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PHD-DESIGN  November 2018

PHD-DESIGN November 2018

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Subject:

Re: mapping analytical methods for design research

From:

Heidi Overhill <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related research in Design <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 5 Nov 2018 00:23:14 +0000

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text/plain

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Dear Terence,


Yes, I too find the librarians' mis-use of a perfectly good technical term to be annoying, but I take their metaphoric meaning.


My home email is:


[log in to unmask]


Best wishes,

Heidi

________________________________
From: PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related research in Design <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Terence Love <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: November 3, 2018 11:48:13 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: mapping analytical methods for design research

Dear Heidi,

Orthogonal  has a specific and very exact meaning:
It means 'to cross at right angles (90 degrees)', i.e  not at any angle. Nor does it mean  to cover everything.
See, for example, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orthogonal

I'm happy  to continue the conversation off-list. You need to send me your email address.

Regards,
Terence
[log in to unmask]

-----Original Message-----
From: PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related research in Design <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Heidi Overhill
Sent: Sunday, 4 November 2018 2:02 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: mapping analytical methods for design research

 Dear Terence,
I'm afraid that your disorganized list of professional achievements (however admirable) does not answer my question. A professional field or world exists when a group of people have agreed on a scope, and united to issue a definition such as that found on the web site of IDSA (the Industrial Design Society of America). When you suggest that you are "part of" such a world that implies that others share that same formal definition. A list of clients is not a world.
Similarly, human language also depends on agreement if it is to serve communications. To use a common word in an uncommon manner, it is necessary to clearly outline the uncommon approach — and do so in your initial statement. It is not sufficient, after the fact, to produce a "for example" instance of a similar (but not identical) uncommon approach. It is necessary to identify a clear area of expertise in which that usage is routine, and, when writing for a common audience, to set out the novel definition in advance. Next, your restriction of design to physical outputs is not "more straightforward." It is whimsical and arbitrary. If a musical score is a design, so is code, and an electron is an electron. The universal class of everything does not need to have a piece cut off to be meaningful. As you note, math does not limit itself in this way. Librarians refer to their expertise as "orthogonal," using that word in a poetic sense to suggest that it crosses over the activities of others at an angle. Libraries contain everything; but they do not pretend to be content experts. I suggest that design, too, is "orthogonal" in the sense that it can apply to everything. This is a three-dimensional idea, rather than a two-dimensional one. And again, when you say "simple philosophy" you need to cite your source. I have never read any philosophy that restricts intellectual structures to two dimensions, so you will have to point to an authority to support your use of the term "philosophy" in this way.
The writing is unclear in your last paragraph -- in the last sentence, to what does the word "both" refer?
In closing, let us refer to Greek rhetoric, which suggests there are three ways to convince an audience – appeals to logic, appeals to emotion, and appeals to ethics (logos, pathos, ethos). In asking your readers to accept your bold statements without supportive evidence, you are offering an ethical argument, based on "the character of the speaker" (Corbett, Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student, p. 23/4). The tone of your writing suggests that you are accustomed to being considered an expert. I'm afraid that I don't get out of the house much, and am therefore not familiar with your high personal status. For better or worse, this forces me to consider only the logical appeal of your arguments. As Ken Friedman suggests, perhaps you can make any replies to me off-list as we may have exhausted general interest in the subject.
Best wishes,Heidi


    On Friday, November 2, 2018, 11:56:51 p.m. EDT, Terence Love <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

 Dear Heidi,

Thank you for your message. I'll try to answer each of your questions.

H> Can you elucidate the parameters of "the design world that I'm part of"?

