What word would describe...

What word would best describe the phenomenon when people use technology/products for other purposes than for which they were originally designed?

Inventiveness? Ingenuity? Resourcefulness?

Like that guy that killed himself trying to knock a nail in using a revolver as a hammer?

Thanks for the quick replies but they don’t answer my question. I’m interested in a word that describes the action itself, not the participants. Secondly, I’m not referring to a negative outcome; I’m just interested in any unintended (from the manufacturer’s point-of-view) outcomes.

For a hypothetical example: I might find that a screwdriver is an exception for cleaning my fingernails despite the fact that it was designed and manufacturer to undo screws.

How about “serendipity”?

The frustrating thing is that, a couple of months ago, I heard the word I’m talking about and it wasn’t “seredipity” (which I think is generally referred to as a fortunate outcome directly associated to something that happens to the person/within a participate’s mind.

The word I’m thinking about is less about the people, thought-process, initial reaction, or outcome.

For another hypothetical example: If a large number of people use their screwdrivers to clean their nails on a regular basis.

Now that I’ve re-read your post, yes that would be an example of a scenario that my word would describe - although not because he was using questionable judgement or had a negative outcome.

Are you after a word for the action of using a product ONLY in a way it was not designed for, or AS WELL AS the way it was originally designed for.

Thought it might make a difference, not that I have any ideas as yet.

innovative? Resourceful, maybe?

office buzzword? Tech-migration.

I’m not sure but I don’t think it matters because this word merely defines the fact that unindented usage occurs.

This is really becoming a splinter in my mind. :dubious: Although I can continue to refine the definition, I have a feeling it will elude me, however I can say with confidence that I’ll know the word when I see it.

Not really, those words describes attributes of the people themselves, not the phenomenon.


Deviation? Permutation? Variation? Divergence?

The word I’m looking for would be similar to bricolage and probably as obscure.

Bricolage is more kinda ‘Heath Robinson’ isnt it ? - making contraptions out of assorted unassociated bits-and-bobs.