You are on page 1of 5

Origins of design methods

The coming of
post-industrial
design

The origins of the design methods movement lay in the


application of powerful scientific techniques toa wide
range of novel p<oblems during the Second World War.
Operational research (OR), for instance, originated and deve
loped in this way. The application of OR techniques in
management decisionmaking was one model that the
originators of design methods used to justify the develop
ment of new techniques for design decision-making.
lt is still possible to hear references to 'the science

NI GEL CROSS

of design' o r 'design science', and it is clear that a desire to

De1ign DiScipline, F.cultY of TfiChnology. ThtJ Open Un;ver6ity,

scientize designng was prevalent amongst many of the origi


nators and followers of the design methods movement.
However, in contrast to the claims for the emer

Milton

Keyn~s.

UK

This paper sugqests two possible future lines of development


for desiqn methods. One is a continua !ion of the desiqn
methods 'qeneration qame '. The other is as a part of the
wider deve/opment of a postindustrial basis for desiqn,
technoloqy and society. The latter is characterized as a para
diqm shift in desiqn. Sorne examples of the seeds of post
industrial desiqn are reviewed.

Nearly 20 years ago, the design methods movement seemed


to offer a clear picture of the futuro for design: a logical,
rational, coherent activity using systematic procedures.

Now, the picture is much less clear, and the movement


appears to be in crisis.
1 suggest two possible scenarios for the future of
design methods. One is a continuation of the now well
established design methods 'generaton game'. The other
scenario is based on the assumption that the present crisis

(throughout design, not just in the design methods move


ment) may be indicatlve of an imminent paradigm shift in

design. This shift is part of a larger one in technology and


societY from industrial to postindustrial bases.

T HE GENERATION GAME
Accord ing to Archer', 'design methodology is al ive and
well'. This may have come as a surprise to many who had
assumed that the subject was now (like so many of the
delicate offspring of the 1960s) well and truly dead.
Such an assumption was clearly prematuro, if he is
right. However, Archer might be presumed to have a vested
interest in trying to keep the subject alive on his hospital

bed, since he was one of the originators of the subject and


the design methods movement. However, what he argued in
Design Studies was that his concern with design methods
has always been:
to find ways of ensuring that the predom inantly q ualitative considerations such as comfort and cof\venienoe, ethies and beauty .
should be as carefully taken into account and as doggedly deftnsiblt under attack as predominandy quantitative considerations
suc:t'l as strength, cost and durability .

That sounds like yet another design methodologist recan


ting and pleading mitigating circumstances. Alexander and

Jones, the other leading exponents of design methods in the


early 1960s, have already recanted in similar terms, and
apparently rejected desgn methodology.
Archer at least stll suggesu that there is something
in methodology to be studied, taught and practised . What
went wrong, he suggests, was the attempt to apply the
methods o f science to design, instead o f developing design's
own methods.

vol 2 no 1 january 1981

gence o f a major new, systematic and scientific design process, the actual achievements have been very modest. This

is both in terms of impact on the conventonal design pro


cess, which has continued to be an undisciplined muddling
through, and in terms of products designed by the new
methods. Unless, that is, one is to include as examples of
systematic design such previously overlooked successes as
Disneyworld, Florida, which Geoffrey Broadbent 2 recently
nominated as the epitome of rational design.
Although it is a surprisi ng example, Oisneyworld is
a very apt one because it al so captures a Bravo New World
atmosphere endemic in the design methods movement.
This atmosphere can be traced back to the wider
Modero Movement in design, where le the philosophical
roots of the design methods movement. For instance, Theo
van Doesburg, a member of the influential de Stij/ group,
wrote in 19233 :
Our epoch is hostile to everv subjectlve speculetion in art, science,
technique, etc. Tlle new spirit, which alreedy QOV&rns almost all
modern lite, is opposed to animal spontaneitv, to nature's domination, to artistic flummery and cookery. In order to conttruct a
new object we need a method, that is to sav, en objective svstem.

