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Design processes

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Design processes
What Architects & Industrial Designers can teach
each other about managing the design process
Edited by: Wim Poelman and David Keyson

Edited by: Wim Poelman and David Keyson


Communication and Layout: Matty Cruijsberg
Graphic design: Janita Han
2008 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved.
ISBN 978-1-58603-945-5
Published by IOS Press under the imprint Delft University Press

Publisher
IOS Press BV
Nieuwe Hemweg 6b
1013 BG Amsterdam
The Netherlands
tel: +31-20-688 3355
fax: +31-20-687 0019
email: info@iospress.nl
www.iospress.nl
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LEGAL NOTICE
The publisher is not responsible for the use which might be made of the following
information.
PRINTED IN THE NETHERLANDS

Contents

Preface
Prof. dr. C.J.P.M. de Bont ________________________________ 3
1

Introduction
Dr. ir. W.A. Poelman ____________________________________ 4

Design Processes
Between academic and practice views
Dr. ir. H.H. Achten ______________________________________14

Visualization
Sketching is Alive and Well in this Digital Age
Prof. G. Goldschmidt ___________________________________ 28

Project Management
Project and risk Management in architecture and
industrial design
Prof. dr. ir. J.W.F. Wamelink and dr. J.L. Heintz _______________ 44

Social Complexity
Social complexity in design collaboration
Prof. dr. P.G. Badke-Schaub ______________________________ 60

Decision Making
A decision-based design approach ________________________ 68
Dr. ir. P.P.J. van Loon, ir. R. Binnekamp and ir. J. Burger

Technology Diffusion and Design


The metabolism of knowledge
Dr. ir. W.A. Poelman ____________________________________ 90

Closing speech
Prof. dr. ir. A.C.J.M. Eekhout _____________________________ 108

Appendixes:

Preface

Chairmans impressions
Prof. dr. ir. T.M. de Jong _________________________________112

Program ____________________________________________120

Preface

This book is a result of cooperation between the Faculties Industrial Design Engineering
and Architecture of Delft University of Technology. It presents the content of a series of
SDSHUVSUHVHQWHGDWWKHUVWMRLQWFRQIHUHQFHRQ'HVLJQ3URFHVVHV
This conference was organized in a special timeframe. On the 13th of may the Faculty of
Architecture burned down. A few weeks later important part of the staff of Architecture
had moved in in the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering which might have a
greater impact on the cooperation than the conference itself. Directly discussions
between scientists from both faculties started about possibilities for cooperation.
Nevertheless this conference and this book mark an important moment in the 40 year
history after Industrial Design Engineering sprouted from the Faculty of Architecture.
Also on behalf of the dean of the Faculty of Architecture, professor Wytze Patijn, I thank
the reviewers professor Arthur O. Eger and professor Jos Lichtenberg for the effort
WKH\GLGIRULPSURYLQJWKHVFLHQWLFTXDOLW\RIWKHVHSDSHUV,DOVRWKDQNSURIHVVRU:LP
Poelman and professor David Keyson for editing this book.

Professor Cees de Bont


Dean of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering

Introduction
3

IDE+A

Introduction
Design Processes - Wim Poelman and David Keyson (Eds.)
IOS Press, 2008 2008 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved.

Introduction

Background
This conference has been organized in the context of the cooperation between
the faculties Industrial Design Engineering and Architecture of Delft University of
Technology.
In the second half of the sixties, Professor Joost van den Grinten took the initiative to start
an interfaculty for Technische en Industrile Vormgeving as a spin-off of the faculty
for Architecture, and in cooperation with the faculty for Mechanical Engineering, among
others. Some years later the faculty became independent and the name was changed
into the faculty of Industrieel Ontwerpen or Industrial Design Engineering. As years
went by both faculties developed relatively independently which has had drawbacks
DVZHOODVEHQHWV2IFRXUVHPRUHLQWHQVLYHFRRSHUDWLRQZRXOGSUREDEO\KDYHOHGWR
PRUHHIFLHQF\DQGDEHWWHURZRINQRZOHGJH2QWKHRWKHUKDQGVRPHQHZHOGVRI
knowledge develop themselves more easily in greenhouse-like organizations.
However, after nearly forty years the two organizations still have a lot in common with
the main communality being their focus and vision on society and the role for leading
edge design research. Perhaps more important than what they have in common with
each other, is the design research work which is complementary between the two
faculties. The research subjects within the portfolios of the two faculties differ as does
the approach of the design related research in general. Human factors, methodology
and sustainability are examples of research subjects for which the approach of the
WZRIDFXOWLHVGLIIHUVVLJQLFDQWO\,QWKHVHGLIIHUHQFHVOLHVWKHJUHDWHVWRSSRUWXQLW\IRU
cooperation.
A team, consisting of the two deans and several professors of both faculties started
discussing the possibilities of cooperation, a discussion of which the results were
presented at a symposium in December 2005.
7KLVSXEOLFDWLRQLVWKHUHVXOWRIWKHUVWMRLQWFRQIHUHQFHKHOGRQWKHth of June 2008
with the title Design Processes. This title was selected by an organizing committee
consisting of Wim Poelman, David Keyson, Petra Badke Schaub, Teake the Jong and
Hannah Ottens. The committee was of the opinion that the most striking difference
between the disciplines was the attitude against and the practice of methodology in the
design process. It was decided that a preliminary investigation would be organized to
provide specialist with data from practice preparing their papers.

Preliminary Investigation
Four student assistants were invited to carry out the preliminary research, two from
each faculty. Names: Gijs Kappen, Melissa van ter Meij, Maarten Heijmerink and Matty
Cruijsberg.
1H[W VL[ VXEMHFWV ZHUH GHQHG IRU LQYLWLQJ VSHFLDOLVW IRU SUHSDULQJ D SDSHU 7KHVH
subjects were: design processes in general (invited specialist professor Henri Achten),
visualization as a design tool (invited specialist professor Petra Badke Schaub), project
management (invited specialist professor Joost Wamelink), social complexity in

collaboration (invited specialist professor Petra Badke Schaub), decision making (invited
specialist professor Peter Paul van Loon) and technology diffusion (invited specialist
SURIHVVRU :LP 3RHOPDQ  $ TXHVWLRQQDLUH ZDV VHW XS GLYLGHG LQ FKDSWHUV IRU HDFK
VXEMHFW7KHVSHFLDOLVWVZHUHUHTXHVWHGWRDGGWKHUHRZQSRLQWV
Eight projects were selected, four Industrial Design cases and four Architecture cases.
Interviews were arranged with the involved companies/designers/architects. The
interviews were carried out by two students, one of each faculty.
7KHLQWHUYLHZUHSRUWVZHUHSUHVHQWHGUVWWRWKHLQWHUYLHZHHVIRUFRPPHQWVDQGWKHQ
passed to the specialists.
Papers prepared by the specialists were presented to peers, one of the University of
Twente (professor Arthur Eger) and one from the University of Eindhoven (professor
Jos Lichtenberg).
The chairman of the conference professor Teake de Jong of the faculty for Architecture
was asked to comment the overall results of the conference. His comments are recorded
in chapter Chairmens Impression.
The general impression is that specialists were not able to base their paper fully on
WKHUHVXOWRIWKHSUHOLPLQDU\UHVHDUFK7ZRIDFWVFRXOGEHWKHUHDVRQ7KHUVWLVWKDW
PDQ\ TXHVWLRQV FRXOG QRW EH DQVZHUHG REMHFWLYHO\ VR QR DQDO\VLV FRXOG EH PDGH
The second is that a lot of interesting information came out of the interviews apart
IURPWKHTXHVWLRQVWKDWLQVSLUHGWKHVSHFLDOLVWVWRHODERUDWHRQWKDWVSHFLFLVVXHIURP
their own point of view. One other aspect might have played a role. For the specialists
the conference was a great opportunity to present their own vision. The cases were
deployed rather for underpinning their own opinion than for analysis in order to come
to new insights.
One of the valuable results of the preliminary research turned out to be the propositions
for which the interviewers explicitly asked. They are presented in this introduction. In the
Chairmens Impressions chapter he will comment these pro-propositions extensively.

The cases
The cases provide several examples of the various characters of design processes.
Not all information, resulting from the preliminary research is free for publication, but
WKHSURSRVLWLRQVE\WKHGHVLJQHUVDUFKLWHFWVDQGWKHVSHFLFFRPPHQWVLQWKHSDSHUV
provide valuable information.
The Westraven building by CePeZed is a project for the government organization
Rijkswaterstaat and based on existing building which is stripped completely until only
DFRQFUHWHVNHOHWRQZDVOHIWRYHU7KLVVNHOHWRQIRUPHGWKHEDVLVIRUDPRGHUQRIFH
building in which many new technologies were applied. Eye catching in the project are
WKUHHVTXDUHVEHKLQGZKLFKRRUVDUHEURNHQDZD\WRFUHDWHKLJKRSHQVSDFHVDQGWR
get rid of the boring repetition in the faade. Remarkable are furthermore the textile
screens in the faade which care for sun shading a well as for wind shielding and sound
decrease.
,QWHUHVWLQJ DUH DOVR WKH ODUJH VSDFHV RQ WKH JURXQG RRU LQ ZKLFK DQ LQWHUPHGLDWH
FOLPDWHLVFUHDWHG3DUWVRIWKHZDOOVDUHUHDOL]HGE\(7)(LQDWDEOHSLOORZV

Introduction - W.A. Poelman

Figure 1: Fasade detail

Propositions:
o Every advisor has solutions.
o The architect has to take all ideas to a higher level.
o The architect introduces problems, the advisor provides solutions.
o Copies are compliments.

The A230 chair by Ahrend is a representative example of an


advanced industrial design engineering product. As e result
RI PXFK H[SHULHQFH ZLWK WKH GHVLJQ RI RIFH FKDLUV WKH
Ahrend team is able to develop a product which is optimized
in every aspect such as ergonomics, form, produce ability,
sustainability, etcetera. Here comes to the fore an important
difference with architecture: development deepness. In
architecture development costs are mostly written of on
one product, while a chair is produced in ten thousands.
Figure 2: A230 chair

Proposition:
o &OLHQWVKDYHTXHVWLRQV
o Decision making mostly means: how large is the demand.
o The sales agency is our antenna.
o The purchasing agency is an interesting source.
o :HZULWHRXUSURJUDPRIUHTXLUHPHQWVRXUVHOYHV
o ,QDQRIFHPHHWLQJPD\EHPRUHLPSRUWDQWWKDQZRUN
o Styling is 10% of our work.

The image-and-sound (in Dutch, beeld en geluid) building by Neutelings-Riedijk is


a useful example how art and architecture can be integrated. The relation between
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engineering and art. As the artist houses more or less in very architect, most industrial
design engineers do not feel like an artist at all. The artistic industrial designer forms even
an apart group within the discipline organized in different professional organizations.
The chair of Ahrend will never be regarded as art, but the knotted chair of Gijs Wanders
LVSUHVHQWHGLQIDPRXVDUWPXVHXPV6SHFLFDERXWWKH,PDJHDQGVRXQGEXLOGLQJLV
Introduction - W.A. Poelman

the cooperation with Jaap Drupsteen, a graphical and media designer. In addition to
WHFKQRORJ\ERUURZHGIURPWKHHOGRIJUDSKLFDUWVTXDOLW\VWDQGDUGVZHUHWUDQVIHUUHG
to the glass facade to realise this remarkable building.

Figure 3: The image-and-sound building

Propositions:
o The scale of a project is not relevant for the way of communicating.
o Steps are similar to those taught at TUDelft + geographical centered
communication.
o 'LIIHUHQWPRFNXSVWRVLPXODWHGLIIHUHQWUHVHDUFKTXHVWLRQV
o All knowledge in architecture is common knowledge.
Also the BeerTender by MMID will never be regarded as art, but it is an excellent example
of industrial design engineering where the link to marketing is crucial. This project is
about a new way of packing, distributing and drinking beer for the home market.
Acceptance by the user of this concept is dependant of marketing communication but
to a large extent of design. The look of the business to business image of the beer
container would not work, not the ergonomics.

Figure 4: The beer container

Introduction - W.A. Poelman

Propositions:
o Beertender is produced in very large series.
o My own style isnt important in this project.
o Style is work method f-d-p (Functionality & technology, Design (look & feel),
Production & assembly)
o I cannot recall decisions that explicitly.
o But there have been moments like that during the project. Time, Money and
Quality.

The 1-2-3 House by Martini is an extremely interesting project in the context of the
relation between architecture and industrial design engineering. You could say that
an architectural product is developed and produced as an industrial designed product.
From the interview is learned that there are many constraints introducing this kind of
approach in housing industry. Up scaling is necessary to earn back money invested in
the manufacturing process, but the market structure is not suitable to apply marketing
strategies from industry. The housing market is highly bureaucratic.

Figure 5: Turning the tunnel

The Carver of Spark Design & Engineering and carver Europe is based upon the
invention of a hydraulic canting mechanism, which enables stability of narrow vehicles.
The application of the system leads to both a striking driving experience and a striking
visual appearance. In fact, a new archetype of a vehicle is created which resembles a
cross between a motorcycle and a small car. The success of the design is a result of
the collaboration between the engineering company (Carver Europe) and the design
company (Spark Engineering). The design problem is comparable with that of the
Beertender, introducing new product concepts linked to new human behaviour and new
visual appearance. The difference is that Carver does not have a marketing power like
the beer companies. Introduction by immense marketing campaigns is not possible,
so Carver is dependent on a slow introduction via innovators, trendsetters and trend
followers.

Introduction - W.A. Poelman

Figure 6: The Carver

Propositions:
Robert Barnhorn, Spark:
o We see that most women chose the managing side of this profession.
o Investors knew that extra time would be a good investment to there product.
o The one who pays makes the last decision.
o Architecture knows heroes, industrial design the name of the bureau.
Frank Vermeulens Carver:
o A car consists over more than 1200 components.
o Small steps have to restrict high risks.
o $UFKLWHFWXUHLVDVSHFLHGGLUHFWLRQLQSURGXFWGHVLJQLQJ
o Media like to attach a name of an architect to a building.
o A mass product has a lifecycle of one year, but a building has a lifecycle of
50-100 years.

The Industrial Design Engineering Building, designed by Fons Verheyen The building in
which this conference is taking place is an example of a project in which cooperation
between architects and industrial designers might be expected. Like the CePeZed
building, this building is based on an existing building being the central workshops of
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7KLV NLQG RI GHVLJQ ZKLFK LV HVSHFLDOO\ LPSRUWDQW LQ DUFKLWHFWXUH FRXOG EH VSHFLHG
as Supply Driven Design (SDD), which proceeds from existing artefacts. Although we
cannot go into depth about this relatively new, sustainable type of design activity, we
can conclude that more creativity is needed to design something within the limitations of
an existing artefact than is needed to design something completely new. In this regard,
industrial designers could learn from architects, who do this on a regular basis.
Propositions:
o Small series, big scale difference.
o 7KHUVWELJGHFLVLRQZDVWRGHFLGHWRGRVXFKDELJUHQRYDWLRQSURMHFWWKHQ
GHFLGLQJ XSRQ WKH QDO DPRXQW RI VTXDUH PHWHUV DQG ZKHUH WR SODFH ZKLFK
function.
o The whole idea, to create one big space in which everybody would be able to
enjoy what others are doing, was one big risk.

10

Introduction - W.A. Poelman

Figure 7: Interior sketch

7KHLQDWDEOHFDUHEHGRI,QGHV is the last project to discuss. The bed was not designed
as a synchronous product but as a diachronic script, in which not a special delivery
service, but the homecare nurse herself delivers and installs the bed. The physical
product was simply a way to enable that script. Because traditional care beds did not
WLQWRWKDWVFULSW WRRKHDY\WRRELJ LWZDVQHFHVVDU\WRGHVLJQDFRPSOHWHO\QHZ
product.
Script based design represents a growing trend in the discipline of industrial design
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write the script and then the products necessary to realise the script. In architecture
this might be more common. The use of a building should be described before it is
possible to design a proper building.

Figure 8: ,QDWDEOHFDUHEHG

Propositions:
o Not much attention was given to aesthetics.
o Users played an important role, from the start they were consulted and later
they were involved when prototypes had to be tested.
o The people involved in the engineering phase are already looking over the
shoulder during the concept development stage.
Introduction - W.A. Poelman

11

From the short description of these cases it will be clear that the diversity is so large
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TXDOLWDWLYHFRQFOXVLRQVDUHQRWHDV\WRIRUPXODWHEHFDXVHRIWKHGLYHUVLW\RIFRQWH[WV
Nevertheless, a lot is learned from the cases in combination with the analysis and
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follow in Chapter Chainmans impressions.

The subtitle
The subtitle of the conference behind this book reads: life is a theater. Architects care
for the scenery; Industrial designers care for the props; People care for the drama.
7KLVVXEWLWOHZDVFKRVHQLQWKHUVWSODFHWRH[SUHVVWKHOLQNEHWZHHQWKHIDFXOWLHVRI
architecture and industrial design engineering. However, the message goes further than
that. Most people will agree with the proposition that architects and industrial design
engineers should not write the script for human existence. The function of scenery and
props designers is to serve the scriptwriter and the actors with objects supporting the
play. Imagine a situation in which the behavior of a performer has to change because
of the scenery or props. For example, when the actor has to appear on the scene from
the ceiling, or is only able to speak after putting of a mask, without discussing it before
with the scriptwriter and actors, this would lead to an unacceptable situation.
But in real life, this happens all the time. Human behavior is for a large part enshrined
by architects and designers and not anymore by people themselves and spiritual
fathers who acted as scriptwriters for life and still do in religious communities like the
0XVOLPFRPPXQLW\ZKHUHYHWLPHVSUD\LQJDGD\ZLWKWKHIDFHWR0HNNDLVSDUWRI
the script.
Nowadays, the script of life is for a large part written by architects and designers. Urban
planning decides how we spread our activities geographical. The design of modern
residential districts determines for a large part how we communicate with each other.
7KHGHVLJQRIVKRSSLQJFHQWHUVGHWHUPLQHVKRZZHDFTXLUHRXUIRRGVWXIIV'HVLJQHUV
of means for transport decide how we move ourselves and kitchen designers decide
how we cook.
All this has to do with the mechanisms of technology diffusion on which Wim Poelman
will elaborate in his paper later.
The main subject of this conference however is Design Processes and the main issues
of the conference were:

o the contemporary interrelationship of Industrial Design and Architecture


o a confrontation of contemporary design practice in both domains with academic
theory and education

12

Introduction - W.A. Poelman

13

IDE+A

Design Processes
Design Processes - Wim Poelman and David Keyson (Eds.)
IOS Press, 2008 2008 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved.

Design processes between academic and practice views

Dr. ir. H.H. Achten


Assistant Professor, Architectural Modeling
Eindhoven University of Technology
Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning
Design Systems Group

Abstract
In order to speak about the commonalities and differences between industrial and
DUFKLWHFWXUDOGHVLJQZHQHHGDFRPPRQIUDPHZRUNWKDWPD\FDSWXUHERWKGHVLJQHOGV
Practice-based descriptions have a long tradition, and are close to everyday reality of
WKHHOGVEXWWKH\DUHWRRVSHFLF7KHVFLHQWLFVWXG\RIGHVLJQGHVLJQUHVHDUFK
is a more recent development, which aims accurately to provide this framework. We
discuss the current understanding of design, its limitations, and some observations
related to the cases of the IDE+A Conference.
Keywords: design theory, design method, design research.

Do we understand design processes?

Before we begin the general argument in this paper, we must consider an important
premise that underlies the motivation of the text. At the IDE+A Conference, architects
DQGLQGXVWULDOGHVLJQHUVDUHLQYLWHGWRDGGUHVVVSHFLFSUREOHPVLQGHVLJQ7KHLVVXH
then is this: can an architect or industrial designer discuss aspects of design in his or
KHUHOGLQVXFKDZD\WKDWLWPDNHVVHQVHWRWKHRWKHU"7KHDUFKLWHFWVFRQFHUQVDIWHU
all, are about bricks, steel, glass, and wood; how to organise the spatial composition
of a building or urban environment, how to make structures and installations work
together, etc. The industrial designers concerns are about plastics, textiles, and various
kinds of metals; how to create effective and ergonomic solutions for people; how to set
XSSURGXFWLRQLQWKHPRVWHIFLHQWDQGFRVWHIIHFWLYHZD\HWF7KHUHLVDJDSWKHUHIRUH
EHWZHHQWKHGHVLJQHOGVLQWHUPVRIGRPDLQNQRZOHGJHWKHIDFWVDQGSULQFLSOHVWKDW
DUHVSHFLFWRDUFKLWHFWXUHDQGWRLQGXVWULDOGHVLJQUHVSHFWLYHO\
Both architects and product designers (or designers from any other discipline, for that
PDWWHU PDLQO\ZRUNRQDSURMHFWEDVLVPHDQLQJWKDWDSURMHFWLVDFTXLUHGDVLQJOH
designer is assigned or a team is put together, and work on the project continues until
its completion (or until its early cancellation). Such projects tend to take a long time,
varying from a few months to several years. Throughout this time projects are subject
to all kinds of change: in the team, in the norms and laws to which the design must
FRPSO\LQWKHXVHUVWDVWHLQPDWHULDOVDQGSURGXFWLRQWHFKQLTXHVDQGVRRQ7KXV
each project has its own confusing history of contingencies which must be solved for
the project to be completed successfully.
There is a twofold assumption, therefore, when we talk about design processes: that
we can bridge the differences between the design domains, and that we can abstract
enough from everyday practice within each design domain to talk about the general
aspects of design. If either of these assumptions fails (or we choose not to believe in
them) then there is no basis for comparison other than the anecdotal level. Believing

15

in these assumptions, however, does not mean that all our problems are easily solved.
Design processes have developed over a very long period of time (one could even claim
thousands of years). There is a very close connection between the praxis of design,
its body of knowledge, and design methods. For practitioners it is often very hard to
separate these views. The conception of the design process as something that can be
GLVFXVVHGDXWRQRPRXVO\LVYHU\PXFKDPRGHUQPHWKRGRORJLFDOVFLHQWLFLGHDDQGD
FRPSDUDWLYHO\\RXQJRQHKDYLQJJDLQHGFXUUHQF\DERXWIW\\HDUVDJR(YHQWKRXJK
tremendous progress has been made in the understanding of design, there is still a lot
left to be understood properly.
The perspective that we take in this text, therefore, is academic rather than practicebased, since the academic view provides a transferable set of theoretical concepts by
ZKLFKZHFDQGLVFXVVGHVLJQLQYDULRXVGRPDLQV,QWKHUVW VHFWLRQ ZH ZLOORXWOLQH
WKHVFLHQWLFFRQFHSWVGHDOLQJZLWKGHVLJQSURFHVVHVERWKLQWKHDUHDVRIWKHRU\DQG
methods and sketch the current orthodox view of what design processes are. This
view is certainly not unchallenged, and a number of the most notable problems will be
GHVFULEHG7RFRQFOXGHZHZLOOEULH\UHYLHZWKHGHVLJQFDVHVSUHVHQWHGIRUWKH,'($
Conference.
Since the notions established in this paper are the result of research on design in all
kinds of domains, here we refrain from talking about architects or industrial designers,
but use the more generic term designer.

Design process, theory and method

In the description of the design process, two perspectives can be utilised: that of design
theory and of design method. Each has a very distinct view of design processes, but it
is fair to claim that there is a very strong interdependency between the two.
&URVV  GHQHVGHVLJQPHWKRGRORJ\DVWKHVWXG\RIWKHSULQFLSOHVSUDFWLFHVDQG
procedures of design in a rather broad and general sense. Its central concern is how
designing both is and might be conducted. This concern therefore includes the study
of how designers work and think; the establishment of appropriate structures for the
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DQGSURFHGXUHVDQGUHHFWLRQRQWKHQDWXUHDQGH[WHQWRIGHVLJQNQRZOHGJHDQGLWV
application to design problems.
&URVV GLVWLQFWLRQ EHWZHHQ KRZ GHVLJQLQJ LV DQG PLJKW EH FRQGXFWHG GHQHV WKH
difference between design processes (how designing is) and design methods (how
designing might be conducted). In order to describe these aspects, it is necessary to
have a theoretical framework for design this is design theory.
It is important to notice that designers and researchers, when talking about design
theory, often mean different things. Professional design theory has been around at least
since Vitruvius (approximately 1st Century BC; see Vitruvius 1960). Professional design
theory is instrumental theory in the sense that very often it instructs or describes how
to get things done. Its main subject is the motivation and starting points for design,
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experience, and is very much object-oriented urban environments, buildings, details,
and so on. Professional design theory, however, is not the view that we take when we
talk about design theory.

16

Design processes - H.H. Achten

2.1

The role of design theory

7KHRUHWLFDOUHHFWLRQRQGHVLJQLVQHFHVVDU\WRWUDQVIHUNQRZOHGJHDERXWWKHGRPDLQWR
others, for example in an educational setting. Theory helps to distinguish between what
is fundamental to the discipline and what is not; which aspects and concepts matter to
design, and which aspects and concepts are incidental. This helps the designer maintain
an overview of the discipline and guards against ad-hoc actions. A strong theoretical
EDVLVFDQLQFUHDVHHIFLHQF\EHFDXVHWKHGHVLJQHUKDVDFOHDUYLHZRIZKDWWKHJRDOV
are, and understands the means by which to achieve them. A too-rigid understanding
RIGHVLJQKRZHYHUPD\SURYHWREHVWLLQJLWLVLPSRUWDQWWKHUHIRUHWRDFKLHYHDJRRG
balance.
In more recent applications, design theory has also been instrumental in the development
of new tools for design in particular in the development and application of computer
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enables new group processes such as collaborative design and twenty-four-hour design
teams. Also the more direct use of the form and shape generating capacity of computers
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:KDWLVGHVLJQLQJ",VWKHDFWLYLW\FDOOHGGHVLJQLQJGLIIHUHQWIURPRWKHU
human activities (for example, cooking, sport, arguing, etc.) If so,

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2.2

The role of design methods

Design methods concern the actual or desired order of the design decisions that are
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informal and can mean anything from a habitual working method to highly structured
and controlled processes. Another recurring notion is the personal design method,
which is not communicated with others it is even claimed to be incommunicable. For
a better understanding (and appreciation) of design methods, however, we must clearly
GHQHH[DFWO\ZKDWDGHVLJQPHWKRGLV,QRXUYLHZVRPHWKLQJLVDGHVLJQPHWKRGLI
and only if:

,WFOHDUO\GHQHVDJRDOLQWKHGHVLJQSURFHVV

,WLGHQWLHVVWHSVWRWDNHDQGWKHRUGHULQZKLFKWRWDNHWKHP
3.
It is applicable to more than one case.
Design processes - H.H. Achten

17

4.
Other people can also apply it.
5.
It has criteria to determine when a step has been concluded.
Each aspect of this list has to be present in order for something to be called a design
method.
There are a number of reasons to develop and use design methods. Design methods are
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RU ZKHQ WKH FRVW RI QRW QGLQJ D JRRG RU VDWLVFLQJ VROXWLRQ LV KLJK 7KLV W\SLFDOO\
occurs in complex design projects, or when the design(er) (team) takes on a problem
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PRUHWKDQDQDYHUDJHMXVWLFDWLRQRIVWHSVRUVROXWLRQVGHVLJQPHWKRGVFDQEHXVHGWR
structure the process. Finally, because of the explicitness of design methods, they also
help in coordinating large design teams or multiple experts involved in projects.
There is a sometimes tenuous relationship between design methods and practice. Most
of the designers of the IDE+A Conference cases, when asked whether they followed
a method, replied either that they did not, or that when they did, it closely followed
what they were taught at university. They also noted that practice will most often
lead away from the ideal process, so there is a perceived lack of applicability. When
confronted with new or changed design methods, designers often feel restricted in their
freedom (this is probably a stronger sentiment in architecture than in industrial design).
7KLV VKRXOG QRW EH YHU\ VXUSULVLQJ  JHWWLQJ WR XQGHUVWDQG D QHZ PHWKRG UHTXLUHV
time and effort, which distracts from the job at hand. This is a situation that a skilled
designer wants to avoid. This mechanism can also explain why designers often dislike
talking about their method. Thinking about the design process in terms of method is
a rationalising activity. Design problems, however, as we will see in the next section,
FDQQRWEHIXOO\XQGHUVWRRGLQUDWLRQDOWHUPV&RQVHTXHQWO\DWVRPHSRLQWDGHVLJQHU
has to state where things are explicitly explainable and where they are not. This again
may cause uncertainty or confer a sense of uneasiness. The mark of a skilled designer
LVWKDWKHRUVKHKDVLQWHUQDOLVHGGHVLJQVNLOOVVRWKDWWKH\GRQRWUHTXLUHH[SOLFLWPHQWDO
effort. Conscious thinking about the act of designing disrupts this because it challenges
the hidden skills to become expressed. Again, this is experienced as an intrusive activity.
Finally, in the domain of architecture in particular there is a heightened status for star
designers. Connected with this status is a tendency to keep the processes or methods
shrouded as some kind of mystery or art.
Most design methods have been developed for single designers. In some cases,
design teams are considered to be one designer consisting of multiple persons. This
may perhaps work for very well-contained design methods that have a limited scope
EUDLQVWRUPLQJ FUHDWLYLW\ WHFKQLTXHV RU SUREOHP GHFRPSRVLWLRQ  EXW LW EUHDNV GRZQ
at higher level goals because of group dynamics and mixed expertise. As much of
everyday design takes place in teams or in communication structures with outside
SDUWLHVWKLVLVDUHDOGHFLHQF\LQWKHDUHDRIGHVLJQPHWKRGV
To conclude, if we want to describe design processes, we need a theoretical framework
for design. It is basically a descriptive activity with design(ing) as its subject. Based on
theoretical considerations, a design theory may lead to a design method, but this is
not necessarily so. Design methods, on the other hand, may be the subject of design
theory. Design methods are prescriptive and solution-oriented. A design method always
LPSOLHV WKHRUHWLFDO SULQFLSOHV EHFDXVH LW LGHQWLHV LPSRUWDQW VWHSV DQG LVVXHV LQ WKH
design process.

18

Design processes - H.H. Achten

The orthodox view of design processes

7KHUHODWLYHO\\RXQJVFLHQWLFVWXG\RIGHVLJQSURFHVVHVKDVJRQHWKURXJKDQXPEHU
of distinct periods (see Cross (1984) and Jones (1980) for good accounts of this
development). Three research approaches have emerged as dominant in the current
view of design processes: rational problem solving, about the structuring of design
problems; information processing, about the thought processes of designers; and
protocol analysis, about the research methods to study designers. Obviously, there are
many other ways to research and investigate design (see for example Oxman et al.
(1995), Achten et al. (2001), and Achten et al. (2005) for an overview), but the three
mentioned above constitute what we might call the orthodox view of design and the
study of design.

3.1

The nature of design problems

In the theoretical research on design, a distinction is commonly made between four


classes of problems with an increasing degree of complexity and unpredictability: tame
problems, well-structured problems, ill-structured problems, and wicked problems
(Lawson (1990), Simon (1973)). The general consensus is that design problems are
ZLFNHGSUREOHPV7KHFKDUDFWHULVWLFVRIZLFNHGSUREOHPVKDYHEHHQGHQHGE\5LWWHO
and Webber (1973):

2.
3.
4.
5.

6.


8.
9.

10.