T> It’s a world of design that span many different fields and have mathematical, scientific, computing, arts and humanities and business backgrounds. In my own case, I've worked  (in approximately time order) in the design of outdoor equipment and extreme weather clothing and tents, computerised design optimisation programs in engineering, wordprocessor design, new design theories, new methods of design research, firefighting equipment, scientific laboratory equipment, design of wind and solar power generation, advanced vehicle transmissions, engine design, reproduction antique furniture, graphic design and typesetting, design of alternative technology equipment for 3rd world, AI and robotics systems, predictive software for national daily energy production, Victorian building restoration, local and wide area network design, hypertext learning systems,  structural engineering, design of design systems, improved Permaculture design systems, book publishing, research project design, new forms of mathematical and computerised modelling, community policing policy, youth policy design, design and build of eco-houses, alternative parallel social, business and financial systems, new systems theories  for transitioning power in hypercomplex systems, new high fashion design, research into  historical artists, research into craft methods, methods of addressing wicked problems,  environmental design for crime prevention, education programs design, design of improved PhD supervisory systems, new forms of cyber-security, new government policies,, business processes... along with many small scale design projects. My apologies that  in the rush to write this I'm sure I've missed many  of them. Its been a lot of years of designing.  This 'design world' comprises designers with good mathematical backgrounds who also design in arts realms. It is good to remember that many of the major  design research authors were high level  mathematicians, e.g. Alexander, Jones, Krippendorf, Finger, Akin, Wray, Asimow, Bazjanac, Beder, Beitz, Broadbent, Buciarelli, Chakrabarti, Gero, Yoshikawa, Coyne, Dasgupta, Dixon, Dym, Eder, French, Hubka, Subrahmanian, Mitchell....

H> Can you provide a third-party reference defining your "technical" use of the term "behaviour"? To which field of technology are you referring? Since you specifically exclude "common language use" of the word, further guidance is necessary if you expect your reader to follow the logic.

T>The common language use of behaviour is to apply it only to people and
T>animals. Dictionaries, however, (e.g. Oxford and Merriam Webster
T>Scholastic  also include behaviour as the way in which a machine or
T>natural phenomenon works and functions.  When I referred to
T>'technical' I was referring to the class of meaning. There are three
T>main classes of dictionary - common language, technical language and
T>etymological.. The one that is most common is the common language
T>dictionary that defines words in terms of their common use in
T>societies.  Technical Language dictionaries describe how words are
T>used in a technically defined sense in e.g. sociology, art  or
T>engineering. It is the use of  the term 'behaviour'  in this technical
T>sense that I was referring to - see for example, the Journal of
T>Mathematical Behaviour at
T>https://www.journals.elsevier.com/the-journal-of-mathematical-behavior
T>/

H> Also, when you assert that design is necessarily the result of a "physical representation," does that include computer code used in the design of web sites, etc.? Code manifests itself in the physical form of electric signals, as do brain impulses. Is there a distinction between electron movements in the computer and those in the brain that permits you to define one as "design" but not the other?

T> I suggest that theory making in design research  and definitions becomes much more straightforward if you require that the activity of design is ONLY the creation of an explicit set of instructions (a design) to produce something or make something happen. This is the sense that an orchestra score is a design for the music. The requirement  for an explicit spet of instructions as a design is different form the idea that electrons and brain neurons change state  is different and I suggest unhelpful in creating design theory.

H> Going further, what is wrong with the notion that everything is
H> design? True, that presents a complex field of endeavour, but surely
H> that is the point of attempting a map — to provide orientation within
H> the totality. Coping with the set of "everything" has not deterred
H> library cataloguers from achieving useful distinctions,

T> This is a matter of simple philosophy. Any term of any use distinguishes one set of things from another within the universal set. A set that includes all and everything  loses its ability to define. In that case, there is no need to use the term design. It is better to completely drop it! We already have a widely used and understood word 'everything'. If you want to define 'design' as everything, then you are asking to make a map of analysis methods for everything. In that case, mathematics is a more useful starting point in the sense that mathematics is intended to be a universal language  that abstracts across everything.

H> Also, I am confused as to how the four-fold list you provided to the list relates to the "Four Modes of Design Research"

T> The  four-fold list I provided in the previous post was a way of identifying bounds on the map of analysis methods for design research based on the purposes of design research in the world. The four modes of design research  (at https://www.love.com.au/index.php/23-4-modes-dr) are epistemologically different in nature and purpose.  Their role is to identify the main classes of activity of academic design research in terms of the problem framing of individual design research projects. Both are useful in bounding and structuring a map of analysis methods in design research in their own ways.

Thank you for your questions.

