarrassed by his talents, knowledge and fame. His former associates still consider him as a personal friend. The Author also knows that the Altshuller truly cared about the well-being of his associates and always tried to help them. After the fall of the Soviet Union, many of his associates (also Jews) decided to leave the country and were looking for their places in the Western hemisphere. Altshuller has contacted the Author several times asking to help them in finding jobs or simply to provide references. There is no question that Altshuller had not only a great and creative mind but also a big heart.
9.2. History of TRIZ
TRIZ is the English acronym of the Russian name "Theory of Inventive Problem Solving". It is the name traditionally associated with a class of methods (a methodology) attributed to Altshuller and to his various associates who contributed to the development of TRIZ and/or developed their own versions. There is no official history of TRIZ, or professional TRIZ historians. In this situation individual TRIZ scholars and TRIZ–related organizations and institutions offer their own versions of TRIZ history. Therefore, the Author has decided to present here the TRIZ history as two close Altshuller's associates see it: Alla Zusman and Boris Zlotin. Both worked with Altshuller for many years, published books with him and are considered by the Author as the best and authentic source of knowledge about TRIZ and its history.
The history of TRIZ is intertwined with Altshuller's personal history (Presented in the preceding section), at least during the first Period of Classical TRIZ. The entire history may be divided into three major periods, each with its own stages. It is briefly discussed below from the perspective of Inventive Engineering.
9.2.2 Period of Classical TRIZ (1945 – 1985)
184.108.40.206 Initial Discoveries (1945 – 1950)
The roots of TRIZ may be found in the original Altshuller's studies of engineering creativity, i.e. patents. In the forties (1945-1950) he worked in the Patent Office at the Headquarters of the Soviet fleet stationed in Baku. This time period could be called "Experiential Learning" or "Initial Discoveries". Young Altshuller (in his early twenties) was fascinated by the variety of patent applications and tried to discover mysteries behind them. He analyzed hundreds of them, later thousands, and soon discovered that they were mostly accidental. More importantly, he discovered that the key to understanding the process of inventing was not only in the psychology, as it was the general belief, but also in the engineering knowledge behind them. Today, when we have the science of Knowledge Engineering and we routinely build knowledge-based system, such observation may seem trivial. However, in the 1940s, about 75 years ago, it was a revolutionary discovery, which immediately led Altshuller to formulate three fundamental questions (Presented here in the language of Inventive Engineering):
"If all inventions have roots in engineering knowledge, do we have any specific knowledge directly related to inventing new engineering systems?"
"Is it possible to acquire this knowledge and represent it in a useable form?"
"Is it possible to acquire a body of methodological knowledge from patents (an algorithm) which could be used by future inventors?
Altshuller has positively answered these questions through the fundamental discovery that inventing is about the elimination of contradictions and that it can be done using universal "Inventive Principles". (Both concepts of "Contradictions" and "Inventive Principles" are discussed in the following Section on "Basic Concepts"). The process of elimination of contradictions became later the basis for his algorithm of solving inventive problems (ARIZ) and the Inventive Principles represented the universal engineering knowledge, a body of heuristics, which have been acquired from thousands of patents. These heuristics were later modified, their set expanded and many more specialized heuristics have been developed, but the original core of them was actually developed during this period of Initial Discoveries.
Today, we use Machine Learning, or Inductive Learning, to acquire knowledge (decision rules or heuristics) from examples. However, in the forties computers did not exist yet, not to mention Computer Science, Knowledge Engineering, or the Artificial Intelligence. From this perspective, acquiring Inventive Principles from patents (examples) was Altshuller's incredible scientific accomplishment. It could be considered the first known case of a large-scale knowledge acquisition from examples in engineering, a kind of the manual inductive learning. Considering the fact that an average human can handle about seven attributes and examples at the same time (limitations of the human short term memory), we can see the significance of Altshuller's discovery. Only an unusual individual with nearly super human intellectual abilities could produce it, a genius, as many people believe he was.