7KHUHLVQRGHQLWLYHIRUPXODWLRQRIDZLFNHGSUREOHP
Wicked problems have no stopping rule.
Solutions to wicked problems are not true-or-false, but good-or-bad.
There is no immediate and no ultimate test of a solution to a wicked
problem.
Every solution to a wicked problem is a one-shot operation; because
there is no opportunity to learn by trial-and-error, every attempt
FRXQWVVLJQLFDQWO\
Wicked problems do not have an enumerable (or an exhaustively
describable) set of potential solutions, nor is there a well-described
set of permissible operations that may be incorporated in the plan.
(YHU\ZLFNHGSUREOHPLVHVVHQWLDOO\XQLTXH
Every wicked problem can be considered to be a symptom of another
problem.
The existence of a discrepancy representing a wicked problem can be
explained in numerous ways. The choice of explanation determines
the nature of the problems resolution.
The planner has no right to be wrong.

7KHFRQVHTXHQFHRIWKHIDFWWKDWGHVLJQSUREOHPVDUHZLFNHGSUREOHPVLVWKDWDOLPLWHG
degree of rationality can be applied to solve them. Creating a solution will always
depend to some degree on a creative insight. The phase where solutions are created
is the challenging part where a designer seemingly jumps from a problem setting
to a solution. A match or mapping is made between two distinct things a problem
and a solution. This is not trivial: just why exactly a given solution matches a problem
is still unanswered. Both problems and solutions are complex and they have almost
no common elements in their structure. In most cases, problems and solutions are
HYHQGHVFULEHGLQGLIIHUHQWZD\VSUREOHPVDVVHWVRIUHTXLUHPHQWVZLVKHVGHPDQGV
Design processes - H.H. Achten

19

or other verbal statements; and solutions as conglomerations of ordered elements of


urban/city environments, buildings, or objects.

3.2

Structure of the design process

Given the characteristics of design problems, it follows that creating a solution is not
D RQHVWHS DIIDLU QRU D PDWWHU RI DSSO\LQJ RQH WHFKQLTXH WR VROYH WKHP 'HVLJQLQJ
therefore, is a lengthy process in time, during which the designer iterates and revises
the design many times. Designing is as much about understanding the problem as it
is about creating a solution, in particular in the early phase of design. Therefore, not
only does the designer utilise information and knowledge that is provided at the outset
(brief, site, client, etc.) but he or she also generates a lot of knowledge throughout the
design process.
5RR]HQEXUJDQG(HNHOV  GHQHWKH%DVLF'HVLJQ&\FOH %'& DVDFROOHFWLRQRI
activities and documents that are created and performed in design. The BDC consists
of the following (terms in italics denote activities):
1.
Function statement: a statement about what is needed in the design
problem.
Analysis: analysis of the function statement or current state of the
2.
design.
3.
Criteria: a set of criteria to which the design has to conform.
4.
Synthesis: the creation of a (preliminary) design or solution to a subproblem.
5.
Provisional design: the external representation, by means of sketch,
drawing, text, or model, of the (preliminary) design.
6.
Simulation: the derivation of the expected behaviour or performance
of the (preliminary) design.
7.
Expected properties: a prediction of the future behaviour or
performance of the (preliminary) design.
8.
Evaluation: a judgement of how well the (preliminary) design
performs, based on the criteria formulated earlier, and the expected
properties.
9.
Value of the design: a value setting of the performance, based on the
evaluation and goals set by the designer.
10.
Decision: the decision to continue with the design (either through the
creation of a new proposal in Synthesis, or restating the problem

LQ$QDO\VLV RUGHFLGLQJWKDWWKHGHVLJQLVQLVKHGZKLFKOHDGVWRWKH
next document:

$SSURYHGGHVLJQWKHQDOLVHGGHVLJQ
Roozenburg and Eekels note that the actual order of activities and documents in a
concrete design project is unpredictable, so they do not claim that this order is indicative
for a design project. Rather, they claim that in any given design project, each activity
and each document has to be performed or created at least once, but most likely many
times over.
The BDC may be considered to be the private design cycle for a designer or design
team. Throughout the whole design process, additional structuring is created as well
in architecture this is usually a phased process consisting of sketch design, preliminary
GHVLJQQDOGHVLJQDQGH[HFXWLRQGHVLJQ(DFKSKDVHLVFRQFOXGHGZLWKGRFXPHQWV
that describe the design solution with increasing precision. The purpose of the phased

20

Design processes - H.H. Achten

structure is to create secure, consistent descriptions of the design which can form
the basis for the next steps in the design process. In that way, the designer avoids
unnecessary backtracking.

3.3

Forms of knowledge in design

Designing is knowledge intensive. Much of design is a matter of applying knowledge of


previous solutions that inform the basic direction in which the current design solution
has to move. Previous solutions can be referred to as precedents (prominent examples),
types (generalised knowledge of classes of buildings or products), and analogies (used
as metaphors rather than literal examples).
The design process itself starts out with many facts, arising from the brief and from
clients desires, from the site where a project is to be realised, from particular technologies
that will be used (for example the 123 House case in the IDE+A Conference), budget,
and so on. Throughout the design process, additional knowledge is generated about
the design itself, and the designer searches also for information based on the needs at
that point in the design.
&RQVWUDLQWV DUH D VSHFLF W\SH RI NQRZOHGJH DQG LQIRUPDWLRQ WKDW LV XVHG LQ GHVLJQ
Constraints put limits or boundaries on the design or the context of design. Client goals,
norms and laws, local regulations, welfare, and so on have to be met in order for a
design to be approved.

3.4

Forms of reasoning in the design process

In order to create (preliminary) design solutions, knowledge and information must be


processed. This involves several forms of reasoning. Reasoning by example is a major
WHFKQLTXHXVHGE\GHVLJQHUV:KHWKHUWKHSUHYLRXVVROXWLRQLVDSUHFHGHQWW\SHRU
analogy, the designer takes some element of the example and, based on the perceived
structure of the solution, generates a new solution that is suited to the current design
problem.
A way of reasoning in design that is a bit more explorative or imaginative is through
what-if reasoning or by means of scenarios. In these cases, the designer takes the
current design and tries to imagine how it will perform. In this way, designers can also
use previously experienced episodes with other buildings or urban environments and
aim to duplicate them in the current design.
Given the characteristics of wicked problems, it is not possible to determine objectively
ZKHWKHU D GHVLJQ FRPSOHWHO\ IXOOV DOO WKH UHTXLUHPHQWV LW KDV WR PHHW 2EYLRXVO\
designers try to meet the constraints set out in the brief, and those that are imposed by
the context of the project. However, this does not mean they have to prove that their
design is perfect or the only one possible. Rather, designers try to meet the constraints
as much as possible, and aim to reach at least a minimum threshold of performance or
TXDOLW\LQGHVLJQ6LPRQ  FDOOVWKLVVDWLVFLQJ
Analytical modes of reasoning are used particularly in the analysis phase of a project, or
ZKHQWKHFRQVHTXHQFHVRIGHVLJQGHFLVLRQVKDYHWREHGHULYHG7KLVLVDOVRZKHUHORJLF
plays a role in the design process. Finally, the least well understood form of reasoning
is what is generally called visual reasoning. Designers use external representations
such as drawings and sketches a lot, and a considerable amount of generation and
Design processes - H.H. Achten

21

judgement is done visually on the basis of such sketches and drawings. All designers of
the IDE+A cases strongly indicate that they consider sketching to be a vital skill.

3.5

Psychological view of designers

The reasoning and memory abilities of people is limited. Memory is generally conceived
of as consisting of two main functional parts: long-term memory (LTM) and short-term
memory (STM) see Akin (1986) for a good introduction. LTM is where experiences
DUHVWRUHGDWOHQJWK7KHUHFDOOIURP/70LVUHODWLYHO\VORZEXWPRVWVLJQLFDQWO\LWLV
not directly accessible for conscious processing. In STM memories are accessed from
LTM and once there can become the subject of thought processes. STM works relatively
fast, but it has a limited capacity to hold information. In general, this is thought of as
roughly seven coherent pieces of information, called chunks. How big the chunks can
be, or how they are organised, remains unclear. It seems evident, however, that more
experienced or skilled designers utilise better or more compressed pieces of information
when they are reasoning.

3.6

External representations in the design process

Limited reasoning and memory capacity is an additional factor that structures design
processes. One role of representations such as drawings and models is to form an
external memory which can store information about the design by similarity. The
GHVLJQHUQHHGVRQO\WRJODQFHDWWKHVNHWFKRUPRGHOWRTXLFNO\DFWLYDWHWKHLPSOLFLWO\
stored information.
External representations, in particular those that complete a phase of the design process
VNHWFKGHVLJQSUHOLPLQDU\GHVLJQQDOGHVLJQDQGSURGXFWLRQGHVLJQ DOVRKDYHD
legal status, and they are also used to communicate between parties in the design
process. A large part of the activity in the design process, therefore, is reserved for the
production of accurate and precise drawings and documents.

3.7

Creativity in design processes

Creativity plays an important role in design it is the mechanism with which a designer
is able to come up with a novel solution to a problem. Creativity does not work in
isolation; it needs to be embedded in a work context that provides information and the
right setting to generate an idea.
A common distinction which is made in terms of design solutions are the following three
classes of designs (Brown and Chandrasekaran, 1985):
1.
Routine design: the creation of a solution that falls completely within
the range of previous solutions. The solution is adapted to current
needs but does not introduce anything novel. Redesign may also be
considered to be routine design.
2.
Innovative design: the creation of a solution which has at least one
additional feature that has not been seen before in this kind of design
solution. Most of the design conforms to existing examples, but one
part is pushing the limits. All the architecture design cases in the
IDE+A Conference demonstrate this kind of design.
3.
Creative design: the creation of a solution that has a highly different
structure compared to existing solutions. A creative design does not
have a lot of similarities with existing designs.

22

Design processes - H.H. Achten

7KHGLVWLQFWLRQFRPHVIURPWKHGRPDLQRIDUWLFLDOLQWHOOLJHQFH)URPWKDWSHUVSHFWLYH
the delineation between the classes is fairly straightforward. A routine design simply is
an instance of an already known type or class; an innovative design adds something
new but does not change the structure of the type or class; and in creative design an
altogether new structure for a type or class is created.
The delineation becomes less clear, however, when we try to apply it from a designers
perspective. In particular the distinction between innovative and creative design
becomes hard to make. Especially if we insist on completely new structures, then
most of architectural design simply is not creative a conclusion with which many will
disagree. The difference in innovative and creative, therefore, is more a matter of
the degree to which a design is pushing existing limits by means of innovations.

3.8

Design, designers, the design process

Based on the above, we can now summarise the orthodox view as follows. The
designer can be conceived of as an information processor (STM, LTM, and cognitive
structures) who tries to solve wicked problems. An important design activity is the
subdivision and reformulation of the wicked problem into sub-problems in order to
make them well-structured. The designer has procedural knowledge in the form of
KHXULVWLFVDQGGHVLJQPHWKRGV'HVLJQLQJUHTXLUHVGHFODUDWLYHNQRZOHGJHRIWKHGRPDLQ
(architecture, industrial design, machine engineering, etc.) as well as knowledge of
previous solutions (cases, precedents, and types).
Because of the limitations of STM and LTM, the designer cannot have an overview of
the whole problem (even not when a problem is well-structured, which in design does
QRWUHDOO\RFFXU &RQVHTXHQWO\WKHGHVLJQSURFHVVLVVHTXHQWLDOLQWLPHDQGLWHUDWLYH
External representations such as drawings and models help to maintain an overview
DQGXQGHUVWDQGWKHFRQVHTXHQFHVRIGHVLJQGHFLVLRQV
Through the use of phases the designer prevents the possibility that, late in the
process, a small change will necessitate a redesign of the whole project (this does
not always work). Throughout the design process the designer explores both the
solution and the problem. One might claim that only at the end of the design process
is the design problem understood. A design problem does not have one single correct
solution. Furthermore, it is not possible to determine the degree of correctness. The
GHVLJQHUWKHUHIRUHVWULYHVIRUVDWLVFLQJUDWKHUWKDQSHUIHFWVROXWLRQV

Challenges to the orthodox view of design processes

The view of design processes sketched above is rather concise, but in broad outlines
provides the contours of our current understanding of design processes. As can be
seen, there is a strong interdependency between theoretical and methodological
notions. Despite the relatively short period of time that design has been an area for
VFLHQWLFUHVHDUFKWKHDFFRXQWVHHPVWREHVXUSULVLQJO\FRKHUHQW2EYLRXVO\WKLVYLHZ
is not the ultimate description of what design is about. Many things are still unknown
and there are many challenges to the orthodox view of design processes.
The foundation of the orthodox view of design processes is rational problem solving
536 DVGHQHGE\6LPRQ  6LPRQVZRUNZDVVHPLQDOLQVHWWLQJXSDJHQHUDO
Design processes - H.H. Achten

23

IUDPHZRUNWRWDONDERXWGHVLJQDVDVFLHQWLFVXEMHFWDWDOO,QUHFHQW\HDUVDGLIIHUHQW
YLHZRIGHVLJQKDVEHHQSXWIRUZDUGE\6FK|Q  FDOOHGUHHFWLYHSUDFWLFH 53 
Table 1 below sets out the differences between the two approaches.
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Since rational problem solving has the longer research tradition, it is clear that its
WKHRUHWLFDOIRXQGDWLRQVDUHTXLWHVWURQJ$SUREOHPZLWK536KRZHYHULVWKDWGHVLJQHUV
LQSDUWLFXODUDUFKLWHFWV GRQRWUHFRJQLVHWKHPVHOYHVLQWKH536IUDPHZRUN5HHFWLYH
practice, as noted by several researchers (see Dorst (1997), Valkenburg (2000), Reymen
(2001)), has a weak theoretical foundation, but strongly appeals to designers. Unless
a designer has a very systematic approach to design, the naming-framing-movingevaluating cycle seems much closer to what designers do. In earlier work (see Achten
(2003)), where we investigated the normative stance of three well-known architects
through their published works (Peter Eisenman, UN Studio, and Greg Lynn) in order to
derive their design methods, we have found some evidence for this. This concerns in
particular the decomposition of the problem, which resembles naming-framing more
than decomposition. This is so because there is a strong focus on concept formation.
An additional aspect that RPS ignores is the social aspects of design. Designers do not
operate in isolation, and most of the time they work in teams. The social aspects of
group dynamics such as leadership, dominance, negotiation, and team building are not
dealt with (see for example Foley and Macmillan (2005), Valkenburg (2000), Baird et al.
(2000), Ball and Ormerod (2000)).
Lastly, the idea that the motivation for design, or particular design decisions, is not
purely rational or can be stated completely objectively is a problem. Part of the way
designers in teams persuade each other is by means of storytelling. Another way to
investigate verbal exchanges in design teams is to look at convergence in the use of
words, to see whether a more or less consistent group dynamic is developing (Lloyd
(2000), Turner and Turner (2003), Dong (2005)).
Although RPS pays due attention to the psychological structure of designers, there is
no real differentiation between possible types of designers. In recent work, Lawson and
Dorst (2005) have investigated the notion of the level of expertise at which designers
PD\ EH FODVVLHG 7KH\ GLVWLQJXLVK EHWZHHQ VHYHQ OHYHOV QDwYH QRYLFH DGYDQFHG
beginner, competent, expert, master, and visionary. Different cognitive structures, sets
of competences, and ways of organising the design process are associated with each.
Most of the work summarised here (except for Schns work) has begun in the past
decade and is still in development. This is only a brief sketch of additional or alternative

24

Design processes - H.H. Achten

WDNHVRQWKHVWXG\RIGHVLJQSURFHVVHVWKHHOGLVYHU\ULFKDQGGLYHUVHDQGFDQQRWEH
done justice in this section alone.

The IDE+A design cases

The IDE+A design cases include four from architecture, and four from industrial
design. From the description of each, it is clear that the complexity of the design team
plays an important role in the design process. Given the above outline of the current
understanding of design processes, we can immediately see that this aspect is found
wanting, as team design is not covered much by current research. Nevertheless, we can
make a number of observations about the cases.
1.
Most of the designers who were interviewed were able to identify the
authorship of the key ideas in a project without a problem. One might
expect that due to the size of teams and the complexity of the task,
this may be more problematic.
2.
In the architectural cases, innovation is much more focused on a
single aspect whereas in the industrial design cases, innovation is
often spread out over a number of key components.

,QDUFKLWHFWXUDOGHVLJQSURMHFWDFTXLVLWLRQWKURXJKZLQQLQJDFRQWHVW
is a common phenomenon. However, this also means that the design
process structure is different from the classical client-meets-architect
model. The competition design leads to a proposal by which the
architect hopes to win the competition, but it is not the same as the

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a real risk of not getting the job. So in this type of process, there

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different concerns.
4.
Because of their length, the structuring of the design process in the
cases is based on the main documents or phases rather than the more
detailed design process for the single designer. The ideal design
process is seen as a point of reference, rather than an attainable
goal.
5.
Practice is very demanding and problem-oriented. This means that if
something does not yield immediate results, designers are not eager

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fails to provide productive frameworks for designers. Findings are

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threshold for their application.
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GLVFXVV GHVLJQ LQ YDULRXV HOGV VXFK DV DUFKLWHFWXUH DQG LQGXVWULDO GHVLJQ EXW DOVR
engineering, chemistry, information technology, and so forth. Since design theory in this
VHQVHLVTXLWHDEVWUDFWDQGGLVWDQWIURPSUDFWLFHLQRUGHUWRJDLQDJRRGXQGHUVWDQGLQJ
what design is, it is necessary to reference to practice as much as possible.

Conclusion

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GHVLJQ UHVXOWLQJ IURP VRPH IW\ \HDUV RI UHVHDUFK KDV JLYHQ XV WUHPHQGRXV LQVLJKWV
Design processes - H.H. Achten

25

in the nature of design, designers, and design products. It has also revealed however,
that there is a lot more left to be understood than we currently know. Partly this will
always be the case: the study what design is, will never yield what it is to be a designer.
$PHWKRGRORJLFDOUHHFWLRQRQWKHGHVLJQSURFHVVGRHVQRWJLYHWKHLPPHGLDWHVROXWLRQ
for the design problem at hand, but it helps in creating the basic skills for the designer.
Finally, from the view of professional and academic responsibility, we need to understand
what we are doing in a systematic, objective, and rigorous way in order to engage in
the creative, unexpected, and joyful way of designing.

References
Achten, H.H. (2003), New Design Methods for Computer Aided Architectural
Design Methodology Teaching; International Journal of Architectural
Computing 1(1), pp. 72-91.
Achten, H.H., Dorst, K., Stappers, P.J. and de Vries, B. (2005), Design
Research in the Netherlands 2005 Proceedings of the Symposium
held on 19-20 May 2005 Eindhoven University of Technology;
Eindhoven: Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning.
Achten, H.H., Hennessey, J. and de Vries, B. (2001), Design Research in the
Netherlands 2000, Eindhoven, Faculty of Architecture, Building and
Planning.
Akin, O. (1986), Psychology of Architectural Design, London, Pion.
Baird, F., Moore, C.J. and Jagodzinski, A.P. (2000), An Ethnographic Study of
Engineering Design Teams at Rolls-Royce Aerospace; Design Studies
21(4), pp. 333-355.
Ball, L.J. and Ormerod, Th.C. (2000), Applying Ethnography in the Analysis
and Support of Expertise in Engineering Design; Design Studies
21(4), pp.403-421.
Brown, D. C. and Chandrasekaran, B. (1985), Expert Systems for a Class of
Mechanical Design Activity, in Knowledge Engineering in ComputerAided Design, ed. by Gero, J.S., Amsterdam, North-Holland, pp.
259-282.
Cross, N. (1984), Developments in Design Methodology; Chichester, Wiley.
Dong, A. (2005), The Latent Semantic Approach to Studying Design Team
Communication; Design Studies 26(5), pp. 445-461.
Dorst, C.H. (1997), Describing Design: A Comparison of Paradigms; PhD
thesis, Delft: Delft University of Technology.
Foley, J. and Macmillan, S. (2005), Patterns of Interaction in Construction
Team Meetings; CoDesign 1(1), pp. 19-37.
Jones, J.C. (1980), Design Methods: Seeds of Human Futures; London: Wiley
Interscience.
/DZVRQ%  +RZ'HVLJQHUV7KLQN7KH'HVLJQ3URFHVV'HP\VWLHG
London: Butterworth Architecture.
/DZVRQ%5DQG'RUVW.  $FTXLULQJ'HVLJQ([SHUWLVH,Q
Computational and Cognitive Models of Creative Design VI., ed. by Gero, J.S.
and Maher, M.L., Key Centre University of Sydney, Sydney, pp. 211-230.
Lloyd, P. (2000), Storytelling and the Development of Discourse in the
Engineering Design Process; Design Studies 21(4), pp. 357-373.
Oxman, R.M., Bax, M.F.Th. and Achten, H.H. (1995), Design Research in the
Netherlands: A Symposium Convened By the Design Methods Group
Information Technology for Architecture, January 1995; Eindhoven,
Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning.

26

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Reymen, I. (2001), Improving Design Processes Through Structured



5HHFWLRQ$'RPDLQ,QGHSHQGHQW$SSURDFK3K'WKHVLV
Eindhoven: Institute for Programming Research and Algorithms.
Rittel, W.J. and Webber, M.M. (1973), Planning Problems are Wicked
Problems, In Cross, N. (1984), Developments in Design
Methodology; Chichester, Wiley, pp. 135-144.
Roozenburg, N. and Eekels, J. (1995), Product Design: Fundamentals and
Methods, Chichester, Wiley.
6FK|Q'$  7KH5HHFWLYH3UDFWLWLRQHU+RZ3URIHVVLRQDOV7KLQNLQ
Action; London, Basic Books.
Simon, H. (1973). The Structure of Ill-Structured Problems, In Cross, N.
(1984), Developments in Design Methodology; Chichester, Wiley, pp.
145-166.
6LPRQ+  7KH6FLHQFHVRIWKH$UWLFLDO&DPEULGJH0DVVDFKXVHWWV
MIT Press. First Edition 1969.
Turner, S. and Turner, P. (2003), Telling Tales: Understanding the Role of
Narrative in the Design of Taxonomic Software; Design Studies 23(6),
pp. 537-547.
9DONHQEXUJ5  7KH5HHFWLYH3UDFWLFHLQ3URGXFW'HVLJQ7HDPV3K'
thesis, Delft, Industrial Design Engineering.
Vitruvius (1960), Vitruvius: The Ten Books on Architecture, translated by
Morris Hickey Morgan, New York, Dover.

Design processes - H.H. Achten

27

IDE+A

Visualization
Design Processes - Wim Poelman and David Keyson (Eds.)
IOS Press, 2008 2008 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved.

Sketching is Alive and Well in this Digital Age

Prof. G. Goldschmidt
Professor, The Mary Hill Swope Chair in Architecture & Town Planning
Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning
Technion Israel Institute of Technology

Abstract
The different modes of visualisation found in the Delft Interviews are explored with
UHVSHFWWRWKHLUSDUWLFXODUDGYDQWDJHVDWVSHFLFSKDVHVRIWKHGHVLJQSURFHVVDQGDVD
means of communicating with various project stakeholders. Two main conclusions arise
IURPWKLVH[SORUDWLRQ)LUVWWKDWZLWKIHZH[FHSWLRQVWKHUHDUHQRVLJQLFDQWGLIIHUHQFHV
between architects and industrial designers in the way they produce and use visuals.
Second, despite the proliferation of potent digital visualisation means and their willing
adaptation by design practitioners, freehand sketching continues to be practised by
almost all designers throughout the design process. The extraordinary cognitive advantages of sketching are outlined and it is argued that because of those advantages sketching will continue to reign in design until other means of visualisation will be capable
of emulating its supremacy.
Keywords: DI (Delft Interviews); digital; design; model; sketch; visualisation

Introduction
In a world such as the one we live in it is only natural for young students, who were
born into the digital age, to ask their designer-interviewees: In this digital age is theUHVWLOODXVHIRUVNHWFKLQJ")URPWKHZD\WKHTXHVWLRQLVSKUDVHGLWDSSHDUVWKDWWKH
expected answer is no, but the courteous students allow the designers, practicing
DUFKLWHFWVDQGLQGXVWULDOGHVLJQHUVDOHVVGHFLVLYHUHSO\E\DGGLQJDIROORZXSTXHVWLRQ
DQGLQZKDWSKDVHVZRXOGWKDWEH"
Sketching is a mode of visualisation, alongside other modes. All designers in the survey
talk about means of visualisation they used in the particular project on which the interview focuses but they all generalise to other cases as well. Visualisation, in the evidence
SURYLGHGE\WKHLQWHUYLHZVVHUYHVDQXPEHURILPSRUWDQWSXUSRVHVUVWDQGIRUHPRVW
as communication in its roles of information and image recording and description, demonstration and sharing, explanation and convincing. Apart from freehand sketches
(including annotations), visuals include primarily other manual drawings on paper, digital two- and three-dimensional drawings, and physical models. Digital drawings can
be divided into two distinct types: precise measured drawings, and three-dimensional
images and renderings. Sometimes animation and movies are also added to the arsenal
of visuals. When and for what purpose is each of these modes of visualisation used,
DQGZK\"7KHVHDUHWKHTXHVWLRQVZHDUHRXWWRH[SORUHLQWKLVSDSHUZLWKDQHPSKDVLVRQVNHWFKHVZKLFKDUHWKHPRVWIUHTXHQWO\PHQWLRQHGYLVXDOLVDWLRQPRGDOLW\LQWKH
Delft Interviews (DI), and which, perhaps surprisingly for the interviewers, are still in
IUHTXHQWXVHLQERWKDUFKLWHFWXUDODQGLQGXVWULDOGHVLJQSUDFWLFH

29

Why visualise?

7KHTXHVWLRQZK\YLVXDOLVHLVDOPRVWUKHWRULFDODVZHDOOJUHZXSWREHOLHYHWKDWD
SLFWXUHLVZRUWKDWKRXVDQGZRUGV7KHGHVLJQRISK\VLFDODUWHIDFWVUHTXLUHVWKDWGHVLgners and those for whom the artefacts are designed consider many elements and their
properties, as well as the relationships between them (and in the case of architecture,
also between them and their surroundings). Function and form must be understood,
HYDOXDWHGDQGRSWLPLVHGIRUDVXFFHVVIXOUHVXOW$QDGHTXDWHUHSUHVHQWDWLRQRIWKHVH
complex parameters is not possible without visualisation, especially the representation
of shapes and forms. It is possible for individuals to entertain internal representation
XVLQJ PHQWDO LPDJHU\ DQG WKHUH DUH UHSRUWV WKDW GHVLJQHUV FDQ JR TXLWH VRPH ZD\
using mental imagery only (Athavankar 1997, Athavankar & Mukherjee 2003, Bilda et
al. 2006), but imaging has its limitations and in any event it is applicable only to the
private musings of individual designers; others are unable to share what is locked inside
an individuals mind. Fish (2004) argues that the capacity for mental imagery developed in humans in prehistoric times for survival purposes as an aid in tasks like hunting;
evolution has not caught up with newer human activities, such as design as we know it
WRGD\DQGWKHUHIRUHYLVXDOLVDWLRQLVXVHGDVDQH[WHQVLRQRILPDJHU\RULWVDPSOLFDWLRQ
(Fish & Scrivener 1990).
Imaging may, though, have to do with preconceived ideas that designers bring with
WKHPDWWKHRXWVHWRIWKHGHVLJQ0DQ\WKRXJKQRWDOORIWKH',GHVLJQHUVFRQUPHG
that preconceived ideas and images existed when they started work on their projects:
Pesman (DI.1-Westraven Utrecht) said the image was directly in his head (p. 7); Meertens (DI.5-Beertender) said, the design comes to you (p. 39); and Spark (DI.8-Carver
small car) stated explicitly, the designer always starts with an image of what it has to
look like, this image comes to mind from the beginning (p.69).
But in practically all cases, more than one person was involved in the project right from
the beginning. The team members, whether located in one place or dispersed geographically, had to communicate during meetings and between meetings. This they did
using visualisations, which were prepared ahead of time and shown in meetings or sent
around, but also produced them in situ, as part and parcel of an ongoing discussion.
Participants in design teams range from a small number of in-house designers to collaborations with partners and consultants from elsewhere, in addition to client representatives. Visualisations help make sure that everyone concerned shares the same mental
models of the products looks and functioning, materials, manufacturing process or a
particular detail thereof that is being discussed. One might say that without visualisations, it is inconceivable that a shared mental model could be achieved in a design team
(Goldschmidt 2007). This is the foremost reason for visualising in the design process.
We have mentioned that one of the parties taking part in design meetings is the client.
Clients vary greatly in the extent to which they wish, or are able, to get involved in the
design process. But in any event they must approve the design, or select from amongst
alternatives. Designers must therefore make an effort to convince the client of the
virtues of their proposals, sometimes to the point of justifying budget increases. To do
so they must show the client the designed entity in the most complete and attractive
manner possible, and in a mode the client, who is not necessarily technically adept, can
easily understand and appreciate. Digital devices such as graphically potent programs
(3D) are often used for this purpose, and so are models. This is the second reason for
visualisation in the design process.

30

Visualization - G. Goldschmidt

The third, and the least interesting reason for our purposes here, is visualisation for
the purpose of construction or manufacturing. The visualisations made for this purpose
are technical in nature and today they are almost exclusively produced digitally (2D).
6RPHWLPHVWKHSURGXFWLRQRIWKHVHGRFXPHQWVLVRXWVRXUFHGIUHTXHQWO\WRGRWFRP
companies. We shall not discuss these visualisations any further in this paper.