Best regards,
Terence
==
Dr Terence Love
MAISA, MORS, MISI, PMACM, AMIMechE
School of Design and Built Environment, Curtin University, Western Australia CEO, Design Out Crime and CPTED Centre PO Box 226, Quinns Rocks, Western Australia 6030 [log in to unmask] [log in to unmask]
 +61 (0)4 3497 5848
ORCID 0000-0002-2436-7566
==



-----Original Message-----
From: PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related research in Design <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Heidi Overhill
Sent: Saturday, 3 November 2018 12:37 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: mapping analytical methods for design research

Dear Terence,
Can you elucidate the parameters of "the design world that I'm part of"? Can you provide a third-party reference defining your "technical" use of the term "behaviour"? To which field of technology are you referring? Since you specifically exclude "common language use" of the word, further guidance is necessary if you expect your reader to follow the logic.
Also, when you assert that design is necessarily the result of a "physical representation," does that include computer code used in the design of web sites, etc.? Code manifests itself in the physical form of electric signals, as do brain impulses. Is there a distinction between electron movements in the computer and those in the brain that permits you to define one as "design" but not the other?
Going further, what is wrong with the notion that everything is design? True, that presents a complex field of endeavour, but surely that is the point of attempting a map — to provide orientation within the totality. Coping with the set of "everything" has not deterred library cataloguers from achieving useful distinctions, Also, I am confused as to how the four-fold list you provided to the list relates to the "Four Modes of Design Research" described on the love.com web site. Neither one appears to provide any rationale for the structure proposed. As the novelist John Barth put it in The Sot Weed Factor (1980, p. 237), when his hero tries to decide whether to wear a full-bottom wig or a bob wig, "clever folk care less for what ye think than why ye think it." Best wishes,Heidi

      From: Terence Love <[log in to unmask]>
 To: [log in to unmask]
 Sent: Thursday, November 1, 2018 8:46 PM
 Subject: Re: mapping analytical methods for design research

Hi Heidi,

Thank you for your message. Yes, it is important to avoid being anthropocentric. It is also important to take an abstract complex systems perspective on design activity, where needed.

The four axioms I posted include both.

The term 'behaviour' is widely used as a technical term  in ways that go beyond its common language use as applying specifically to humans.

Certainly in the design world that I'm part of, it refers all actions (and in some cases the consequences  and implications of those actions) of anything real, imagined, abstract or virtual.

Some  examples:

    The behaviour of an ecosystem (This can refer to the abstract idea of an ecosystem (abstract designed output) or the physical entities that the abstract ecosystem describes)

    Behaviour of screen elements as indicators of affordances (virtual and abstract designed outputs)

    Behaviour of government policies (abstract designed outputs)

    Behaviour of electro-mechanical components (physical designed outputs)

    Behaviour of a mathematical function(abstract designed outputs)

    Behaviour of neural image patterns as thoughts (subjectively imagined outputs)

    Behaviour of appearance of a high fashion garment in terms of influence on culture and future fashion styles ...

    Etc.

On feedback: the four defining axioms I provided include feedback as a matter of course in how they are written.  If prediction of the behaviours of designed outputs or their outcomes requires using the abstract ideas of feedback (or complexity theory, or evolutionary theory or....), then these are obviously in the wording included as part of what is needed.

On inputs and outputs: all systems, however complex, can be regarded as having inputs - even if these are simply the influences from the environment in which the designing system (human or other) and the designed outputs emerge as a result of the design-creating activity.

I suggest it is better to restrict the term design specifically to outputs that are created as a result of a physical representation (i.e. a design as in a plan, drawing, or other set of specifications that describe how to implement the design exactly). Otherwise one can easily get into the situation of assuming 'all and everything' is 'design'. In that case, the term 'design' defines nothing.

Kind  regards,
Terence
==
Dr Terence Love
MORS, MAISA, MISI, PMACM, AMIMechE
School of Design and Built Environment, Curtin University, Western Australia CEO, Design Out Crime and CPTED Centre PO Box 226, Quinns Rocks, Western Australia 6030 [log in to unmask] [log in to unmask]
 +61 (0)4 3497 5848
ORCID 0000-0002-2436-7566
==








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