With the language toned down a little, such a statement


might equally have been made by one of the new design
methodologists 40 years later.
However, many principies of the Modero Movement
have recently been coming under attack. For example,
Watkn4 has critcized the movement for, amongst other
things, its desire to construct 'a scientifically plotted
Utopa'. Broadbent's example of Oisneyworld is indeed just
such a Utopa, anda prime, il not at lirst sight obvious,
example of rational, systematic design.
lt was this Brave New World atmosphere of the
design methods movernent that led to so me of its erstwhile
protagonists withdrawing their support.
In the now notorious interview of 1971, Christopher
Alexander 5 said (amongst much el se):
l've disauoci.ated myself from the fie ld . . . there is so lttle in wh.at
ls called 'design methods' tMt has 3n ything useful to ~ay about
how to design bulldings that 1 newr even read the literatura anv
more . .. 1 would sav forget it, forget the whole thing.

Christopher Jones6 was to write later:


In the 19?0s 1 re acted againt:t de:sign methods. 1 disliked tlle
machine language, the behaviourism, the continuar attempt to
fix the wholt of life into a logical f ramewotk.

Apart from the ethical objections to rational planning and


systematic desgn, it al so became apparent that dosign
p<oblems are actually resistant to the methods of science.
The roots of this resstance were analysed by
7
Ritte1 who characterized the nature of design problems as
'wicked' problems, whereas the problems scientfic method
tackles are 'tamed'.

0142- 694X/8 1/01 0003-06 S02.00 1981 IPC Business Press Ltd

However, the design methods movement refused to


die. In fact, it was saved by another suggestion of Rittel.8
Th is was t hat we had seen only 'first generatio n '
design methods, and these. natural! y e nough, looked rather
simplistic with the benefit o f hindsight. Rinel went on to
propose and to outline the featu res of an emerging, more
sophisticated, 'second 90nerat ion'.
T he idea of '90nerations' of design methods was
brilliant: it let t he me thodologists escape w ith sorne decorum
from being committed to sorne glaringly inadequate methods,
and it opened up a guaran teed fut ure in methodology as each
generation of methods succeeded the last.
Second generation methods were characterized by
Rittel as:

assu ming an equal dstrib ution of knowled9" about the


problem (i .e . designers, users, and others all have va lid
knowledge to contribut e)

embodying an argumentativo process (i.e. influenced by


different val ues from different sides, and not subject to
one remorseless logic)

casting the designer in a 'midwife' role (i.e. there to


e xercise her particular skill only in assist ing the in terest ed
parties to produce their own solution}

Clearly, this 90neraton of methods was strongly in fl uenced


by the move towards design participation which was
p revalen! n the 1970s9 .
Nevertheless. it has to be admtted that, lke the
frst generaton me thods. these second generation methods
have also met w ith only moderate sucoess.
One particular shortcoming of the participatory
met hods is that they relate principal! y to archtectural and
plann ing problems, and notto the problems o f engneerng
and industrial design.
As we enter a new decade, it is inevitable tha t
Rittel's escape clause will again be nvokcd. anda third
generation of desgn methods w ll appear.
One suggestion already made 2 is that a common
faling of t he carlier generat ion met hods was t hat they
tried to proh ib it the designer's preconoeptions, hunchos. or
arb itrary solutio n ideas.
The emerging t h ird generat ion view is that these
nputs from the desgner to t he desgn process cannot be
avoid ed. and are a necessary part o f a ny design method.
Th is view is usually ;ustified by reference to Popper's 'con
jectures and refutations' model of scientific me1hod 10 that is , the scientist proceeds by formu lating a conjecture
(a hunch) which is then subjected t o rigo rous t ests. Only
if it succeeds against refutation is it accepted as a valid
hypothesis.
Translated into t he design field, this model is
attractivc because it fits well with what designers already
do in p racticc 11 But what happened to the desire to reform
designers practices, that was so much a part of the original
motivation o f the movement?
1 predict that a fo unh generation will see a
return of this reform ing zeal, particu lal'ly using automatic
procedures that generate designs withou t the meddlng
interference of a human designer, anda l'eturn to the pre
mises of the Modern Movement. Remember. 'we need a
method. that is to say, an objective svstem.' However, the
emergence of a fourth generation may be overtaken by
events elseVJhere.