The digital age

What do we actually mean, in the design context, when we say that ours is a digital
DJH",QWHUPVRIYLVXDOLVDWLRQLWPHDQVSULPDULO\WKDWZKDWKDVSUHYLRXVO\EHHQGRQH
manually, can now be done digitally in most cases, and more manipulations than were
SUHYLRXVO\SRVVLEOHDUHQRZDFKLHYDEOHTXLWHHDVLO\ HJSKRWRPRQWDJHVYLUWXDOZDONV
through buildings that do not exist yet, and so on). There are also new possibilities such
as digital prototyping which hardly existed a decade ago, mainly useful to industrial
designers. Many more new applications are undoubtedly due to make their appearance
in the foreseeable future. There are many advantages to digital drafting and modelling,
such as speed, accuracy, ease of revision, and ease of sharing with others regardless of
where they are stationed. But that is not the whole story, of course: sophisticated algorithms permit the expansion of the world of manufactured and built forms, which are
less restricted than was hitherto the case. For example, the free form of the roof of the
stadium designed by Frei Otto for the 1972 Olympic games in Munich was a painstaking
design effort, realised after countless models were built to approximate the curvatures
of the membranes, which did not conform to mathematically expressible shapes. Nowadays digital means can not only easily save the considerable labour invested in building
actual models, but also calculate the structure regardless of its irregular geometry and
WKXVPDNHLWFRQVWUXFWLEOH)UDQN*HKU\LVRQHRIWKHEHWWHUNQRZQEHQHFLDULHVRIWKH
ability of digital means to cope with completely free forms in architecture.
,IGLJLWDOYLVXDOLVDWLRQVDUHVRXELTXLWRXVO\EHQHFLDOZK\KDYHDOPRVWDOO',GHVLJQHUV
UHSOLHGLQWKHDIUPDWLYHWRWKHTXHVWLRQDERXWWKHUHOHYDQFHRIVNHWFKLQJLQWKLVGD\
DQGDJH"7KHDQVZHUKDVWRGRZLWKWKHH[WUDRUGLQDU\DGYDQWDJHVRIVNHWFKLQJDVD
visualisation mode throughout the design process, and especially in its early, preliminary phase. For experienced sketchers, which include almost every designer (architect
0LFKLHO5LHGLHNZKRWHVWLHVWKDWKHGRHVQRWXVHVNHWFKHVWKDWPXFKKHVD\VKHFDQW
draw is an atypical exception (DI.3_Media Museum Hilversum, p. 22)), the production
RIDUDSLGIUHHKDQGVNHWFKLVDIDVWH[LEOHDQGHIIRUWOHVVPHDQVRIUHSUHVHQWDWLRQWKDW
FDQEHH[HFXWHGDQ\ZKHUHDQGUHTXLUHVQRSUHSDUDWLRQQRHTXLSPHQWDQGQRVNLOOV
WKDWQHHGWREHXSGDWHGSHULRGLFDOO\,WLVWKHUHIRUHXVHGYHU\IUHTXHQWO\LQWKHSURFHVV
of generating ideas, testing them and discussing them, in a group or even in private deliberations with oneself. To date, no digital means are available that come close to emuODWLQJIUHHKDQGVNHWFKLQJLQWHUPVRIH[LELOLW\DQGHDVHDVZHOODVVSHHGDQGFRJQLWLYH
economy, with the possible exception of academic prototypes that were developed with
unusual insights (e.g., Do 2002; Shapir et al., 2007). Likewise, both industrial designers
and architects continue to produce physical models, with or without the technical assistance of digital means. The physical model is still necessary to allow us to get a better
feel for scale, texture or the mode of operation of an artefact, be it a small hand-held
gadget or a large building; indeed, all DI designers use models at least during the development phase of design projects. Digital devices, then, while helpful and in some cases
indispensable, are not necessarily the answer to every single aspect of the process of
designing. We shall have more to say about sketching in section 5 below.
Visualization - G. Goldschmidt

31

Design education and practice

Industrial designers, and to a lesser degree architects, are taught to work systematically, according to well-established methods (Roozenburg & Eekels 1995) that specify all
RIWKHGHVLJQSKDVHVDQGWKHVHTXHQWLDODFWLYLWLHVWKDWVKRXOGEHFDUULHGRXWLQHDFK,Q
mechanical engineering design the reliance on strict methodologies is even more stringent, with a large body of published research and handbooks to support this claim (e.g.,
Jnsch et al., 2005). In industrial design brainstorming and other group methods are
taught and implemented in practice. However, in real life there are many constraints
and unexpected situations that force designers to divert from the perfect methods
learned at school. Thus the DI car designers state that They [at school] teach you to
follow the perfect process, but in reality it doesnt work that way an innovative project
doesnt keep to planning, it needs freedom. (DI.8_Carver small car, pp. 60-61). One of
WKHFRQVHTXHQFHVRIQRWEHLQJDEOHWRZRUNE\VROLGUXOHV ',B2IFHFKDLUS LV
that there are more iterations, more improvisations, more fresh starts than anticipated,
DQG WKLV PHDQV PRUH H[SORUDWLRQ DQG PRUH H[SHULPHQWDWLRQ &RQVHTXHQWO\ WKH EHVW
tools are those best suited for exploration and experimentation, and they usually are
not the digital tools.
Despite the drive to use the latest and greatest methods which inevitably are largely
GLJLWDOWKHWRROVDYDLODEOHDUHVWLOOLQDGHTXDWHIRUFHUWDLQWDVNVDVSRLQWHGRXWDERYH
In architectural education many studio classes have become paperless, resulting in
projects that are detached from real materiality. Students are less occupied with developing rich, complex and sensitive spatial solutions and concentrate instead on the graSKLFTXDOLWLHVRIVOLFNUHQGHULQJV7HDFKHUVDUHXQDEOHWRGUDZRYHUVWXGHQWVVNHWFKHV
and communication has become verbal only, related to PowerPoint presentations. With
WKDWRQHLPSRUWDQWIDFHWRIGHPRQVWUDWLRQLVORVWLQWKHVWXGLRFULWLTXHZLWKRXWSDSHU
and pencil, the teacher cannot exemplify how something could or should be done, and
is reduced to verbal reactions only to the students work in progress. This is a dramatic
change in the otherwise still largely apprentice-style design education we practise in the
studio, and not a change for the better1.
Luckily, in both architecture and industrial design, in practice as well as in the educatioQDOVHWWLQJWKUHHGLPHQVLRQDOPRGHOVDUHVWLOOEHLQJPDGHQRWRQO\QDOSUHVHQWDWLRQ
PRGHOVEXWDOVRVWXG\PRGHOVRIWHQTXLWHURXJK7KHSK\VLFDOREMHFWIXOOVQHHGVWKDW
QRGUDZLQJFDQIXOOLWFDQEHWRXFKHGDQGLQWHUDFWHGZLWKLQZD\VWKDWDUHQRWSRVVLEOH
otherwise. It is therefore not surprising that even long before models are built, both stuGHQWVDQGSUDFWLWLRQHUVQGZD\VWRXVHDUWHIDFWVLQFOXGLQJUHDG\PDGHVWKDWKDSSHQ
to be in the work environment, to represent or simulate properties of a designed object
HYHQEHIRUHWKHREMHFWKDVDFTXLUHGIRUP %UHUHWRQ 7KHOLWHUDWXUHDGGUHVVHVWKH
mediating role of objects in our lives as knowledge translation agents, among other
roles (e.g., Whyte et al. 2007), but in this paper we discuss only visualisations that are
PDGHH[SUHVVO\GXULQJWKHSURFHVVRIGHVLJQLQJDVDPDWWHURITXRWLGLDQSUDFWLFH

Design phases interlocutors

The different design phases are distinguishable not only by their contents or the speFLFDFWLYLWLHVXQGHUWDNHQEXWRIWHQDOVRDFFRUGLQJWRWKHSDUWLFLSDQWVZKRWDNHSDUWLQ
them. It is hardly possible to arrive at a consensual breakdown of the design process
1

32

The commentary on design education is based on personal knowledge and experience.


Visualization - G. Goldschmidt

into phases; in the Delft Interviews some designers talk about four phases, others
about six, and yet others about a different number of phases. The participants in each
phase may also vary according to the design task and the norms and practices of each
UP:HVKDOOWKHUHIRUHDGRSWDSUDJPDWLFEUHDNGRZQLQWRWKUHHSKDVHVRUUDWKHUVLWXDWLRQVWKDWUHTXLUHFRPPXQLFDWLRQEHWZHHQWKHGHVLJQHU V DQGRWKHUSDUWLHVZKRP
ZHFDOOLQWHUORFXWRUV,QWHUORFXWRUVDUHWKRVHIRUZKRVHEHQHWWKHGHVLJQHUSURGXFHV
visualisations, the party with whom he or she (or they) interacts in the normal course
of the design process. The three phases/situations are: a) preliminary design; b) development phase; and c) discussions with clients and users. Table 1 maps the modes
of visualisation reported in the DI according to these phases. This mapping cannot be
HQWLUHO\DFFXUDWHVLQFHWKHLQWHUYLHZHHVZHUHQRWDVNHGVSHFLFDOO\ZKHQWKH\XVHG
SDUWLFXODUYLVXDOLVDWLRQVDQG7DEOHUHHFWVRQO\DQLQWHUSUHWDWLRQRIZKDWZDVVDLG
Nevertheless, it does provide a close enough picture to what we assume is the reality
of practice in architecture and industrial design.
7KH UVW FRQFOXVLRQ ZH FDQ GUDZ LV WKDW LQ WHUPV RI YLVXDOLVDWLRQ DUFKLWHFWXUDO DQG
LQGXVWULDO GHVLJQ SUDFWLFHV DUH TXLWH VLPLODU WKURXJKRXW WKH GHVLJQ SURFHVV ,Q ERWK
sketching is used heavily during the preliminary and development stages, and to some
degree in discussions with clients or users. Clients may be involved throughout the process and discussions with them do not constitute a separate phase, of course. Rather, in
this rubric we mean primarily formal and less formal presentations to clients at various
points of decision making.

Preliminary design
At the outset the major means of visualisation is sketching. Sketches are made during
the search for a solution principle, in most cases following an initial, preconceived idea,
by the leading designer(s). Architects make more models than do industrial designers
in this phase, sometimes in compensation for the lack of drawings and sketches (DI.3_
0HGLD0XVHXP+LOYHUVXP DQGDWRWKHUWLPHVEHFDXVHVRPHDUFKLWHFWVPD\QGLWKDUG
to imagine complex spatial relations without models. Architectural sketches and drawings, as opposed to product design drawings, tend to be two-dimensional, using the
conventions of orthogonal projections which do not describe spaces directly. Architects
are trained to imagine spaces on the basis of plans and sections, but a model helps
to perceive the space and its proportions, and test the accuracy of the image. Models
DUHOHVVIUHTXHQWLQWKHSUHOLPLQDU\SKDVHRILQGXVWULDOGHVLJQ2QHUHDVRQPD\EHWKDW
FXVWRPDU\WKUHHGLPHQVLRQDOGUDZLQJVDUHDGHTXDWHDQGPRUHHFRQRPLFDOUHSUHsentations at this stage. It may also be the case that rapid prototyping has become the
standard mode of modelling, at least for smaller artefacts; making them is reasonably
FKHDSDQGIDVWEXWSUHSDULQJWKHQHFHVVDU\&$'OHVLVWLPHFRQVXPLQJDQGPD\DOVR
SUHPDWXUHO\[WKHGHVLJQSURSHUWLHV'HVLJQHUVPD\IHHOWKDWWKH\SUHIHUWKHIUHHGRP
RIVNHWFKHVEHIRUHWKH\FRPPLWWKHPVHOYHVWR&$'OHVIRUWKHSXUSRVHRISURGXFLQJ
a study model.

Visualization - G. Goldschmidt

33

Table 1: Visualisation modes in the Delft Interviews

We note that no digital drawings are produced at this phase. This is not surprising as
neither dimensioned drawings nor fancy images are needed in this phase, in which
the designers communicate primarily among themselves, in search of a viable solution
proposal that the designers can defend and which stands a chance of approval by the
client. The sketch, at this phase, is a compact laboratory in which designers can expeULPHQWZLWKGLIIHUHQWLGHDVIUHHO\ZLWKQRFRVWRUDQ\RWKHUQHJDWLYHFRQVHTXHQFHVLQ

34

Visualization - G. Goldschmidt

case of failure. This encourages more experimentation with extreme, unusual and poWHQWLDOO\LQQRYDWLYHFRQFHSWVZKLFKGXHWRWKHLUQRYHOW\UHTXLUHPRUHWHVWLQJ6XZDHW
DO  H[SODLQKRZGHVLJQHUVEHQHWIURPVNHWFKHVEHFDXVHWKH\FDQPDNHGLVFRveries in them, including the regrouping of elements, which offers new interpretations.
Fish (2004) and Goldschmidt (e.g., 2002) have advanced similar arguments. Whereas
this facet of sketching is mostly studied in the context of individual designers working
alone, in teams sketching is essential to idea-generation sessions: it does not increase
WKHQXPEHURILGHDVEXWLWVLJQLFDQWO\LPSURYHVWKHGHJUHHWRZKLFKWKH\EXLOGRQRQH
another (van der Lugt 2005), which is normally a precondition for creativity.

Development
The development phase is usually carried out by a larger group of people than the one
involved in preliminary design. It is also more diverse in terms of expertise we include
in the group, or team, all the consultants, internal or external, who are involved in the
SURMHFW,QPRVWFDVHVSDUWLFLSDQWVKDYHGHQHGUROHVDQGFRRUGLQDWLRQDPRQJWKHPLV
DPDMRULVVXH7KHUHIRUHWKHDPRXQWDQGTXDOLW\RIFRPPXQLFDWLRQLVPRVWLPSRUWDQW
DVJRRGFRRUGLQDWLRQUHVXOWVLQDQHIFLHQWVWUHDPOLQHGSURFHVV DVPXFKDVFRQVWUDLQWV
SHUPLW  ZKHUHDV SRRU FRRUGLQDWLRQ FDXVHV PLVXQGHUVWDQGLQJV DQG FRQLFWV WKDW DUH
costly and demoralising. A key to good coordination is a high level of understanding and
agreement amongst team members regarding the designed entity, which is achieved
through face-to-face meetings and conversations which include sharing of documents,
also when members are not physically co-located. Naturally, visualisation plays a crucial
role in all of these team deliberations. The Delft Interviews show that practically all
modes of drawing and physical models are used in this phase (see Table 1), each for
the purpose it serves best.

Figure 1: Models in dialogue: Denys Lasdun, National Theatre, London, c. 19652.


2

Photo by Behr Photography.


Visualization - G. Goldschmidt

35

Figure 1 shows a stack of study models made during the long years in which the design
of the National Theatre in London, including three different performance halls, was
EHLQJGHYHORSHGLQWKHRIFHRIDUFKLWHFW'HQ\V/DVGXQ8QWLOQRWWRRORQJDJRPDQ\
ODUJHDUFKLWHFWXUDOUPVHPSOR\HGIXOOWLPHPRGHOPDNHUVDQGSUDFWLFDOO\HYHU\SURGXFW
GHVLJQUPKDVDWOHDVWDVPDOOZRUNVKRSLQZKLFKPRGHOV QRWUDSLGSURWRW\SHV FDQEH
executed. Most such models are fairly rough and their purpose is study and evaluation.
As evident from Figure 1, the same entity may be modelled again and again, each time
UHHFWLQJUHYLVLRQVLQWURGXFHGDVDUHVXOWRIDVVHVVPHQWVRISUHYLRXVYHUVLRQVXQWLOD
satisfactory proposal is achieved. This mode of usage resembles sketching and rough
preliminary models are sometimes referred to as 3D sketches. Students, too, are alPRVWDOZD\VUHTXLUHGWRSURGXFHPRGHOVLQWKHFRXUVHRIGHYHORSLQJGHVLJQSURMHFWVLQ
both industrial design and architecture, and as in practice, these models are different
WKDQQDORUSUHVHQWDWLRQPRGHOVWKDWDUHRIWHQRXWVRXUFHGWRVSHFLDOLVHGH[SHUWVRU
produced as rapid prototypes by 3D printers or similar digital machines. Study models
continue to play an important role in design development, arguably more so in architecture, especially since all stakeholders, including the client and others who may lack
design expertise, can relate to them easily.
Sketches and other drawings continue to be essential in the development phase. The
VWDWHRIWKHGHVLJQNHHSVHYROYLQJDQGFKDQJHVPDMRURUPLQRUDUHVXEMHFWWRIUHTXHQW
discussions and decision sessions. Consultants input needs to be integrated into the
GHVLJQDQGWKLVUHTXLUHVFRQVLGHUDEOHFRRUGLQDWLRQHIIRUWVDQGWKHUHVROXWLRQRISURblems that keep coming up. Communication therefore builds on detailed representations of the latest versions of design drawings, be they measured plans or still, free-hand
sketches. For communication over distances fax machines and the Internet are used
to transmit information, including drawings. By comparison to the preliminary phase,
in which sketches mainly express ideas and concepts and may be rather abstract and
schematic, in the development phase sketches are more concrete and detailed, and
describe the actual designed entity in its many facets. We begin to see digital drawings
as well: CAD measured drawings are produced so that all designers and consultants
have accurate information as the basis for their interventions. In the case of industrial
design, this includes many more 3D drawings than in architecture. Fancier, so-called
presentation drawings are still rare at this phase, except for interim decision-making
meetings for which they are typically prepared. All modes of visualisation are thus exploited at school and in practice to help develop a design project, as cogently stated by
Paradiso et al. (2002):

Projects develop through sketches in cardboard and on trace [paper]; they


are pushed further through exacting CNC-milled projects and detailed
renderings. But students are as likely to work through complex details by
KDQGDQGWRORRNWRWKHFRPSXWHUDVDPHDQVWRSURGXFHTXLFNDQDO\WLFDO
sketches. (p 2)

Discussion with clients and users


Discussions with clients and users take place at all stages of the design process, of
course, but are typically built into certain checkpoints in which major decisions are
taken. For those occasions designers prepare visuals that are meant to convince the
client or users of the merits of the overall proposal, or as regards certain aspects of it.
The Delft Interviews show (Table 1) that the means used for that end are mixed: from
sketches, which are probably used in informal meetings in which certain details may be
GLVFXVVHGWKURXJKPRGHOVWRIUHTXHQWGLJLWDOGUDZLQJV SUHVXPDEOHPRVWO\'UHQGH-

36

Visualization - G. Goldschmidt

rings), and even movies. Often, designers refer to presentations they prepare, which
may indicate the use of tools like PowerPoint in order to show visuals, undoubtedly
accompanied by oral explanations.
This mixed media panorama is most appropriate, and it applies to all branches of design, architecture and industrial design included. Each mode of visualisation has its own
DGYDQWDJHVDQGLVXWLOLVHGE\GHVLJQHUVWRPD[LPLVHLWVEHQHWV%HIRUHWKHFRPSXWHU
many more manual drawings were made, of course, but even before drawings were
the standard means of visualisation (that is, before paper became readily available and
VXIFLHQWO\LQH[SHQVLYHDIWHUWKHPRYLQJSULQWUHYROXWLRQLQWKHODVWWKLUGRIWKHWK
century), models were made to be presented to patrons in order to secure their approval. Figure 2 shows a fresco by Vasari from the mid-16th century, depicting the architect
Brunelleschi presenting a model of San Lorenzo to his client, Cosimo de Medici, who
commanded the church. The model is a fairly accurate representation of the famous
Florentine church. Earlier pictures and mosaics bear evidence of the fact that model
presentation to patrons was an established practice (for example, a beautiful mosaic at
the Kariye Museum in Istanbul, dated c. 1320, depicts Theodore Metochites, donor of
the Chora, with a model of the church/monastery).

Figure 2: Fresco by Vasari (1565) showing Brunelleschi presenting the model for
the church of San Lorenzo to Cosimo de Medici3.

'XULQJWKH5HQDLVVDQFHPDNLQJPRGHOVIRUWKHEHQHWRIFOLHQWVVWRRGLQVKDUSFRQWUDVW
with the production of technical drawings which were made for the masons-builders of
HGLFHV IRUH[DPSOHDGUDZLQJE\-DFRSR%HUORLDIURPWKHHDUO\WKFHQWXU\VKRZV
the professional architect, accompanied by his scholarly advisors, presenting plans to
the workmen who were building the Rotunda in Rome). Such drawings became standard
3
From: Ettlinger, L.D. (1977). The emergence of the Italian architect. In Kostof, S.
(ed.), The architect. University of California Press, Berkeley, pp. 96-123; illustration p. 110.
Visualization - G. Goldschmidt

37

practice following the introduction of orthogonal projections as the mode of delivering


information about the geometry of spaces and objects. Perspective drawings were also
made from that time, of course, and gradually joined models as formal renderings, but
the two co-existed for centuries more as complimentary visualisations rather than rival
or competitive modes of expression.
Drawings that are made for clients or users are, as pointed out earlier, a mixed bag,
depending on their purpose. The more tools we have at our disposal the more there is
WRFKRRVHIURPDQGWKHZLVHGHVLJQHUNQRZVWKDWDQGVSHFLFDOO\DGMXVWVKLVFKRLFHWR
the goals the visualisation is meant to achieve. Whyte et al. (2007) distinguish between
XLGDQGIUR]HQYLVXDOPDWHULDOVLQGHVLJQ7KHIRUPHUDUHPRELOL]HGZKHQFRPPHQW
LQSXWRUPRGLFDWLRQLVUHTXLUHG S ZKLFKFRUUHVSRQGVPRVWO\WRWKHSKDVHVRI
SUHOLPLQDU\GHVLJQDQGWKHVXEVHTXHQWGHYHORSPHQWSKDVHVDQGWRDOHVVHUH[WHQWWR
discussions with clients and users. The latter, frozen visuals are characterized by greater
certainty. The authors remark that such visualisations have several functions, including
use for tactical and political reasons (p. 23). When thus used, the interlocutor is often
the client or the users. Figure 3 captures three instances of the usage of visuals in the
design process of designing a herbarium. In our terms Figure 3a describes a preliminary
design usage of drawings; Figure 3c is taken from the development phase; and Figure
EH[HPSOLHVDXLGXVDJHRIGUDZLQJVLQDGLVFXVVLRQZLWKXVHUV$VLVHYLGHQWIURP
this example, in all three cases the interaction among the concerned parties is entirely
dependent on the use of visuals, in this case sketches and drawings.

)LJXUH,QWHUDFWLRQVZLWKYLVXDOUHSUHVHQWDWLRQVVRPHRIZKLFKDUHXLGDQGRWKHUVIUR]HQLQ
design work at Edward Cullinan Architects: a) the founder of the practice and an architect working on the project talk about the design concept; b) the ideas are presented and discussed with
the library staff; c) working meeting between the project architects and the engineers4.

The public
Designers do more than bring into being the best possible buildings and products; they
also take part in the cultural and artistic discourse of their time. For some designers this
becomes a major activity and they are interested in making statements through visualisations they exhibit and publish, in addition to other modes of representation (oral and
written expressions). At times of heated debate designers even publish manifestos and
SURGXFHYLVXDOVZKLFKDUHORDGHGZLWKV\PEROLFPHDQLQJ7KLVPD\EHPRUHVLJQLFDQW
in architecture, whereas in industrial design it is the products themselves that are made
with similar intentions. Figure 4 is an example of a drawing made in James Stirlings
RIFHLWLVQRWPDGHIRUFRPPXQLFDWLQJLQIRUPDWLRQWRIHOORZGHVLJQHUVRUWRRWKHUVWDkeholders in the project, nor is it meant for the builders. Instead, it is a statement about
design thinking and representation, made during the early years of Postmodernism and
4

38

Figure 3 and its caption reproduced from Whyte et al. (2007), p. 22.
Visualization - G. Goldschmidt

meant for the cultural avant-garde of the time. Stirling chose to present an isolated
selected idea, in an unusual view (worm-view axonometric drawing).

Figure 4: James Stirling and Michael Wilford (1976). Axonometric up-views of major
elements in the Westfalen Museum, Dsseldorf (competition entry, not built)5.

Goldschmidt (2004) distinguished between private and public representations. The


former are those visuals that individuals and teams produce for themselves, as thinking
and communication aids; the latter are made in order to advance ideas and concepts vis-vis particular interlocutors or the (relevant) public at large, as in Stirlings case. Other
architects and designers produced very different kinds of visuals of the same category;
WKRVHYLVXDOVVHUYHGDVDJHQWVRIWKHXQLTXHGHVLJQLGHQWLW\WKRVHGHVLJQHUVZLVKHGWR
publicise. The cultural discourse in which design participates, which is an extension of
SUDFWLFH RUYLFHYHUVD" DOVRKHOSVVKDSHSUDFWLFHEHFDXVHHYHU\GHVLJQHUZRUNVZLWKLQ
a cultural context, even if the level of explicit awareness of its grinding wheels, and the
attention paid to it, may vary considerably from one designer to another.

The robustness of sketching

Sketches are the most dominant mode of visualisation in design practise. Today they
are beginning to be produced digitally as well as manually, but sketches on paper are
far from obsolete in the design world. In fact design schools have re-discovered the
necessity of training students in free-hand drawing, after years of somewhat unrealistic
hopes that digital means will happily replace all manual design output. Sketches are not
all of a kind; Ferguson (1992) divides them into the thinking sketch, the talking sketch,
and the prescriptive sketch. In our terminology this means: sketching as a cognitive aid
in the generation of ides; sketching as an agent of communication, and sketching as
instruction for execution (e.g., for the construction of manufacturing). In this paper we
have largely addressed the talking sketch, which is prevalent in design practice where
5
Source: Landesgalerie Nordrhein-Westfalen in Dsseldorf, James Stirling and Partner
with Werner Kreis, Robert Livesey, Russ Bevington, Ueli Schaad, Lotus International, 1977, Vol.
15, 58-67.
Visualization - G. Goldschmidt

39

LQGLYLGXDOVUDUHO\ZRUNE\WKHPVHOYHV+RZHYHUWKLQNLQJDQGGHVLJQLVUVWDQGIRremost a thinking activity occurs above all in the individuals mind, and the thinking
sketch helps in the conversation the designer holds with him or herself. We have already
PHQWLRQHGEULH\WKHFRJQLWLYHDGYDQWDJHVDVVRFLDWHGZLWKVNHWFKLQJZKLFKDFFRXQW
for the robustness of sketching in design practice for over half a millennium now, since
paper became the standard medium for visualisations. Figure 5 is a diagram explaining
the status of sketching in visualisation as part of the design problem-solving process.

%
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Figure 5: Sketching as a mental facilitator in complex, visually mediated tasks.

40

The thinking sketch, on which we wish to focus here, does not need to be complete or
precise. In fact it may be partial, vague, incomplete, inaccurate, not necessarily true to
scale, and its level of concreteness of abstraction may vary sharply (within and between
sketches). Furthermore, it can be stopped at any time without losing what was done
to that point.
We shall conclude the discussion with a brief enumeration of what we hold to be the
major cognitive advantages of the sketch, which designers recognise and capitalise on,
and which secures its utility in the design process for the foreseeable future.

The rough sketch:



LVUDSLG PLQLPDOFRJQLWLYHUHVRXUFHV 6RPHWLPHVDIHZSHQFLOVWURNHV 
on paper are enough to capture an idea, a shape, a mechanism or a
relationship among parts.

KDVH[LEOHVWRSUXOHV QRDOJRULWKPJRYHUQVWKHVWHSVWREHWDNHQ 

The sketcher may stop any time and ultimately when the outcome

ORRNVVDWLVIDFWRU\ DQGQRWZKHQUXOHVDUHVDWLVHG 

LVRQO\PLQLPDOO\UXOHERXQG H[DPSOHEDVHGYHUVXVUXOHEDVHG
reasoning). More than anything else, the thinking sketch is a tool of
reasoning. Reasoning is said to be either rule-based or example-based
(Sloman 1996); sketching facilitates example-based reasoning which
enjoys considerable freedom from rules (other than the rules of
orthogonal projections, which are normally adhered to). This in turn
has the potential of expanding the design space in which a solution is
sought and may therefore enhance innovation and creativity.

LVUHYHUVLEOHWUDQVIRUPDEOHDWDQ\VWDJH RYHUOD\LQJIDFLOLWDWHVUDSLG
changes). The sketcher may change his or her mind at any time and
retract any number of steps.

LVWROHUDQWRILQFRPSOHWHQHVVDQGYDJXHQHVV(VSHFLDOO\ZKHQWKH
sketch is made as part of the dialogue the designer holds with him or
herself, shorthand is enough; the designer will recognise intentions
and will be able to mentally complete any missing or vague
information.

LVWROHUDQWRILQDFFXUDF\DQGODFNRIVFDOH:KHQFRQFHSWVRUEURDG

intentions are important, accuracy and correct scale are not always
necessary and there is no need to labour over them.

VXSSRUWVIHHGEDFNORRSV6NHWFKLQJDQGPHQWDOLPDJHU\ZRUNLQ
tandem: one informs the other. The ensuing cycle is in fact a feedback
loop which helps push the process forwards.
6

In conclusion

Whatever the differences in the design process between architecture and industrial deVLJQSUDFWLWLRQHUVLQERWKHOGVWKLQNYLVXDOO\DQGFRQVWDQWO\YLVXDOLVHWKHLUWKRXJKWV
Often visualising is in fact thinking and not merely the recording of thoughts that had alUHDG\EHHQHQWHUWDLQHGLQWKHPLQG'HVLJQHUVLQERWKHOGVXVHDOOUHSUHVHQWDWLRQDQG
visualisation means available to them, from freehand sketching and manual drawing to
digital drawings, through physical models and various simulations and movies. Naturally, more sketches are made in the front edge and more two- and three-dimensional
digital drawings are produced later in the design process. Models are built throughout
the process: they tend to be manual in architecture and digitally based prototypes in
Visualization - G. Goldschmidt

41

industrial design. In essence, the kinds of visuals that are made in practice are not
very different from the ones that have been made for hundreds of years, although we
can now produce many of them digitally. A notable exception are the visuals made for
display and publication not in the context of regular practise but rather as participants
in a cultural discourse, where the norm is to break conventions and present innovative
breakthrough concepts. The means utilised are correspondingly often novel.
,QSUDFWLVHZKHUHHIFLHQF\LVDQRYHUULGLQJYDOXHDQGJRDOPHDQVDUHDGMXVWHGWR
ends, and the most effective visuals are used for each purpose, i.e. the most convenient, most economical and most potent modes of visualisation are selected at any
JLYHQWLPH7KHIDFWWKDWVNHWFKLQJLVVWLOOLQZLGHDQGIUHTXHQWXVHLVHYLGHQFHRIWKH
fact that, at least for the purposes of study and exploration, we have no tool that rates
higher. We must therefore conclude that sketching has advantages that to date cannot
be emulated by any other mode of visualisation. Sketching will continue to be in good
currency as long as it is the state of the art.

Acknowledgment
The writing of this paper was partially supported by a grant to the author from the fund
for the promotion of research at the Technion, hereby gratefully acknowledged.

References
Athavankar, U. A. (1997). Mental Imagery as a Design Tool, Cybernetics and
Systems, Vol. 28, 25-47.
Athavankar, U. A. & Mukherjie, A. (2003). Blindfolded Classroom: Getting De
sign Students to Use Mental Images. In Human Behaviour in Design,
edited by Lindemann, U., Springer Verlag, Berlin, pp. 111-120.
%LOGD=*HUR-6DQG3\UFHOO7  7R6NHWFKRUQRWWR6NHWFK"7KDWLV
the Question, Design Studies, 27 (5), 587-613.
Brereton, M. (2004). Distributed Cognition in Engineering Design: Negotiating
between Abstract and Material Representations. In Design
Representation, edited by Goldschmidt, G. and Porter, W. L., Springer
Verlag, London, pp. 83-103.
Do, E. Y-L. (2002). Drawing Marks, Acts and Reacts: Toward a Computational
Sketching Interface for Architectural Design. AIEDAM, Vol. 16,
149-171.
Ferguson, E. S. (1992). Engineering and the Minds Eye. The MIT Press,
Cambridge, MA.
Fish, J. (2004). Cognitive Catalysis for a Time-lagged Brain. In Design
Representation, edited by Goldschmidt, G. and Porter, W. L., Springer
Verlag, London, pp. 151-184.
Fish, J. and Scrivener, S. (1990). Amplifying the Minds Eye: Sketching and
Visual Cognition, Leonardo 23, 117-126.
Goldschmidt, G. (2002). Read-Write Acts of Drawing. In TRACEY (Internet
journal dedicated to contemporary drawing issues); issue on Syntax of
Mark and Gesture. http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/ac/tracey/
somag/gabi.html. Loughborough University, UK (accessed April 28,
2008).
Goldschmidt, G. (2004). Design Representation: Private Process, Public
Image. In Design Representation, edited by Goldschmidt, G. and
Porter, W. L., Springer Verlag, London, pp. 203-217.

