Towards an ontology of design: lessons from C-K design theory and Forcing

Hatchuel, Armand; Weil, Benoit; Masson, Pascal
April 2013
Research in Engineering Design;Apr2013, Vol. 24 Issue 2, p147
Academic Journal
In this paper we present new propositions about the ontology of design and a clarification of its position in the general context of rationality and knowledge. We derive such ontology from a comparison between formal design theories developed in two different scientific fields: Engineering and Set theory. We first build on the evolution of design theories in engineering, where the quest for domain independence and 'generativity' has led to formal approaches, likewise C-K theory, that are independent of what has to be designed. Then we interpret Forcing, a technique in Set theory developed for the controlled invention of new sets, as a general design theory. Studying similarities and differences between C-K theory and Forcing, we find a series of common notions like 'd-ontologies', 'generic expansion', 'object revision', 'preservation of meaning' and 'K-reordering'. They form altogether an 'ontology of design' which is consistent with unique aspects of design.


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