220.127.116.11 Transdisciplinary Learning (1950 – 1954)
When Altshuller was in the Gulag (1950-1954), he was "lucky" under the circumstances. He was sent to a prison camp that was also the home to many professors, scientists, and artists jailed during Stalin's "Great Purges" in the late thirties and forties. Altshuller had a rare opportunity to interact with all these people and enthusiastically learn from them. It had not resulted in any written materials (Writing in a prison camp was a crime brutally punished by beatings, reduced food ratios and by separation). However, Altshuller developed, at least conceptual, understanding of various areas of art and science and that contributed greatly to his improved understanding of his own accomplishments of the previous period.
From the knowledge perspective, he has acquired knowledge from various areas and was able to integrate it. In the process, he has learned transdisciplinary knowledge, the true foundation for creativity in science and engineering. A psychologist would say that Altshuller's time in the Gulag has tremendously helped him to mature his earlier ideas and to prepare him for the future TRIZ development. A Renaissance historian would say that Stalin unintentionally created an environment in which people could learn from the best minds of their time and acquire unique combination of knowledge contributing to their own integrative learning. It was like in the Medici Court, but several centuries later. Also, the living conditions were drastically worse with people dying through starvation, or sickness, and simply brutally murdered every day. However, for all these people science and art were the only areas where they could preserve their human dignity and maintain their sanity under the extremely harsh living conditions in a prison camp in Siberia. Therefore, they gladly shared their knowledge with those who were willing to listen and that created incredible intellectual opportunities for young, enthusiastic and knowledge-hungry people like Altshuller.
18.104.22.168 Developing the Algorithm (1954 – 1965, approximately)
When Altshuller had his three regular jobs with the government (as all jobs in the Soviet Union practically were) after his release from the Gulag, he continued working on TRIZ. Not surprisingly, during this time he was focused on the development of the algorithm of his method. An algorithm is always a rational part of a method. Therefore, its development appropriately corresponded to his regular jobs, which all required a lot of rational thinking and following all kinds of rules.
22.214.171.124 Developing Analytical Tools (1960 – 1970, approximately)
When Altshuller became a science fiction writer, he was focused on the abstract thinking and on the generation of all kinds of unusual ideas. That obviously required abductive thinking, which was also used in his work on TRIZ. During this time he developed several analytical tools, which help inventors using TRIZ. Also, he began working on the "Patterns of Evolutions", i.e. on universal rules describing evolution of engineering systems during long periods of time (years) and how these rules could be used to predict possible changes of systems in the future.
126.96.36.199 Creation of Scientific Foundation (1970 – 1974)
It was the time when Altshuller established and run both the Public Laboratory of Inventive Methodology and the Azerbaijan Institute of Inventive Creativity. It was also the time of the rapid development of TRIZ, particularly its methodological foundation. However, it looked like Altshuller felt that his opportunity to work on TRIZ might end soon, or he simply knew the Soviet system. His team practically continued working day and night using a "relay system" and those who were unable to follow the pace had to leave. As a result of these several years of "furious" work, TRIZ was finally ready for the engineers to use and for students to learn about it in many Schools of Inventors emerging in many cities in Russia.
188.8.131.52 Distributed Development (1975 – 1985)
After the Public Laboratory of Inventive Methodology was closed and the Altshuller's team left the Azerbaijan Institute of Inventive Creativity, the work on TRIZ continued, but in a distributed way. Althshuller was still the leader and coordinator of the research, which was continued by his former associates who by now had new jobs but they were still fascinated by TRIZ and continued to do volunteer work on it for several years. Altshuller was able to keep the momentum until 1985, when his health rapidly deteriorated and he had to practically resign his informal leadership position and pass the baton to his "disciples". During this stage of "Distributed Development" many important developments took place. Work was continued on the Algorithm, on the Separation Principles, and on Natural Effects (all discussed later). Also, the development of a very effective but as well difficult "Substance – Field Analysis" began, although its popularization was later abandoned when found too difficult to teach and to use by engineers.
[Note (TN, Oct. 2022): Sections 9.2.3 and 9.2.4 below describe a scope limited to A. Zusman and B. Zlotin. ]
9.2.3 Kishinev Period (1982 – 1992)
Two of the leading Altshuller's associates, Alla Zusman and Boris Zlotin, established in 1982 the Kishinev School of TRIZ in Moldavia in order to work for the industry. In addition, the School also continued the TRIZ research. Its major research accomplishments are the continuation of Altshuller's work on the Patterns of Evolution, creation of Lines of Evolution, and initial studies of Problem Identification and Formulation.
