Archive for May 2006

Foundationless Design Theory

The work of Wolfgang Jonas is similar to my own theory of design.


See also Minding the Gap at


Posted May 9, 2006 by kentpalmer in Uncategorized

response to “a theory of designing”

a theory of designing

My answer to the questions in “a theory of designing”:

1. Is there a theory of design?

The theory of design is a theory of the relation of signs (design is a meta-level of signs) and types (essence is a meta-level of type) as mediated by perspectives and concepts which are at the same meta-level. Design is driven by the Emergent Meta-system cycle. This explains its essential nature along with the fact that it exists at the level of Hyper Being (i.e. Differance)

2. What is the essential skill of designing – can it be described?

The essential skill of designing is that of being about to relate to the realm of design possibilities that appears at the level of Hyper Being and also being able to handle dealing with Hyper Being states itself which have the modality of the in-hand.

3. What are design methods?

There are no design methods per se, in other words following Feyerabend Methods mean, the Way After, and there is no method for design itself as a way forward.

4. How do you use them (design methods)?

Design methods are used to communicate your design with others, for self understanding of your own design, and also to preserve some trace of the design for the future.

5. Is scientific research useful in designing?

We can do research into the human process of design itself. But scientific research will not solve the problem of how to do design because design is directly connected to the existentials of Dasein and this cannot be appropriated by Science, because it is Dasein that gives rise to science, and when we study human beings we lose the connection to Dasein. When Dasein is objectified then you lose lose sight of Dasein and only see the Subject, i.e. a dual.

6. Is it scientifically possible to discover the nature of designing?

It might be possible to discover what part of the brain is involved in designing, and make other advances in the understanding of the cognitive science of design, but design as an existential aspect of the core of dasein, i.e. Care, or the Query, as I call it is not possible.

7. How to design complex systems?

Complex Systems are not “Systems” but Meta-systems. We fundamentally miss understood complex phenomena when we think of it as Systems in most cases. But it is possible to design meta-systems. We would use the same methods as we do for systems in a different way when we design systems.

8. How to solve or to avoid major problems created by the culture we create and inhabit?

Meta-systems are important for our culture to understand. Because we do not understand them we are fouling our own nest and destroying our planet. But it would take a major cultural shift to change our way of relating to our environment by changing our culture and the way it views engineering design. which is system centric rather than taking into account meta-systemic impact.

9. How to redesign the designed culture?

For us as human beings it is difficult to think that our Culture is designed. In other words, because it has an order it has a design but that design is more like the design of nature to us because it is prior to our existence and we are born into it and it is distributed throughout the population over which we have little control, we only have a small scope to our individual control. However, we should do what we can in that small scope to make sure that we do not destroy ourselves as a species. We are liable to change our behavior en mass only when we are directly threatened and that is probably too late. This is the fundamental conundrum of our race.

10. How to teach this view of design – what are the principles?

If I am right and Design is a meta-level of the sign at the meta-level of Hyper Being then we must in order to understand design sensitize future designers to the nature of Hyper Being itself so that they can learn to understand the essential problems of dealing with that level of Being. Design will then never be easy, and will always be an art. Methods will always be defective in a fundamental sense and will not give us complete control over our design process.

11. What is the basis of the Design process?

The basis of design is the ennead. The ennead is an archetypal formation that is what makes it possible to have multiple independent perspectives on things. In order to do design we need these fundamentally different perspectives on the same thing. Those perspectives mediate between the design and the emergent essence, just as concepts do. Concepts and Perspectives are complementary opposites just as designs and essences are. They both take part in the EMS cycle which is what makes possible local emergent events which are negentropic within the context of global entropy.

12. What is the Foundation of Design?

The foundation of design is the Schemas which are the spacetime embodiments of things within our experience. Design is essentially a fulfillment of projected schemas of different levels.

Anyway, this is my attempt to answer these important questions posed by john chris jones

Design Methods Literature

Posted May 4, 2006 by kentpalmer in Uncategorized