Design/Science/Planning Vol. 1
Knowledge-Based Design: Developing Urban & Regional Design into a ScienceBy Ina T. Klaasen
Knowledge-Based Design distinguishes two approaches to urban & regional design: a pattern-oriented approach which focuses on final processes regarding the physical urban system (transformation of urban areas) and a process-oriented approach focusing on (daily, weekly and annual) cyclic processes within the urban system. The former approach is characterized by its emphasis on the cultural and aesthetic aspects of experiential value and by a scientific approach that is mainly historical-typological. In the latter the use value is the primary focus of attention while the experience of the physical urban system serves to support the use value. In this approach a practical-scientific body of knowledge can be developed - as examples show - be it that the context of justification (or application) is severely limited and therefore the emphasis lies on the context of discovery; empirical and formal scientific knowledge, in part derived from the context of application, should provide the necessary constraints.
For practical-scientific theorization in urban & regional design the research methodology of the philosopher of science Imre Lakatos offers a fruitful guideline, considering the importance attached in that methodology to heuristics, creative abduction and the manipulation of spatial conceptual models designed to provide insight. For practical-scientific research one must not think in terms of each design being unique, it is necessary to dissociate the object of design from the specific design context. The activity of design then acts to serve research and has become a research method: research by design – producing spatial organization principles and theoretical models.
Originally Published by DUP; As of March 2006 exclusively distributed by Techne Press with permission