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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:

Fri, 2 Nov 2018 16:36:46 +0000

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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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