THE PARADIGM SHIFT


The generational view ol design methodology is attractive . lt
off ers a model of progress which allows research and d eve
lopment to cont inue within each generation, w ith only
occasional u pheavals as one succeeds ano ther. lt permits
Youn g Tu rks within the movemen t thei r radical ideas wh ich .
fro m t ime to time, can be siftcd by t he Old Guard into a
sanct ioned next generation.
An alternative t o t he generational view has similari
t ies with the view of developmental change n science pro
posed by Kuhn." His view is that science progresses by a
series of major changes in the paradigms h eld by scient ists.
Thus, fo r example, th e paradigm based on Newtonian phy
sics has been superseded by o ne based on Einsteinian physics.
Wit h in a paradigm, work proceeds on a variety o f 'p uzzles'
suggested by the paradigm. Th is puzzle solving is classed by
Kuhn 'normal science'.
Occasionally. a crisis will d evelop in a paradigm, as
sorne experimental results and new ideas undermine its
basis. When this happens, a scient ifc revoluton w ill lead t o
a new paradigm.
ls the current generation game in design mctho
dology a parallel of the paradigm shifts in science ? One
important difference is the timescale on which the cha ngos
take place. and another is the degree of radicalism in the
changos.
In science, paradigms ho ld for a relat ively long t ime ,
perhaps centuries, whereas in design methodolo gy a new
generation seems to be emerging each decade, or les.s. A new
scientific paradigm brings r"adical reassessment anda fu n
damental change in the scientific understand ing of t he
world. whereas in design methodology each new gcneration
seems a fairly modest change, now that we have a perspec
t ive of such changos .
So a s traightforward analogy of generati on w ith
paradigm is a fa lse one. lnstead. il we are t o pursue Kuhn's
view, it seems more tikely th at what we have been witnessing
is the emergence of a crisis with in the design paradigm which
has been held this centurv.
This prevailing paradigm has b een tha t of the
Modern Movement, which characterizes designas rationa
listic, reductionistic and mechanistic- 'hostile to every
subjective specula tion. 1t has been an attempt to mcx:tel
design method on scientific method; b ut relying on what
we now know to be a rather naive view o t scie nce} 3
The Modern Movement itself is in etisis, as wit
nessed b y the search for postModern st yles in archit ect ure,
and the sh ifting sa nds ot design methodology are a turther
ind icat ion o f the need for a revolutionary new parad igm.
Of course. those who remain committed to t he o ld
paradigm wll ferocio usl y resist any s uch re volutionarv
change. 1t is, ind eed. particula rly unfortunate for them.
snce it is only ll!cently that they h ave begun to gather t he
flowers ot the seeds plan ted by the pioneers.
The object ive, systematic design methods can now
be seen as a fi nal. rather late , flowcring of the Modern
Movement. lt is sad that the frost of se asonal change is
already upon them. although the committed 'design scien
tists' will nurtu re and protect the delicate b looms for as
long as possible .
In fac t. an idcological struggle be tween holders of
rival paradigms is sym ptoma t ic of the revol utionary para
digm shift that characteri~es scien tific progress in Kuhn's
model. Ouring the crisis pcriod, one may w tness the suddcn
conversion of sorne scientis ts fro m the o ld to the new

DESIGN STUDIES

paradigm. Kuhn suggests that a new parad1gm emerges all


at once, sometimos in the middle of the night, in the mind
of a man deeply immersed in crisis'.
The 'conversion experience' from one paradigm to
another is like 'a gestalt switch'. Have we not seen such
conversions in sorne of the leading figures in the design meth
ods movement?

Another symptom of the transition from one para


digm to another is 'a period of pronounoed professional
insecurity', such as we are now witnessing both in the prac
tising design professions and in design methodology and
design education. 'When the transition is oomplete.' Kuhn
adds, 'the profession will have changed its view of the field,
its methods, and its goals.'

