9 Windows helps us think in space and time

9 Windows is an excellent instrument for thinking, mapping the thoughts, and think in space and time.

Currently, the 9 Windows tool is in development. The tool will be available in the PRIZ Guru Innovation Platform. However, even without any software, you can just use pen and paper to benefit from 9 Windows.

How does it work? 

Create 3 X 3 matrix to get 9 fields – 9 Windows as shown on the image below:

The horizontal axis reflects TIME and presented in three phases: PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE. To be clear let’s take an example:

PAST – Seed,


FUTURE – Fruits

The vertical axis refers to SPACE that is separated into three parts: SUBSYSTEM, SYSTEM, and SUPERSYSTEM and also related hierarchically: Subsystem is a part of the System, while System is a part of a Supersystem. Example:


SYSTEM – Tree,


Thinking and filling in all the 9 windows in the sequence as shown in the image above will help to make an order in the thoughts and even to predict the future.

Case study

Let’s try and analyze the future of a digital image that we all very familiar with.

The first step – System at the Present: Digital Image

The Subsystem of the Digital Image are the digits stored as Virtual Particles on the Physical data storage

Supersystem would be Powerpoint Presentations, movies and etc.

In the past, we all still remember, there were Printed Photo Images:

Subsystem (components) of a photo image were Physical Particles on Physical Storage

Photo images are kept in the Photo albums – that is the Supersystem in the Past

Now, let’s have a look at the sequence:

Physical Particles on Physical storage —-> Virtual Particles on physical storage —-> ???

Clearly, it should be Virtual Particles on Virtual storage

The Supersystem in the Future will be Digital albums on the virtual storage

And the System in the Future will be a Virtual image on the virtual storage

What does it mean? What is virtual storage?

Virtual storage is our brain, our memory. To keep a virtual image on virtual storage means to be able to remember the image and be able to make the image somehow visible to others.

Ph.D. in Chemistry. Expert in processes design, improvement and problem-solving. TRIZ (Inventive problem solving) specialist (Level 3).

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