Keep those Pencils Sharp!

Why do we continue to look for innovative technology?  The search is a daunting, never-ending battle.  In my (not so sound) opinion, Design Technology is like a lead pencil.  You use it and use it and it dulls.  You need to constantly sharpen it.  Why do you sharpen it?  Because a pencil is an integral part of describing our design ideas. Only with a sharp pencil can our ideas be crisp and clear.  Who sharpens it?  Pencil Sharpeners, of course.  We, the Design Technology Leaders, are the Pencil Sharpeners.  How do we sharpen pencils?  By constantly looking out for newer, better, and sharper technology. 

This metaphor was once the actual method for taking a design from our minds to reality.  We have come a long way in a relatively short amount of time.  Here are some sharpening blades 

we have adapted from other industries. 

  • CAD/CAM – Where it all started.  The Manufacturing Industry in the late 50’s. 
  • Parametrics/Collaboration – The Transportation Industry 
  • Simulation – Our friends at NASA 
  • Virtual Reality – The Gaming Industry 
  • Internet/GPS – The Defense Industry 
  • Handheld Mobile Devices – The Telecommunications Industry 
  • Augmented Reality – The Entertainment / Multimedia Industry 

All of us have sharpened our pencils with each blade in the list above.  However, we need to be more proactive in our search for Pencil Sharpeners from other industries.  We have collected our box of pencils and now we must focus on the finer points.  This year’s DTS will be a step in that direction. 

During last year’s DTS, we began to discuss several sharpening tools.  This year’s DTS will continue that discussion with a sharper focus on several distilled topics.  Check out Robert Manna’s blog post here to find out more. 

I am so looking forward to sharpening my skills at the next DTS in St. Louis.  I hope to see you there! 

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