Crisis in technology
Why should design be in such a crisis period now? My own
view is that it is closely connected with the crisis in technology. Design, the conception and creation of new artefacts,
is the central function in a technology which has been facing
the crim of energy and resources, and the criticisms of the
antitechnocrats and alternativo technologists.
lf, from these unprecedented crises and criticisms,
a new technology emerges, it will need new, postindustrial
design methods. Justas the pioneers of the Modern Move
ment recognized the need for new design concepts to match
the new technology of the 20th centurv. so the pioneers of
the postModern movement recognize the need for new
design concepts to match the emergent technology of the
21st century.
T here has been sorne confusion over the concept

of postindustrialism. In the mid1960s, this implied a kind


of hyperind ustrial technology, based on the information
revolution, automation and highly advanced technology.
This was the concept as embodied, fo r example, in Bell's
vision 14 of the POStindustrial society, dominated by the
scientists. mathematicians. economists, and engineers o f the
new computer technology.
lt was characterized 15 in terms of three main com
ponents:
In the economic sectOf, it is t shift from manufacturing to services:
in technology. it is the centtelity of the new science-based indus
tde-s; in sociologlcal terms, it is the rise of new technical e lites
and the advent of a new principie ot stratification.

of the past but much simpler, cheaper and freer than the
present technology of the affluent world.
The idea of a resourceconserving socety based on parsi
mony, and the idea of a toolusing society seeking auto
nomv for the human being, come together in yet a third
key ooncept: quality 20 This notion of quality comes
from within, and the quality of society can be made
right only if ind ividual values are first of all right.
These notions, again, connect with another: the idea of
social and economic life reorganized in small-scale units . .
A resource~conserving society, since it must minimize

movement of people and goods, will naturally be small


andas far as passible, in a modern world, selfsufficient.
A toolusing socety will allow the dismemberment of
large bureaucratic structures, and so will allow produc
tion to occur in small units again.
lf people are to discover the principie of qualitY for
themselves, they are more likely todo so in small groups.
But above and beyond this. smallscale organization is
needed to reduce alicnation and to allow people to oome
autonomously to grips with rapid chango.
lf we are indeed on the verge, or even in the process, of a
transition from industrial to POStindustrial societv. and
from industrial to pastindustrial technology, then it is not
surprising if there is a crisis in design as it. too. moves
from an industrial toa pastindustrial basis. What we can
expect to emerge from this uncomfortable crisis period, and
what we should be looking for. is a completely new
paradigm for design .
Such a paradigm would suggest a reorientation not
only of the v<~lues, beliefs and altitudes of designers, but
also of the goals of design (i.e. the nature of design products),
and of the methods for achieving these goals .
Personality . product, and process in design are not
as separable as the design methods movement has supposed;
a desigoer does not use a process that he finds unsympathetic
to his own attitudes, or that genera tes a product which he
dislikes.

Tlbtt 1, Changes of direction implied by a shift from hyl)lr


u:p.an&ion CHE) toa sene. humane. ecological (SHE) future"
From

To

The concept of postindustrialism

economic growth

human growth

Bv the mid1970s a differen t concept of pastindustrialism


had begun to emerge, based on a rad ical reappraisal of the
direction ol technological 'progress', and associated with the

polarization o t sex roles in


societv

new batanee between the sexes

increasing emphasis on rationa


litv and the left-hand side of
the brain

increasing emphasis on intuition


and the right-hand side of the
b.-ain

increasing specialization

increasing self~uf fi cl ency

increasing duptmdence on big


o rgan izations and prefcssional
know-how

increasing self-ft liance

increasing urbanization

a more dispersed pattern of


habitation

intreasing centralization

more decentralization ot PQWer

incrc;:,sing dcpendence on pollu


ting technologies that wane
resources and dominate the
people who work with them

increasing emphasis on technolo


gies appropriete to the enviren
ment. the availtbilitv of resources,
and the need:s ol people

alternative tech nology m ovement.

