Energy Efficiency Design

Energy Efficiency Design


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Design as a process

The prevailing view has been called the rational model or technical problem solving and the reason-centric perspective. The alternative view has been called reflection-in-action, co-evolution and the action-centric perspective. The rational model designers attempt to optimise a design candidate for known constraints and objectives, the design process is plan-driven, the design process is understood in terms of a discrete sequence of stages. The rational model is based on a rationalist philosophy and underlies the Waterfall Model, Systems Development Life Cycle and much of the engineering design literature. According to the rationalist philosophy, design is informed by research and knowledge in a predictable and controlled manner. Technical rationality is at the center of the process. Typical stages consistent with The Rational Model include Pre-production design Design brief or Parti pris – an early (often the beginning) statement of design goals Analysis – analysis of current design goals Research – investigating similar design solutions in the field or related topics Specification – specifying requirements of a design solution for a product or service. Problem solving – conceptualizing and documenting design solutions Presentation – presenting design solutions Design during production Development – continuation and improvement of a designed solution Testing – in situ testing a designed solution Post-production design feedback for future designs Implementation – introducing the designed solution into the environment Evaluation and conclusion – summary of process and results, including constructive criticism and suggestions for future improvements Redesign – any or all stages in the design process repeated (with corrections made) at any time before, during, or after production. Each stage has many associated best practices. The Rational Model has been widely criticized on two primary grounds Designers do not work this way – extensive empirical evidence has demonstrated that designers do not act as the rational model suggests. Unrealistic assumptions – goals are often unknown when a design project begins, and the requirements and constraints continue to change. The Action-Centric Perspective is a label given to a collection of interrelated concepts, which are antithetical to The Rational Model. Designers use creativity and emotion to generate design candidates, the design process is improvised, no universal sequence of stages is apparent – analysis, design and implementation are contemporary and inextricably linked. The Action-Centric Perspective is based on an empiricist philosophy and broadly consistent with the Agile approach and amethodical development. Substantial empirical evidence supports the veracity of this perspective in describing the actions of real designers. Like the Rational Model, the Action-Centric model sees design as informed by research and knowledge. However, research and knowledge are brought into the design process through the judgment and common sense of designers – by designers "thinking on their feet" – more than through the predictable and controlled process stipulated by the Rational Model. Designers' context-dependent experience and professional judgment take center stage more than technical rationality.

At least two views of design activity are consistent with the Action-Centric Perspective. Both involve three basic activities. In the Reflection-in-Action paradigm, designers alternate between "framing," "making moves" and "evaluate moves. Framing refers to conceptualizing the problem, i.e., defining goals and objectives. A "move" is a tentative design decision. The evaluation process may lead to further moves in the design. In the Sensemaking-Coevolution-Implementation Framework, designers alternate between its three titular activities. Sensemaking includes both framing and evaluating moves. Implementation is the process of constructing the design object. Coevolution is "the process where the design agent simultaneously refines its mental picture of the design object based on its mental picture of the context, and vice versa."