# Design

Design

Design

Design : summing up

Design  (^)

Design  (^)

Definition

Design is the process of shaping.

In Problemistics, the Design process is concerned with giving shape to a Solution for a Problem.

Design is the art and craft of Problem Solving.

Function

The specific function of Design is to produce and present proposals for Solution(s), that is Problem Solving.

The general function is to aim at Wealth as the enlargement and refinement of desirable choices (opportunities, options).

Phases

For analytical reasons the activity-process of Design is depicted as composed of three intermingled phases:

• Imagining (solution speculating)

• Projecting (solution stating)

• Testing (solution sifting)

Each phase relies on the utilization of an appropriate Method for the reaching of a Solution.

Method  (^)

Method  (^)

Definition

A Method is a way of proceeding according to a certain sequence (time) and setting (space) in view of achieving an objective (Solution) with regard to a felt dissatisfaction (Problem).

Classification

Methods can be classified according to the types of Problem and to the types of Solution they lead to, namely:

 Problem Method Solution Well-definable Algorithmics Optimally defined/achieved Ill-definable Heuristics Satisfactorily defined/achieved

Algorithmics  (^)

Definition

Algorithmics is a Problem Solving  method that relies on a finite set of well defined rules called Algorithm that lead to the Solution of the Problem.

Remark

Algorithmics is suitable when the Problem is:

- clearly defined

- precisely decomposed

- neatly delimited

Only within these problem requirements, an Algorithm can be produced for a Solution.

Algorithm  (^)

Definition

An Algorithm is a sequence (a finite set) of well defined rules that lead to the Solution of the Problem.

Representation

Algorithms are represented through a diagram with symbols depicting the type of situation/operation/combination involved.

Heuristics  (^)

Definition

Heuristics is a Problem Solving approach covering methods that rely on general Rules of Thumb that are plausible and likely to lead to the Solution of the Problem.

Remark

Heuristics is the suitable method when the Problem is:

- fuzzy (not clearly definable)

- complex (not precisely decomposable)

- large (not neatly delimitable)

When a Problem presents these characteristics, it is possible to rely just on suitable Rules of Thumb for a Solution.

Rules of Thumb  (^)

Definition

Rules of Thumb are general guidelines for assisting/directing in the taking of Decisions as to what to do/where to go for the Solution of a Problem.

List

Rules of Thumb are contained and expressed, for example, in:

- aphorisms and proverbs

- parables and maxims

- professional guidelines

- handbooks and textbooks

Algorithmics - Heuristics  (^)

Overview

The function of methods based on Algorithmics and Heuristics is to introduce order and regularity  (e.g. replicability) in the Design process.

Some Problem can be dealt with by a mixture of Algorithmics and Heuristics, as for instance a game of chess.

Both algorithmic and heuristic methods are widely used in the various steps towards devising/reaching a Solution.

Solution  (^)

Definition

A Solution is defined as the shaping (through Design) of Modules into satisfactory Patterns that lead to the (theoretical) disposal of a Problem.

Analysis of Definition

- Modules = nodes, paths, nets

- Patterns = situation, combination, operation of modules

- Satisfactory = acceptable in terms of Parameters, Criteria, Standards

Classification

Solutions can be classified according to:

• Ambit

- individual (achievable for or by a person)

- collective (achievable for or by a group)

• Type

- optimizing solution (method : Algorithmics)

(achievable for well-definable problems)

- satisficing solution (method : Heuristics)

(achievable for ill-definable problems)

The achievement of a Solution is linked to the use of an appropriate Method during the process of Problem Solving.

Problem Solving  (^)

Definition

Problem Solving is the process of elaboration and formulation of a Solution.

Function

Assuming Solution to be the achievement of appropriate/satisfactory Patterns, the function of Problem Solving is to explain:

- the characteristics (e.g. relations, forms, meanings) of the Patterns

- the ways of achieving the Patterns

The starting point in the search of Patterns for Problem Solving is Imagining.

Imagining  (^)

Imagining  (^)

Definition

Imagining is the process of dealing creatively with Modules in order to produce Patterns that are conducive to the Solution of a Problem.

Aspects

Imagining consists of the following aspects:

• Clarification of aims

• Specification of requirements

• Ideation of proposals

Clarification  (^)

Definition

Clarification is throwing light on the solution space by depicting actual situations (Nodes) and potential/preferable operations (Paths) and combinations (Nets) of Modules.

Clarification is the bridging link from the Problem already identified to the Solution yet to be identified.

Methods

Methods for Clarification are:

- Check-List (task : to list fields, factors, features)

- Objective Tree (task : to lay out objectives)

Note

For a further exploration of the topic see Toolbook : Clarification.

