Creative Problem Solving

Matrix Chart

A Matrix Chart can be created to help decision making and also to clarify concepts after a brainstorming session. It is very similar to a Morphological chart, however more casual in its structure. It can also be used as a starting point for creating ideas. Several Matrices may be used together to create a plan for different design directions. The design of a chair for an office could be the initial brief. For this a general matrix could be generated:

Ideas Minimalist Standard Hi-tech Additional function
Single support X X X
Double Support X X X
Tripod X X
Four Legs X X
Levitation X X X
Suspended from above X X
Solid Base X X X X
Back support X X X X
Balance related posture X X
Wheels X X
Movement X X
Adjustment X X
Swivel X X
Automation X

Thirty four Design directions are outlined so far for each of these a Matrix chart containing Materials or Processes could be used

Options Woods Natural and manufactured Metals (Ferrous and non ferrous Alloys) Glass Polymers(Thermoplastics, Thermosets and natural)
Injection Moulding X* X
Compression Moulding X
Extrusion X X

Forming Processes Vacuum:Superplastic:Draped:Jigs

X X X X
Casting X
Rotational Moulding X
Blow Moulding X
Cut and Machined X X X X

* Similar process used for Light Non ferrous alloys

This method could continue for specifics such as fixing and joining methods or surface finish.