42

Visualization - G. Goldschmidt

Goldschmidt, G. (2007). To See Eye to Eye: The Role of Visual


Representations in Building Shared Mental Models in Design Teams,
CoDesign 3 (1), 43-50.
Jnsch, J., Nissl, A., Strasser, C. and Bruch, C. (2005). The Importance of the
Integration of Design Methods in Robust Engineering Design. In
Proceedings of 15th International Conference on Engineering Design ICED 2005, edited by Samuel, A. and Lewis, W. Institute of Engineers
Australia, Melbourne (CD-ROM).
Paradiso, A., Baxter, E. and Baumberger, M. (eds.) (2002). Foreword.
Retrospecta 01-02. New Haven: Yale School of Architecture.
Roozenburg, N.F.M. and Eekels, J. (1995). Product Design: Fundamentals and
Methods. Wiley, Chichester.
Shapir, O., Goldschmidt, G. and Yezioro, A. (2007). Conceptual Design: An
Operational Prescription for a Computer Support System. In Computer
Graphics, Imaging and Visualisation: New Advances, IEEE & Computer
Society, 4th CGIV07 International Conference, Bangkok, edited by
Banissi, E., Sarfraz, M. and Dejdumrong, N., pp. 513-521.
Sloman, S. A. (1996). The Empirical Case for Two Systems of Reasoning.
Psychological Bulletin, 119 (1), 3-22.
Suwa, M., Tversky, B., Gero, J. S. and Purcell, T. (2001). Seeing into Sketches:
Regrouping Parts Encourages New Interpretations. In Proceedings of
2nd Conference on Visual and Spatial Reasoning in Design:
Computational and Cognitive Approaches, Bellagio, edited by Gero, J.
S., Tversky, B. and Purcell, T., pp. 207-219.
van der Lugt, R. (2005). How Sketching Can Affect the Idea Generation
Process in Design Group Meetings. Design Studies, 26 (2), 101-122.
Whyte, J. K., Ewenstein, B., Hales, M. and Tidd, J. (2007). Visual Practices
and the Objects Used in Design. Building Research & Information, 35
(1), 18-27.

Visualization - G. Goldschmidt

43

IDE+A
Project Management
Design Processes - Wim Poelman and David Keyson (Eds.)
IOS Press, 2008 2008 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved.

Project and risk Management in architecture and


industrial design

Prof. dr. ir. J.W.F. (Hans) Wamelink1 and dr. John L. Heintz2
Professor, Department of Real Estate and Housing,
Faculty of Architecture,
Delft University of Technology,
2
Assistant Professor, Department of Real Estate and Housing,
Faculty of Architecture,
Delft University of Technology

Abstract
This paper describes the ways in which factors of project environments determine
the application of management concepts, particularly risk management, in industrial
design engineering (IDE) and architectural projects. The paper is based on a set of
eight design cases prepared for the IDE+A conference. Given the limited number of
cases and the constraints imposed by the overall case study design, it was necessary
to supplement the insight derived from the cases with a review of generally accepted
accounts of the design process in IDE and architecture. By sorting the cases according
to the emergent dimensions of internal vs. external project and market- vs. client-driven
and comparing the applications of project management concepts in each case, we will
QGWKDWWKHHQYLURQPHQWDOIDFWRUVSURYLGHDFOHDUHUSLFWXUHRIKRZDQGZK\GLIIHUHQW
project management concepts are applied than do the disciplinary factors. Indeed, by
focusing on the project environment factors we may be in a better position to predict
SURMHFWPDQDJHPHQWDSSURDFKHVZLOOEHUHTXLUHGLQGHVLJQEXLOGRURWKHUXQXVXDORU
innovative project organisations.
Keywords: Architectural Design, Industrial Design Engineering, Project Management,
Risk Management

Introduction
Although designers of all sorts are accustomed to operating under uncertainty, and
engage in many activities intended to reduce that uncertainty, they tend not to think of
WKHLUZRUNLQWHUPVRIULVNRUSURMHFWPDQDJHPHQW$VGHVLJQSURMHFWVWWKHPDQDJHPHQW
GHQLWLRQRISURMHFWH[WUHPHO\ZHOOWKLVRPLVVLRQVHHPVRGG)XUWKHUZKLOHGHVLJQHUV
are sometimes reluctant to speak of risks, and the word risk is seldom used in the
design literature, the literature does cover most of the issues that are covered by the
notion of risk, and has done so for some time. However, which risks are considered
WREHVLJQLFDQWDQGZKLFKSURMHFWPDQDJHPHQWWHFKQLTXHVDUHXVHGVHHPVWRYDU\
greatly between different design projects. By examining a range of cases across from
WKHHOGVRI,'(DQGDUFKLWHFWXUHZHKRSHWRVKHGPRUHOLJKWRQWKHTXHVWLRQRIZKHQ
and where to best apply different notions of risk and project management in design
projects.
We will begin by comparing how project management is applied to IDE and architectural
SURMHFWV:HZLOOWKHQXVHWKHFDVHVWRGHULYHWZRVLJQLFDQWGLPHQVLRQVRIWKHSURMHFW
environment. By sorting the cases along these dimensions and again comparing the
DSSOLFDWLRQVRISURMHFWPDQDJHPHQWFRQFHSWVZHZLOOQGWKDWHQYLURQPHQWDOIDFWRUV

45

provide a clearer picture of how and why various project management concepts are
applied than do disciplinary factors. Because our focus is on the management of design
projects, we begin with a description of projects as seen from the perspective of
management.

Project managment
,QPDQDJHPHQWOLWHUDWXUHDSURMHFWLVXVXDOO\GHQHGDVDRQHWLPHVHWRIDFWLYLWLHV
ZLWKDGHQLWHEHJLQQLQJDQGHQGLQJSRLQW0DQDJLQJSURMHFWVLVGHQHGDVWKHWDVN
RI FRPSOHWLQJ WKHVH DFWLYLWLHV RQ WLPH ZLWKLQ EXGJHW DQG DFFRUGLQJ WR VSHFLFDWLRQV
(Robbins & Decenzo, 2004). Robbins and Decenzo attribute the growing popularity
of project management to the increasing rates of change in the contemporary world.
3URMHFW PDQDJHPHQW WV ZHOO ZLWKLQ D G\QDPLF HQYLURQPHQW DQG LW UHVSRQGV WR WKH
QHHG IRU H[LELOLW\ DQG UDSLG UHVSRQVH 2UJDQLVDWLRQV DUH LQFUHDVLQJO\ XQGHUWDNLQJ
SURMHFWVWKDWDUHVRPHZKDWXQXVXDORUXQLTXHKDYHVSHFLFGHDGOLQHVFRQWDLQFRPSOH[
LQWHUUHODWHGWDVNVUHTXLULQJVSHFLDOLVHGVNLOOVRUDUHWHPSRUDU\LQQDWXUH7KHVHW\SHVRI
projects are not well suited to the standardised operating procedures that guide routine
DQGFRQWLQXRXVRUJDQLVDWLRQDODFWLYLWLHV2WKHUPHDQVDUHUHTXLUHGWRPDQDJHWKLVW\SH
of projects successfully.
Any project is about causing a change in an uncertain situation. in other words, a
project involves developing or making something new. Thus one common characteristic
of all projects is discovering the unknown. Inherent to such endeavours are risk
and uncertainty. However, the characteristics of risk and uncertainty differ in across
projects.
/RFN  FODVVLHVSURMHFWVLQIRXUGLIIHUHQWJHQHUDOW\SHV
Civil or chemical engineering and construction projects (buildings,
tunnels and bridges)
Manufacturing projects (automotive, pharmaceuticals, aircraft)1
Management projects (implementing new IT systems, reorganisation
projects)

6FLHQWLFUHVHDUFKSURMHFWV
7KHUVWWZRW\SHVDUHUHOHYDQWLQWKHHOGVRI,'(DQGDUFKLWHFWXUH/RFNVWDWHVWKDW
construction projects incur special risks and problems deriving from their organisations.
7KH\ PD\ UHTXLUH PDVVLYH FDSLWDO LQYHVWPHQW LQ DGGLWLRQ WR ULJRURXV PDQDJHPHQW
RI SURJUHVV QDQFH DQG TXDOLW\ ,Q PDQ\ FDVHV D ODUJH QXPEHU RI LQGHSHQGHQW
organisations are involved in the design and construction of a new building. Furthermore,
the design process continues even after construction has been contracted out, as the
primary contractor, sub-contractors and suppliers all redesign the various components
and details of the building. This may also be the case for some large-scale and complex
manufacturing projects (e.g. aircraft), in which a number of organisations collaborate
to develop highly complex products. Such internationally oriented projects are prone
WRKLJKHUULVNDQGGLIFXOWLHVLQFRQWURODQGFRRUGLQDWLRQWKDWDULVHIURPRUJDQLVDWLRQDO
complexity, national rivalries, contracts and other factors. Most industrial products,
however, are simpler, with the design concentrated within a small group of actors, and

6SHFLFDOO\/RFNFRQVLGHUVPDQXIDFWXULQJSURMHFWVWREHHLWKHURQHRIDNLQGLQZKLFK
case design engineering and production, are all included within the project; or series production, in which only design is included in the project.

46

Project Management - J.W.F. Wamelink and dr. J.L. Heintz

with the possibility of a global distribution of part sourcing. In most product-design


processes, control of both design and production is much held more closely within the
design team. Even the simplest product, however, involves unexpected interactions
between design intent, user preferences, available technology and production
systems.
In the building industry, project management is generally carried out by project
PDQDJHPHQW FRQVXOWDQF\ UPV ,Q LQGXVWULDO GHVLJQ SURMHFWV LW LV RIWHQ FDUULHG RXW
internally by persons bearing titles such as manager of product development.
These characteristics imply that projects are surrounded by risk and uncertainty. An
important aspect of managing these projects is therefore dealing with these risks and
uncertainties. Winch (2002) described the project process as the dynamic reduction of
uncertainty through time (see Figure 1.). At the inception stages of a project, uncertainty
is very high: the asset of the future is little more than an idea and possibly a few
sketches. How high depends upon a number of factors, such as the extent to which
standardised components and solutions can be used. It is clear that reducing uncertainty
is an important part of managing projects: As the project moves through the life cycle,
uncertainty is reduced as more information becomes available ambiguities in design
are resolved. (Winch, 2002).
The aim of the project manager , or more in generally the function of project
management, is to achieve success in all aspects of the project. Conditions for the
successful application of business strategies are also referred to as success factors.
6XFFHVV IDFWRUV KDYH EHHQ GHQHG DV WKH FULWLFDO NH\ DUHDV ZKHUH WKLQJV PXVW JR
ULJKWIRUWKHEXVLQHVVWRRXULVK .RXWVLNRXUL'DLQW\HWDO5RFNDUW ,WLV
necessary to distinguish between the success factors, which lead to successful projects,
and the success criteria, which are used to measure project success (Cooke-Davis,
2002). Thus, although success factors and success criteria commonly address similar
issues, we must clearly delineate the differences between cause and effect.
inception
none

completion
all

Uncertainty
amount of
information
required

Amount of
information
processed

all

none

Time

Figure 1: The project process as the dynamic reduction of uncertainty


(Winch et al., 1998)
Project Management - J.W.F. Wamelink and J.L. Heintz

47

Traditionally, these success criteria have been understood to refer to the three basic
DVSHFWVRISURMHFWPDQDJHPHQWFRVWWLPHDQGTXDOLW\DVGHVFULEHGLQWKHPLGV
by researchers such as Barnes (Barnes, 1988). Barnes later replaced the concept of
TXDOLW\ZLWKSHUIRUPDQFHWKHQRWLRQWKDWXSRQFRPSOHWLRQDSURMHFWVKRXOGGRZKDWLW
was intended to do (Lock, 2007). Barnes drew these three project objectives as a triangle,
to illustrate that the three primary objectives are interrelated. A management decision
to place greater emphasis on achieving one or two of these objectives must sometimes
be made at the expense of the remaining objectives. Other scientists expanded the
model to include additional aspects, such as people (to stress the importance of the
management, organization and motivation of the people involved in the project) (Kliem
& Ludin, 1992).


 


 




Figure 2: triangle of project objectives

A second distinction that must be made is between 1) the internal characteristics of


project organisation such as time cost and performance goals, and 2) the external
characteristics, such as customer satisfaction (Shenhar, Dvir et al., 2001; Koutsikouri,
Dainty et al., 2006; Meredith and Mantel, 2006). It is conventionally assumed that
success, as measured by internal project characteristics, will necessarily lead to
customer satisfaction. but the Sydney Opera House, however, is a famous example
of the potential for a disconnect between the two. More importantly, building projects
DUHOHQJWK\DQGFOLHQWRUJDQLVDWLRQVDUHLQDFRQVWDQWVWDWHRIFKDQJHDVWKHIUHTXHQW
practice of altering recently completed buildings attests.

Key themes in the description of project management in the IDE+A cases


In the section above, several basic aspects of projects and project management were
introduced. Although theories of project management are much more mature than
LQGLFDWHGKHUHIRUWKHREMHFWLYHRIWKLVSDSHUWKLVWKHRUHWLFDOEDVLVLVVXIFLHQW2. To
describe the differences concerning project management between the eight selected
cases within the IDE+A project, we use the most important concepts from the foregoing
section:
Environmental properties of the project, in terms of risks and uncertainty
Important management activities (risk management, estimating, scheduling,
organisation)
Project results, in terms of budget, time and performance
2
Readers interested in more in-depth reading on project management may refer to
(Lock, 2007; Winch, 2002; Morris, 1994; Morris, 2001).

48

Project Management - J.W.F. Wamelink and dr. J.L. Heintz










 









 





Figure 3: Aspects investigated in the cases

As show in Figure 3, risk and uncertainty are determining factors in the description of
the project environment. We therefore discuss risk and risk management as it appears
in design projects and in the design literature.
In the last decade, risk management has become an important consideration in project
management (Lock, 2007). The term has emerged from management studies, and
has slowly become accepted in the building industry. However, the term seems still to
be novel in IDE, as indicated by its absence from recent books such as Von Stamm
(2003), which contains (only a single mention of risk). Older texts .such as Roozenburg
(HNHOV  VRPHWLPHVGRQRWPHQWLRQULVNDWDOO,QWKHVFLHQWLFOLWHUDWXUHZH
ZHUHRQO\DEOHWRQGRQHWHDP DWWKH(LQGKRYHQ8QLYHUVLW\RI7HFKQRORJ\ ZRUNLQJ
on risk management in product design. This does not mean that the concerns of
risk management have been ignored. For many of the issues associated with risk are
considered to be standard issues in the product design process. Keizer, Vos and Halman
have studied perceptions of risk in product product-design processes (Halman, 2002;
Keizer et al., 2005). They have found that, when prompted, product design teams
identify a large number of risks in their projects. In one study, Keizer et al listed 142
GLIIHUHQW ULVNV LGHQWLHG E\ WKHLU LQWHUYLHZHHV .HL]HU HW DO   &OHDUO\ SURGXFW
designers are well aware of the risks associated with their projects. It is simply that they
consider them to be normal to design practice.

Project Management - J.W.F. Wamelink and J.L. Heintz

49

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7DEOH0RVWIUHTXHQWO\SHUFHLYHGULVNLVVXHVZLWKLQFDWHJRULHV
adapted from Halman (2002).

From their list of perceived risks, Keizer et al derived a shorter list of the 10 most
IUHTXHQW
It is interesting to note that in the case study material, the industrial design engineers
provided very little information on risk management in their responses to either the
RULJLQDO TXHVWLRQQDLUH RU WR D VHW RI IROORZXS TXHVWLRQV 2Q WKH RWKHU KDQG WKH
UHVSRQGHQWVIUHTXHQWO\PHQWLRQHGWKHLQGLYLGXDOSHUFHLYHGULVNVQRWHGE\.HL]HUHWDO
Thus, it seems as if, while the terminology is not widely accepted in IDE, the issue is
fundamental to how industrial designers go about their work. Indeed MMID devotes an
extensive section of their website to risk management (MMID 2007). It is possible that
ZLWKLQDIHZ\HDUVWKHWHUPLQRORJ\ZLOOEHVWDQGDUGLQWKHHOGRILQGXVWULDOGHVLJQ
In construction management, the term risk is more widely accepted, and researchers in
this domain have also indexed perceived risks. Contractors have long been understood to
UXQULVNVWKHZHDWKHUEHLQJRQO\WKHPRVWREYLRXVEXWFRQWUDFWRUVLGHQWLI\DVLJQLFDQW
number perceived risks (El-Sayegh, 2007; Mbachu & Vinasithamby, 2005). Consultants
too perceive risks in their work. In their study of Australian building consultants and
FRQWUDFWRUV0EDFKX 9LQDVLWKDPE\  LGHQWLHGGLVWLQFWVRXUFHVRIULVNLQWHUQDO
WRWKHSURMHFW7KHHLJKWH[WHUQDOVRXUFHVRIULVNWKH\LGHQWLHGZHUHDOOUHODWHGWRWKH
DELOLW\WRFRPSOHWHWKHSURMHFWDQGWRLQXHQFHVRQSURMHFWFRVWV(QGXVHUVDQGWKH
market for buildings were not perceived as risks by either consultants or contractors.
One thing emerges clearly in comparing lists of perceived risks in Architecture and IDE.
In the construction industry, perceived risks are narrowly focused on project organisation
and management issues. In contrast, the risks perceived in IDE span a wide range of
issues, including consumer acceptance and marketing, public acceptance risks, and
commercial viability risks. These perceived risks could be compared as follows:

50

Project Management - J.W.F. Wamelink and dr. J.L. Heintz

3HUFHLYHGULVNV
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QR

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Table 2: Comparison of perceived risks in IDE and Architecture; IDE risks


after Halman (2002), others supplied by the authors3

The key difference between the two disciplines is the degree to which risks associated
with the market or with production are perceived, carried and dealt with by the designers.
In architectural projects, the designers carried little or no risk. In IDE projects, the
designers were often situated within an organisation carrying the project risk, and be
therefore more attentive to these risks and more able to address them.

The cases
Turning now to the cases, we began our analysis of the cases by creating a table in
which we could compare a number of salient characteristics of each project. We were
looking for patterns, for predictors of project management behaviours.

3
The lists of perceived risks in architecture and construction were compiled by the
authors based on traditional project organisations, in which design and construction are carried
out by different parties. The distribution of risk perceptions may be different in newer integrated project organisations.
Project Management - J.W.F. Wamelink and J.L. Heintz

51

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Table 3: The cases

Organisations
7KHUHDUHWZRW\SHVRIRUJDQLVDWLRQVUHSUHVHQWHGDPRQJWKHFDVHV GHVLJQUPV
which consisting of a staff of sometimes multidisciplinary designers (some of whom
are multidisciplinary) with, normally, no investment in the product and no productive
capacity, and 2) large companies whose business is the design, production and
GHOLYHU\RIFRQVXPHUSURGXFWV)RUVLPSOLFLW\ZHFDQFDOOSURMHFWVLQWKHUVWW\SHRI
organization external projects, as the design team is external to the producer. The
second type of organisation has an in-house design staff, and is responsible for the
organization of, if not the actual, production of their products. We refer to the projects
in these organisations as internal projects, as the design team is (largely) internal to the
producing organisation. In all of the architectural design cases, the design was carried
RXWE\DQH[WHUQDOGHVLJQUPWKLVZDVDOVRWKHFDVHLQWZRRIWKH,'(FDVHVDOWKRXJK
in one of these cases there is a very close relationship between the designer (Spark
Design) and the producer, Eurotool/Carver Engineering. In the other two IDE cases, the
GHVLJQZDVFDUULHGRXWE\ODUJHSURGXFWUPVXVLQJERWKLQWHUQDOGHVLJQHUVDQGH[WHUQDO
design consultants.
Thus, it is already clear that we cannot say that one organisational form is inherent
WRHLWKHU,'(RUDUFKLWHFWXUH$QGHYHQWKRXJKZHVHHRQO\GHVLJQUPVDPRQJWKH
architecture cases, this is not a matter of principle. but only of custom. In the case of
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company similar to that of Spark Design and Carver Engineer. The advent of designbuild and other integrated contract forms is leading to new organisations where, at
least for the term of the project, design and production are more integrated. In Japan,
WKH EXLOGLQJ LQGXVWU\ LV GRPLQDWHG E\ ODUJH UPV ZLWK LQKRXVH GHVLJQHUV :H FDQ
venture to conclude that the discipline does not determine the organisational form of
either the design team or the design project.

52

Project Management - J.W.F. Wamelink and dr. J.L. Heintz

Drivers
Further, we notice two types of projects in the cases. One project type is a one-off
SURGXFWZKLFKPXVWFRQIRUPWRDSUHHVWDEOLVKHGOLVWRIUHTXLUHPHQWV7KHRWKHUSURMHFW
type is the development of a product to be marketed to a mass audience. We can call
these client-driven and market-driven projects, respectively. Figure 3 shows the cases
arrayed in a matrix according to these two project environment dimensions. We will
contend that these dimensions give us a much more reliable indication of how project
management considerations are typically applied in design projects.

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Figure 4: Matrix showing cases grouped according to key environmental factors

Market-driven projects

Figure 5: Cases

The projects in this category are characterised by the fact that the design activities are
carried out by and for businesses that will market, produce and distribute the products
themselves. The project environment is therefore market oriented. In this category, we
have placed, not only all of the IDE examples, but also one of the architectural cases:
the 1-2-3 Huis., (although in this case the concept was not developed completely inhouse).
Initially, there was a great deal of uncertainty about the production costs for these
products. Uncertainties that played a role in this regard include the demand for the
product, the price that the market would bear and the manufacturing technologies that
ZRXOGEHUHTXLUHGWRREWDLQWKHGHVLUHGUHODWLRQVKLSEHWZHHQSULFHDQGSHUIRUPDQFH
The reaction of anonymous end users was of great importance throughout the entire
Project Management - J.W.F. Wamelink and J.L. Heintz

53

GHVLJQSURFHVV2XWSXWIDFWRUVRIVLJQLFDQFHLQFOXGHWLPHWRPDUNHWDQGSHUIRUPDQFH
in relation to the desires and needs of the end users.
In market-oriented projects management activity tends to focus on the concept
GHYHORSPHQW SKDVH ,Q DOO YH FDVHV WKH SURMHFW EHJDQ ZLWK D PDUNHW DQDO\VLV ,Q
general, these market-driven projects are also driven by technology driven. This is well
illustrated by the case of the 1-2-3 Huis, were the product is not the design of a single
house, but a production system that allows customers to order custom-made houses
WDLORUHGWRWKHLUXQLTXHQHHGV7KLVSURMHFWLVDOVRDQH[DPSOHRIKRZVXFKSURMHFWVDUH
often responses to social needs. The 1-2-3 Huis was intended to respond to the need
for the production of houses to replace the existing post-war stock, which no longer
PHHWV WKH UHTXLUHPHQWV RI SUHVHQW GD\ FRQVXPHUV IRU LQH[SHQVLYH DGDSWDEOH DQG
commodious houses supplied without long waiting periods.
Dealing with these uncertainties and risks is an important part of project management.
Characteristic of this is a phased approach to the design process with clear decision
moments. Most design processes can be seen as proceeding according to following the
IROORZLQJVHTXHQFHDQDO\VLVLGHDJHQHUDWLRQFRQFHSWGHYHORSPHQWGHWDLOHGGHVLJQ
model building and testing, engineering, production start-up, and series production.
In some cases you can observe a structured risk analysis sometimes using standard
WHFKQLTXHV HJ)DLOXUH0RGH (IIHFW$QDO\VLV'HVLJQIRU)DEULFDWLRQ$QDO\VLV 2IWHQ
risks are allayed through extensive testing of prototypes. In this manner, the designers
have attempted to match product performance to user expectations, in accordance with
the business model driving the product development process.
Remarkably, the designers in this group undertook the management of the entire
product development process. Planning, estimating and monitoring seem to be seen
as core activities. by the design team. No only the costs of the design projects, but
also the costs of production and delivery were carefully analyzed and optimised by
the designers. for cases in which the budget for the design of the product proved
LQVXIFLHQW DGGLWLRQDO IXQGV ZHUH PDGH DYDLODEOH  IRU ERWK LQWHUQDO DQG H[WHUQDO
projects. For the designers, the primary management goal was to optimise the return
on investment for the project as a whole.

Client-driven projects
Characteristic of client-driven projects is the fact that they are based on a brief supplied
E\WKHFOLHQWRQHVSHFLFFOLHQW7KHGHVLJQHUVRIWHQDOVRKDVKDYHRSLQLRQVDERXWWKH
brief as well, but in general this leads only to slight changes in the brief. The clients
UHTXLUHPHQWVDUHQRWOLPLWHGWRWKRVHLQGLFDWHGLQWKHEULHI%H\RQGWKHVHWKHUHPD\
be additional design constraints such as typical project management goals as budget
and time. The client often contracts the management of the project out to a project
PDQDJHPHQW FRQVXOWDQF\ UP 7KH GHVLJQHU LV WKHUHIRUH RIWHQ QRW LQYROYHG LQ WKH
management of the project, and is therefore in general less able to steer the design
project.
Client-driven projects usually involve a large number of independent parties. Different
DVSHFWVRIWKHGHVLJQDUHQRUPDOO\FDUULHGRXWE\GLIIHUHQWUPV7KXVERWKWKHRYHUDOO
complexity and the complexity of the construction phase are increased. The designer is
reduced to the status of one of the links in the supply chain to be managed by the project
PDQDJHPHQWUP&RPPXQLFDWLRQEHWZHHQDQGRUJDQLVDWLRQRIWKHGLIIHUHQWSDUWLHVLV

54

Project Management - J.W.F. Wamelink and dr. J.L. Heintz

PRUHGLIFXOWDQGUHTXLUHGPRUHPDQDJHPHQWDWWHQWLRQLQFOLHQWGULYHQSURMHFWVWKDQ
in market market-driven projects, and it is more likely to leads to disagreements. To
meet with this increasing complexity., additional management capacity is usually added
to the team.
The budget for design is usually determined in advance, and is normally set as a
SHUFHQWDJHRIWKHWRWDOLQYHVWPHQW7KLV[HGEXGJHWHQFRXUDJHVGHVLJQHUVWRUDWLRQ
the time they invest in the project. The designer is, therefore, not always encouraged
WRLQYHVWLQDYHU\WKRURXJKVWXG\WRQGWKHEHVWUHVROXWLRQSRVVLEOHIRUWKHFOLHQWV
brief. Issues such as Design for Fabrication normally fall outside the architects scope of
interest. The architects scope is negotiated anew for each new project with the client
and the other design consultants.

Conclusions
While noting that the exact form taken by project management activities is determined
E\WKHVSHFLFVRIWKHLQGLYLGXDOSURMHFWHQYLURQPHQWVZHFDQYHQWXUHWRGUDZDQXPEHU
of tentative conclusions regarding how the general character of the project environment
determines project management. We may begin drawing conclusions by examining the
WUDGHRIIVPRVWIUHTXHQWO\PDGHEHWZHHQWKHGLIIHUHQWPDQDJHPHQWIDFWRUV WLPHFRVW
and performance) in market- and client-driven projects.
In market-driven projects budget overruns are not always considered negative project
results. On the contrary, additional expenditures seem to be readily accepted in Rather,
in cases where other factors are more highly valued additional expenditures seem to be
readily accepted, if they lead to higher performance and therefore a higher expected
UHWXUQ 2IWHQ LW LV WLPH VSHFLFDOO\ WLPH WR PDUNHW WKDW VHHPV WR GRPLQDWH KHUH
Performance and budget (i.e. development budget) may therefore be traded off against
each other relatively freely. The budget for the Beertender, for example, was expanded
VHYHUDOWLPHVGXULQJWKHSURMHFWDQGQREXGJHWZDVVSHFLHGDWDOOLQWKHFDVHRIWKH
Carver.
Time, however, seems to be the crucial constraint in market-driven projects. The internal
project manager makes a global plan for the project. This schedule seems rarely to be
extended.


 


 


 


 

















Figure 6: Comparison of tradeoffs between management factors in market- and client-driven


projects
Project Management - J.W.F. Wamelink and J.L. Heintz

55

In client-oriented projects, project success is more likely to be was measured on the bases
of compliance with previously established indicators for time, cost and performance.
At the beginning of an architectural project, the client usually provides a relatively
detailed brief. Yet it is actually other factors that seem to dominate. Time is generally
assumed to be beyond the control of the project team. Delays are accepted as a natural
part of the process. The time factor is determined primarily by external factors (i.e.
factors external to the design process or the design team), such as building permits,
and regulations), and there is little that can be done about them. Thus, although the
delivery date may slip because of these factors, such shifts are often not seen as a
particularly negative result; rather they are seen as a fact of life. Time only becomes
an important management tissue once construction has begun. However, when costs
begin to escalate, management intervenes and performance must be reduced to bring
costs back into line, as for example, when the sustainability aspects of the IDE building
were reduced. This is true not only of production costs, but of the design costs as
well. In practice, client-driven projects are budget driven, and the level of performance
achievable within the stated budget is accepted, even when this is less that then stated
in the original brief.
We can also observe differences in the organisational relationships between design
and construction. In client-driven projects we see a separation of design and project
management. In architectural projects project management is often performed by an
H[WHUQDOSURMHFWPDQDJHPHQWFRQVXOWDQF\UP,QPDUNHWGULYHQRUJDQLVDWLRQVWKHUH
is often an internal project manager. Thus, in IDE projects the designer is responsible,
not only for the design, but also for the management of the project.
,QFOLHQWGULYHQHQYLURQPHQWVDQDGGLWLRQDOGLIFXOW\LVSRVHGE\WKHGLIIHUHQFHEHWZHHQ
WKH FOLHQW DQG WKH HQG XVHU ,Q WKH FDVH RI WKH ,'( EXLOGLQJ WKHUH ZDV IUHTXHQWO\
tension between the owner of the building (TU Vastgoed) and the users (Faculty of
Industrial Design staff). Further, while building design projects often span a period of
years, and the organisations to be accommodated continue to evolve throughout the
duration of the project. This often leads to changes in the users needs and negotiations
that lead to deviations from the originally stated brief. On the other hand, the market
determines what the expected performance should be, through market research and
product testing.
The architectural design process is more complex. There are more parties involved,
and many aspects of the design are contracted out to other parties. In some cases, the
architect will provide only the concept design, and the working out of that design in
GHWDLODQGVSHFLFDWLRQVZLOOEHGRQHE\DQRWKHUSDUW\
Risk management seems to be important in both market- and client-driven projects.
However, the risks receiving the most attention are different. In market-driven projects,
the most important risks to be managed are those associated with the market itself
price, and consumer demand. In client-driven projects, the most important risks are
internal project risks the client is concerned with managing the designer, and does not
share their concerns for the market (in those cases where the product will eventually be
brought to market) with the designer. The designer plays no part in market research,
EXWUHFHLYHVWKHQGLQJVRIWKLVUHVHDUFKLQWKHIRUPRIDGHVLJQEULHI7KHHPSKDVLV
is on arriving at a previously conceived result rather than maximising performance,
production cost, or delivery time.

