For most of the time, if the student were to do some research, he/she will likely find out that there are already existing product(s) or solution(s) in the market for that 'identified problem'. When a (right) product (the solution) is not there on-location to resolve the scenario it does not mean GO MAKE. It should prompt you to do some research for any existing solution.
These students, instead of finding out the probable existence of a solution to alleviate the problem, he/she ends up making something that is not really needed to be made. A product that is not authentic in solving a problem. Most of such attempts to make a product rarely value-adds anything.
Take a look at the following examples and learn how you can go about it:
- Books are messy? Ask Why. GO GET the right shelve!
- Shoes are messy? Ask why. GO GET a shoe rack! Cheap ones, designer ones, expensive ones. Anything. One that is of the RIGHT SIZE. RIGHT MATERIAL, etc.
- Cannot find your pencils? GO GET a good storage system, or get your memory upgraded! LEARN to be NEATER.
That being said, if it culminates to a Design Challenge to design or redesign or to revolutionalise the 'functionality' and 'use-experience' of a traditional bookshelf, taking in consideration to work towards 'novelty' or 'cleverness' of a new idea , it is another matter altogether. And very legitimate for a potentially good project.
A Deeper Analysis of the Bookshelf Example:
If you are his teacher, what would you do?
So, I started probing further by beginning with a first why, I asked,
Could it be that the designers / companies overlook this problem or did not find the solution that you found? Or there might be reasons why they did not (want to) go ahead with the solution - for some economical or practical reasons. Products that generate profit for the company is all that matters in business. Many things can be made, but many would end up too costly from research, to prototyping to manufacturing that yield little returns. In some cases negative returns. Think about these things. Your teacher may be able to help you with this second concept.