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Towards an ontology of design: lessons from C-K design theory and Forcing

Abstract : In this paper we present new propositions about the ontology of design and a clarification of its position in the general context of rationality and knowledge. We derive such ontology from a comparison between formal design theories developed in two different scientific fields: Engineering and Set theory. We first build on the evolution of design theories in engineering, where the quest for domain-independence and " generativity " has led to formal approaches, likewise C-K theory, that are independent of what has to be designed. Then we interpret Forcing, a technique in Set theory developed for the controlled invention of new sets, as a general design theory. Studying similarities and differences between C-K theory and Forcing, we find a series of common notions like " d-ontologies " , " generic expansion " , " object revision " , " preservation of meaning " and " K-reordering ". They form altogether an " ontology of design " which is consistent with unique aspects of design.
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Armand Hatchuel, Benoit Weil, Pascal Le Masson. Towards an ontology of design: lessons from C-K design theory and Forcing. Research in Engineering Design, Springer Verlag, 2013, 24 (2), pp.147-163. ⟨10.1007/s00163-012-0144-y⟩. ⟨hal-01485098⟩

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