Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Design" "Classification"

Dorst describing the design process says:
The designer, in his/her paradoxical problematic situation, needs to construct a design that transcends or connects the different discourses, in a general sense (by the construction of a meta-discourse), or just in the concrete instance of the design-to-be developed. To do this, the designer has to step out of the ways of thinking embodied in the discourses. This step is likely to include a strong intuitive element. Based upon a clear understanding of the discourses, and upon earlier experiences with paradoxical situations, a solution is created that needs to be evaluated from the standpoints of all the different discourses (i.e., to see that the solution is valuable within the relevant discourses). Designers use their understanding of the ways of thinking within the different discourses to create a framework in which a solution is possible for the paradoxical situation. The paradoxical problem situation works as both a trigger to creative imagination and as a context for the evaluation of the design. For the solution to be a solution, it needs to be recognized as such in the contexts of all the relevant discourses.

This description reminded me the notion of statically indeterminate problems that we have in engineering structural analysis. Let me try to see if I can describe this intuitive spark here. The above description of design says that we cannot get to design by staying in the ways of thinking embodied in the discourses. That is a design problem is indeterminate by staying within the ways of thinking of the discourses. "The paradoxical problem situation works as both a trigger …" (the paradox makes it determinate). We have to get to a solution that meets standpoints of all the different discourses. Sounds like solving simultaneous equations; isn’t it!

In structural analysis we have statically determinate problems and statically indeterminate problems. We also have linear and nonlinear problems. This classification of structural analysis problems is based on the kind of knowledge and process needed for reaching to a solution. In the class we used the "Boundary Work" tool to understand design. What I was thinking that can we use "classification" as a tool that we used in earlier classes to understand design and that might provide some new or better insights. We can classify different types of design perhaps based on the kind of knowledge and thinking process needed. Something like Bloom’s taxonomy. I looked up Google with the term "Taxonomy of Design" and it led me to at least one site [click here] where someone is considering something like that.

Is it valuable to analyze "design" by "classification"?
blog comments powered by Disqus