9.2.4 Ideation Period (1992 – now)
In 1992 Zion Bar-El, Boris Zlotin and Alla Zusman with two other partners established Ideation International Inc. in the USA. Zion Bar-El was a very successful entrepreneur and became fascinated with TRIZ. He strongly believed that the next engineering revolution would be the TRIZ revolution and therefore he decided to invest his life savings in this new enterprise. One of his first decisions was to move the Kishinev School of TRIZ. Ideation team has used their knowledge and deep understanding of TRIZ to create the Americanized version of TRIZ and to use successfully it for commercial purposes. Also, Ideation International continues the TRIZ research.
Most importantly, Ideation International Inc. has brought Information Technology to TRIZ and in the process has created I-TRIZ (or Ideation-TRIZ). It is a thoroughly modernized version of TRIZ, a system combining the entire Classical TRIZ intellectual foundation with more recent developments and with various sophisticated computer tools. In additional to the software, an entire educational system has been developed with all kinds of courses. The world TRIZ revolution has not begun yet, but its intellectual and software foundation is already in place.
Altshuller , G. (1984). Creativity as an Exact Science, Philadelphia, PA: Gordon and Breach, Science.
Altshuller, G. (1996). And Suddenly the Inventor Appeared: TRIZ: the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving, Worcester, MA: Technical Innovation Center.
Altshuller, G. (1999). The Innovation Algorithm, Worcester, MA: Technical Innovation Center.
Altshuller, G., Zlotin, B., Zusman, A., and Philatov, V. (1999). Tools of Classical TRIZ, Dearborn, MI: Ideation International.
Altshuller, G. and Shulyak, L. (2002). 40 Principles, TRIZ Keys to Technical Innovation, Worcester, MA: Technical Innovation Center.
Arciszewski, T. (1988). ARIZ 77－An innovation design method, Journal Design Mehtods and Theories, 22(2), 796-820.
Clarke, D. (1997). TRIZ: Through the Eyes of an American TRIZ Specialist, Detroit, MI: Ideatin International.
Orloff, M.A. (2003). Inventive Thinking Through TRIZ, New York: Springer.
 (Selected) Communications between the Author (Tomasz Arciszewski) and Toru Nakagawa
(a) Tomasz Arciszewski ==> TN Aug. 11, 2022
Dear Professor Nakagawa: Many thanks for sending me your newsletter.
I greatly appreciate your efforts and admire your long-term commitment to doing this so important work.
I have also realized that you may not be familiar with my paper from 1988, which was actually the first paper on TRIZ published in the USA. In 2016 I published a book on Inventive Engineering (see below) and included a chapter (about 53 pages) on TRIZ, which might be also of interest to you. Alla Zusman of Ideation International provided her comments and I think that it is a solid introduction to the fundamentals of TRIZ. References to these two papers are provided below.
Arciszewski T., "ARIZ 77 - An Innovative Design Method," Journal Design Methods and Theories, No. 2, Vol. 22, pp. 796-820, 1988.
Arciszewski T., "Inventive Engineering. Knowledge and Skills for Creative Engineers", chapter 9, "TRIZ", pp.285-338, Taylor and Francis, UK, March, 2016.
If you have any questions, please let me know. Best Tomek
(b) TN ==> Tomasz Arciszewski Aug. 14, 2022
Dear Tomek, Thank you very much for the details of your book Chapter.
I am interested very much especially in your Sections of 9.1 Creator, and 9.2 History. I have learned some of such topics in
"My Experiences with My Teacher Genrikh Saulovich Altshuller", Phan Dung (Vietnam ) TRIZCON2001: Supplement document of Keynote Speech
"A Brief History of TRIZ", Valeri Souchkov May 2008, Website of CGI Training & Consulting
[Note (Nov. 6, 2022): The original page by V. Souchkov was revised in Jul. 2015, without changing its URL . Not yet revised in my website.]
and posted them in Japanese translation (and in English for the
latterformer article) in my Website.
But we need to learn some more, and I feel your article is compact and comprehensive to match the desire of many TRIZ people in the west. ...
Is there any possibility for you to allow me to post the sections in my Japanese translation (and hopefully in English) in my Website "TRIZ Home Page in Japan"? ....
