Design Ecology

Below is a presentation about the project given at Cumulus 38° South: Hemispheric shifts across learning teaching and research, in Melbourne, Australia.

The intent is to develop a heuristic (thinking device) for the integrated assessment (synthesis) of design ecologies and an explanation for the maintenance of these complex networks. The assessment model builds upon interpretations from cultural anthropology and ecology to create a heuristic for characterizing the distribution, abundance, and interaction of design concerns at different scales and for multiple actors.

I employ information theory and the evolution of cooperation to provide a mechanism for the stickiness of integrated ecological, social, and material-based networks and the degree to which these factors influence design decisions. The examples allude to alternative social roles for artists and designers than have been emphasized in the past for their part in catalyzing cooperative networks and solving difficult problems.  The full paper can be downloaded here (pdf 2.6mb) from the Cumulus Working Papers series.

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