Abstract

This paper presents a view of design methods as process artefacts that can be represented using the function-behaviour-structure (FBS) ontology. This view allows identifying five fundamental approaches to methods: black-box, procedural, artefact-centric, formal and managerial approaches. They all describe method structure but emphasise different aspects of it. Capturing these differences addresses common terminological confusions relating to methods. The paper provides an overview of the use of the fundamental method approaches for different purposes in designing. In addition, the FBS ontology is used for developing a notion of prescriptiveness of design methods as an aggregate construct defined along four dimensions: certainty, granularity, flexibility and authority. The work presented in this paper provides an ontological basis for describing, understanding and managing design methods throughout their life cycle.

Keywords:

Design Methods; Function-Behaviour-Structure (FBS) Ontology; Prescriptive Design Knowledge

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Jul 16th, 12:00 AM

An Ontological Basis for Design Methods

This paper presents a view of design methods as process artefacts that can be represented using the function-behaviour-structure (FBS) ontology. This view allows identifying five fundamental approaches to methods: black-box, procedural, artefact-centric, formal and managerial approaches. They all describe method structure but emphasise different aspects of it. Capturing these differences addresses common terminological confusions relating to methods. The paper provides an overview of the use of the fundamental method approaches for different purposes in designing. In addition, the FBS ontology is used for developing a notion of prescriptiveness of design methods as an aggregate construct defined along four dimensions: certainty, granularity, flexibility and authority. The work presented in this paper provides an ontological basis for describing, understanding and managing design methods throughout their life cycle.

 

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