In Robertson's terms 16 , the new concept embodied


a shift from the 'hyperexpansionist (HE) vision' of future
society toa 'sane, humane, ecological (SHE) vision' (Table 1 ).
Such a vis ion stems trom a few. key. formative ideas that,
according to Hall 17 and his colleagues, are gradually emerging
in to 'good currency'. These ideas, abstracted from Hall . are:

Society. above all in the advanced industrial world, will


need to become much more resourceconserving, particu
larly in relation to energy supplies.
A second major tcature o f the future society. to borrow
lllich's phrase 18 , is that it will be tool-using rather than
machineused. Or, in Schumacher's equally celebrated
words 19 it will use intermediare technology: a set of
instruments vastly superior to the pri mitiva technology

vol 2 no 1 january 1981

an industrial concept of work 8$ a postindusuial concept of work


jObs provided and de finr.d by
as elf-defined, seJf ,fulfilf ing,
employers
socially use fut occupation

New model of the design process

THE SE EOS OF POSTINDUSTRIAL DESIGN

So a new model of the dMign proccss can only be considered


as part of a larger st ructural model that also includes the
designer and de>ign products. The conventional design pro
ce.s of industrial technology tends to be autoetatic, needing
professional de.igners and generating specialized products
which are a imed at shonterm profitability in a mass market.
The structuraf preferences of postindustrial tech
nology, however, are lor democratoc, non-hierarchical, parto
cipatory processe., open to everyone, and taking into consi
deration the lonq-term needs of the envoronment and socetV.
The paradigmatic l eatures of industrial design and
postindustrial designare contrasted on Table 2. Whereas
industrial products tend to be specialized, singlepurPOSe
machines, POstindustrial products w ll tend to be genera
lized, multipurPOSe tools. Whereas industrial products tend
to be shonlived and replaceable lthrowaway), POst
industrial products will tend to be long-lived and repairable.
Whereas industrial products tend to be massproduced, stan
dardized goods, postindustrial products will tend to be
shortrun and customized. And whereas industrial products
tend to be designed to sorne narrow 'optimum', post
industrial products will be designed to be 'satisfactory' over
a much wider range of criterio.
Turning from products to the proooss , in industrial
design this tcnds to be autocratic and intcrnal to the designer,
whereas in POstindustrial design it will tend to be demOCtatic
and externalized, allowing cvcryonc to scc what's going on.
The industrial design process tends to be exclusive
toa select few, whereas the postindustriol design process
will tend to be inclusive of cveryone affected by the design
decisions. Industrial design tonds 10 be a shon, intensive
activity following a pre-determined path, but the post
industrial design process will tend to be a longer, e xtensivo
activitV generating its own partleular.ad hoc route. Industrial

Ouring the crisis period beforc a new, maturc paradigm


for post-industrial design is Mtablished, we can expect t o
sce many disparate, small-scale e xperiments which ate
outside the mainstream of normal design. Such ex periments
may seem to have little in common except for thc fact tha t
they are outside the mainstream, and, taken individually,
may seem insignificant.
However, t.1ken together, these linle pin.pricks
against the bubble of industrial design can be significan!
as pointers to the new paradigm.

design process is rigid. whereas post-industrial designing will


be relaxed.
Finally, designers tend to be jealous of their crea
tivity and individuality in industrial design, whereas they
will be prepared to collaborate anonymously in POSt
industrial dMign. lnstead of tlleir professional integritV.
they will be concerned with e xercizing their participatory
expenise.
TabJe 2.

Contrestint futute~ of ind\.lttrial end post-4ndustr-.l

des4gn
lndus1fial design

Ponindunr&al desif'l

Proctucts are:
speciahz.e d
si ngle1)t.lrpose
shorHived
rec:laceable

Ptoducn ert:
generallted
mulu.purpote

longh...ed
repeiroble

mass.oroduced

shon-run

standardlzed
optimum

CUSI Omized

satisfactorv

Procen is:

Proeess ls:

autocrotlc
lnternellzed

dcmoctotlc:
e xternol l7ttd

exclusive

Inclusive

intunsive

e xttns!vtt

rlgld

reltxed
Ooslgncrs ar(l :

