Ideas with Square Wheels


Should cars have square wheels?

No. No, they shouldn’t.


But is it a good idea?

Yes, definitely.


Let me explain…


Square wheels on our cars would be a bad idea in reality – it would result in terrible wear on the wheels, for one thing, and it would make for bumpy ride.

Just in case we weren’t sure of this, the folk at Mythbusters did an experiment. (Of course, they did!)

But here is what Edward de Bono – the guy who coined the term ‘lateral thinking’ – came up with when he chose to use this idea as a spur to creativity:

“Taking the large surface in contact with the ground, we move forward to develop a concept of an inner tyre and high pressure surrounded by an outer tyre and at low pressure-to increase grip on the ground.

“With square wheels you would not need a hand brake when parking. This leads [the idea of] a special set of wheels for braking on heavy goods vehicles. These wheels would not normally touch the ground, but would touch down when strong braking was required.

“If we imagine a square wheel rolling (moment to moment) we see that it rises on the point of the square. This would lead to a bumpy ride unless the suspension got shorter at the same time. This leads to the idea of an active suspension which actually lifts the wheels over bumps. This type of suspension is about to become a reality in the auto world.”

That’s three quite good ideas, from that one odd-sounding one.


EVERY idea has value. Even if only as a jumping off point.

And sharing them often makes them richer, because people – looking from their own perspectives – perceive completely different facets of the same idea.


Do you have any ‘square wheel’ ideas for Sunday Assembly?

We would love to hear them. Post them on Facebook, tweet them on Twitter, or leave a comment below.


And remember:


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