56

Project Management - J.W.F. Wamelink and dr. J.L. Heintz

Risk management varies between internal and external projects as well. In internal
projects it is possible for designers to deal with risks associated with production, where
as, we can see in the external projects, particularly in the architectural cases, that no
account is taken by the designer of production risks.
Thus we see that risk management, while not being named as such, is carried out in a
more structured fashion in IDE projects than in architectural projects. In architectural
SURMHFWV ULVN PDQDJHPHQW LV FRQQHG WR SURMHFW PDQDJHUV ZKHWKHU WKH\ DUH HLWKHU
external consultants or internal to the client organisation. This leads to a sort of
conservatism, in which meeting predictable ends is more important than maximising
performance. Innovation in architecture is, therefore, exceedingly gradual, and it tends
to be focused on aesthetic issues. In this respect it should be noted that the only
architectural project where patents were sought was the market-driven 1-2-3 Huis
project. The only market-driven project not to seek patents was the A230 Chair, were
Arhrend sought alternative means to protect their intellectual property.
From this short study it can be seen that there are many similarities as differences
between the ways in which project management as it is applied in IDE and architecture.
In summary, we can say that IDE projects are managed to meet product and investment
performance expectations, while architectural projects are managed to achieve
compliance with briefs.
More interestingly, the distinction between IDE and architecture is not always evident. The
categories of market-driven and client-driven projects are more illuminating, as are the
FDWHJRULHVRILQWHUQDODQGH[WHUQDOSURMHFWV,QPDQ\ZD\VWKHUHIRUHDQ,'(UPDQGDQ
DUFKLWHFWXUDOUPWKDWDUHERWKZRUNLQJRQFOLHQWGULYHQSURMHFWVDUHOLNHO\WRKDYHPRUH
LQFRPPRQWKDQZRXOGDQ,'(UPDQGDQ,'(GHSDUWPHQWLQDODUJHFRPSDQ\ZRUNLQJ
exclusively on internal projects. Indeed, focusing on project-environmental factors may
enhance our ability to predict the types of project management approaches that are
UHTXLUHGLQGHVLJQEXLOGDQGRWKHUXQXVXDORULQQRYDWLYHSURMHFWRUJDQLVDWLRQV

References
Barnes, M. (1988). Construction Project Management. International Journal
of Project Management 6(2): 69-79.
Cooke-Davis, T. (2002) The real success factors on projects. International
Journal of Project Management 20(3): 185-190.
Halman, J. I. M. (2002) Ontwikkeling van een risicoreferentielijst voor product
innovatieprojecten. Bedrijfskunde 74(5): 35-45.
Keizer, J. A., J.-P. Vos, et al. (2005) Risks in new product development:
devising a reference tool. R&D Management 35(3): 297-309.
Kliem and Ludin (1992) The People Side of Project Management. Gower,
Aldershot.
Koutsikouri, D., A. Dainty, et al. (2006). Critical success factors for
multidisciplinary engineering projects. 22nd Annual ARCOM
Conference, Birmingham, UK, Association of Research in Construction
Management.
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Project Management - J.W.F. Wamelink and J.L. Heintz

57

Mbachu, J. I. C., & Vinasithamby, K. (2005). Sources of risks in construction


project development: An exploratory study. Paper presented at the
Queensland University of Technology Research Week, Brisbane,
Australia.
Meredith, J. R. and S. J. Mantel (2006). Project Management; A managerial
approach. New York, Wiley.
MMID. (2007, 20/08/2007). MMID full service design team (corporate
website). Retrieved 12/05/2008, from www.mmid.nl.
Morris, P.W.G. (1994) The Management of Projects. London, Thomas Telford.
Morris, P.W.G. (2001) Updating the Project Management Bodies of
Knowledge. Project Management Journal 32 21 30
Robbins, S. P. and D. A. DeCenzo (2004). Fundamentals of management:
essential concepts and applications. Upper Saddle River, N.J., Prentice
Hall.
5RFNDUW-)  &KLHIH[HFXWLYHVGHQHWKHLURZQGDWDQHHGV+DUYDUG
Business Review 57(2): 81-93.
Roozenburg, N.F.M. & Eekels, J. (1991) Produktontwerpen, Structuur en
Methoden. Utrecht, Lemma.
Shenhar, A. J., D. Dvir, et al. (2001). Project success: A multidimensional
strategic concept. Long Range Planning 34(6): 699-725.
Stamm, B. von (2003) Managing Innovation, Design & Creativity. Wiley,
Chichester, UK.
:LQFK*$8VPDQLDQG(GNLQV$  7RZDUGVWRWDOSURMHFWTXDOLW\D
gap analysis approach. Construction Management and Economics 16:
193-207.
Winch, G. (2002) Managing construction projects : an information processing
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58

Project Management - J.W.F. Wamelink and dr. J.L. Heintz

59

IDE+A
Social Complexity
Design Processes - Wim Poelman and David Keyson (Eds.)
IOS Press, 2008 2008 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved.

Social complexity in design collaboration

Prof. dr. P.G. Badke-Schaub


Professor Design Theory and Methodology
Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering
Delft University of Technology

Abstract
7KLVFKDSWHUIRFXVHVRQWKHFDXVHVDQGFRQVHTXHQFHVRIHQKDQFHGFRPSOH[LW\RIGHsign activities by the social context. The eight design projects, which were used as
stimulating material, were analysed towards the variables which contributed to the social context. All interviewees discussed collaboration between different stakeholders as
one of the main ambiguous issues in the design process. In the paper the challenges of
the three problems prevalent in most projects are analysed in further detail: unshared
or contradictory goals between different stakeholders involved in the process, the need
IRUFURVVGLVFLSOLQDU\FRPPXQLFDWLRQDQGWKHXQLTXHQHVVRIWKHSURMHFWV)LQDOO\WZR
concepts are presented and further detailed in how they may provide opportunities of
LQXHQFLQJWKHVHFRPSOH[VRFLDOSURFHVVHVLQDGHVLUHGGLUHFWLRQ
Keywords: coordination, communication, contradictory goals, team mental models

Introduction
In the past the designer was a creative genius, a creator and the artist behind the product. Today, its common to state that design is a social process (e.g. Bucciarelli, 1994)
since many design projects are far too complex for individual designers. Technological
DGYDQFHVKDYHOHGWRLQFUHDVLQJVSHFLDOLVDWLRQZLWKWKHFRQVHTXHQFHRIDQLQFUHDVLQJ
QHHGIRUWHDPZRUNLQWKHFRQWH[WRIPXOWLGLVFLSOLQDULW\7KHIRUPHUVHTXHQWLDOSURGuct development processes within one organisation have changed to concurrent engineering processes, often involving several organisations. Thus, the designer is often a
member of a multi-disciplinary product development team including disciplines such as
marketing and mechanics, software, product control, and more.
The same is true for architects, whose work includes collaboration with disciplines such
as statics, installation, construction, etc., each of them contributing their particular
GRPDLQVSHFLFH[SHUWLVH
$WUVWJODQFHWKLVVLWXDWLRQVHHPVWREHKLJKO\HIIHFWLYHEHFDXVHWKHRQO\RSWLRQIRU
coping with these complexities is to integrate the expertise and knowledge of different
disciplines. This synergistic effect is especially emphasised in the theoretical framework
of social cognition:
Knowledge is commonly socially constructed, through collaborative efforts towards
shared objectives or by dialogues and challenges brought about by differences in persons perspectives. (Pea, 1993, p.48)
However, multidisciplinary teams also run the risk of a variety of problems, to name
only two aspects of any collaboration in a project team across disciplines and organisations:

GLIIHUHQWODQJXDJHGLIIHUHQWGLVFLSOLQHVXVHGLIIHUHQWYRFDEXODULHVWKH 
same word can indicate different phenomena (for example, the word
function) or different words can refer to the same feature;

61




GLIIHUHQWEDFNJURXQGPHPEHUVRIPXOWLGLVFLSOLQDU\WHDPVRIWHQUXQLQWR
FRQLFWVGXHWRWKHLUODFNRIDVKDUHGPHQWDOPRGHO %DGNH6FKDXEHWDO
2007).
Considering only these two aspects it becomes obvious that the social context adds adGLWLRQDOFRPSOH[LW\DQGWKXVUHTXLUHVIURPWKHGHVLJQHUWRHQFRPSDVVDEURDGHUVHWRI
FDSDELOLWLHVDSDUWIURPKLVKHUGRPDLQVSHFLFUROHLQGHVLJQSURMHFWV
In the following chapter the main challenges which constitute social complexity in design collaboration will be outlined and in the third part (chapter 3) some theoretical
analyses explain the aspects which are most important when considering how to cope
with these challenges successfully.

Challenges

:RUNLQJZLWKRWKHUSURIHVVLRQDOVLQDSURMHFWWHDPUHTXLUHVIRFXVLQJRQWKHDFFRPSOLVKment of the task at hand while embedded in a complex social process. The challenges
resulting from this situation are of various kinds; the three challenges discussed here
are taken from the interviews of four architects and four industrial designers (from 8
different projects) who were involved in the design of well-known Dutch buildings and
products (8 different projects). These projects were chosen because they represent
design success stories in architecture and product development.

1.1
Unshared and contradictory goals
$FFRUGLQJWRWKHGHQLWLRQE\.DW]HQEDFKDQG6PLWK  DWHDPLVDVPDOOQXPEHU
of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.
Furthermore, team members strive for a common goal. However, these characteristics
do not hold for teams we see more and more working in the globalised world, such as
virtual teams, geographically dispersed teams, etc.. These teams may have a common
goal in the broader sense such as in project teams where each discipline brings in its
own, often hidden agenda. For example, one of the architects interviewed describes
WKHFRQLFWEHWZHHQWKHDUFKLWHFWDQGWKHFRQVWUXFWLRQFRPSDQ\DVDFRQWLQXRXVJRDO
FRQLFW ZKHUHDV WKH DUFKLWHFW LV LQWHUHVWHG LQ WKH KLJKHVW TXDOLW\ WKH FRQVWUXFWLRQ
company gains the most with a project that is as cheap as possible; in order to save
money the construction company does not always stick to the plans. The same problem
was also mentioned by another architect: The architect wants to create beautiful things
where the building contractor wants the building to be cheap.
Obviously, the need to cope with different and often contradictory goals is not only a
part of the task process but also of the social process. The designer has to balance
between individual and domain-related goals and project goals, or as Bucciarelli (1994,
S  VWDWHV WKH GHVLJQ  SURFHVV LV QHFHVVDULO\ VRFLDO DQG UHTXLUHV SDUWLFLSDQWV WR
negotiate their differences and construct meaning through direct, and preferably faceto-face exchange. Thus, collaboration can be successful if the interaction focuses on
joint objectives.
1.2
Cross-disciplinary communication
The main contribution to the overall success of a complex design project is communication between the various parties involved, including the user and the client. However,
the different individual backgrounds of the parties, visible as an amalgamation of differHQWH[SHUWLVHSHUVSHFWLYHVYDOXHVDQGJRDOVIUHTXHQWO\SRVHVGLIFXOWLHVIRUDGHTXDWH
FRPPXQLFDWLRQ VHH)LJXUH $VDGLUHFWFRQVHTXHQFHRIWKHVHGLIFXOWLHVGHVLJQHUV
often refer to, and budget for, the time needed to come to a decision.

62

Social complexity - P.G. Badke-Schaub




 

  
 

 

 

 

 

 
  

 

)LJXUH0RGHORILQXHQFHVRQFROODERUDWLRQ

The main aim of communication is the exchange of information, which in complex


projects usually leads to an information overload for the individual professional. Hence,
the integration of information is necessary in order to transfer information into knowledge. Some projects try to enable this process by using a sophisticated documentation
system. The structure of such a system has to be transparent for all parties involved
and the vocabularies used need to be understood by all disciplines in the same way.
Furthermore, a documentation system should clearly describe the decisions that have
been taken and why. The integrated knowledge should be more or less shared by all of
the team members.

1.3
Structured procedures
Structured procedures are, in the eyes of many designers, too structured. One designer
related that in his company there is a standard procedure for handling a project. This
procedure is similar to what he learned at university. They teach you to follow the perfect process, but in reality it does not work that way. Its neither preferable nor workable
because each project needs its own approach. Every project is one of a kind; we start
by asking ourselves what this project needs. And from there we start the project.
Although there are several methods which support project work there is a rather low
rate of acceptance by professionals. Contrary to these structured approaches, brainstorming is widely accepted and used in daily work; however this method is not always
used as prescribed by the inventor (Osborne, 1953) but more as a tool for unstructured
discussions.
2

Essentials of social complexity in design

,QWKLVFKDSWHUWZREDVLFFRQFHSWVDUHVXJJHVWHGZKLFKUHTXLUHIXUWKHUUHVHDUFKLIZH
want to understand and support multi-disciplinary design collaboration: coordination
and team mental models.

2.1
Coordination
2QH RI WKH PRVW LPSRUWDQW UHTXLUHPHQWV RI GHVLJQ SURMHFWV  ZKLFK KDV DOVR EHHQ
FRQUPHGE\WKHGHVLJQHUVLQWHUYLHZHGLVWKHRZRILQIRUPDWLRQZKLFKKDVWREH
organised and distributed effectively in terms of team, time and space. As projects
Social complexity - P.G. Badke-Schaub

63

always have to cope with the intersections between disciplines it is necessary to make
sure that the individual contributions are in line with the various interconnections. The
PRUHLQWHUFRQQHFWLRQVWKHPRUHFRRUGLQDWLRQLVQHFHVVDU\7KXVDGHTXDWHFRRUGLQDWLRQ
is a precondition for precisely aligning individual contributions to the team as well as
contributions between teams. The way to coordinate may be different, depending on
the use of tools, channels and media (see Figure 2).

 


 

  

 

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! 




 



  
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 !   
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As indicated in Figure 2, an important element of coordination determines the team


structure by allocating tasks, roles and responsibilities, in which the coordination of
UROHV LV D PDLQ IDFWRU LQXHQFLQJ WHDP SHUIRUPDQFH $ FOHDU DOORFDWLRQ RI UROHV SURvides the group with a transparent group structure and a clear allocation of tasks and
responsibilities according to the preferences and competencies of the team members
LVDSUHUHTXLVLWHRIVXFFHVVIXOWHDPSHUIRUPDQFH 6WHPSH+EQHU %DGNH6FKDXE
(2001). In this way the team members develop a shared team mental model and may
be at the same time a transactive memory.
A further major coordination issue is the allocation of time and careful scheduling so
that enough time is available to accomplish tasks and for group development. A clear
VFKHGXOHFODULHVWKHWLPLQJRIDFWLRQVDQGPLOHVWRQHVIRUGHOLYHUDEOHV
The coordination of the interaction between different locations becomes more important
with increasing globalisation and hence the increasing virtualisation of collaboration.
Another important topic with regard to geographically distant collaboration concerns
cultural differences and their impact on different aspects of design work.
Empirical studies reveal that the more team members coordinate their contributions,
in relation to task and process, the better they perform (Gurtner, 2003). Certainly, the
need for coordination depends on the complexity of the task, the number of different
parties involved and the degree of interconnectivity between the parties; the more interdependencies the more coordination is needed.
Groups working together for a longer period of time develop a common history and as
DFRQVHTXHQFHLPSOLFLWFRRUGLQDWLRQHVSHFLDOO\IRUZHOONQRZQDQGVWUXFWXUHGSDUWVRI

64

Social complexity - P.G. Badke-Schaub

their work. However, when collaboration in teams is begun, coordination is communicated explicitly and this creates a common ground (Clark & Brennan, 1991), which
UHHFWVVKDUHGLQIRUPDWLRQDQGVKDUHGEHOLHIV
There is also empirical evidence that teams tend to avoid coordination or postpone the
start of coordination activities until it becomes obvious that the current muddling-through
strategy is not successful (Hackman, Brousseau & Weiss, 1976). Gersick (1988, 1989)
derived from an analysis of project teams that halfway through the project timeline a
transition phase occurs, characterised by a sudden change of strategies. Resources can
EHZDVWHGDVWKHFRQVHTXHQFHRIRPLWWHGFRRUGLQDWLRQEXWLQDGGLWLRQSRRUGHFLVLRQV
can be made, which affects the result of the whole project in a negative way.

2.1.1 Regular face-to-face meetings


Although all interviewees reported that during the projects information was also shared
by computer-mediated communication, all participants underlined the need for regular
face-to-face meetings. One designer explained that he does not use the phone or email
that much, because he wants to see people and read their body language: The scale
of a project is not relevant to the way of communicating. Designing concerns tangible
items. It is therefore also important that you see each other face to face and with a
drawing or a mock-up.
7KH LPSRUWDQFH RI IDFHWRIDFH PHHWLQJV LV FRQUPHG E\ QGLQJV WKDW IDFHWRIDFH
meetings support the trust-building process (Tang & Isaacs 1993). Furthermore, the
possibility of a shared view of sketches, models and mock-ups is a basic part of most
face-to-face meetings in design teams. This tangible aspect is mainly stressed by architects: face-to-face meetings are needed because especially at the beginning of a
SURMHFWDORWRIWKLQJVDUHEHLQJVSHFLHG
Some of the designers interviewed distinguished between two kinds of meetings; on
the one hand, the more structured meetings usually chaired by the project leader, and
on the other, unstructured brainstorm sessions. Brainstorming seems to be the method
used in all projects and for different purposes, such as to identify various aims.
 5HHFWLRQRQWDVNDQGVRFLDOFRQWH[W
You always have to stay critical about why you are doing something. This goes for the
building but also for the management.
7KLVVWDWHPHQWE\DGHVLJQHUHPSKDVLVHVUHHFWLRQDVDQLPSRUWDQWSDUWRIWKHGHVLJQ
process.
7KHUHDUHQWPDQ\HPSLULFDOVWXGLHVDQDO\VLQJUHHFWLRQDVSDUWRIKXPDQFRJQLWLRQ
*XUWQHUHWDO  VKRZHGWKDWUHHFWLRQHQKDQFHVSHUIRUPDQFHPHGLDWHGE\VWUXFtured communication and the similarity of mental models. Another interesting result
UHIHUVWRWKHGLIIHUHQFHVEHWZHHQLQGLYLGXDOVDQGJURXSVLQWHUPVRIUHH[LYLW\LQGLYLGXDOUHH[LYLW\ZDVVXSHULRUWRJURXSUHH[LYLW\EHFDXVHJURXSUHH[LYLW\LQFUHDVHG
WKHGLVFXVVLRQRIYHU\JHQHUDOVWUDWHJLHV2EYLRXVO\UHHFWLRQHQKDQFHVSHUIRUPDQFHDV
ORQJDVLWIRFXVHVRQWDVNVSHFLFVWUDWHJLHV
&XUUHQWO\WKHUHDUHQRHPSLULFDOVWXGLHVWKDWLQYHVWLJDWHWKHUROHRIUHHFWLRQRQWKH
VRFLDOFRQWH[WDQGLWVLQXHQFHRQSHUIRUPDQFH
2.2
Team Mental Models
Mental models are internal representations that humans build in order to understand,
predict and act in the world (Craik, 1943). There are different assumptions about the
patterns of representations; however, researchers agree on two basic types of models
(Cooke, Salas, Cannon-Bowers, & Stout, 2000; Klimoski & Mohammed, 1994; Rentsch
& Hall, 1994): those concerned with the task and those concerned with the team. The
Social complexity - P.G. Badke-Schaub

65

task mental models encompass all aspects related to the execution of the task, while
the team mental model covers all representations related to the team and the team
members who are essential to working together. Team mental models are generally
GHQHGDVWKHRUJDQLVHGXQGHUVWDQGLQJRIUHOHYDQWNQRZOHGJHWKDWLVVKDUHGE\WHDP
members (Cannon-Bowers, Salas, & Converse, 1993; Klimoski & Mohammed, 1994).
It has been shown that teams sharing a common understanding of the task, the team,
and the situation perform better (e.g. Lim & Klein, 2006; Mathieu, Heffner, Goodwin,
Cannon-Bowers, & Salas, 2005).
More precisely, one designer interviewed describes his view of the kind of team-related
NQRZOHGJHWKDWLVUHTXLUHG<RXKDYHWREHDJURXS\RXKDYHWRFRPHWRJHWKHUDVD
team. You have to know who does what. You have to know what you can expect from
HDFKRWKHU$QGKRZ\RXZLOOZRUNWRJHWKHU:KDWDUHWKHLQVDQGRXWVRIWKHSURMHFW"
:KDWLVWKHSURMHFWVIRFXV",WLVYHU\LPSRUWDQWWRVKRUWFLUFXLWLWZLWKHYHU\ERG\LQvolved.
+HUHWZRPDLQDVSHFWVFRQWULEXWLQJWRVXFFHVVIXOSURMHFWVDUHVSHFLHG

WHDPFRKHVLRQ\RXKDYHWRFRPHWRJHWKHUDVDWHDP

VKDUHGWHDPPHQWDOPRGHO\RXKDYHWRNQRZZKDW\RXFDQH[SHFW
from each other.
Knowledge about the team includes knowledge about competencies, roles, tasks and
responsibilities of the team members: who is responsible for which (sub-)tasks, what
NLQG RI FRPSHWHQFLHV FDSDELOLWLHV VWUHQJWKV DQG ZHDNQHVVHV FKDUDFWHULVH D VSHFLF
SHUVRQ"7KLVNLQGRINQRZOHGJHLVUHOHYDQWWRVXFFHVVIXOWHDPSHUIRUPDQFH
,QDQHPSLULFDOVWXG\%LHUKDOVHWDO  IRXQGDVLJQLFDQWFRUUHODWLRQEHWZHHQD
high level of shared team mental models and problem-solving performance but not
between shared task mental models and performance, which underlines the relevance
of the social context for successful task accomplishment.

Conclusions

7KLVSDSHUDLPHGWRIRFXVRQWKHVLJQLFDQFHRIVRFLDOFRPSOH[LW\WRFROODERUDWLRQLQ
design. Social complexity relates to the social context that a project team works in and
WKXVLQXHQFHVWKHGHFLVLRQPDNLQJSURFHVVRIWKHSURMHFWZRUN
Interviews with designers responsible for successful Dutch projects in architecture and
product development formed the background for the analysis presented here of the
impact of social complexity on collaboration in design teams. Although all projects were
successful the interviewees also reported some restrictive factors, such as contradicting
goals between the different parties involved. Finally, two major theoretical concepts
(coordination, team mental models) are discussed which provide further ideas to successfully dealing with complex design projects in social context.

References
Badke-Schaub, P., Neumann, A., Lauche, K., & Mohammed, S. (2007). Mental
models in design teams: A valid approach to performance in design

FROODERUDWLRQ"&R'HVLJQ
Bierhals, R., Schuster, I., Kohler, P., Badke-Schaub, P. (2007). Shared mental
models - linking team cognition and performance. Co-Design, 3,
75-94.
Bucciarelli, L.L. (1994). Designing Engineers. Boston: MIT Press.
Cannon-Bowers, J. A., Salas, E., & Converse, S. (1993). Shared mental models
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and group decision making: Current issues (pp. 221-246). Hillsdale,

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NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.


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Gersick, C.J.G. (1988). Time and transition in work teams: Toward a new
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Gersick, C.J.G. (1989). Marking time: predictable transitions in task groups.
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Gurtner, A., Tschan, F., Semmer, N.K. & Ngele, C. (2007). Getting groups to

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process, team performance, and shared mental models. Organizational
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Hackman, R.J., Brousseau, K.R. & Weiss, J.A. (1976). The interaction of task
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Katzenbach, J.R. & Smith, D.K. (1993). The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the
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Klimoski, R., & Mohammed, S. (1994). Team Mental Model - Construct or
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Lim, B.-C., & Klein, K. J. (2006). Team mental models and team performance:

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accuracy. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 27, 403-418.
Mathieu, J. E., Heffner, T. S., Goodwin, G. F., Cannon-Bowers, J. A., & Salas, E.

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and normative comparisons. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26,
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Mohammed, S., & Dumville, B. C. (2001). Team mental models in a team
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task role distribution in work groups. Group Processes and Intergroup
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multimedia-supported collaboration. Computer Supported Cooperative
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Social complexity - P.G. Badke-Schaub

67

IDE+A
Decision making
Design Processes - Wim Poelman and David Keyson (Eds.)
IOS Press, 2008 2008 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved.

A decision-based design approach

Dr. ir. P.P. van Loon1, ir. R. Binnekamp, ir. J. Burger


1
Associate professor Design and Decision Systems
Faculty of Architecture
Delft University of Technology

Introduction
,Q WKH HOG RI HQJLQHHULQJ GHVLJQ LQGXVWULDO GHVLJQ DUFKLWHFWXUH DV ZHOO DV XUEDQ
GHVLJQ  D VSHFLF GHVLJQ SHUVSHFWLYH NQRZQ DV GHFLVLRQEDVHG GHVLJQ KDV EHHQ
explored for several years now.
Over the past decades, design theory research has taken several twists and turns,
as computational tools became the standard for how engineers of all disciplines did
design. In an early National Science Foundation Workshop report (Newsome et al.,
1989), research was categorised into topical areas focused on the design process
that included the computational modelling; the cognitive and social aspects; the
representations and environments; the analysis tools including optimisation and the
design for, such as for manufacturing. At that time, the NSF programme was called
Design Theory and Methodology and consisted of three components that essentially
FDSWXUHG WKHVH YH WRSLFDO DUHDV WKH UVW 6FLHQWLFDOO\ 6RXQG 7KHRULHV RI 'HVLJQ
HVWDEOLVKHGDKRPHIRUSURSRVDOVWKDWZHUHGLUHFWHGDWFUHDWLQJWKHVFLHQWLFEDVLVIRU
the design process. The second, Foundation for Design Environments, was aimed at
advancing the understanding of fundamental generic principles that could be used and
understood across engineering domains. The third, Design Processes, was focused on
the how and why of the design process, including early work on life-cycle concepts and
concurrent design (Durham, 2006).
$WWKLVSRLQW\RXPLJKWDVN6RZKDWLVQHZ"7KHWRROVFHUWDLQO\KDYHDGYDQFHGRYHU
the years, from early computer-aided design (CAD) through solid modelling capability.
The introduction of virtual reality, computer integration engineering, and collaborative
and distributed design processes created demands on the community to focus on how
decisions were made, under what conditions and to what purpose. Decision-based
design became a major thrust for the research community, with the issues of uncertainty
and predictive modelling capability becoming the foci. As with any science, the theories
must be put forward, tested for consistency and completeness, and then incorporated
(or not) into the framework of the science. This is true, too, for engineering design, if it
LVWREHFRPHPRUHWKDQMXVWDQDGKRFLQWXLWLYHSURFHVVWKDWLVGRPDLQVSHFLF
During the late 1990s, members of the engineering design research community articulated
a growing recognition that decisions are a fundamental construct in engineering design.
This position, and its premise that the study of how engineering designers should make
choices during the design, represented the foundation of an emerging perspective on
design theory called decision-based design (DBD). DBD provides a framework within
which the design research community could conceive, articulate, verify and promote
WKHRULHVRIGHVLJQEH\RQGWKHWUDGLWLRQDOSUREOHPVROYLQJYLHZ$VGHQHGE\&KHQHW
al. (2006):
Decision-based design (DBD) is an approach to engineering design that recognizes the
substantial role that decisions play in design and in other engineering activities, largely
characterized by the ambiguity, uncertainty, risk, and trade-offs. Through the rigorous
application of mathematical principles, DBD seeks to improve the degree to which these
activities are performed and taught as rational, that is, self-consistent processes.

69

$W78'HOIWWKH2SHQ'HVLJQ5HVHDUFK*URXSKDVEHHQZRUNLQJLQWKHHOGRIGHFLVLRQ
based design for some years. The groups focus is on a collaborative approach to
architecture, urban planning, and project management. It offers concepts and methods
to combine technical and social optimisation into one integrated design process
(Binnekamp et al., 2006).
IDE+A Case Study Analysis, IDE+A Workgroup TU Delft (2008), pp. 4-5:
Introduction - Case 1: Westraven Utrecht - Company: Cepezed
&RXOG\RXJLYHDVKRUWLQWURGXFWLRQRI\RXUSURMHFW"
7KH :HVWUDYHQ SURMHFW FRQVLVWHG RI DQ RIFH EXLOGLQJ WKDW KDG WR EH
renovated. The building was designed by Jan Lucas (of Lucas & Niemeijer)
in 1975. The building stands at a particular spot that is known as the
bellybutton of the Netherlands. Jan Pesman has looked at the exact middle
point of the Netherlands but this was not the correct location. However, the
location is characterised by the crossing of waterways and roads such as
the Amsterdam-Rhine canal and the A2 highway. This location is therefore
very precious to an organisation such as Rijkswaterstaat (the Ministry for
Transport, Public Works and Water Management). There was a contest, in
WKH IRUP RI D (XURSHDQ WHQGHU 7KH UHTXLUHPHQWV ZHUH DQ HQODUJHPHQW
of the working space and that surrounding buildings should have glass
windows which could be opened. In order to open the windows they
developed a double faade system with a semitransparent fabric in order
WROWHUOLJKWDQGUHGXFHZLQGVSHHG
Social Complexity in Collaboration - Case 1: Westraven Utrecht Company: Cepezed
Describe the structure, mutual communication and the relationships during
the collaboration by those involved in the project.
:KDWZDV\RXUUROHLQWKLVSURMHFW"
He was the architect. According to Jan, he is at the top of the food chain. You
generate ideas, which you discuss with the design team. These proposals
are then taken to the customer (in this case, the Rijksgebouwendienst
(Government Buildings Agency)). As the architect, you are president of the
design team. This means that you also have a vote about which external
advisors take part in the project.
'LGWKLVFKDQJHGXULQJWKHSURMHFW"
In general, the role of the architect is reduced little by little. Jan Pesman
says that architects revolt against this. He sees more and more responsibility
being placed in the hands of the construction company. The architect has
to make a nice drawing and the construction company executes the plans
the way they like it. The danger here is that the construction company aims
WRPDNHDVPXFKQDQFLDOJDLQDVSRVVLEOHE\PDNLQJWKHSURMHFWDVFKHDS
DVSRVVLEOH-DQDGYLVHVPDNLQJDGHVLJQQDOGRZQWRWKHVPDOOHVWGHWDLO
and then going to a construction company.
+RZPDQ\SDUWLHVDQGSHRSOHZHUHLQYROYHGLQWKHSURMHFW"
A total of seven parties were involved.
:KRZHUHWKH\"
1. The client / user: Rijksmonumentenzorg (Netherlands Department for
Conservation) and Rijkswaterstaat.
2. The design team: architect (Chair of the design team), Construction
company, structural and installation technology
3. External advisors or specialists
4. Cost management
&RXOG\RXVNHWFKWKHRUJDQLVDWLRQVVWUXFWXUH"
Only the architect was from Cepezed. All of the other parties involved were
from outside the Cepezed organisation.

70

A decision-based design approach - P.P. van Loon, R. Binnekamp and J. Burger

:KDWZDVWKHEDODQFHEHWZHHQWKHJHQGHUV"
Only a few women were involved in this project.
+RZPDQ\SHRSOHZRUNHGRQWKLVSURMHFW"
A maximum of 200 people worked on this project. There is the project
manager, who represents a group of 30 people who in turn represent the
users during the project; there are 15 engineers, 4 people in executive
management, and the architect.
Were there changes in the number of parties and people that were involved
GXULQJWKHSURMHFW"
The number of people did not change, due to the European tender.
'LGWKHVHSHRSOHFDPHIURPLQVLGH&HSH]HGRUZHUHWKH\H[WHUQDO"
Only the architect came from Cepezed. The rest are from outside the
organisation.
+DYH\RXZRUNHGEHIRUHLQWKLVW\SHRIFROODERUDWLRQ"
Yes, this is common.
:DVWKHUHDPRUHLQWHQVLYHFROODERUDWLRQEHWZHHQVRPHSDUWLHV"
The architect works in close collaboration with the advisors. This is better
for developing ideas.
:KLFKIRUPVRIFRPPXQLFDWLRQGLG\RXXVHGXULQJWKHSURMHFW"
It is important to have regular meetings in order to develop solutions. In
addition, there was a level of technical executive control.
+RZGLG\RXFKRRVHZKLFKPHWKRGWRXVHDQGZKHQ"
In big projects you have specialised agencies manage the executive
functions.
+RZZDVFRPPXQLFDWLRQRUJDQLVHG"
All decisions were recorded in project reports. Because of the complexity
RIWKLVSURMHFWWKH\VHWXSDOHVKDULQJVHUYLFH7KLVLVDGDWDEDVHLQZKLFK
all of the information regarding the project is collected. There are written
reports, drawings, and the latest status reports. Jan Pesman also stresses
the importance of meetings, saying you need interaction. In a meeting
TXLFNVNHWFKHVFDQEHVKRZQDQGGLVFXVVHG7KLVLVPXFKTXLFNHUWKDQYLD
e-mail.
:DVWKHUHDQLQLWLDWLRQPHHWLQJ"
Yes, there was.
'LG WKH DEVHQFH RI VSHFLF SHUVRQV LQXHQFH WKH DGYDQFHPHQW RI WKH
SURMHFW"
Because Cepezed had only technical executive control they were not always
present at the construction site. But sometimes the construction company
will not stick to the plan, in order to save money. So they have to carry out
thorough checks of the work.
Did the innovative nature of the project (on a international scale) have an
LQXHQFHRQWKHPHDQVRIFRPPXQLFDWLRQ"
The innovative nature of the project led to more communication between
the advisors and the architect. More meetings and more sketches lead to
more solutions.

