DESCRIPTION, PRESCRIPTION AND “BAD” DESIGN

DS 68-2: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 2: Design Theory and Research Methodology, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011

Year: 2011
Editor: Culley, S.J.; Hicks, B.J.; McAloone, T.C.; Howard, T.J. & Reich, Y.
Author: Winkelman, Paul
Section: Design Theory and Research Methodology
Page(s): 287-293

Abstract

Design methodologies can serve the purposes of description, prescription, or the creation of norms. A given methodology can display features of all three. In such cases, does the presence of all three compromise the validity of the methodology? The mixing of the descriptive with the prescriptive is common in both science and engineering. Science often requires a theory (prescription) to enable us to make sense of what we are seeing (description). Within engineering, mathematics draws the descriptive and the prescriptive together; at first glance, mathematics appears merely descriptive, but the unwavering trust placed in its constructs give it prescriptive powers. Thus, one would expect models of the engineering design process to be ambiguous without diminishing the methodology. The normative presents its unique challenges for engineering research, for the normative suggests that we need to espouse certain values and this detracts from the logic of design.

Keywords: PRESCRIPTIVE; NORMATIVE; METHODOLOGY; DESCRIPTIVE

Download

Please sign in to your account

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties. Privacy Policy.