I was asked “Do you know about Singularity design?” I hadn’t heard the term in that context before.
It’s the concept of not approaching design from multiple disciplines. The design process is done with an approach and knowledge base of all needed disciplines at once and in conjunction. The electrical system isn’t designed by an electrical team and the mechanical by a mechanical team. The “Design Team” designs both simultaneously. Team members knowledge might be rooted in one discipline but there is clearly no boundary to their knowledge of other disciplines. This would be a mechanical engineer who has designed a PC board before.
Interesting concept and I wonder if engineers abilities and identities will become that fluid. The conversation made me think about something that I have found myself saying about many products these days. “No compromises”. So many products have no compromises now. If I want to go buy a car I don’t have to decide if I want a highly reliable car, a fuel efficient car, a sports car, or a practical car. i can just check all those boxes and walk into any regular old car dealership
I would imagine that a vehicle that is designed with all this diverse functionality had to have some of the “Singularity Design” philosophy present in the think tank.
Example: I can walk into a Dodge dealership and ask for Dodge Charger and check off either the SRT8 or Hellcat option. That car is a comfortable and relatively luxurious four door full size sedan which accommodates shlepping the kids around or taking clients out to lunch. It has a big trunk and fold down seats for home depot runs. A motor high efficiency mode which shuts down cylinders so it gets pretty good gas mileage for a full size car. The base motor has more than 300hp which is really more than enough for just about anything. But… if I check the SRT8 motor option box I get 470Hp (keep in mind a 1998 Porsche 911 Turbo had 400hp and no one could believe that was possible back then). If I check the “Hellcat” motor option box I get a motor that delivers 707 Hp. you read that correct. This option will have the 4 door grocery getter sedan turning drag strip times that used to be only reserved for custom alcohol drag race cars. Dodge’s latest add for the Hellcat is a letter one customer got from the National Hod Rod Association, which manages all professional drag racing nation wide. The letter states that his Hellcat is disqualified from the production car category because it’s 1/4 mile times exceeded what is listed as possible by a production vehicle in their rule books. i.e. it has to be classified as a professional purpose built drag racing car.
What has to be compromised? I can purchase a car that all in one day I can
- Drop the kids at school
- Hit the drag strip and humiliate people who have put $150K into a specialized drag car
- Go to Home depot and get some 6ft pieces of lumber, a new shop vac, 5 gallon bucket of paint, and a bunch of other stuff I didn’t plan to get when I went in.
- Go home do some house work and then clean up and take my wife out for a nice evening and cruise around town in a pretty nice and comfortable semi-luxury car.
What do I have to compromise… Nothing