Decision making in an architectural design process

'HVLJQHUVZRUNLQJLQDUFKLWHFWXUHDUHFRQIURQWHGPRUHDQGPRUHIUHTXHQWO\ZLWKKXJH
VROXWLRQVSDFHVOOHGZLWKKXQGUHGVRIDOWHUQDWLYHFRPELQDWLRQVRISRVVLEOHVXEVROXWLRQV
VXSSOLHGE\DKRVWRIVSHFLDOLVWV$VDUHVXOWRIWKLVWKHLUTXHVWIRUWKHRSWLPXPGHVLJQ
tends increasingly to run aground in a combinational explosion. At such moments,
there are too many options, too many opinions and too many alternatives.
If designers bring in the expertise of specialists to reduce the size of the solution space,
A decision-based design approach - P.P. van Loon, R. Binnekamp and J. Burger

71

WKHLUSRVLWLRQEHFRPHVHYHQPRUHGLIFXOW6SHFLDOLVWVRQO\VHOHFWWKRVHFRPELQDWLRQVRI
options that lie within their own discipline. When the designers go on to combine these
VHOHFWLRQVWKH\QGWKDWWKHVSHFLDOLVWVZHUHQRWVXIFLHQWO\FDSDEOHRILQGHSHQGHQWO\
assessing which combination was important for the whole, and which was the mostly
likely to meet the goals of all involved.
Many designers attempt to deal with this dilemma of too many combinations at the
start and too few options after selection by setting up a broadly based design team.
On such a team, the designers work with specialists, jointly exploring the solution space
and determining the best combination of sub-solutions. Unfortunately, this approach
often also tends to run aground, when the client and users fail to approve the result
SURGXFHGE\WKHSURIHVVLRQDOGHVLJQWHDP7KH\PLJKWQGLWWRRDPELWLRXVXQIHDVLEOH
RUIHHOWKDWLWIDLOVWRFDWHUDGHTXDWHO\WRWKHVRFLDOFRQWH[W
To prevent this kind of rejection, designers often enlist the aid of process experts, asking
them to devise a decision-making process for the team. This process sets out what has
WR EH SURGXFHG ZKHQ DQG ZKR VKRXOG GHFLGH ZKDW UVW SURGXFH DQG DSSURYH WKLV
sub-design, then the next, etc. This enables the team to work towards a result with
some degree of certainty, but also entails the risk that a series of sub-optimum design
decisions will lead to a sub-optimum design result.
IDE+A Case Study Analysis, IDE+A Workgroup TU Delft (2008), p. 6:
Decision making - Case 1: Westraven Utrecht - Company:
Cepezed
+RZDUHGHFLVLRQVPDGHGXULQJWKHSURFHVV":KRLVLQYROYHGLQGHFLVLRQ
PDNLQJ"
The architect makes decisions regarding the design. He is advised by his
team of advisors. He takes their advice into account when drawing up the
design. Then he takes the design to the client. The client normally follows
the advice of the architect.
:KRPDNHVWKHQDOGHFLVLRQ"
The client.
:KDWIDFWRUVSOD\DUROH"
7KHUHTXLUHPHQWVRIWKHXVHU
:K\GRWKHVHIDFWRUVSOD\DUROH"
The users are the ones who have to use the building. Their wishes and
demands have to be represented in the design.
Could you give your point of view (related to the project) about these nonVFLHQWLFGHFLVLRQPDNLQJPHWKRGV"
1RQVFLHQWLFGHFLVLRQPDNLQJFULWHULD
)LUVWFRPHUVWVHUYHG RWKHULGHDVDUHXQOLNHO\WREHRIIHUHG 
2. The loudest voice is the one the gets heard (others are too modest)
3. Power (the boss decides)
4. Authority (the dominant person decides)
5. Everyone thinks his own owl is a falcon (for example, the boss son)
6. Anxiety (risky decisions are taken)
7. Haste (the proposal that looks like it will take the shortest time to
complete is chosen)
8. Tenderfoot (trying to get in the good graces of those making the
proposal)
9. Fast talking (the best presentation wins)
10. Last-best (the last presentation is the one that is best remembered)
Types of leadership:
1. Laissez-faire (from the French, meaning do what you want to do, I will
judge the result)
2. Catalytic (stimulating)

72

A decision-based design approach - P.P. van Loon, R. Binnekamp and J. Burger

3. Participatory (collaborative)
4. Directive (little room for those who are carrying out the work)
Laissez-faire is not applicable. If they do not do something, nothing will
be done. Stimulating by all means. The engineers who are involved are
FKDOOHQJHGLQWKHUVWSKDVHRIWKHSURMHFW3DUWLFLSDWRU\DOVRDSSOLHVWR
the organisation. The production team is a connected whole. However, the
execution is not up for discussion. When the plans are ready the execution
is carried out in a directive fashion.
7RZKDWH[WHQWLVWKHSURFHVVRIGHFLVLRQPDNLQJSXWRQSDSHU" :KDWLV
UHFRUGHG"
All decisions are recorded in reports.
'LG\RXDJUHHZLWKDOORIWKHGHFLVLRQVWKDWZHUHPDGH"
No, not with all of the decisions, such as the colours that were chosen by
the interior designer.
+RZZHUH\RXLQYROYHGZKHQGHFLVLRQVZHUHPDGH"
The architect leads the building team. If a decision had to be made the
architect, as the leader, had the ability to really make decisions. But as
always it is a team effort. So advisors give advice and that is presented to
the client.
:DVWKHUHDQDOWHUQDWLYHZKHQPDNLQJGHFLVLRQV 3ODQ$DQGRU3ODQ% "
There is always an alternative when making decisions. The architect always
has a backup plan, but he really tries to go for Plan A.

The Sjoelbak game: a decision-based design situation explained

A designer who had been given a very complex design commission wanted to know
before he started whether the client realised what he was getting into. He therefore
LQYLWHGKLPWRKLVGHVLJQVWXGLRVRWKDWKHFRXOGEHFRPHDFTXDLQWHGZLWKWKHIDVFLQDWLQJ
EXW RIWHQ GLIFXOW ZRUN RI GHVLJQ 7KH FOLHQW ZDV HQWLUHO\ XQIDPLOLDU ZLWK WKH GHVLJQ
profession, and had never commissioned a designer before.
The designer had come up with an unusual way of immediately and tangibly illustrating
WKHGHVLJQSURIHVVLRQ+HKDGVHWXSD6MRHOEDN VKXIHERDUG JDPHULJKWLQWKHPLGGOH
of his studio. Sjoelbak originated in Friesland, a province in the north of the Netherlands,
where it is a popular family game. It consists of a long rectangular wooden box (the
VKXIHERDUGLWVHOI DQGZRRGHQGLVNVVLPLODUWRLFHKRFNH\SXFNVNQRZQLQWKHROG
Frisian language as sjoelen. Players slide the disks from one end of the box to the
other with their hand, through a number of holes (originally four), each of which has
a different score. The person who scores the highest number of points with a given
number of pucks is the winner (Figure 1(a)).
The designer began playing and pushed a number of pucks in the direction of the holes.
Then he stopped. The state of the game at that point was just right for explaining the
complexity of the design commission (Figure 1(b)).






(a)











(b)
)LJXUH7KHUVWJDPH

A decision-based design approach - P.P. van Loon, R. Binnekamp and J. Burger

73

/HWVVD\VDLGWKHGHVLJQHUWKDWHDFKSXFNLVRQHRI\RXUGHVLJQUHTXLUHPHQWV,IDSXFN
LVLQWKHKROHWKHQDFHUWDLQSHUFHQWDJHRI\RXUUHTXLUHPHQWKDVEHHQPHWGHSHQGLQJ
RQWKHKROHVVFRUH+RZHYHULIWKHSXFNLVVWLOORQWKHERDUG\RXUUHTXLUHPHQWKDVQRW
EHHQPHW7KHSXFNVWKDWVWLOOKDYHWREHSOD\HGDUHDOOWKHUHTXLUHPHQWVZHKDYH\HW
to look at. Because you cant get all the pucks into the holes at once and because not
DOOWKHSXFNVZLOOWLQWKHKROHZLWKWKHKLJKHVWVFRUH,OOKDYHWRSOD\WKHJDPHVHYHUDO
WLPHVWRJHWWKHEHVWVFRUHRUWKHEHVWFRPELQDWLRQRIUHTXLUHPHQWV+RZRIWHQZLOO
,KDYHWRGRWKLV":KHQZLOO,KDYHDFKLHYHGWKHEHVWFRPELQDWLRQ":KRFDQVD\",VLW
LQGHHGSRVVLEOH"$QGKRZFDQ,LPSURYHP\FKDQFHV"
The client studied the situation carefully, remembering the game from his youth. Why
KDYH\RXPDGHWKLQJVVRGLIFXOWE\WU\LQJWRXVHVRPDQ\KROHVDWRQFH",I\RXOHDYH
DIHZRSHQDQGFORVHWKHUHVWLWZLOOEHDORWHDVLHU\RXOOEHQLVKHGDORWVRRQHUDQG
,OOJHWP\GHVLJQPRUHTXLFNO\
Of course the designer had expected him to say this. He called two experts from his
RIFHLQWRWKHVWXGLR7KH\SOD\HGWKHJDPHWRJHWKHURQDVKXIHERDUGWKHGHVLJQHU
had prepared beforehand so that three people could play simultaneously. The experts
were told to send the pucks in a certain direction by pushing the sides of the board in
(Figure 2(a)).
The designer now pushed a number of pucks towards the holes, while the experts
pushed the sides so that the pucks landed in their preferred holes. After a few more
pucks had been played, the game nicely illustrated how reducing the number of holes
ZLWKWKHDLGRIH[SHUWVFRXOGLQXHQFHWKHRXWFRPH )LJXUH E 
  


















  


(a)

(b)
Figure 2: The second game

If we dont use all the holes, explained the designer, there are fewer possible
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experts did a great job helping to reduce the number of holes that were in play. But
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DFFHSWDEOHWRGLWFKDQXPEHURIUHTXLUHPHQWV",VWKHVFRUHUHDOO\EDGLQWKHDUHDWKH
H[SHUWVZHUHQWGLUHFWLQJWKHSXFNVWR"
The client looked desperate. Listen, youre well known as a good and, above all, clever
GHVLJQHU7KDWVZK\,FKRVH\RX6RKRZH[DFWO\DUH\RXJRLQJWRGHDOZLWKWKLV"
Of course the designer had hoped the client would say this. To illustrate his planned
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VDPHWLPH7KHGHVLJQHUKDGDIHZPRUHSHRSOHIURPKLVRIFHFRPHRYHUWRWKHVWXGLR
They all, including the client, stood around the board. It had been adjusted so that the
direction of the pucks would be affected in a variety of ways. The players at the sides of
the board could steer the pucks by pushing or pulling at the sides, which were hinged
(Figure 3(a)).
After the designer had pushed a number of pucks towards the holes, between the now
H[LEOHVLGHVWKHVLWXDWLRQZDVVXFKWKDWKHFRXOGH[SODLQSUHFLVHO\KRZKHLQWHQGHGWR
approach the design commission (Figure 3(b)).

74

A decision-based design approach - P.P. van Loon, R. Binnekamp and J. Burger































(a)

(b)
Figure 3: The third game

Look, he said, now everyone has affected the outcome, but we dont know who had
what effect. We do know however that everyone had to take everyone else into account.
:H ZHUH DOO FRQQHFWHG E\ WKH ER[ WKH H[LEOH VLGHV WKH SXFNV DQG WKH KROHV 7KH
outcome was not known at the outset. No one was able to steer the pucks entirely as
he wanted. If we play the game like this a few times, well get better at it, and be able
WRDUUDQJHWKHVLGHVSURSHUO\VRWKDWZHHYHQWXDOO\DUULYHDWVRPHWKLQJWKDWUHHFWVRXU
group preferences. And we can also arrange to leave open the possibility of pushing the
pucks into certain holes at a later stage.
The client now fully realised what he had embarked upon. He was particularly pleased
with the idea that he could involve people other than professional designers directly in
the process.

Decision-based design by means of the combination of sub-solutions

The design situation illustrated above by the Sjoelbak game is known as design by means
of the combination of sub-solutions. This method was developed in the late 1960s and
early 1970s in the framework of what was known at the time as systematic design or
PHWKRGLFDOGHVLJQ$WWKDWWLPHWKHEDVLFLGHDVDERXWDQGWHFKQLTXHVIRUWKHUDWLRQDO
step-by-step combination of sub-solutions into one design were developed. Initially
WKHVHLGHDVDQGWHFKQLTXHVZHUHLQWHQGHGIRUWKHLQGLYLGXDOGHVLJQHU$IWHUWKH\KDG
been successfully applied in practice by many designers they came to be used by design
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time, problems were sometimes encountered by the last two applications. There were
GHVLJQHUVZKRZHUHEHJLQQLQJWRVHHWKDWLQGLYLGXDOO\RULHQWHGFRPELQDWLRQWHFKQLTXHV
could not simply be applied to design teams and design organisations, especially not
in complex and large-scale projects, such as large buildings, residential areas, cities,
UHJLRQVDQGWUDIFV\VWHPV7KHVHSURMHFWVRIWHQUDQDJURXQGLQWKHFRPELQDWLRQSKDVH
due to the impossibility of bringing together the large number of parties involved, all
with their own design goals and design ideas, and of incorporating the ideas into one
ZKROHRQHJHQHUDOGHVLJQ7KH\WKHUHIRUHEHJDQWRVHHNFRPELQDWLRQWHFKQLTXHVZKLFK
ZHUH DLPHG VSHFLFDOO\ DW ODUJH JURXSV RI SHRSOH GHVLJQLQJ WRJHWKHU DQG SURGXFLQJ
large numbers of sub-solutions.
Systematic design emanated largely from classic conceptions of rational and modern
design. While the systems approach, which originated in the thirties, had a strong
LQXHQFH LQ WKLV UHVSHFW GLVFLSOLQHV VXFK DV PDWKHPDWLFV DQG ORJLF DQG HOGV OLNH
decision theory and management science also helped shape the combination method,
albeit to a lesser degree.
A decision-based design approach - P.P. van Loon, R. Binnekamp and J. Burger

75

 

  
  
 
 
 
  
  

  
 

Figure 4: Approaches to methodical design

The classic conception developed in the 1950s when the search for new design
methods was underway. Designers and design theorists had seen that commissions
were becoming more complex and that existing design methods were proving to be
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SURGXFWVZKHWKHUWKHVHZHUHKRXVHVUHVLGHQWLDODUHDVRUWUDIFLQIUDVWUXFWXUHVZHUH
beginning to ask why these products had been designed in a particular way. People
wanted to discuss the effectiveness and the effects of new products before they were
made. The designers personal vision was no longer enough. People wanted a rational
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$W WKH WLPH WKH V\VWHPV DSSURDFK DQG F\EHUQHWLFV KDG D VWURQJ LQXHQFH RQ WKH
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(1975) and Tzonis (1982) wrote a great deal about this. A whole school emerged
around what is now known as systematic design. Even today there is interest in these
views and they are widely propagated in the framework of developments in computeraided design and the role of information systems in design processes, including those
used for complex design commissions. Designers are slowly beginning to realise that
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classic conceptions of design. As Mitchell (1990 p. 13) put it: We must embrace the
possibilities of design that have ambiguous and unstable structural descriptions. He
goes on to say that we can no longer use only the stable, universal design rules of the
1950s and 1960s, on which computer-aided design is still often based.
)RTXp  PHQWLRQVWZRDVSHFWVLQFRQQHFWLRQZLWKFODVVLFV\VWHPDWLFGHVLJQWKH
form-function dichotomy and goal orientation. In the 1950s, when new design methods
were being developed, there was a shift from ontological thinking to functional thinking.
It was felt that meanings are not immutable and exclusive entities that reside within
things and can be discovered by the creative force of an exploring subject, but are,
RQWKHFRQWUDU\IXQFWLRQVZLWKLQDJLYHQFRQWH[W )RTXpSS )XQFWLRQ
must determine form. The design process must begin with an analysis of functions and
then move to a synthesis of appropriate forms (sub-solutions). The systems approach
provided a conceptual framework on the basis of which all manner of systematic and
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cultural norms and values into design, which had dominated thinking on design until
then, faded into the background. The systems approach placed the goal orientation of
design activities in the foreground. From then on all design considerations and goals
KDGWREHFOHDUO\DQGORJLFDOO\GHQHG+RZHYHUWKLVUHTXLUHPHQWZDVQHYHUSURSHUO\
put into effect.

76

A decision-based design approach - P.P. van Loon, R. Binnekamp and J. Burger

A general phase model for the combination of sub-solutions

The literature contains many general phase models for the division of the design
process based on the method of combining sub-solutions. Roozenburg and Eekels
SS SURYLGHDQRYHUYLHZRIWKHVHPRGHOVLQWKHHOGRISURGXFWGHVLJQ
Jones (1970) and Hamel (1990) do the same for architectural design. McLoughlin
 &KDGZLFN  DQG)DOXGL  SURYLGHRYHUYLHZVIRUWKHHOGRIXUEDQDQG
regional planning.
5RR]HQEXUJVDQG(HNHOV S FRQFOXVLRQZLWKUHVSHFWWRWKHLUHOGRIH[SHUWLVH
would concur that these models all have the same structure, which is simply presented
in a different manner in each case. Figure 5 shows this structure in a form which is
suitable for our purposes.
This general phase model shows that the cycle of formulating and combining subsolutions (the divergence-convergence cycle) may take place many times during a
design process. In Figure 5 it takes place twice: from the outset, up to and including
WKHSRVVLEOHVROXWLRQDQGIURPWKHQXQWLOWKHQDOVROXWLRQ

Figure 5: The general phase model of the combination process

The general model does not show who determines the division of the search space and
WKHGLUHFWLRQRIWKHVHDUFKSDWKZD\7KLVZRXOGUHTXLUHWKHH[SDQVLRQRIWKHPRGHOWR
include its decision-making environment.
IDE+A Case Study Analysis, IDE+A Workgroup TU Delft (2008), p. 11:
Interview with Fons Verheijen and Krijn Tabbers
Fons did not have time to do the whole interview. Therefore he contacted
Krijn, who worked on the project daily, to do the interview. Before the
interview Fons did have time to give us his view of the differences between
architecture and industrial design in the approaches to design. He is a
teacher at TU Delfts Faculty of Architecture but has also tutored to a few
students in Industrial Design.

7KHUHLVDELJVFDOHGLIIHUHQFH7KHVFDOHLVPXFKELJJHULQ 
architecture.

,QGXVWULDO'HVLJQUHTXLUHVPXFKPRUHWUDLQLQJLQSURWRFROVWKLVLV

KRZ\RXGRLW UVWDQDO\VLVWKHQ\RXPDNHDPDWUL[ZLWKSURV
and cons, and then you have your answer)

A decision-based design approach - P.P. van Loon, R. Binnekamp and J. Burger

77






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rules you have to obey, everything can change

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project, what the materials can permit and what the projects
preconditions are. This is what you learn to cope with at the
Faculty of Architecture.

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are companies that only do concepts. But according to Fons it

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actually make what is in your mind.
Two big differences are:

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have to learn to cope with this.

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moment in time


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(In architecture this is much more necessary than in
industrial design)

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with protocols.

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them. These secret clients are society and the general well-being.
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if you want to do something different.

Decision making in the combination process

Decision making in a design process that is based on the combination of sub-solutions


will be geared mainly to determining and restricting the number of sub-solutions and
combinations of sub-solutions. After all, this largely determines the progress and duration
of a combination process. The more sub-solutions there are, the more combinations
will be possible. Many combinations means that many evaluations and choices have to
be made. The number can be limited on the basis of the methods that the designers
themselves use to ensure that their combination process has a workable structure,
both for themselves and for each other. These methods provide a number of bases for
managing the process: the order of the combination process; the allocation of tasks
and decisions; the structure of the search space; and the laying out of the search path
and the combination strategy.
As described above, the combination process begins with a number of parallel individual
combination processes, in which the designers draw up their own plans and make
their own syntheses. This will present few decision-making problems, irrespective of
how these individual processes are carried out. At the outset, each designer has the
opportunity to work independently of the others, in terms of both content and method.
%XWWKHUHDIWHUWKHSURFHVVFDQEHFRPHGLIFXOW2QFHKHKDVPDGHKLVRZQDOWHUQDWLYH

78

A decision-based design approach - P.P. van Loon, R. Binnekamp and J. Burger

plans, each designer will want to know what the others alternatives are, in order to
select those of his own plans that give him the best chance of achieving his own goals,
LQ FRPELQDWLRQ ZLWK WKH SODQV RI WKH RWKHUV $ SODQ WKDW PLJKW LQ WKH UVW LQVWDQFH
function well in terms of the designers own goals could, in combination with the others
plans, create an overall situation in which these goals are achieved only partially, if at
all.
In practice, people will often hold a brainstorming session at this point, at which everyone
puts ideas forward freely and, in so doing, gains an idea of all the proposals. It is
assumed that the participants will have this freedom. If not, a decision-making problem
that is typical of the combination process will arise: each designer will wait for the
others to reveal their ideas before he is prepared to reveal his. In such a situation, one
designer or group of designers will probably take the initiative and propose an overall
plan which will include their own sub-solutions, and those that the other designers
were supposed to have produced, in an attempt to gain a lead on the others. The
party taking the initiative will formulate an overall plan that is favourable for them,
but which includes elements that actually belong to the decision area of others. If, at
such a moment, there is still confusion as to the allocation of the decision areas, the
process can run aground. Everyone talks about and decides on everything. If certain
parts of the plan drawn up by the break-away party taking the initiative seem to be
XQIDYRXUDEOHRUHYHQLQFRUUHFWWRDGHVLJQHUZKRKDVNQRZOHGJHRIWKDWSDUWLFXODUHOG
there will be little he can do about it. In such a situation, the designer has been known
to call on his own organisation or department to block the implementation of the plan
(on a hierarchic basis).
The rules that must be applied to ensure that the combination process runs smoothly
are similar to the rules of a game. In a game, the rules (the combination rules) are
[HGDQGHDFKSOD\HUKDVKLVRZQSLHFHV WKHUHVRXUFHV +HFDQGHFLGHKRZWRXVH
WKHPZLWKLQWKHUXOHVRIWKHJDPH7KHVHDUHWKHWZRSUHUHTXLVLWHVIRUWKHJDPH:LWK
resources of their own, but no rules, it is impossible for the players to devise a strategy.
With rules but no resources of their own, each player can use any resources.
For design in general, rules and individual resources are even more important than in
a game because there is feedback during the design process. A series of moves might
EHVWRSSHGDQGUHYHUVHGLIWKHRXWFRPHLVZURQJ7KHGHVLJQJDPHLVQRWUVWSOD\HG
to the end, but is partially repeated along the way. But which moves may be reversed,
ZKLFKVXEVROXWLRQVPXVWEHZLWKGUDZQDQGZKRPD\GHFLGH"
We may conclude from the above that it is possible to control the combination process
only if we know in advance what each designers decision area is, and what the
combination rules are.
This does not preclude everyone proposing sub-solutions on any aspect, but certain
individuals are authorised to decide whether sub-solutions for certain aspects may be
LQFOXGHGLQWKHVROXWLRQ,WLVTXLWHSRVVLEOHWKDWFKDQJHVPLJKWRFFXUGXULQJWKHSURFHVV
shifts in decision areas and changes to the combination rules. These will be subjected
to negotiation and decision making.

Management of the combination process

Management can be described on the basis of its two main components, coordination
and control. Coordination is the linking of the activities and decisions of different
individuals. This allows a particular piece of work to be carried out as a complete entity.
Coordination is normally based on the allocation of responsibilities within the work
process; control is steering the process in the desired direction. This mainly entails
correcting any mistakes.
A decision-based design approach - P.P. van Loon, R. Binnekamp and J. Burger

79

Generally speaking, a process will have been managed properly only if the results are
consistent with the values and characteristics determined beforehand. Management
ensures that the process is steered towards those results. Representing this as a simple
control model, we can say that the management body determines the interventions that
are necessary to the process and its support to obtain an output with those particular
values and characteristics. This is represented in Figure 6.

Figure 6: Management of a process (after In t Veld, 1989 p. 47)

Since, at the outset, the outcome of the design process is at best vague, management
RIWKLVSURFHVVZLOOIRFXVPDLQO\RQFODULI\LQJWKHRXWFRPH GHVLJQQDOGHFLVLRQ VWHS
by step. Moreover, since it is not entirely known at the outset how the design process
will be structured, management will also have to focus on setting it up and altering it
during the process: changes in the phasing, reallocation of the tasks that have to be
performed, links between the phases, etc.
The design literature, and particularly the literature on decision theory, mentions a
number of ways of achieving an effective structure for the design-decision process
and a good design-decision result. I shall simply set out the general framework for the
structuring of the design-decision process, using the model Herbert Simon has devised
for a decision-making process (in: Davis and Olsen, 1985 p. 199). His model is simple
and, partly as a result of its simplicity, has become very well known. According to this
model, a decision-making process can be structured around three process phases (Figure
7): intelligence, the phase during which problems and possibilities are investigated;
design, the phase during which problems and possibilities are analysed, and feasible
solutions are generated; and choice, the phase during which options are selected from
the various possibilities, and the chosen option is put forward for implementation.

Figure 7: Process phases in a decision-making process (after H.Simon)

80

A decision-based design approach - P.P. van Loon, R. Binnekamp and J. Burger

Each phase can be further divided, using the principle of phased decision-making
(Wijnen et al., 1993 p. 13). In other words, the process in each phase can be divided
into a number of logical parts, and there will be a moment of decision between activities
(see Figure 8).

Figure 8: Phased decision-making (Wijnen et al., 1988 p. 13)

If phased decision-making is incorporated into Simons decision-making model, the


result is as depicted in Figure 9. The diagram now includes intelligence activities and
decisions, design activities and decisions, and choice activities and decisions.

Figure 9: Decision-making process with phased decision making

A case study: Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

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UHVRXUFHVWKDWDUHDSSOLHG URRPVFRUULGRUVRIFHVHQWUDQFHKDOOHWF DQGWKHORFDWLRQ
of those resources in architectural space. Traditionally this was the architects problem
to solve; in modern practice the owner/principal as well as a whole range of technical
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Increasingly, the prospective users themselves (as distinct from management or
developers) also demand and receive a voice in these negotiations. This has led to
a dramatic increase in the complexity of design processes, in which the design object
can sometimes be forgotten.
:HZLOOGHVFULEHDGHVLJQWRROGUDZLQJIURPWKHHOGVRIDUFKLWHFWXUHXUEDQSODQQLQJ
building design management, operations research, and measurement theory. It enables
a number of stakeholders from different disciplines to optimise and steer the design
together, each from their own perspective, by indicating preferences and restrictions on
function-location combinations, in an iterative search for a better design.
This new tool, the Architectural Design/Decision Room, builds on an earlier tool which
was successfully used in the design negotiations around the renovation and expansion of
one of Amsterdams major museums, the Stedelijk Museum. The Architectural Design/
Decision Room also shares many ideas and technologies with the Urban Decision Room,
DUHODWHGWRROZKLFKKDVUHFHQWO\VKRZQJUHDWHIFDF\LQFRPSOH[XUEDQUHVWUXFWXULQJ
TXHVWLRQV
7KHQDOVHFWLRQJRHVLQWRZD\VRIPHDVXULQJVWDNHKROGHUVSUHIHUHQFHVDQGFRYHUV
a number of limitations faced by any preference-based system due to the nature of
preference and the current state of knowledge of measurement theory on this issue.

A decision-based design approach - P.P. van Loon, R. Binnekamp and J. Burger

81

7.1
Project history
The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, or SMA, houses the citys contemporary art
collection. Its main building is located on the Museumplein, a large public area in and
around which other museums such as the Rijksmuseum and the Concertgebouw are
also located (Figure 10(a)). The original SMA building was designed in 1895 by A.W.
Weissman. In the 1950s and 60s, its capacity was expanded with a number of annexes
DQGLQWHUPHGLDWHRRUV+DOIDFHQWXU\ODWHUWKHDPRXQWRIVSDFHUHTXLUHGIRUDPRGHUQ
museum has again outgrown that which was available at the SMA. There was need for
DODUJHVFDOHUHQRYDWLRQRIWKHH[LVWLQJEXLOGLQJDQGWKHFRQVWUXFWLRQRIDVLJQLFDQW
extension behind the current building, which would also house a new main entrance.
The Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza Vieira made initial plans for both the renovation
DQGWKHH[SDQVLRQ7KHVHZHUHXVHGWRZULWHDSUHOLPLQDU\ELOORIUHTXLUHPHQWVZKLFK
was approved by the municipality along with a budget. At this point a number of
architects in succession were asked to develop more detailed plans. Each ran aground
RQ FRQLFWLQJ LGHDV EHWZHHQ WKH PXQLFLSDOLW\ DQG WKH PXVHXP VWDII $GGLWLRQDOO\
the latter group felt left out and ignored in the decision-making process. The project
PDQDJHPHQWFRQVXOWDQF\UP3.%ZDVWKHQDVNHGWRUHQHWKHELOORIUHTXLUHPHQWV,Q
RUGHUWRDGGUHVVWKLVTXHVWLRQWRWKHVDWLVIDFWLRQRIERWKWKHVWDIIDQGWKHPXQLFLSDOLW\
PKB used a set of computer models developed in conjunction with TU Delft. These
models will be described in the following sections.
,Q-XO\YHDUFKLWHFWVZHUHLQYLWHGWRGHYHORSVNHWFKGHVLJQVEDVHGRQWKHQDOLVHG
ELOO RI UHTXLUHPHQWV 7KH GHVLJQ E\ %HQWKHP &URXZHO $UFKLWHFWHQ ZDV VHOHFWHG DQG
construction began in 2006 (Figure 10(b)).

Figure 10: (a) Exterior view of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam;


(b) Artists impression of the new expansion, currently under construction.

