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Vogelhaus (c) Kurt Michel,

TRIZ Principle 13.

Vogelhaus (c) Kurt Michel,

In 2013 the TRIZ Kompetenzzentrum Austria [1] organised the TRIZ conference “Uncompromisingly NEW” in Carinthia. As a PR action I started a countdown on Facebook, using the 40 TRIZ Principles [2] to do so.

The challenge was to look for applications of these principles within my own home, take a picture and describe the principle. You can find all principles here » FB/TRIZKompetenzZentrumAustria (look for the pictures).

Here’s my favourite principle, number 13 – “The Other Way Round“. It suggests to turn something upside down or to reverse it in order to solve problems. You might want to ask yourself: “What happens if I reverse the process? Or if I do the exact opposite?”

TRIZ Principle 13 - Sewing Machine (

Yes, I *do* own a sewing machine – I even know how to use it ;)

If you look for the technical parameters pairs where this principle is suggested first  … there’s improving “Speed (9)” or “Productivity (39)” without worsening “Loss of Information (24)”. Or improving “Reliability (27)” without worsening “Device Complexity (36)”.

For example, a conference turns into a barcamp [3], where the participants create the programme on-site. Which often solves a lot of problems in creating interesting conference programmes – and on a very high level if I may say so.

When sewing manually like in former days, you move the needle through the fabric. A sewing machine moves the fabric. Sure, the needle does move, but it stays in place while doing so. It *is* easier to sew that way. Benetton provides for another good example … if you do not dye the fabric, but the finished piece of clothing, you are able to react way faster to the latest colour trends [4].

I really like to use this principle. Sometimes you have to do a handstand in order to see your obstacles – and a way around them – more clearly.

We did something similar creating the “creative:graz award” in 2007. In order to get an idea what “creative industries” really means we called for projects first and created an award structure afterwards, based on the submitted projects.

creative graz award 2007

Contest Design

It worked out very, very nicely imho – I am still quite proud of this project which I was honoured to do for the city of Graz (Economy Department).


  1. The TRIZ Kompetenzzentrum Austria is an Austrian association for people who love to use TRIZ and are into innovation management in general »
  2. The 40 Inventive Principles are used to solve contradictions – e. g. something should be very sturdy
    but not very heavy – without conflict of objectives.
  3. A BarCamp is an ad-hoc unconference born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from attendees »
  4. I could not find a perfect online reference yet, however an Economist article » states in 2004: “Almost 50 years ago Luciano Benetton came up with an idea that took the world of fashion by storm. His bright, casual sweaters would be dyed after they had been knitted so that stores could restock faster with the most popular colours.
  5. Picture of birdhouse by Kurt Michel,


  1. Can i know another example from this principle instead of what have you show .

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