Preliminary simulations of scale and value of legitimation in design practice

DS 75-2: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED13), Design for Harmonies, Vol.2: Design Theory and Research Methodology, Seoul, Korea, 19-22.08.2013

Year: 2013
Editor: Udo Lindemann, Srinivasan V, Yong Se Kim, Sang Won Lee, John Clarkson, Gaetano Cascini
Author: Singh, Vishal; Gero, John S
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: Aalto University, Finland; 2: Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, Virginia, USA and University of North Carolina at Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Page(s): 153-162
ISBN: 978-1-904670-45-2
ISSN: 2220-4334


This paper presents preliminary simulation results on the effects of scale and value of legitimation in design practice. The paper describes a basic simulation model, which adopts legitimation code theory as the underlying conceptual framework. This model simulates a society of design agents with different backgrounds. Based on the given legitimation values of their discipline, agents are attracted towards knowers or knowledge. The force of attraction towards the knower or knowledge varies across disciplines. The emergent design practice is plotted in a two dimensional space defined by the knower and knowledge axes. The effect of scale is studied by changing the number of agents. The effect of value is studied by comparing scenarios where legitimation values of a design agent remain constant throughout the simulations to scenarios where legitimation values increase at a constant rate, as a function of time spent in a multi-disciplinary environment. Preliminary results indicate that both scaling up and changing values can lead to cohesive design practice in multi-disciplinary societies. The underlying assumptions and limitations of the simulation model are discussed.

Keywords: Design practice, simulation, research methodology, computational sociology


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