7.2
Description of original single-input tool
7KH WRRO XVHG E\ 3.% LQ WKH GHYHORSPHQW RI WKH 60$ ELOO RI UHTXLUHPHQWV FRQVLVWHG
of two connected computer models: one numerical, one geometrical. The numerical
PRGHOFRQWDLQHGEDQGZLGWKVIRUWKHDPRXQWRIDUHDUHTXLUHGE\WKHYDULRXVIXQFWLRQV
and the budgetary restrictions imposed by the municipality. The geometrical model
contained the areas of spaces available in the main SMA building and a depot at another
ORFDWLRQ JHRPHWULFDOUHVWULFWLRQV DQGGHQHGDH[LEO\VL]HGVSDFHUHSUHVHQWLQJWKH
yet-to-be-designed extension.
Into the geometrical model, the PKB consultant entered the museum staffs preferences
on which functions were allowed to be allocated to which spaces: they could express
WKHWQHVVRIHDFKSDUWLFXODUURRPIRUXVHIRUHYHU\IXQFWLRQXVLQJ%RROHDQYDOXHV)RU
LQVWDQFHQRWDOOURRPVZHUHWWREHXVHGIRUH[KLELWLRQV %DUHQGVHHWDO 
Combining the functions, spaces, and permitted allocations between the two, the
numerical model could generate an optimal allocation of functions to spaces. This was

82

A decision-based design approach - P.P. van Loon, R. Binnekamp and J. Burger

output back to the geometrical model, by colour-coding the different spaces according
to their allocated function, so that the SMA staff could view the results. In other words,
WKHQXPHULFDOUHVXOWVEHFDPHJUDSKLFDO )LJXUH 5HHFWLQJRQWKHVHRXWFRPHVJDYH
rise to changed preferences for permitted allocations, which could be applied to the
QH[WUXQRIWKHPRGHOV,QWKLVLWHUDWLYHZD\WKHVWDIIFRXOGUHQHWKHLUSUHIHUHQFHVXQWLO
WKH\ZHUHVDWLVHGZLWKWKHSURSRVHGOD\RXW
A detailed mathematical description of this numerical model was given in an earlier
paper (Van Loon et al., 2006). In brief, for allocable functions f, available spaces s,
allocation preferences p, and resulting allocations a, with the indices i, j identifying the
individual functions and spaces respectively, the function of the numerical model can
be given as:
given all fi, sj, pij, maximise

(1)

Figure 11: Visualisation of functions allocated to spaces in the original SMA tool.
D $OORRUV E &ORVHXSVKRZLQJDYDLODEOHDUHDDQGDOORFDWLRQSUHIHUHQFHVSHUURRP

7.3
Description of multi-stakeholder tool
A disadvantage of the tool used by PKB as described above is that it has only a single
set of preference inputs. In other words, all the various stakeholders involved in a
decision must agree on the allowed allocations to be entered into a model for a given
allocation run (Figure 12(a)). In the discussion round following the presentation of
WKHDOORFDWLRQWKHSDUWLFLSDQWVUHHFWRQWKHRXWFRPHVDQGDGMXVWWKHLUSUHIHUHQFHV
$VDFRQVHTXHQFHRIWKHVLQJOHLQSXWQDWXUHRIWKHWRROLQWKHGLVFXVVLRQURXQGWKH
participants must also negotiate on the next set of preferences to be used (Figure
 E %HVLGHVWDNLQJXSYDOXDEOHWLPHWKHGLVWLQFWLRQEHWZHHQWKHUHHFWLRQDQGWKH
negotiation becomes clouded.

Figure 12: (a) A single set of preferences are used for all stakeholders; (b) The discussion
URXQGFRQVLVWVRIQHJRWLDWLRQVRQWKHQH[WVHWRISUHIHUHQFHVWRUXQDVZHOODVUHHFWLRQRQWKH
results.

A decision-based design approach - P.P. van Loon, R. Binnekamp and J. Burger

83

There is a second reason why a single-input tool is less desirable than it could be. An
important factor in structuring a decision-making process following the open approach
described in earlier sections is the issue of the ownership of constraints throughout the
whole process. A decision-support model must accept individual constraints from all the
parties involved, and maintain the independence of those constraints. In the context of
an allocation model such as the one we are dealing with here, the various stakeholders
must be able to enter their own preferences for each of the possible function-space
combinations independently of the others (Figure 13).

Figure 13: (a) An independent set of preferences is used for each stakeholder;
E 7KHGLVFXVVLRQURXQGFRQVLVWVRQO\RIUHHFWLRQRQWKHUHVXOWV

The ability to accept multiple sets of preference inputs can be added to the model
GHVFULEHGE\HTXDWLRQ  TXLWHHDVLO\VXEMHFWWRRQHDVVXPSWLRQEHLQJWUXH7KHPRGHO
can be extended by adding a set of users to the input variables, which then allows the
function-to-space preference to receive an additional index k representing the user
whose preference it is. Ultimately, of course, the numerical model must optimise to
some aggregate or combined resulting form of these multiple preference sets; the
VLQJOHSUHIHUHQFHVHWZKLFKGHVFULEHVWKLVIRUPFDQVLPSO\EHVXEVWLWXWHGLQWRHTXDWLRQ
(1), which then functions as before.
For functions f, spaces s, users u, preferences p, and allocations a, the function of the
numerical model can be given as:
given all fi, sj, uk, pijk,SUHIHUHQFHJLYHVpij
then given all fi, sj, pij, maximise i j aij

(2)
(1)

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RSHUDWLRQ7KHQGLQJRIDYDOLGPDWKHPDWLFDOIRUPIRUWKLVRSHUDWLRQLVWKHQHFHVVDU\
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of preference values and operations involving preference will be looked at further in
section 9.

84

A decision-based design approach - P.P. van Loon, R. Binnekamp and J. Burger

Figure 14: Visualisation of functions allocated to spaces in the new tool.

The measurement and addition of stakeholder preferences

In models where there is only a single set of preference inputs, or where the various
VWDNHKROGHUVKDYHXQLTXHFRQVWUDLQWDUHDV ZKLFKLVRIWHQWKHFDVHLQXUEDQSODQQLQJ
models), there is no need for any form of preference addition, as the constraints can
be applied independently. As soon as more than one stakeholder is able to express a
preference regarding the same thing here the allocation of a particular function to a
particular space these distinct preferences clearly have to be combined, somehow, at
VRPHSRLQWIRUWKHPRGHOWRQGDJURXSVROXWLRQ'HSHQGLQJRQWKHW\SHRISUHIHUHQFH
this can be necessary in the constraints of the model or in the construction of the
objective function.

8.1
Boolean and tri-valued veto preferences
In the models we have constructed to date, the stakeholders preferences have been
implemented in a very limited way, namely as Boolean values allowing or disallowing
a particular function to be allocated to a particular space. The number 1 or TRUE
means that a function may be allocated, the number 0 or FALSE means that it may not.
These preferences effectively act as veto criteria, and as such are part of the model
constraints. They can be implemented as follows:
ij: aij < sJ x pij

(3)

Expressed in words: the area of function i allocated to space j must be less than the
area of space j multiplied by either 0 or 1, i.e. either less than 0 or less than the area
of space j.
If Boolean preferences are to be combined, there are two simple implementations:
a) each constraint is treated independently, so that every stakeholder must assign
TRUE for a function to be allocable; b) all constraints are evaluated, and if any one
stakeholder assigns TRUE, the resulting value is also TRUE. There are more complex
IRUPVLPDJLQDEOHIRULQVWDQFHUHTXLULQJDPDMRULW\  
For completeness, it is of course also possible to implement a Boolean veto preference
as may/must instead of may not/may. This is not often used, however. Alternatively,
one can easily extend the Boolean veto system to a tri-valued system, may not/may/
must. This has been implemented in a limited way in our urban planning models, with
WKHVHVVLRQOHDGHUEHLQJDEOHWR[IXQFWLRQVLQWKHPRGHOZLWKJURXSDSSURYDO:KHUH
j aij
SUHIHUHQFHFRPELQDWLRQLVUHTXLUHGKRZHYHUPRUHTXHVWLRQVDUHUDLVHGGRPD\QRW
DQG PXVW FDQFHO HDFK RWKHU RXW" 2U GRHV RQH KDYH SULRULW\ RYHU WKH RWKHU" 'RHV D
SDUWLFXODUVWDNHKROGHURYHUUXOHWKHRWKHUV"
We will now introduce an alternative extensible notation for preference values, which is
A decision-based design approach - P.P. van Loon, R. Binnekamp and J. Burger

85

also usable for tri-valued or higher systems. Its nomenclature is based on the meaning of
the preference rather than the accident of the corresponding method of implementation,
as with the Boolean notation above. After the terms used in the previous paragraph, the
negative veto preference will be labelled N for may not; the positive veto preference
will be labelled M for must; the neutral may or allowed preference will be labelled 0
(zero).
Using the new preference notation we can construct a combination table for two
stakeholders using a tri-valued veto system {N, 0, M} (Table 1). May not and must
both overrule may, being veto criteria; may not  PXVW \LHOGV D FRQLFW &  7KLV
VRXQGV OLNH D SUREOHP EXW LV LQ IDFW TXLWH DFFHSWDEOH ZLWKLQ WKH EURDGHU DSSURDFK
DQDSSDUHQWFRQLFWEHWZHHQWKHYLHZVRIWZRVWDNHKROGHUVKDVEHHQUHYHDOHGZKLFK
needs to be discussed prior to the next run. Either the problem is truly intractable,
in which case infeasible is the correct outcome; or one or both stakeholders can be
SURYLGHGZLWKDQDOWHUQDWLYHVROXWLRQHOVHZKHUHUHOD[LQJWKHFRQLFWLQJFRQVWUDLQWRU
the organisational or contractual arrangements are such that one party can overrule the
others, transparently within the process. These rules hold when the system is expanded
for three or more stakeholders.

N O M
M C M M
O N O
N N
Table 1: Combination table for {N, 0, M} (tri-valued veto system) and two stakeholders.
These rules can be expanded for an arbitrary number of stakeholders.

8.2
Multi-valued relative preferences
3DUWLFLSDQWVLQZRUNVKRSVXVLQJWKHVHPRGHOVRIWHQQGWKDWWKH%RROHDQRUWULYDOXHG
veto approach described above is too restrictive to express their preferences as they
would wish. They want to be able to indicate relative values: I dont particularly mind
allocation x, but I would much prefer allocation y. I dont really like allocation z, but can
live with it if its absolutely necessary. An important change needs to be made to the
numerical model to support this. The model must no longer simply maximise the total
allocated area, but the objective function must maximise the stakeholders preferences
for the allocated areas.
An individual stakeholder can express relative preferences on an ordinal scale. An
DSSURDFKVXFKDVWKHYHYDOXHGUHODWLYHSUHIHUHQFHVHW^`RIWHQVHHQ
in marketing surveys comes to mind, or grading on a scale of one to ten. However,
due to the ordinal nature of these scales, there is no information on how much better
 LV WKDQ  RU  WKDQ  RQO\ WKDW LW LV EHWWHU &RQVHTXHQWO\ LW LV QRW SRVVLEOH WR
perform further comparative mathematical operations on these preferences, and they
are unable to be used as a measure for optimisation. (Strictly speaking, mathematical
RSHUDWLRQVFDQEHSHUIRUPHGLWLVMXVWWKDWWKHRXWFRPHVDUHIRUPDOO\XQGHQHGDQG
hence meaningless.)
Preferences expressed on an interval scale can be worked with. In urban planning
models where a rent-based bidding system is used as part of the allocation (maximising

86

A decision-based design approach - P.P. van Loon, R. Binnekamp and J. Burger

return), we have observed participants use different rent values as a mechanism to


introduce relative preferences implicitly. This can be implemented in the objective
function as follows:
given all fi, sj, pij, maximise

aij x pij

(4)

It should be noted that preference itself cannot be measured on an interval scale


(Barzilai, 2005). There is no unit of preference, nor an absolute zero of preference
ZLWKUHVSHFWWRZKLFKDXQLWFRXOGEHGHQHG,QWKHXUEDQSODQQLQJH[DPSOHDERYH
the participants used a separate scale measured in rent-euros to approximate their
preferences. Though they are using the same scale, each participants mapping of
preferences to euros is different, and it is not possible to determine how far the resulting
group optimum deviates from the true group optimum.
Preferences for three or more alternatives can be expressed on a relative, proportional
scale. In recent years there has been considerable debate on preference in the
HOG RI PHDVXUHPHQW WKHRU\ DQG IRU WKHVH PRGHOV LW LV QRW LPPHGLDWHO\ DSSDUHQW
KRZ WR LPSOHPHQW HLWKHU WKH PHDVXUHPHQW RI WKH SUHIHUHQFHV RU WKHLU VXEVHTXHQW
implementation in the objective function. Research is ongoing in both these areas.

8.3
Implementing a limited veto and relative preference system
The {N, 0, M} veto system described in section 9.1 can be extended to include a
two-valued relative system, allowing the implementation of a limited mixed system
{N, 0, 1, M}. While 0 still represents may or allowed, 1 (one) represents preferred.
Clearly this is a purely ordinal scale, with all the limitations that entails. Nonetheless,
due to the nature of zero and one, the problem of measuring the difference between
the two categories disappears: only the area allocated in the category preferred, 1, is
counted. The problem of different participants different interpretations of the verbal
label preferred still remains; the participants need to be very aware of this if they opt
to try this system.
([SDQGLQJWKHFRPELQDWLRQWDEOHLQ7DEOHIRU^10`UHYHDOVDQRWKHUFRQVHTXHQFH
RIWKHVHRUGLQDOFDWHJRULHVSUHIHUUHGSUHIHUUHGZKDW",WPD\EHWHPSWLQJWR
say that the relevant allocation is twice as preferred and so should have a value of
two, but in ordinal categories this is meaningless, and any non-veto operation involving
preferred maps back to preferred (Table 2). These rules are again extensible to three
or more stakeholders.

M
1
0
N

N
C
N
N
N

N
0 1 M
M M M M C
1 ?
1 N
0 N
0
N N

0 1 M
M M M
1 1
0

Table 2: Combination table for {N, 0, 1, M} and two stakeholders.


(a) The problem of 1 1 " E  anything (except veto values) always maps back to 1.
A decision-based design approach - P.P. van Loon, R. Binnekamp and J. Burger

87

Conclusion

The use of both numerical and geometrical models greatly reduced the time it normally
WDNHVWRGHYHORSDELOORIUHTXLUHPHQWVIRUVXFKDFRPSOH[SURMHFW7KHRSHQSURFHVV
made the staff of the Stedelijk Museum feel their wishes were taken seriously and
not swept under the carpet. In contrast to traditional approaches, PKB could provide
FRQGHQFHWKDWWKHELOORIUHTXLUHPHQWVZRXOGVDWLVI\ERWKWKHEXGJHWDU\UHVWULFWLRQV
imposed by the municipality and the geometrical restrictions imposed by the existing
buildings. In the traditional approach some rules of thumb would be used to establish
ZKHWKHUWKHELOORIUHTXLUHPHQWVZRXOGPHHWERWKEXGJHWDU\DQGJHRPHWULFDOUHVWULFWLRQV
which often give rise to unpleasant surprises later on in terms of overruns in time and
money.
The design process for construction projects has become increasingly complex in recent
GHFDGHVDVPRUHDQGPRUHSDUWLHVLQXHQFHWKHGHFLVLRQPDNLQJSURFHVVLQGLYHUVH
ways. Ideas from management theory and operations research, and mathematical
models which make these ideas operational, can aid in bringing the design process to
a successful conclusion. This paper has shown how a preference-based single-input
WRRO ZKLFK KDV DOUHDG\ SURYHQ LWVHOI LQ WKLV HOG FDQ EH H[WHQGHG WR VXSSRUW PXOWL
stakeholder use directly. This new tool is currently being developed, using the SMA case
as experimental subject.
It has been observed that stakeholders wish to extend the range within which they can
express their preferences. However, a number of strict and severe limitations on the
ability to measure preferences for this purpose have been shown, stemming from the
current state of knowledge in measurement theory.

References
Barendse, P., Binnekamp, R., Graaf, R.P. de, (2006), Integrating linear
programming optimisation and geometric modelling, in: Aouad, G., et
al. (eds.), 3rd International SCRI Symposium, proceedings, University
of Salford, Manchester, pp. 295-304.
Barzilai, J., (2005), Measurement and Preference Function Modelling, Int.
Trans. in Operational Res., Vol. 12, pp. 173-183.
Binnekamp, R., Gunsteren, L.A. van, Loon, P.P. van, (2006), Open Design, a
Stakeholder-oriented Approach in Architecture, Urban Planning,
and Project Management, Research in Design Series, Vol. 1, IOS
Press, Amsterdam.
Chadwick, G., (1971), A Systems View of Planning, towards a Theory of the
Urban and Regional Planning Process, Pergamon Press, Oxford.
Chen, W., Lewis, K.E., Schmidt, L.C., (2006), The Open Workshop on Decision
Based Design, in: Lewis, K.E., Chen, W., Schmidt, L.C., Decision
Making in Engineering Design, ASME Press, New York.
Davis, G. B., and Olson, M. H., (1985), Management Information Systems,
McGraw-Hill Books, New York.
Durham, D.R., (2006), The Need for Design Theory Research, in: Lewis, K.E.,
Chen, W., Schmidt, L.C., Decision Making in Engineering Design, ASME
Press, New York.
Faludi, A., (1973), Planning Theory, Pergamon, Oxford.
)RTXp5  2QWZHUSV\VWHPHQHHQ,QOHLGLQJWRWGH2QWZHUSWKHRULH
Spectrum, Utrecht.

88

A decision-based design approach - P.P. van Loon, R. Binnekamp and J. Burger

Hamel, R., (1990), Over het Denken van de Architect, een Cognitief
Psychologische Beschrijving van het Ontwerpproces bij Architecten,
AHA Books, Amsterdam.
Jones, J. C., (1970), Design Methods, J. Wiley, London.
Loon, P.P. van, Burger, J., Graaf, R.P. de, (2006), Optimum architectural group

GHVLJQDVUHHFWLRQLQDFWLRQLQ)6FKHXEOLQHWDO HGV $GDSWDEOHV
06; proceedings of the joint CIB, Tensinet, IASS international
conference on adaptability in design and construction, Eindhoven
University of Technology, Eindhoven, pp. 12-103-12-107.
McLoughlin, J. B., (1969), Urban and Regional Planning, a Systems Approach,
Faber, London.
Mitchell, W. J., (1990), The Logic of Architecture, Design, Computation and
Cognition, MIT Press, Cambridge Mass.
Newsome, S.L., Spillers, W.R., Finger, S., (eds.), (1989), Design Theory 88,
Springer-Verlag, New York.
Roozenburg, N. F. M., and Eekels, J., (1991), Produktontwerpen, Structuur en
Methoden, Uitgever Lemma, Utrecht.
Tzonis, A., (1982), Het Architectonisch Denken, Socialistische Uitgeverij,
Nijmegen.
Veld, J. i. t., (1988), Analyse van Organisatie Problemen, een Toepassing van
Denken in Systemen en Processen, Stenfert Kroese, Leiden.
Wijnen, G., Renes, W., and Storm, P., (1993), Projectmatig Werken, Spectrum,
Utrecht.

A decision-based design approach - P.P. van Loon, R. Binnekamp and J. Burger

89

IDE+A
Technology Diffusion and Design
Design Processes - Wim Poelman and David Keyson (Eds.)
IOS Press, 2008 2008 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved.

The metabolism of knowledge

Dr. ir. W.A. Poelman


Associate Professor Product Development
Faculty of Architecture
Delft University of Technology

Introduction
Discussing the subject of Technology Diffusion and Design can take place on different
OHYHOV7KHUVWOHYHOLVWKHUROHWKDWGHVLJQSOD\VLQWHFKQRORJ\GLIIXVLRQRQWKHPDFUR
level and the responsibility connected to society. The second level is the role design
plays on the micro-level in the context of design processes.
Of course the emphasis will lie in this paper on the second level, but in the context of
the subtitle, some attention will be paid to the macro-level.
Referring to this subtitle of the conference Life is a theater, a conclusion in the
introduction reads: Nowadays, the script of life is for a large part written by architects
and designers. Urban planning prescribes how we spread our activities geographical. The
design of modern residential districts determine for a large part how we communicate
ZLWK HDFK RWKHU 7KH GHVLJQ RI VKRSSLQJ FHQWHUV GHWHUPLQH KRZ ZH DFTXLUH RXU
foodstuffs. Designers of means for transport decide how we move ourselves and kitchen
designers decide how we cook.
Of course these conclusions are too easy. We cannot just claim that the designers
of television sets and programs decide for us that we spend our evenings before the
television set and not around the table playing family games. However, we cannot deny
DQLPPHQVHLQXHQFHRIWKLVGHYHORSPHQWVRQWKHEHKDYLRURISHRSOH
Research on this phenomenon, carried out as Constructive Technology Assessment is
LQWKHUVWSODFHDWDVNIRUVRFLRORJLVWVDQGSV\FKRORJLVWVEXWLWLVZHOFRPHLIDUFKLWHFWV
and designers participate actively in this discussion, and of course they do already.
Important in the introduction of new technology applications is the phenomenon: what
is may become ought. Let us discuss some examples.
Twenty years ago we would not even think about listening to music in trains with a
headphone and a portable audio device. However, it was already possible. In museums
you could hire such devices years ago for guiding purposes. The headphone culture
started however when Sony introduced the existing functionality in a new coat for the
purpose of listening to music in public spaces. After that it became part of the script of
life. If Sony says so you can do it.
The same thing happened with MacDonalds Drive Inns. It was not ought to eat in a
car and for many people it still isnt. However, when a brand as McDonald suggests that
it is acceptable, many people will accept a visit to a Drive Inn as an alternative for the
script of having lunch, which used to be a social event.
Coming back to television and the design of residential districts. Could you blame
GHVLJQHUVRIWHOHYLVLRQVHWV DQGSURJUDPVWKDWWKHEHKDYLRURI SHRSOHKDVFKDQJHG"
Could you blame the designers of the Bijlmer for social problems originating from
DUFKLWHFWXUH"2IFRXUVHVRPHGHVLJQHUVIHHOHPEDUUDVVHGE\WKHLQXHQFHWKH\KDYH
but they have to keep in mind that they play a minor role in a process on a higher level

91

which acts like a train which is not easy to control.


New technology becomes available in a spectacular tempo as a result of research
DFWLYLWLHV DQG GHVLJQHUV DUH DOZD\V HDJHU WR QG DSSOLFDWLRQV RI WKDW WHFKQRORJLHV LQ
products, either driven by their own ambition or by the ambition of clients who want to
earn money or score in another sense with innovative products such as buildings.
Probably this mechanism determines our future more than a mechanism in which
values of life are the starting point for concrete wishes which are translated in products
IXOOOLQJWKHVHZLVKHV
Many writers have thought about the destination of this train and it could be heaven or
it could be hell. Aldous Huxley wrote his book Brave New World in 1932 and every part
of it is subject of discussion nowadays: mood drugs, biotechnology, consumer-society,
birth control, etcetera. (see www.huxley.net)

Figure 1: Cover of Brave New World

Figure 2: Cover of Nineteen Eighty Four

The story is the same with James Orwells Nineteen eighty four: technology enables
QHZVFULSWVRIOLIHDQGKRZZLOOWKHVHVFULSWVHYROYH"
In brave new world the necessary technological means to keep people happy are
all applied, effectively leading to a society which we would not want. The same we
VHH LQ WKH 0DWUL[ WKH OP UHOHDVHG LQ  E\ :DFKRZVNL %URWKHUV -RHO 6LOYHU DQG
Warner Brothers, and claimed by Sophia Steward to be based on her book The Third
(\HFRS\ZULWHGLQ$OVRWKHIDPRXV0LQRULW\5HSRUWDVFLHQFHFWLRQOP
directed by Steven Spielberg, loosely based on the Philip K. Dick short story of the
VDPH QDPH WV LQ WKLV UDQJH RI DWWHPSWV WR GHVFULEH D VFHQDULR ZKLFK PLJKW UHVXOW
from technological developments. Of course there are many other examples like 2001
Space Odyssey of Stanley Kubrick (1968), Alphaville of Jean Luc Godard and ExistenZ
of David Kronenburg.

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Technology Diffusion and Design - W.A. Poelman

Figure 3 Poster of The matrix

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ZKLFK LV VORZO\ ZDUPLQJ XS NHHSLQJ XV LQVLGH" :KDW LQXHQFHV KDYH GHVLJQHUV RQ
WKHVH VFULSWV" ,V WKHUH D FRQFHSW RI OLIH RQ ZKLFK DUFKLWHFWV DQG LQGXVWULDO GHVLJQHUV
EDVHWKHLUZRUN"'RGHVLJQHUVKDYHDFRQWUROOLQJWDVNLQWKHDSSOLFDWLRQSURFHVVRIQHZ
technology or are designers just prostituting themselves for industry as professor Jan
Jacobs, former director education of the School for Industrial Design Engineering of
Delft University of Technology claimed once supposed during a conference.
Within the disciplines of industrial design engineering and architecture there is a lot of
organized discussion about their societal role. However, there is not enough discussion
about the way they are embedded in the overall process of technology development and
DSSOLFDWLRQ7KLVLVQHFHVVDU\LQRUGHUWRSRVLWLRQWKHPVHOYHV:LWKUHVSHFWWRUHHFWLRQ
on their position in society, architects can build on a long history, industrial designers
can not. Architects are consulted regarding social issues, industrial designers hardly.
+RZHYHUWKH\FRXOGIXOOODQLPSRUWDQWUROHLQWKHSURFHVVRIVFHQDULRGHYHORSPHQWLQ
general from their ability to imagine a non existing future. Design is nothing else than
creating a non existing future. A world in which a certain product does not exist is per
GHQLWLRQGLIIHUHQWIURPDZRUOGLQZKLFKLWH[LVWV7KLVIDFWUHSUHVHQWVDQLPSRUWDQW
constraint in market investigation.
9LVXDOL]LQJIXWXUHZRUOGVLVQRZPDLQO\GRQHE\VFLHQFHFWLRQDUWLVWVEXWSURIHVVLRQDO
industrial designers are not often employed for this purpose. Of course there are
examples like an industrial design agency which received an assignment to visualize
possible means for military defense in the future. However, many design engineers see
it as a risky affair. When Leonardo da Vinci would have worked at Delft University now,
SUREDEO\KHZRXOGEHVFLHQWLFDOO\VKRWGRZQ,WLVQRWRXJKWQRZDGD\VWRGHVLJQWKLQJV
that are not possible to produce yet.

Technology diffusion and design processes

:KDWLVWKHUHODWLRQVKLSEHWZHHQNQRZOHGJHGLIIXVLRQDQGGHVLJQ"$OORIWKHGHVLJQHUV
who were interviewed in the eight cases acknowledged the matter of knowledge
diffusion, but they did not discuss what knowledge diffusion involves. The designers
apparently regarded technology diffusion itself as innovation, through the application
of technology from third parties. We should nevertheless take a more fundamental look
DWWKHSKHQRPHQRQRINQRZOHGJHGLIIXVLRQDQGGHVLJQDQGGRLQJVRUHTXLUHVVRXQG
GHQLWLRQV RI WKH FRQFHSWV WKDW DUH XVHG ,Q WKH FRQWH[W RI WKLV SDSHU NQRZOHGJH LV
Technology Diffusion and Design - W.A. Poelman

93

GHQHGDV WKHDELOLW\WRDSSO\LQIRUPDWLRQDQGUHVRXUFHVWRDFKLHYHDGHQHGJRDO
'LIIXVLRQLVGHQHGDV the implementation of new or existing knowledge within new
HOGVRIDSSOLFDWLRQ Design is limited to industrial and architectural design.

1.1
The cases
The cases provide several examples of the various characters of knowledge diffusion.
We consider each one separately.
The Westraven building by CePeZed provides an example of the diffusion of technology
from technical-textiles applications to facades. In addition, it involves the diffusion of
LQDWDEOHSLOORZVIURPGRPHFRQVWUXFWLRQVWRDWIDFDGHV

Figure 4: Westraven

The A230 chair by Ahrend apparently involves no direct


example of technology diffusion, although the development of the hinges seems to be
TXLWHQHZ%DV3UXLMVHUZRUNVDVDGHVLJQHUIRUERWKDPDQXIDFWXUHURIRIFHIXUQLWXUH
(e.g. Ahrend) and a manufacturer of garbage-management devices (e.g. Bammens).
He inevitably transfers technological knowledge from one application to the other.

Figure 5: A230 Chair

The image-and-sound (in Dutch, beeld en geluid) building by Neutelings-Riedijk offers a


clear example of technology diffusion between branches. They collaborated closely with

94

Technology Diffusion and Design - W.A. Poelman

Jaap Drupsteen, a graphical and media designer. In addition to technology borrowed


IURPWKHHOGRIJUDSKLFDUWVTXDOLW\VWDQGDUGVZHUHWUDQVIHUUHGWRWKHJODVVIDFDGHWR
realise this remarkable building.

Figure 6: Beeld en Geluid gebouw

7KH%HHU7HQGHUE\00,'LVDQHH[DPSOHRIDVSHFLDONLQGRINQRZOHGJHWUDQVIHUQDPHO\
from the professional market to the consumer market. This type of knowledge transfer
occurs on a regular basis. Examples include do-it-yourself tools, kitchen devices and
audio devices. Direct translations are seldom possible, however, because of the fact that
business structures differ. In the example of the BeerTender, professional maintenance
services cannot be utilised and ergonomics must be adapted to inexperienced beer
drafters. One of the most important differences is that the time span until a container is
HPSW\LVORQJHULQWKHFRQVXPHUPDUNHWWKHQLQWKHSURIHVVLRQDOPDUNHW7KLVUHTXLUHG
the development of a new system.

Figure 7: Beertender container

The 1-2-3 House by Martini is an interesting example of a different situation. This


case illustrates a match between knowledge about prefabricated buildings (from the
concrete industry) and industrial manufacturing systems.

Technology Diffusion and Design - W.A. Poelman

95

Figure 8: 123 huis 1

In this case, concrete, integrated building elements are handled in the same way as
objects in the car industry are handled. Building elements are manipulated by robots
for logistic purposes and ergonomic comfort.
One interesting aspect is that magnets are applied to keep cables and other inserts in
position during the moulding process. The integration of functions allows the use of
KLJKTXDOLW\PDWHULDOV7KLVFDVHUHYHDOVDQLPSRUWDQWGLIIHUHQFHEHWZHHQWKHEXLOGLQJ
industry and other industries. Transport costs limit the geographical expansion, and
thus the room for investment, of products like the 1-2-3 House.

Figure 9: 123 huis 2

The next case involves Carver, which can be regarded as a clear example of knowledge
diffusion between pure, advanced mechanical engineering and industrial design.
The product is based upon the invention of a hydraulic canting mechanism, which
enables stability of narrow vehicles. The application of the system, however, inevitably
leads to both a striking driving experience and a striking visual appearance. In fact, a
new archetype of a vehicle is created which resembles a cross between a motorcycle
and a small car. The success of the design is a result of the collaboration between the
engineering company (Carver Europe) and the design company (Spark Engineering).

96

Technology Diffusion and Design - W.A. Poelman

Figure 10: Carver

The building in which this conference is taking place the Industrial Design Engineering
Building, designed by Fons Verheyen is an example of a project in which cooperation
between architects and industrial designers might be expected. In reference to a new
technology, Verheyen mentions that the fencing is done without balusters. Although
this is an obvious example of technology diffusion, it can also demonstrate the diffusion
of modern building technology to a project aimed at giving an existing building a
complete new function.
7KLVNLQGRIGHVLJQZKLFKLVHVSHFLDOO\LPSRUWDQWLQDUFKLWHFWXUHFRXOGEHVSHFLHGDV
Supply Driven Design (SDD), which proceeds from existing artefacts. Although we
cannot go into depth about this relatively new, sustainable type of design activity, we
can conclude that more creativity is needed to design something within the limitations of
an existing artefact than is needed to design something completely new. In this regard,
industrial designers could learn from architects, who do this on a regular basis.

Figure 11: IDE building

7KHODVWSURMHFWWRGLVFXVVLVWKHLQDWDEOHFDUHEHGZKLFKFRPELQHVVHYHUDOWHFKQRORJLHV
from different applications in one product. The reason for this combination is open to
speculation. One option is that it was due to a different approach to the design process,
which proceeded from the design of goals instead of from the design of means. The
Technology Diffusion and Design - W.A. Poelman

97

bed was not designed as a synchronous product but as a diachronic script. The physical
product was simply a way to enable that script. Because traditional care beds did not
WLQWRWKDWVFULSWLWZDVQHFHVVDU\WRGHVLJQDFRPSOHWHO\QHZSURGXFW,QWKLVSURMHFW
the product was not based upon available technology; the technology was selected to
meet the design goals. It was therefore necessary to look outside the technologies that
have traditionally been used in care beds. Because this diffused technology was not
developed for this goal, it was necessary to invest considerable effort in making this
technology appropriate.