Thanking you for your kind consideration, Best wishes, Toru
(c) Tomasz Arciszewski ==> TN Aug. 17, 2022
Dear Toru: More good news.
I got a message from my editor at CRC that their person responsible for copy rights and translations in Japan will contact you to discuss your plan. Most likely, she will try to get some money from you, but you might describe the unique nature of your website operation and you could offer her a deal/creative solution, exchange of services. For example, you could add an ad for them to your website, or an ad for my book, or write an article about their recent books related to design and engineering creativity. There are always at least several solutions available, we need to find them only.
I am very happy that you like my writings. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. I still have some old material on TRIZ/ARIZ from 70's and could share it with you. Best Tomek
(d) TN ==> Tomasz Arciszewski Oct. 13, 2022
Dear Tomek, Thank you very much for your new article, "Seven Mystries of TRIZ" on seven pages. I read it with much interest and am happy to post it in my website.
I have just finished the Japanese translation of your Sections 9.1 and 9.2, and am preparing for posting them. I am waiting for the final approval letter from T&F.
I have one more important request to you: I wish to have your another article of Brief introduction of your Book "Inventive Engineering". including its Table of Contents (at the Chapter level). This is our important promise to T&F, in return to their generous offer of Free of fee. And it will make your scope and view of "Inventive Engineering" clear to readers, and introduce important methodologies around TRIZ.
I will post the three Web pages in the order: (1) Altshuller and History of TRIZ, (2) Introduction to your Book, (3) Seven Mysteries of TRIZ.
Thanking you for your excellent works and your cooperation, Best wishes, Toru
(e) TN ==> Tomasz Arciszewski Oct. 14, 2022
Dear Tomek, Thank you so much for your message.
I suppose the easiest and meaningful way for us to fulfill our promise to T&F may be:
Please write a Brief Overview of your Book in 2-3 pages long, describing your general intention first and describe Chapter by Chapter the title (or the methodology), brief introduction of the method and why you think the method important for Inventive Engineering. ...
Probably, I will post your Sections 9.1 and 9.2 and your Brief Overview of the Book, this time, and will post "Seven Mysteries of TRIZ" some time later (with or without your any further article). Best wishes. Toru
(f) TN ==> Tomasz Arciszewski Oct. 19, 2022
Dear Tomek, Thank you for your "New Introduction: Six Years Later". I have read it through and understand your intention of writing the Book.
I will prepare for posting it at the bottom of the web page "Altshuller and Histroy of TRIZ". Best wishes, Toru
 New Introduction of "Inventive Engineering": Six Years Later (Tomasz Arciszewski)
New Introduction of "Inventive Engineering": Six Years Later
Professor Emeritus, George Mason University
CEO, Successful Education, LLC
Middlebrook, October 17, 2022
It is a unique opportunity to look again at my book several years after it was published. Today, I see it from a new perspective. When I began working on this book, I saw it as a textbook for civil engineering students. However, both the book's editors and my friends convinced me that its actual audience is much broader: all engineering students. When it was published, I received two inquires from non-engineering readers. They wanted to know about my understanding of the word "engineering" used in the book's title. Did I understand "engineering" as "technology" (civil engineering or chemical engineering) or in a much more holistic context as "developing/engineering" new concepts, which could be related to technology, but not necessarily?
My immediate response was simple: "I am an engineer, and I wrote a book for the engineering students". Nevertheless, gradually, I have realized (changing perspective, like in Synectics) that my book should not be identified with a specific class of professions. Today, I would describe my audience as all ambitious people who want to become successful in their professional and private lives and are looking for a guide how to undergo a transformation from being "regular" people to "successful people", that means people prepared to succeed in whatever area they want to succeed. In the terms of the Steinberg's Theory of Successful Intelligence, my audience should be all people who already have Practical and Analytical Intelligence but want to learn Creative Intelligence and thus attain Successful Intelligence, which is the only key to being successful.
I also see that the justification for a five-part structure of the book should be made stronger and more explicit. As a result of teaching Inventive Engineering for several decades, I have realized that focusing only on the methods (Methodics) is grossly insufficient. Inventive Engineering is a knowledge system and Methodics is only a component of this system. Therefore, learning only about methods and their use means developing a mechanistic approach to creative problem solving which is not very effective. It is likely training an F1 race driver without any references to physics or psychology, grossly inadequate and ineffective.
