Problem Solving, Innovation, and Good Design

I ran across the innovative solution in the adjacent photograph during a recent business trip, and I had to share. There won’t be any lock shaming here. I’m not going to “out” the location of the building. Truth be told, when I looked at the rain shield on this lock, I thought to myself, “This looks like something I’d do.” Not this exact thing—not the rain shield—but the home-grown, work-around-to-solve-a-problem thing. I’ve been known to come up with some real doozies, by the way.

I’ll probably never know who conceived this fix, but I know I like this person. I can relate to this person. This person is a problem solver. Designers are problem solvers. Good Design isn’t an end result and Good Designers are never finished re-thinking. Good Design is a problem-solving process of discovery, ideation, trial, error and repetitious realization.

As I studied this solution, I wondered about the concepts our creative friend considered and abandoned before fabricating this particular rain shield. Fish on the table (as my Swedish colleagues are fond of saying). It’s not much to look at, and those fastener penetrations are likely to be nothing but trouble someday. Still, this took some thought. What solutions didn’t make the cut, and why?

Like I said, we’ll probably never know. And on the off-chance that our mystery locksmith is reading this post; call me. We’ll do some re-thinking.