Complexity of Industrial Practice and Design Research Contributions – We Need Consolidation

Year: 2009
Editor: H. Meerkamm
Author: Andreasen, M. M.
Page(s): 1-9


An important virtue of the DFX Symposia is the possibility to present ideas, plans and early concepts and to get feedback on these. This presentation, even if it is taking its point of departure in my earlier presentation, “What happened to DFM? (Design for Manufacture)” [1] from the 2006 Symposium, is such an idea-launching paper. It is composed on the basis of two excursions into the field covered by the popular buzzword “complexity”, namely the complexity of industrial operations and the complexity of theoretical contributions to design science. The necessary link, namely the relation between practice and science, is elaborated upon in an ‘intermezzo’ in the body of the paper.
It is my postulate that design research has two important roles: (1) To contribute to enhancement of industrial practice; here a central topic is reduction of complexity, and (2) To contribute to a body of design science, i.e. a composed, productive and comprehensively structured science showing integrity. It is my diagnosis of the current situation that we quite clumsily mix these two roles in such a way, that design science suffers from the noise and diversities hindering consolidation.

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