We need to motivate students first, next we ought to give them a "Big Picture" (a broad understanding of science behind Inventive Engineering) and subsequently to introduce the language of Inventive Engineering (our well-defined concepts or terminology). Finally, we need to teach students about the designing process (General Methodology). Only after these four stages of learning are completed, students are prepared to learn about various specific creative problem-solving methods and how to use them, that means they are ready for the final stage of learning Inventive Engineering (Methodics).
From this perspective, the book design can be understood as:
Chapter 1. Why learn inventive engineering: Ten Reasons – Motivation
Chapter 2. Lessons from the past - Background Knowledge
Chapter 3. Lessons from modern science - Background Knowledge
Chapter 4. Basic concepts - Terminology
Chapter 5. Science of Inventive Engineering - General Methodology
Chapters 6-10 - Methodics
It is obvious for future engineers that a certain body of knowledge must be acquired. However, it is not obvious for them that the ultimate goal of education is not the transfer, or acquisition of knowledge, but making them professionally successful. That requires, in addition to the acquisition of knowledge and the related skills, also learning Successful Intelligence. In other words, we are talking about the transformation of students into Inventive Engineers, that means engineers who in addition to their regular Practical and Analytical Intelligence also learned the Creative Intelligence. This book is about Creative Intelligence in the engineering context, but students must be motivated to study it. Therefore, the Chapter No. 1 provides 10 reasons why to learn Inventive Engineering. The reasons vary from the discussion of evolution of Western societies (Reason No. 1) to the dangers and coming challenges associated with the mass use of software and industrial robots (Reason No. 10).
As we know, all learning is situated, i.e., it is conducted in the context of a specific background knowledge. Since inventive designing can be also understood as a process of acquiring knowledge (learning) about design concepts, it is obviously situated. Therefore, the potential level of novelty increases with the expanding the body of background knowledge used for learning/inventive designing. For this reason, Chapters 2 and 3 provide historical, but relevant knowledge and knowledge from the modern sciences, respectively.
Chapter No. 2 provides a broad understanding of the essence of the Renaissance and the unique features of its leaders. Also, the Da Vinci's Seven Principles are introduced and analyzed to create a conceptual framework for recapturing components of the Da Vinci's greatness in the modern context. The Medici Effect is also discussed as it provides the basis for stimulating creativity.
Chapter No. 3 is about the knowledge coming from the Political Science and the Psychology. From the Political Science come several modern concepts related to creativity, such as "Creative Community" or "Creative Class". From the second science, Psychology comes the Sternberg's Theory of Successful Intelligence, critical to understanding of Inventive Engineering and his identification of thinking styles. A brief overview of Positive Psychology is also presented with focus on the Appreciative Intelligence and the importance of well-being for the inventive engineers.
Chapter No. 4 formulates the language of Inventive Engineering through the introduction of such important concepts like "system", "knowledge" and "background knowledge", "Transdisciplinarity", "Synthesis", or "problem" and "wicked problem".
Chapter No. 5 is focused on the General Methodology of Designing. Five definitions of designing are introduced, including the related designing process models, each in a different context. The focus is the methodology of problem identification and formulation, also various approaches are discussed, including Mind Mapping and the use of the Innovation Situation Questionnaire, based on TRIZ. Finally, the concept evaluation and selection methodologies are discussed.
Chapters 6 through 10 are focused on the Methodics and discuss such methods as the Morphological Analysis (Chapter 6), Brainstorming (Chapter 7), Synectics (Chapter 8), TRIZ (Chapter 9) and Bioinspiration (Chapter 10). Each method is described with some detail following a simple format:
7. Potential Applications,
8. White and Black (Positive and negative features).
[Note by the Author, Nov. 10, 2022: Meaning of 'Methodics' in contrast to 'Methodology':
"General Design Methodology" is an engineering science focused on the general methodological issues associated with engineering designing, such as models of the designing process, problem identification, problem formulation, evaluation methods, selection methods, complexity and designing, chaos and designing, creativity in designing, etc.
"Methodics" is an engineering science focused on the designing methods and their formal description, including information about their creators, history, evolution, assumptions, procedures, directives and heuristics, application examples, positive and negative aspects. ]
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