Designet1 are:
creative

colloborollve

ndividuel

enonvmous

prOfessional

peniciPlltory

Participatory design
PerhapS t he most obvious example of a shilt towards a new
desogn paradigm is offered by the experiments in design
panicipation. Originally seen by R ittel as just thc initiation
of a second generation of design methods, the participatory
design techniques are growing into a generally-accepted ncw
approach to design - particularly in arehitecture and environ
ment.1l design.
Many examples of panicipatorv design have been
reponed in the past few years. The concept now feels fami
liar. but we should remember tha1 less than ten years ago it
was a novelty, and only 15 vears ago i t was practicallv
unheard of.
The examples now range from rather token nvolve
ment of future tenants in public housing schemes. such as
the Bvker housing in Newcastle, to the stilllimited but detalled
involvement o ffe red by the PSSHAK system in London, to tho
more f undamental user involvement that wns attempted at
the University of Louvain, Belgium.
One of the most successful experiments appears to
have been that of the small housing development buill in
1974 at Klostermuren in Sweden. The neighbourhood of o
dozen houses was designed in general layout and in the
dctails of its houses by the group of future owner-occup1ers,
with the architect, Johannes Ol ivegren, playing the 'midwife'
role of skilled assistDnt at the 'bor th'.
This role is a radical change from that which archi
tec:ts are traditionally educated and e xpected to play, and
s indicative of the shift in attitudes that is underway.
The motive of panicipatory design underlies much
of the recent v1ork of AJexander. for e xample as in the Oregon
Experiment of university planning and design.11 AJexander's
'pattern language is an auempt to re-thmk and recast envuon
mental design so that it is understandable by and accessble
to everyone. like other languages. n

Argumentative planning
Although planning was supposed to become more open an<J
pal'ticipatory in the last decade, there are few signs of
genume structural change in the plannmg procedures. The
most important changes of att itude have occurred no t wlth
the planners but with thc planned : peoplt: have simply
refused to accept that the planner$ know best and are
working for the general welfare o f the community .
The result has been a growing number of popular
resistance movements against the plans for roads, airports,
reservors, pawer stations and such like schemes for the
disruption of communi ties and environments.
Protesters have takcn a new. argumemativc stoncc
which has meant that planning procedures have become
lengthier as the planners ha ve been forced to jus t ify thci
plans in the tace of organized opposition .

DESIGN STUO I ES

Often the arguments put against the planners have


been not only reasoned discussion and debate, but also
counter-propaganda and direct protest. These latter tactics
take the argument to the leve! at which it belongs, that o!
politics, and can be distinctly successful, as have been the
protests against the various sites proposed lor a third

So, in house design, traditional conmuction


methods such as earth walling could be used alongside novel
electronic systems for the control of solarheating devices,
or a conventional ..eeming, lean-to conservatory might be
designad on the basis of new energy accounting techniques.

London airport.

assisted with Portable video equipment. In food technology,


the art of composting is practised alongside the science of
hydroponics14
These examples indicate that the eco-design poli

This kind o! committed opposition may lead at


last toa recognition that structural change is overdue in the
planning process, and to the establishment of procedures
which give as much, if not more, power to the publicas to
the planners. lf small, local communities can effectively
oppose large, national plans, this may lead toa more piece
meal, decentralized planning process altogether.

In communications, democratic group processes might be

cies o f alternative technology are not simply regressive to

pre-industrial approaches, or romantically antiindustrial,

but offer a post-industrial way forward that utilizes the full


range of appropriate human knowledge.

Socially-responsible design

CONCLUSIONS

'Don't blame me, 1 only work here' is a saying that only has
meaning in industrial societv. People's lives are fragmented,
and responsibi lities are divided and sub-divided until noone
can really be held responsible for anything.
People find themselves designing and making things
that thoy would rather not, and which they would refuse
to design and make if they really felt responsible for their
actions; but it is easy to abdica te responsibility to 'the
system'. The result, at bes t. is badly designed and poorly
made goods; at worst it is the production of goods that
are positively harmful and dangerous.
Onc significant painter toa move away from this