Specification  (^)

Specification  (^)

Definition

Specification is the highlighting of general and specific requirements (of Modules) for the Solution of the Problem.

These requirements derive from/are affected by:

• Strains (the problem itself)

• Constraints (the limitations relating to the problem)

• Restraints (the boundaries fixed by the problem dealer)

Strains, Constraints and Restraints appear in the form of:

• Parameters

• Criteria

• Standards

They refer to Modules (fields, factors and features) of a possible Solution.

Methods

Methods of Specification are:

- Relation Specification (amongst modules)

- Performance Specification (of modules)

in the light of parameters, criteria, standards.

Parameters  (^)

Definition

Parameters are given aspects (concerning fields, factors, features of Modules) of a Problem that must be taken into account while devising a Solution.

Analysis of Definition

- Given aspects = e.g. resources in scarce supply, needs to be considered, etc.

Criteria  (^)

Definition

Criteria are aspects of evaluation (concerning fields, factors, features of Modules) that guide one towards the Solution of the Problem and in respect of which the Solution itself is assessed.

Analysis of Definition

- Guide Towards = specify the solution space

- Assess = rate the solution proposal

Standards  (^)

Definition

Standards are accepted/approved aspects of excellence and convenience (concerning fields, factors, features of Modules) to be aimed at and implemented in the Solution of the Problem.

Remark

Standards can be situated on a continuum from minimum (mandatory standard) to high (optimal standard).

Note

For a further exploration of the topic see Toolbook : Specification.

Ideation  (^)

Definition

Ideation is the process of putting forward proposals (ideas) leading to the Solution of a Problem.

The proposals are/should be in response to the previous Clarification of aims and Specification of requirements.

Process

Proposals generally emerge as generation of:

- new Relations

- new Forms

- new Meanings

concerning Data, Facts, Concepts about Modules.

Methods

The methods here examined (see Toolbook) are:

- Brainstorming

- Synectics

- Challenging

- Morphological Approach

Note

For a further exploration of the topic see Toolbook : Ideation.

Imagining : overview  (^)

Imagining is the process of:

• Clarification of aims

• Specification of requirements

• Ideation of proposals

Various methods are employed during the process of Imagining (see Toolbook : Clarification, Specification, Ideation).

Imagining could lead either to modify aims and requirements (back to Clarification - Specification) or to satisfy them in terms of appropriate proposals (Ideation) and this would bring the process forward to the next stage: Projecting.

Projecting  (^)

Projecting  (^)

Definition

Projecting is the process of representing proposals about a possible Solution to the Problem.

Classification

The representation can take place as:

• Visualizing  (e.g. 2D scale representation)

• Modelling  (e.g. 3D scale representation)

• Prototyping  (e.g. full scale representation)

Visualizing  (^)

Visualizing  (^)

Definition

Visualizing is representing  Data - Facts - Concepts  through Signs Signals Symbols  in order to produce/convey Information as to a possible Solution of the Problem.

Classification

Visualizing is carried out through:

- Writing

- Sketching

- Drawing

Modes

Visualizing can be expressed in the form of:

• Charts : representing  actual-potential situations

• Graphs : representing  actual-potential combinations

• Diagrams : representing  actual-potential operations

Remark

This differentiation of modes of representing is to be taken very flexibly.

Charts  (^)

Definition

Charts are representations of actual-potential situations of some specific reality.

Classification

Charts can take the form of:

- Pie Chart

- Area Chart

- Table Chart

- Bar Chart

- Picto Chart

- Geographical Chart

Graphs  (^)

Definition

Graphs are representations of actual-potential combinations within some specific reality.

Classification

Graphs can take the form of:

- Line Graph

- Tree Graph

- Box Graph

- Venn Circles

Diagrams  (^)

Definition

Diagrams are representations of the actual-potential operations of some specific reality.

Classification

Diagrams can take the form of:

- Diagram of Apparatus

- Flow Diagram

- Time Line Diagram

Note

For a further exploration of the topic see Toolbook : Visualizing

Modelling  (^)

Modelling  (^)

Definition

Modelling is the representation of actual situations, operations and combinations of some specific reality through the use of Models.

Function

The function of Modelling is to represent reality in such a way that it is possible to perform and ponder about virtual transformations of situations, operations and combinations of some specific reality.

Models  (^)

Definition

Models are the representation of essential traits of some specific reality (situation, operation, combination).

Classification

Models can be classified as:

• Analogue (e.g. geographical charts)

• Iconic (e.g. architectural drawings)

• Symbolic (e.g. mathematical equations)

Function

The function of Models is to allow for transformations to be performed on a simplified (e.g. synthetic, symbolic) rendering of reality

Note

For a further exploration of the topic see Toolbook : Modelling.

