2 Distributed perspectives for intelligent conceptual design

Volker Mueller

Future design

Conceptual design in its essence embodies the anticipation of various futures. In that sense, this chapter presents a scenario of a possible future. The future, for the sake of argument, is considered to be influenced by the choices everyone makes. Since for all practical purposes everyone experiences the same future, one may claim that this one shared future is the commingled, collective result of all the choices everyone makes individually or collectively. This description of the future as the commingled result of all the choices made collectively characterises the design process. Within a project team all team members make choices, individually, as sub-teams or at the full team level. The combined result of these choices generates the future project result. Usually, design choices made at individual or sub-team level are guided by an agreement about the goals for the specific project. In the domain of architecture, engineering, construction and operation (AECO), the general intent is that a facility under design will facilitate human activities in the future, with or without providing shelter for any humans for any extended time span. This also means that the project result itself will in turn continue to shape the future.

As another consequence, the commingling effect influences any individual’s or group’s plans, with the result that no single person’s or group’s plans will carry through ...

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