Design is changing; its products and processes are changing,


so too is the role demanded of the designer. For about the
last 100 yearsthe prevailing paradigm has been deri ved
from industrial technology and industrial society.
Industrial design matured 50 years ago into the
Modern Movement, whose standards and ethics we have
now become used to accepting. lt may be another 50 years

non-respOnsibilitY in industry was the initiative taken by

union shop-<tewards of the British Lucas Aerospace Com


pany in 1976. These representativos of highly skilled
workers employed mainly o n military production began
a campaign for the right to work on socially useful products"Their campaign included an Alternat ivo Corporate
Plan which proposed that the company diversify into the
production of goods, equipment and tools in areas such as
medicine, lowenergy transport, home heating, and tele
chiric devices for remate sensing and working in mining.

before post-industrial design reaches a similar maturity, but

its seeds are now being sown .


This rather sketchy outline perhaps serves only to
suggest how much work is still needed in developing a
coherent new, postindustrial paradigm for design. Tho
underlying argument for pursuing such an arduous programme is that designas we know it is closely associated
with technology as we know it ; f that technology seems
un likely to see the world safely into the next century, isn't
the associated view of design equally inadequate for the
coming decades?

REFERENCES
1

firefig hting and deep-sea diving.


The new design ideas for those alterna ti ve products
carne principally from the Lucas workers. Lucas manage

ment , however, has shown no interest in the ideas. For

tunately a few. at least, of the designs are being developed


at thc Centre for Alternativo Industrial and Technological
Systems at the North-East London Polytechnic, and sorne
of the wider implications are being researched at The Open
University in thc UK.
This is a small, but perhaps significan!, indicator of
the scope for collaboration between workers, students and
academics that might be possible with postindustrial
approaches to design and manufacture.

Eco.<fesign
One positive aspect of the crises faced by industrial societies
has be~n the way these have torced a reappraisal of design

4
S

7
8
9
10
11
12

appl ication of 'old knowledge' - for example, in relearning

13

to design with locally available materials, and with the local


influences of site and environment. But justas often it

14

e ntails new knowledge and new techniques - for example,

15

vol 2 no 1 january 1981

Crosa, N Ced) OesJgn p.,rtici~rion Academy Editions, London

(19721

lnterC$tingly, this 'new' awareness often entails the

from electronic:s or control theory.

R rttel, H 'The state of the art in design m.ethods' Design

Reserch 1md Methods Vol? No 2 (1973) pp 143-.147

criteria. An awareness is growing of how products relate to

resources; how the man-made world relates to the natural


world.

Ardler, L 8 'Whaever bcame of design methodoiOgy?'


O.sign Studio. Vol l No 1 119791 pp 17- 18
Broadbent, G 'The deve~pment of design methods' Design
Merhods nd Theories Vol 13 No 1 ( 1979) pp 41~5
Van Doesburg, T. and Van E.t.,.n 'Towards a collective
connruction' De Srijl ( 1923) Ouoted by G itlian Naylor.
The Bsuhut Studio Visto, London {1968}
Watk in, O Morlity and archit~ tun, Oxford UP, Oxford, UK
(1977)
Alt ~eand er. e 'The state of the art in design methods' DMG
Newsletter Vol 5 No 3 (197H Oesign Rt!terch Bnd Methods
Vol 7 No 2 ( 19731 pp 133-135
Jone&. J e 'How mv thoughts about design methocb have
challged dur;ng the years' Oeslgn MtJthods Mld Theorist
Vol 11 No t (19771 pp 48-62
Rh:ttl, H and Webber, M 'Oilernmas in a general theory of
planning' Policy ScietNZdl Vol 4 (1973) PI) 155163

Popper, K R Coniecturet nd refut11rons Rootledge and Kegan


Paul, London (1963)
Oar'kt, J 'The primary generator and the design process'
Des;gn StuditJ:S Vol 1 No 1 ( 1979) pp 36~4
Kuhn, T The strucrure olscienrific revolutions Uniwrsity of
Chicago Press, Chicago, USA C1970}
F eyerabcnd, P A,pinst method, New Left Sooks, London

119751
Bell, O 'Notet on the pon.indunrial soci1y' The Public
Interese (Winter 196n
Bell, O Thtl coming of postindustrilll sociery Heinetnann,

L.ondon ( 19741