Home

# Sites

Contacts

Textbook : 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:

 Categories Characteristics 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 : overview

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
e.g. needs to be considered

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 : overview

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 : overview

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.

[Courseware] [Textbook]

[top : Design] [next : Planning]

[Home] [Top]