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WaxRubiks
2017-Feb-16, 03:21 PM
If a designer designes something they might go through a process of experimentation, and an evolution of ideas, either cosciously, or unconciously. So perhaps design is just a kind of evolutionary process.?

Strange
2017-Feb-16, 04:34 PM
There is certainly an element of that. Part of the design process is discarding the ideas that don't work (selection).

This is reinforced by the fact that genetic algorithms can come up with better solutions than a human would ever have thought of.

grant hutchison
2017-Feb-16, 04:41 PM
"Design" implies a purpose or plan, that's all. It's a contrast with stuff that happens by accident or at random.

Our designs for specific objects certainly undergo an evolutionary process, as we try out one design and then discard in favour of something that does the job better - that could be one person's continuous experiment, but more often it's a cultural phenomenon, with lots of designers participating. In fact, Henry Petroski wrote a marvellous book entitled The Evolution of Useful Things (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61190.The_Evolution_of_Useful_Things) which is about exactly that.

Grant Hutchison

Ara Pacis
2017-Feb-16, 05:55 PM
It's when you reverse your signature and the ink lifts off the paper and back up onto the pen.

No?

Simply put, design means a system created from intelligent forethought, as opposed to random iterative processes. (A "system" can mean anything, but generally anything that is designed has a purpose, even if it's just to look pretty, and thus its parts interact with each other physically or perceptually, even if in a static load-bearing or eye-catching mechanism, thereby constituting a system.)

PetersCreek
2017-Feb-16, 06:23 PM
If a designer designes something they might go through a process of experimentation, and an evolution of ideas, either cosciously, or unconciously. So perhaps design is just a kind of evolutionary process.?

If we're to bring this back 'round to an S&T perspective, it may be useful to note that "evolution" is a pretty broad term. Are we talking about biological evolution or some other kind? Comparisons to "evolution" in design would be very loose analogies, indeed. While the idea of applying some of the language of biological evolution to my interest in woodworking design and design movements holds some appear for me, I would take care in turning things the other way around. Design, intent, purpose and other terms suggesting intelligent agency don't apply to biological evolution in the broad sense. (Selective breeding notwithstanding.)

grant hutchison
2017-Feb-16, 06:47 PM
The difference between biological evolution and the evolution of design is that the selection process is caused by the environment in the first instance, and by a person with plans and desires in the second.
Richard Dawkins kind of lost track of that in The Blind Watchmaker, when he attempted to demonstrate the mechanism of biological evolution by writing a computer program that sketched various little branching line drawings. By selecting ones that looked most like (say) butterflies and passing them on to be the next iterative stage in the drawing process, he quickly evolved drawings that looked pretty much like butterflies.
Unfortunately, by having an intelligent designer with a specific plan carrying out the selection process, he was producing an example of design evolution rather than biological evolution.

Grant Hutchison

profloater
2017-Feb-16, 06:48 PM
The word architect means I draw and plan which is what designers do. In the case of products, designers have fought to be seen as working on function and not just aesthetics after engineers have made something work. Nevertheless a lot of designers arrive from an art school background rather than engineering. Obviously there are many design paths and many different skill sets. There is definitely an evolutionary aspect, plus a fashion element, designers watch each other!

DaveC426913
2017-Feb-16, 07:51 PM
I'd suggest design is to construct, combining purpose with creativity.

Creativity is required when there is no one right answer for solve a problem, and/or there is room, when solving the problem, to incorporate some secondary goals (such as aesthetics - which is simply another type of goal, albeit one of lower priority than actual function).

If there is one right answer, and no room for other goals, then one might argue it is not designed, it is constructed.

01101001
2017-Feb-16, 08:52 PM
The Evolution of Useful Things (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61190.The_Evolution_of_Useful_Things)

Back in the day I enjoyed: The Design of Everyday Things (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Design_of_Everyday_Things) and successors.

DaveC426913
2017-Feb-16, 10:48 PM
Back in the day I enjoyed: The Design of Everyday Things (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Design_of_Everyday_Things) and successors.

I've got that book.

grant hutchison
2017-Feb-16, 11:36 PM
I've got that book.Me too. If you like that sort of thing, I'd also recommend Petroski's Small Things Considered: Why There Is No Perfect Design (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56605.Small_Things_Considered).

Grant Hutchison