The Methodological Unboundedness of Limited Discovery Processes


  • John Benjamin Cassel Wolfram Research 100 Trade Center Drive Champaign, IL 61820-7237 USA


Emneord (Nøkkelord):

conceptual design, discovery processes, design strategy, open systems methodology, parametric design, non-parametric design


Though designers must understand systems, designers work differently than scientists in studying systems.  Design engagements do not discover whole systems, but take calculated risks between discovery and intervention. For this reason, design practices must cope with open systems, and unpacking the tacit guidelines behind these practices is instructive to systems methodology. This paper shows that design practice yields a methodology which applies across forms of design.  Design practice teaches us to generate ideas and gather data longer, but stop when the return on design has diminished past its cost.  Fortunately, we can reason about the unknown by understanding the character of the unbounded.  We suppose that there might as well be an infinite number of factors, but we can reason about their concentration without knowing all of them.  We demonstrate this concept on stakeholder systems, showing how design discovery informs systems methodology. Using this result, we can apply the methods of parametric design when the parameters are not yet known by establishing the concentration of every kind of factor, entailing a discovery rate of diminishing returns over discovery activities, allowing the analysis of discovery-based trade-offs.  Here, we extend a framework for providing metrics to parametric design, allowing it to express the importance of discovery.


John Benjamin Cassel, Wolfram Research 100 Trade Center Drive Champaign, IL 61820-7237 USA

John Benjamin Cassel works with Wolfram Research, where his primary focus is the knowledge representation of engineering design problems.  He maintains research interests in real-time discovery, planning, and knowledge representation problems in risk governance, engineering design, and intelligence gathering. Cassel holds a Master of Design Degree in Strategic Foresight and Innovation from OCAD University in Toronto, where he developed a novel research methodology for the risk governance of emerging technologies, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He has previously worked with Riverglass Incorporated on streaming data mining and data fusion technologies.




Hvordan referere

Cassel, J. B. (2014). The Methodological Unboundedness of Limited Discovery Processes. FormAkademisk, 7(4).

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