Models make possible virtual Testing (Simulating) of some specific reality.

Prototyping  (^)

Prototyping  (^)

Definition

Prototyping is representing some aspect of reality with full scale Models by the production/selection of Prototypes.

Function

The function of Prototyping is to employ testable full scale Models as a test case for wider implementation/realization.

Prototypes  (^)

Definition

Prototypes are full scale, full functioning  Models built or selected for Testing purposes.

Examples

- Car prototype (mechanical domain)

- Community prototype (social domain)

Function

The function of a Prototype is to allow for material Testing (Probing).

Projecting : overview  (^)

Projecting is the process of:

- Visualizing

- Modelling

- Prototyping

Various devices are employed during the various aspects of Projecting such as:

- Charts  -  Graphs  - Diagrams

- Models  - Prototypes

The role of Projecting is to put forward working proposals as to the Solution of the Problem. The proposed Solution, before becoming the accepted Solution, has to undergo extensive Testing; this is the next stage of the Design process.

Testing  (^)

Testing  (^)

Definition

Testing is sifting through the proposals in order to single out the appropriate Solution to a Problem.

Aspects

Testing consists of the following aspects:

• Simulating (virtual testing)

• Probing (material testing)

• Appraising (total appraisal)

Simulating  (^)

Simulating  (^)

Definition

Simulating is performing virtual testing (Simulation) of the essential variables of some specific reality through the use of Models.

Function

The function of Simulating is to test the level of suitability, that is:

• feasibility

• desirability

• optimality

of different proposals put forward as possible Solution.

Simulation  (^)

Definition

A Simulation is a transformation performed on virtual variables (variables in Models) that provide Information about the outcome of potential situations, operations, combinations.

Function

Simulations are generally performed with the assistance of computers for tasks as various as drawing and drafting, budgeting (spreadsheet), scheduling (critical path analysis) and so on.

Remark

During the process of simulation, while looking for a Solution, some light is cast also on a better definition/representation of the Problem.

Note

For a further exploration of the topic see Toolbook : Simulating.

Probing  (^)

Probing  (^)

Definition

Probing is performing material testing (Probe) on actual reality (e.g. Prototypes).

Function

The function of Probing is to test:

- suitability (fit for use)

- reliability (dependable in use)

of different proposals put forward as possible Solution.

Probe  (^)

Definition

A Probe is the actual event of Testing  a proposed Solution in order to verify its suitability and reliability.

Modes

A Probe can be carried out by:

- setting up Trials (e.g. selective Probes for suitability)

- supervising Usage (e.g. extensive Probes for reliability)

Appraising  (^)

Appraising  (^)

Definition

Appraising is the final stage of Testing when a comprehensive evaluation is produced as to the suitability, reliability and affordability of each proposed Solution.

Analysis of Definition

- Suitability = functionally appropriate

- Reliability = practically secure

- Affordability = economically viable

Modes

Appraising is carried out through:

• Gauging

• Scoring

• Ranking

Gauging  (^)

Definition

Gauging is performing an objective appraisal (measurement) of each proposed Solution by Measuring its variables through Numerals.

Function

The function of Gauging is to provide Data that will assist in giving a subjective score (Scoring) to each proposed Solution.

Scoring  (^)

Definition

Scoring is performing a subjective appraisal (judgement)  by assigning a numeral (score) to each proposed Solution

Function

The function of Scoring is to indicate the grade of

- suitability

- reliability

- affordability

of each proposed Solution.

This is a pre-requisite for Ranking.

Ranking  (^)

Definition

Ranking is assigning an ordinal numeral to each proposed Solution to indicate the level of suitability, usability and reliability in relation to the other proposed Solutions.

Function

The function of Ranking is to pinpoint the most acceptable Solution on the basis of Gauging and Scoring.

Note

For a further exploration of the topic see Toolbook : Evaluation.

Testing : overview  (^)

Testing is the process of:

- Simulating

- Probing

- Appraising

The function of Testing is to ascertain that the proposed Solution can become the accepted Solution having, at the highest level, the characteristics of:

- suitability

- reliability

- affordability

A positive outcome of Testing means the identification and elucidation of the Solution and brings to conclusion the process of Problem Solving.

Design : summing up  (^)

The various phases of Design (Imagining - Projecting -Testing) all converge towards the Solution of a Problem.

Once the various phases of Problem Solving have been carried out, two outcomes are possible with respect to the problem at hand:

- negative (unsatisfactory) solution : back to Design

- positive (satisfactory) solution : forward to Planning.