2017-04-03 - Workshop 5

Analysis and Mental Gymnastics

Analysis and logical linkages are two of my greatest strengths. I get excited whenever I'm asked to mentally pull something a part into it's core components. This is my favourite way to learn. 

That being said, I did not seem to have to mental gymnastics capabilities to link a Felt Tip Marker to certain objects like a Candle and Spork. Instead, however, I was able to break the Marker Pen down into its core components and the plausible events that lead to its creation. 

My thought process on how a Felt Tip Marker was invented:

It all started with the need to record and document critical information such as water holes and hunting grounds during ancient times. The discovery of an ink-like material could well have been an accident with the most likely material being powered-rock. Cave paintings by the Aboriginals have been dated back some 10000 years with the process of painting being well documented. Essentially using a hollow stick to blow the powered-rock onto the cave walls. This gave them a ink source and a method of delivery.

From there, the idea of painting, drawing and writing would have taken over due innate creativity in human beings. Small blow pipes and more finely powered rock mixed with water or other chemicals to give liquid ink would have emerged to create finer and more detailed paintings. The idea of "drawing" would have taken over and people would have experimented with different delivery methods before deciding that a feather would be an ideal "pen". Thus the Quill was invented..

The obvious problem with the Quill is the multiple components required for it to work. We have the Quill tip, a sharp metal point which scratches the ink on the parchment, we need a large sturdy feather to connect the Quill tip, we have the ink container and finally the ink. Four major components needed in order to write. This was inefficient and efficiency is a key motivator for innovation. 

Combining all the individual components on the Quill and Ink into a single device resulted in the Pen. A tube-like container with an internal housing to hold liquid ink, delivered by a sharp metal tip with a small opening to release the ink.