Figure 12: Care bed

With these projects in mind, the following section discusses a new paradigm on design
and technology diffusion.
2

Design as information processing

7KH QHZ SDUDGLJP FDQ EH GHQHG DV IROORZV ,Q SULQFLSOH GHVLJQ LV LQIRUPDWLRQ
processing. The design process can be regarded as a black box, in which information
goes in and information comes out.
Black box
information about
user needs,
technological
possibilities,
etcetera.

design
process

information for
marketing and
manufacturing

Figure 13: Design process as a black box

+RZ VKRXOG ZH FRQVLGHU SK\VLFDO SUHVHQWDWLRQ PRGHOV DQG WHFKQLFDO SURWRW\SHV"
6KRXOG WKH\ DOVR EH FRQVLGHUHG LQIRUPDWLRQ RXWSXWV" $EVROXWHO\ 0RGHOV SURWRW\SHV
and drawings are simply information carriers or media. It has been said that products
are not the result of the design process, but of the production process. Within the black
box, all manner of explicable and inexplicable event take place. In this paper, we do not
focus on the design processes that take place in the black box. We concentrate instead
on the aspect of information processing.

98

Technology Diffusion and Design - W.A. Poelman

2XUFRQFHQWUDWLRQRQLQIRUPDWLRQSURFHVVLQJUHTXLUHVDGHQLWLRQRIDSURGXFW ZKLFK
could also be a building). As claimed by Kotler (2002), A physical product is just a
means to create functions1. People do not need the physical product; they need the
functions that products enable. The physical aspects are generally a necessary evil. The
physical aspects occupy space, need maintenance and pollute our world.
(QDEOLQJ XVHU IXQFWLRQV UHTXLUHV IXQFWLRQDOLWLHV PRVW RI ZKLFK FRQWLQXH WR UHTXLUH
SK\VLFDO PHDQV 7KLV PD\ FKDQJH RYHU WLPH &RQVLGHU WKH UROO RI OP ZKLFK KDV
disappeared as a physical means for storing and transporting pictures. Consider also
communication cables, which have largely been replaced by wireless technology.

2.1

Supply of and demand for information

In the context of this paper, we organise design information into two categories: supply
and demand. Starting with the last one, demand information is linked to the design of
goals, which precedes the design of means. In current times, more products (including
buildings) are failing because of defects in the design of goals than because of defects
in the design of mean. Although possibilities continue to expand in a technical sense, it
LVQRWDOZD\VHDV\WRQGURRPLQWKHPDUNHWIRUQHZSURGXFWPDUNHWFRPELQDWLRQV
Strategic
product plan

functionalities
objective
functions
product to
design

functionalities
functionalities

objective
functions

functionalities
functionalities
functionalities

potentialities

associationprocess

functionalities

functionalities

potentialities
potentialities

properties

potentialities
potentialities

technology
properties

potentialities
potentialities
potentialities

Operational
product plan

Figure 14: Product development and the diffusion of technology

In general, goals can be described in terms of objective and subjective functions,2 each
of which is realised through functionalities. In this context, functionalities should be
interpreted as indivisible functions, such as keeps warm or changes colour. Product
functions can generally be described by arranging a large number of functionalities in a
tree structure. The design of goals can be described using descriptions of functionalities
LQSUHGHQHGFRQWH[WV
On the supply side, technology can enable potentialities. Although potentialities can
EHGHQHGDVLQGLYLVLEOHIXQFWLRQVWKHIDFWWKDWWKHIXQFWLRQVWKHPVHOYHVKDYH\HWWR
EHGHQHGUHTXLUHVDQHZQRXQSRWHQWLDOLW\ZKLFKUHIHUVWRWKHFDSDFLW\WRHQDEOH
functionalities. The number of potentialities increases at the speed of technological
1
2

We assume that Kotler included the realization of emotional values in his concept of
functions
We will not elaborate on these concepts in this context. See Poelman 2005.
Technology Diffusion and Design - W.A. Poelman

99

development. New and interesting potentialities are discovered every day. Although
examples can be found in nanotechnology or other disciplines, they occur in nature as
well.
We could regard the design process as a process of association between the demand
side (as expressed in functionalities) and the supply side (as expressed in potentialities).
Because it is impossible to make associations with unknown information, we can
conclude that designers should have as many potentialities in their minds as possible.
It is important to note that technical background information is not necessary. In the
design stage, it is important to know only what might be possible. It is not necessary
to know how it is possible. More commonly stated, It is enough to have heard the bell
ULQJZHFDQXVHWKHLQWHUQHWWRQGWKHFODSSHU
The lack of emphasis on technical explanations is not a matter of which designers and
architects should be ashamed, and most of the good ones are not. Nonetheless, even as
QRQSURIHVVLRQDOVLQHOGVRIPDQXIDFWXULQJWKH\PDQDJHWRREWDLQPD[LPXPUHVXOWV
from their suppliers (see the glass facade of Neutelings/Riedijk/Drupsteen). Suppliers
start by saying that something is impossible, as the costs of doing it differently are
VRPHWLPHVKLJK6RPHGHJUHHRISUHVVXUHE\WKHGHVLJQHULVRIWHQEHQHFLDOWRERWK
parties. This can result in a better product, ensuring that the supplier then has more
to offer.

2.3

Towards a new paradigm for the knowledge-diffusion process

Assuming that designers are able to develop sound designs of goals, and assuming
that they have enough knowledge about potentialities at their disposal, the process
of matching potentialities and functionalities is the key activity for designers. Although
industrial designers should be trained for this task, traditional design methodology
unfortunately does not provide solutions for such training.
The process of associating functionalities and potentialities involves more than simply
a designer sitting and thinking. It is a complex process involving many media, people
and organisations. It cannot be explained by traditional organisation models. Many subprocesses can be distinguished that usually have nothing to do with the design process
itself.
Analysis of these processes has led to an attempt to use the metaphor of an organism
rather than an organisation to describe the general process. The difference can be
explained as follows. An organisation is created to enable a process and often more than
one process. In contrast, an organism is not created but evolved, and it is dedicated to
GHQHGWDVNV
In nature, even in one-celled creatures, we can observe processes taking place in an
RUJDQLVPWKDWFDQGRQRWKLQJRWKHUWKDQFDUU\RXWWKDWVSHFLFSURFHVV$SURFHVVDQG
an organism can be seen as two sides of the same coin. The process is the diachronic
organisation of activities. The organism is the synchronic, functional organisation that
IDFLOLWDWHVWKHDFWLYLWLHV VHHJXUH 

100

Technology Diffusion and Design - W.A. Poelman




 
 






 
 




 
 








   





Figure 15: Relation between method and organization

,WLVQRWVXIFLHQWWRVWDWHWKDWWKHGHVLJQFRPSDQ\UHSUHVHQWVWKHRUJDQLVPWKDWFDUULHV
out the design process. Every interviewee in this preliminary research expressed in their
own words that the situation is much more complex. Many efforts have been made to
describe the external design organisation in traditional schemes (Poelman 2005). In
general, but cover only part of the situation.
Let us analyse the process of knowledge diffusion. Assuming that some kind of organism
is carrying out this process, we considered the possibility of using metaphors from other
domains to describe the organism. This exercise resulted in the knowledge metabolism
model.

Figure 16: Model of knowledge metabolism for development projects


Technology Diffusion and Design - W.A. Poelman

101

In this model, a set of mechanisms can be distinguished, which can be projected onto
the eight cases. Before presenting this projection, we must explain the one-celled
organism that represents a design project (not a design company).
Each project has a strategic level (1), a tactical level (2) and an operational level (3).
1. The strategic level represents know-what. It is the planning level, which can be
compared to DNA. When something is wrong with the DNA of the project, it will fail or
lead to an unexpected outcome. Such outcomes are sometimes better than expected.
After all, evolution is partly based upon imperfections in copying genes. Naturalis in
Leiden has probably become more successful because the planning changed from city
centre to the outskirts.
7KHVXFFHVVDOVRHPHUJHGIURPWKHH[LELOLW\RIWKHSURMHFWWHDPDWWKH tactical or
know-how level (second level). At this level, skills are developed that can be compared
to the proteins in a biological cell. As before, the biological organism represents the
project as a whole and not the design company. Skills represent both the skills within
the design company and those of every involved party. One important skill of the
design company, however, is to involve the right parties. This proved a crucial aspect in
nearly every case. According to Neutelings-Riedijk, We do not have preferred supplier.
Companies involved in creating a building can be compared to a travelling circus. One
moment, they are all there with their knees in the Dutch clay; the next moment, they
are all gone, back to where they came from.
3. The real work of design takes place at the third level: the operational or know-where
OHYHO 7KLV OHYHO LQYROYHV QGLQJ WKH ULJKW LQIRUPDWLRQ DQG WKH ULJKW SHRSOH $W WKH
operational level, output information is produced and packaged in such media as texts,
drawings, models or computer simulations.
7KH QH[W TXHVWLRQ FRQFHUQV WKH SURFHVV LWVHOI ZKLFK LV H[HFXWHG ZLWKLQ WKH SURMHFW
organism. This process is freely derived from research done by Hargadon (1997) in
IDEO, an international design agency. Hargadon discovered that, as soon as knowledge
HQWHUVWKHSURMHFWLWLVSURFHVVHGLQVHYHUDOVWHSVDFTXLVLWLRQJHQHUDOLVDWLRQDVVRFLDWLRQ
application and recording. The interpretation in this model is as follows:

Design
Processes

$FTXLVLWLRQ
the actual transfer of knowledge
Generalisation:WKHDQDO\VLVRINQRZOHGJHDQGGHQLWLRQRI


potentialities
Association:
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GHQHGIXQFWLRQDOLWLHV WKURXJKSURGXFWIXQFWLRQ

analysis)
Application:
the integration of knowledge in industrial product design
Recording:
preparation of information for later use, in which the
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.QRZOHGJHDFTXLVLWLRQLVDFRPSOH[SURFHVV7KLVSURFHVVLVHDVLHUWRXQGHUVWDQGE\
breaking down the process into leads, follow-up and transfer. This breakdown is
borrowed from the discipline of direct marketing. Because it is impossible provide the
ZKROHZRUOGZLWKLQIRUPDWLRQDERXWDSURGXFWLWLVQHFHVVDU\WRQGOHDGVLQGLFDWLRQV
that particular prospects might be interested (e.g. they returned a reply card. After
prospects have shown interest in the product, it is necessary to follow up in order to
learn whether they are truly interested. The third phase, the transfer of the order, is of
course the most important.

102

Technology Diffusion and Design - W.A. Poelman

7KHVDPHDSSOLHVWRWKHSURFHVVRINQRZOHGJHDFTXLVLWLRQ,WLVLPSRVVLEOHWRLQYROYH
all of the information in the world in a given project. Leads (or potentialities) are
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WKHVDPHIXQFWLRQLQDGHVLJQUP'HVLJQHUVZKRDUHLQHSWLQIROORZXSKRZHYHUZLOO
not be successful. Designers should be skilled in motivating suppliers to provide more
information and invest in the project.
In the third step, knowledge transfer, learning and engineering capabilities become
important. While any of the cases could be used to illustrate these steps, let us consider
the media building of Neutelings-Riedijk. One (external) party in the project team was
Jaap Drupsteen, an expert in exploiting the potentialities of new technology. He knew
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This lead was followed up with visits to companies who could accomplish this. The
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Drupsteen competed with economic goals of the glass producer. Drupsteen is skilled
in translating potentialities (the tricks that we know) into visually spectacular effects.
With respect to recording, according to Neutelings-Riedijk, all knowledge is common
knowledge in architecture.
As mentioned above, having leads is an important selection criterion for knowledge
DFTXLVLWLRQ2WKHUPHFKDQLVPVSOD\DUROHDVZHOOKRZHYHUDQGZHUHIHUWRWKHPDV
constraints. Constraints operate in both positive and negative ways. One negative
function is that they can prevent useful knowledge from coming through. A positive
effect of constraints is that they can serve a pre-selection function. Knowledge that
triggers no interest will not be processed and will thus be prevented from entering.
)RUWKHVDNHRIFODULW\WKHYDULRXVNLQGVRIFRQVWUDLQWVDUHQRWVKRZQLQWKHJXUH$V
a former CEO of a chemical company, Prof. Johannes Eekels advised using piping as a
PHWDSKRUIRUGHQLQJWKHIROORZLQJVHULHVRIFRQVWUDLQWV

Valve: $YDOYHLVDPHFKDQLVPWKDWSURKLELWVNQRZOHGJHIURPRZLQJLQWRRURXWRI
the project, as with an embargo on speaking with certain companies. Such valves can
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between governmental parties and companies. Intellectual property (IP) considerations
form another common reason for blocking knowledge transfer.
Narrowing: 1DUURZLQJ LV D PHFKDQLVP WKDW OLPLWV WKH RZ RI NQRZOHGJH LQWR RU RXW
of the project, as illustrated by a lack of capacity. There is no time for reading. The
stacks of information that we wish to consume increase throughout the course of our
careers.
Semi-permeable membrane: A semi-permeable membrane is a mechanism that
selectively prevents knowledge from coming through, as in the case of marketing
LQIRUPDWLRQWKDWLVZLWKKHOGE\WKHPDQDJHPHQW(YHU\RQHKDVVSHFLFKREELHVDQG
people tend to defend their own areas of specialisation.
One-way valve: A one-way valve is a mechanism lets knowledge through in only one
direction (e.g. from source to recipient); no information is provided to information
sources about information needs. Students should be told about the importance of a
win-win situation. One receives information only when one provides information. In
order to understand the kind of information that is of interest to a particular contact, it
is essential to be interested in the activities and opinions of that contact.
Filter: $ OWHU LV D PHFKDQLVP WKDW SURKLELWV FRPSOH[ NQRZOHGJH LWHPV IURP SDVVLQJ
Technology Diffusion and Design - W.A. Poelman

103

HJGHFLHQFLHVLQHGXFDWLRQFRQFHUQLQJWKHDQDO\VLVRIVFLHQWLFLQIRUPDWLRQ 7KLV
mechanism is widely familiar. Faced with the choice between a two-page article and a
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that we often do not manage to read the more profound materials.

Labyrinth: $ ODE\ULQWK LV D PHFKDQLVP WKDW VORZV GRZQ WKH LQIRUPDWLRQ RZ HJ D
PDQDJHUZKRLQVLVWVXSRQVHHLQJWKHLQIRUPDWLRQUVWDQGWKHQSDVVHVLWRQWRWKHZURQJ
person). A familiar example involves magazine issues that arrive on an employees desk
half a year after publication.
Leakage: /HDNDJHLVDPHFKDQLVPWKDWOHDGVWRWKHORVVRINQRZOHGJH HJOLQJV\VWHPV
that do not function properly). Because knowledge is a crucial asset of a company, the
leakage of knowledge is a severe crime, and guilty parties should be punished. Jan
Pesman (CePeZed) states, All knowledge that is gained is stored in the project and for
use in future projects. This knowledge increases the toolbox. Every project is a learning
process, and the key moments from this process can be reused at any moment even
DIWHUIWHHQ\HDUV,WZRXOGEHLQWHUHVWLQJWROHDUQPRUHDERXWKHDFFRPSOLVKHVWKLV
Compatibility: Compatibility is a mechanism that prevents information from diffusing
(e.g. the extent to which the source and the recipient of the knowledge are able to
communicate). This is probably the most interesting constraint in this world of polarisation.
Every discipline has its own language, culture and set of ontologies. Although this is
often perceived in a negative light, the successful development of disciplines depends
upon these aspects.
The successful diffusion of multi-disciplinary knowledge can be stimulated by paying
more attention to the interface between disciplines the designer. Designers should
KDYHDQLQWHUGLVFLSOLQDU\DWWLWXGHEHFRQYHUVDQW EXWQRWQHFHVVDULO\XHQW LQPRUH
than one jargon and feel empathy with professionals from other disciplines.
With regard to the organism in Figure 16, two concepts have yet to be discussed:
WKH VHQVRU IXQFWLRQ DQG WKH HMHFWRU IXQFWLRQ 7KH VHQVRU IXQFWLRQ LV TXLWH VLPSOH
7KHDELOLW\WRQRWLFHZHDNVLJQDOV 3D\HQV LVTXLWHLPSRUWDQWWRWKHSURFHVVRI
knowledge diffusion within a project. A project is not a closed entity; it develops itself
in a cosmonomy, as represented in Figure 3.

104

Technology Diffusion and Design - W.A. Poelman

Figure 17: Cosmonomy of projects and knowledge diffusion

$SURMHFWFDQEHUHJDUGHGDVDQHQWLW\RDWLQJLQDQLQIRUPDWLRQVRXSWRJHWKHUZLWK
other projects. Sensors detect what is going on in their own neighbourhoods.
Ejectors send out information in order to allure interesting partners (pheromones). In
some cases, this can lead to the mating of projects. This is an essential function in the
project. Good project teams communicate intensively about the activities with which
they are occupied. This increases the chance that other parties will take an interest in
collaboration.
Discussion
The metabolism model for knowledge diffusion should be regarded as a result of an
attempt to make the complex issue better understandable. Fishbone diagrams do not
GHVFULEH VXIFLHQWO\ WKH UHDO ZD\ SHRSOH ZRUN WRJHWKHU LQ GHYHORSPHQW SURFHVVHV
Sociograms do better because they pay attention to the informal organization which is
often of greater importance than the informal organization. However, also sociograms
present only a part of the organization as such, just the synchronic part. The diachronic
part is mostly described apart in the context of methodology.
Models in methodology can be divided in three basic categories (Roozenburg/Eekels
1995): activity models (fundamental design cycle), phase models (VDI 2221, Pahl &
Beitz) and aspect models (eekels, Andreasen, Archer).
The metabolism model could be added in a fourth category: function models.
Activity models refer to hours to be spent. Phase models refer to results in-between
and aspect models refer to points of attention. A function model refers to skills needed
in the development process in different stages. In that sense a function model forms
a bridge between the process and the organization. Furthermore this function model
forms a bridge between the design process and technology diffusion issues. Finally, a
IXQFWLRQPRGHOWVLQWKHZD\RIWKLQNLQJRIGHVLJQHUV$IWHUDOODGHVLJQHULVDFUHDWRU
of functions as Kotler claims.

Technology Diffusion and Design - W.A. Poelman

105

With respect to the relation between architecture and industrial design engineering we
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the two disciplines. Industrial designers and architects meet each other more and more
in the cosmonomy of development projects such as the creation of new buildings,
transport facilities and the composition of public space.
Knowledge of the two disciplines has, since the 40 years of existence of the faculty of
industrial design engineering become more and more complementary. It is time for
intensifying knowledge diffusion between the two disciplines.

References
Poelman, W.A. (2005,) Technology Diffusion in Product Design, thesis, Chair
Design for Sustainability, Delft University of Technology, Delft
Kotler, Ph. (2002), Marketing Management.Analysis Planning & Control, 11th
edition, Prentice Hall International, London
Hargadon, Andrew & Sutton, Robert I. (1997). Technology Brokering and
Innovation in a Product Development Firm. Administrative Science
Quarterly, vol. 42, December, p 716-749.
Payens, Ruud. (1996). Het Zesde Zintuig, Stichting Innovatiecentrum Noord &
Oost Gelderland, Apeldoorn.
Roozenburg, N.F.M. & Eekels, J. (1995), Industrial Product Design:
Fundamentals and Methods, Wiley , New York

106

Technology Diffusion and Design - W.A. Poelman

107

IDE+A

Closing Speech
Design Processes - Wim Poelman and David Keyson (Eds.)
IOS Press, 2008 2008 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved.

Closing Speech

6 June 2008 IDE+A symposium Design Processes

Prof. dr. ir. A.C.J.M. Eekhout


on behalf of the dean of the faculty of architecture.

2QHRIWKHREMHFWLYHVRIWKHFRQIHUHQFH'HVLJQ3URFHVVHVFRQFHUQLQJWKHVFLHQWLF
HOGRI'HVLJQ0HWKRGRORJ\LVWRPDNHWKHLQYLVLEOHYLVLEOHLQWKHLPPDWHULDOHOG
The literal meaning of this is to make the invisible preparation process, which precedes
the production of new building and industrial products and components, visible and
understandable by a textual and visual description.
%XWJXUDWLYHO\ making the invisible visible also means to partly unravel the mysterious,
the unknown and the unsaid and pass it on to architects, building technologists,
industrial designers and to students as a new knowledge and insight. The mysterious
brings along some uncertainty about objectives. Mysteries are challenging, they are a
motivation to go and do research and therefore, as far as I am concerned, they never
need to be solved completely. When one mystery is solved, new mysteries will have to
appear, new challenges, ever further on the way to the future. Yet, in the meantime
knowledge grows, the skill, the insight and hopefully also the vision on the specialism
of product design and development.
Dutch Design and Dutch Architecture are internationally appreciated for its powerful
YDOXHIRUPRQH\TXDOLW\DQGLWVVXUSULVHVZLWKLQWKHVHWOLPLWDWLRQVRIWKHFKDOOHQJHV
Dutch architects and industrial designers often have to dance on the rope. Solid
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Architecture.
This Conference Design Processes is dedicated to the methodology and processes of
designing, developments and research of building and industrial products, systems and
components, as well as to the applications of industrial products in buildings.
Therefore, it is of importance to product designers and building product developers,
who are mainly concerned with developing products and components at the side of
producers, as well as to materializing architects and component designers who, at the
DUFKLWHFWV RIFH DUH FRQFHUQHG ZLWK WKH PDWHULDOL]LQJ RI WKH IXQFWLRQDO DQG VSDWLDO
building concept as a whole and in parts.
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and Industrial Design Engineering, but also for professionals and students in the
SURIHVVLRQDOHOGRIERWKIDFXOWLHV

Design Methodology
Design Methodology has a long and thorough history at industrial design Engineering,
thanks to the books of Norbert Roozenburg and the late Johannes Eekels.
In architecture the situation is more varied. There is a lot of talk on designing in the
architectural world, but there seems to be little openness and uniformity when it comes
to the process of designing and what design methods are being used.
1RZDGD\VWKHFRPSXWHUEHFDPHDQDFFXVWRPHGPHGLXPLQHYHU\GHVLJQRIFHDQG
even conceptual design possibilities are being carefully explored.

109

But the systematics and methodology of design have to go through a renaissance before
the full fruits of the computer in the conceptual designing process can be gathered. In
my observation design methodologies in architectonical designing are only reluctantly
used and there is hardly any systematical and methodical account for the originating
process of the design.
Indeed, the bridge between the non-cognitive intuitive design process and the ultrasystematic computer as a potential design medium, is missing. So then the computer
FDQQRWEHXVHGRWKHUWKDQDFXUUHQWPHGLXPIRUWKHQDOGHYHORSPHQWRIWKHGHVLJQ
It facilitates the drawing, but not the thinking. And, therefore, it cannot be inserted as
a full valued reciprocal design medium which is stimulating from self-esteem. To make
considerations explicit, as is done with methodical designing, does not just advance
insight and clarity in ones own activities. In practice it stimulates the communication
between the ever growing group of professionals which has to co-operate in a building
WHDPDLPHGDWUHDOL]LQJDVSHFLFEXLOGLQJ FRPSOH[ 

Design Phases
Methodologists speak of a UVWSKDVH of conceptual design because of the 3-D concept
with its degree of abstraction, leaving many liberties to choose materials and subsystems the architect has at his disposal.
Compared to designers in related technical specialisms (like ship- and aeroplane
designers) the architect has an enormous freedom, through the given freedom of
choosing structural systems, constructions, structures, building components with their
VSHFLFVKDSHVDQGSURGXFWLRQWHFKQLTXHVWKHWRSRORJLFDOSODFLQJRIFRPSRQHQWVDQG
JHRPHWULFDOIUHHGRPDQGZLWKDOOWKDWWRDWWDLQDSXUSRVHIXOVFXOSWXUDOTXDOLW\RIWKH
building. Seldom we realize how jealous other designers could be of him in this respect.
In order to make a whole new design concept of his building, the architect has (almost
too) many possibilities at his disposal.
The second phase of the process is the materialization design concerns choice of
materials, structural schemes and structural composition up to details. The second
SKDVHLVDVLPSRUWDQWDVWKHUVWFRQFHSWXDOSKDVH$VFRPSDUHGZLWKWKLVOX[XULRXV
situation, the (poor) aircraft designer knows only one or a few degrees of liberty
of designing every part of the aeroplane because of the high functional and safety
demands. We call this parameter designing: the degree of freedom is only one variation
on one single parameter.
The leap from the conceptual design to the materialized design mainly takes place in
the mind of the designer: sometimes it will be intuitive, often routinely and sometimes
methodical. The execution of an intuitive and non-argumented choice and its perfection
can, nevertheless, very well be done methodically.
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process and the development of materialized and technical building components have
become of fundamental importance for the design process of the building. Like the
product designer, who usually operates at the side of the producer, a good project
architect also knows how far he can go as a consumer of building products in the
market and how far he can develop new one-off components to be specially ordered.
He should have insight in the iterative development processes for building products,
systems and components. The interchangeable relation between technical components
and architecture is indispensable for the materialization of the architectonic conceptual
design in an inspiring manner.

110

Closing Speech - A.C.J.M. Eekhout

This conference is the fruit of joining hands between the faculties of Industrial Design
Engineering and Architecture. Although they started their relationship as a mother
and an unwilling daughter, they now seem more like sisters under the skinWRTXRWH
Rudyard Kipling.
In the months after the Fire of Architecture the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering
is hosting a number of staff, researchers and students from Architecture, for which
they are extremely thankful. Hopefully also this regrettable cause will contribute to the
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Closing Speech - A.C.J.M. Eekhout

111

IDE+A

Appendix 1
Design Processes - Wim Poelman and David Keyson (Eds.)
IOS Press, 2008 2008 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved.

Chairmans impressions

Prof. dr. ir. T.M. de Jong (Chair)


Introduction
The main issue of the conference was:
1
2

the contemporary interrelationship of Industrial Design and Architecture


a confrontation of contemporary design practice in both domains with
academic theory and education

Details about eight cases of design processes in practice (four industrial design and four
architecture) were collected by students. The students were stimulated to be not too
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LQDSROOVWUXFWXUHGE\DFDGHPLFVXSSRVLWLRQV7KHTXHU\RIWKHLQWHUYLHZVFRQWDLQHG
TXHVWLRQVDERXW
1
2
3
4
5
6
7

the project in general


social complexity in collaboration
design process
decision making
visualization
project management
knowledge diffusion

Specialists regarding the topics 2 till 7 were invited to analyze the cases and to write a
paper from their point of view.
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This was more than compensated by the resulting rough material which provided some
interesting details beyond the chosen themes.
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most.

The interviews
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the sake of readability. In the second column I try to analyze why they triggered me.

113

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Chairmans impressions - T.M. de Jong

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These propositions already raise many subjects discussed in the conference

Scale (frame and grain)


The larger scale of architecture and urbanism causes may other differences from
product design:
1.
a prominent role of gravity: vertical structures with horizontal

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governmental, cultural, economic, technical, ecological and
spatial context;
3.
small series, many external parties, different by context;
4.
boundaries of prefabrication by transport possibilities;
5.
many solutions for the same overall problem: to climatize,
separate or combine activities;
6.
changing scale changes terms and legend units of the drawing;
7.
upscaling in space and time affects the composition of the team;
8.
upscaling decreases decision making based on the size of the
demand and pay-back time.
Shortly after my chairmanship I designed a device to keep straight for scanning
from above the pages of differently sized books (see Fig. 1). As an urbanist with a
task to teach technical ecology, I wanted to understand the difference of designing
at the largest scale form product design by doing:
1.
In this product gravity plays a role, but not a prominent one

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planes, but the vertical structures are mobile.

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economic, technical, ecological and spatial contexts.
3.
There were no external parties, but if it had to be produced in
large series much effort still would have to be done and more
parties would have to be involved.
4.
There are no boundaries of prefabrication.
Chairmans impressions - T.M. de Jong

117

5.
6.

7.
8.

The problem has a limited number of solutions.


The character of the legend units are in the range of architecture,
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categories and other ways of thinking.
There was no team, but see 3.
There was no decision making based on the size of the demand
and pay-back time, but see 3.

Figure 1: A device to keep the pages of differently sized books straight for scanning from above,
designed by an ecological urbanist.

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I will not summarise the contributions of the speakers here, but I will make some
DGGLWLRQDOUHPDUNVSUREDEO\XVHIXOIRUIXUWKHULQTXLU\

Social complexity in collaboration


The integration of a group compared to its integration in a larger context is proportional
to the time budget they spend internally and exernally. If management askes for many
external contacts, the result is sprawl of effort increasing internal entropy.

Design process
A short term goal is a long term means. A goal is a design. So, design cannot be goal
directed. Design directed design does not say much. Engineering is design driven
research to solve problems risen by design. So, design also raises problems to be solved
by engineering. Engineering is the problem solving activity.
Design creates improbable possibilities. So, it changes desirable futures, changing the
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Solving one problem creates new problems. Reaching one aim creates new goals.
:LFNHG SUREOHPV DUH QRW ZLFNHG WKH\ DUH VLPSO\ HOGV RI UHODWHG SUREOHPV 'HVLJQ
does not solve

118

Chairmans impressions - T.M. de Jong

Decision making
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Visualisation
Schetching is another language.

Project management
Internal integration causes external disintegration and the reverse at any level of
scale.
Lack of time causes specialisation. Specialisation saves time, integration saves space.

Knowledge diffusion
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Discussion
6HHTXHVWLRQV

Chairmans impressions - T.M. de Jong

119

IDE+A

Appendix 2
Design Processes - Wim Poelman and David Keyson (Eds.)
IOS Press, 2008 2008 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved.

Program
10.00- 10.10

Introduction

Prof. dr. C.J.P.M. de Bont


Dean of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, TU Delft
10.10- 10.30

Explanation Cases

Prof. dr. ir. T.M. de Jong (Chair)


Professor, Chair of Environmental Planning and Ecology
Faculty of Architecture, TU Delft
10.30- 11.00

Design Processes

Dr.ir. H.H. Achten


Assistant Professor, Architectural Modeling
Faculty of Architecture, TU Eindhoven
11.00- 11.30

Coffee/Tea

11.30- 12.00

Visualization

Prof. G. Goldschmidt
Professor,The Mary Hill Swope Chair in Architecture & Town Planning
Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning, Israel Institute of Technology
12.00- 12.30

Project Management

Prof. dr. ir. J.W.F. Wamelink


Professor Design- and Construction
Faculty of Architecture, TU Delft
12.30- 13.30

Lunch

121

13.30- 14.00

Social Complexity in Collaboration

Prof. dr. P.G. Badke-Schaub


Professor Design Theory and Methodology
Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, TU Delft
14.00- 14.30

Decision Making

Dr. ir. P.P.J. van Loon


Associate professor Design and Decision Systems
Faculty of Architecture, TU Delft
14.30- 15.00

Tea/Coffee

15.00- 15.30

Technology Diffusion

Dr. ir. W.A. Poelman


Associate Professor Product Development
Faculty of Architecture, TU Delft
15.30- 16.00

General Discussion

Prof. dr. ir. T.M. de Jong (Chair)


16.00- 16.10

Afterword

Prof. ir. W. Patijn


Dean faculty of Architecture, TU Delft

122

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