11 Flexibility, semantics and standards
This chapter explores the relationship between flexibility and standards in supporting distributed intelligence in design. The basic question is: If designers insist that their designs are innovative in some manner, how can standards (predefined concepts) be used to analyse designs and communicate about them? This then leads to the subsequent question: How well do digital design tools support the representation, analysis and communication of design information within the constraints of the innovation/standardisation question.
The discussion is framed largely in terms of design for the built environment, but the issues discussed should apply to a wider sphere. The discussion will also consider the pragmatic issue that while current digital tools can support the development of an improved built environment through increasing the information available and intelligence applied to design within the built environment, how can this be improved? We argue that the necessary improvements can be divided into three main groups:
- Improved tools to support the activities of individuals.
- Support for collaboration to improve resolution of multidisciplinary issues.
- Provide access to improved data to support decision making.
The assumption underlying this chapter is that the design problem is being addressed by a design team made up of specialists, each of whom is responsible for particular aspects of the design. As explained ...