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Architecture 130 Spring 2001

Introduction to Design
Theories & Methods

Professor W. Mike Martin

Humberto Cavallin
Elena Paparizou
General Information

1. Course: ARCH 130 (3 units).

2. Title: Introduction to Design Theories and
3. Semester: Spring 2001.
4. Meetings: 10 weeks (Jan 17 March 23)
Three 1-hour lectures per week for the first
four weeks, two 1-hour lectures per week
thereafter. In addition there will be four 2-3
two-hour workshops, three exam reviews,
and 3-4 major discussion sessions during the
5. Prerequisites: Upper division standing,
Arch100A and B, mathematics requirement.
6. Examinations: Exam 1, Feb 2, Exam 2,
Feb 31, Final Exam Mar 23
7. Major Project: A major term paper 25-30
pages based on rigorous library research and
fieldwork. Workshops will be provided to help
develop the paper during the term. The topic
of the major paper will be discussed in a
future class session.
8. Evaluation: Examinations 75%, Major
Paper 25%
OBJECTIVES: Arch 130 is a survey course.
The emphasis is on the foundations for
systematic approaches to design and on
providing an overview of these approaches,
their advantages and disadvantages. Some
methods will be studied in detail, exemplifying
some typical modes of reasoning. In
particular, the course will:
describe and discuss various philosophies
and styles of design,
identify particular difficulties of designing
and investigate their nature,
present and demonstrate various tools,
techniques, and methods as they become
relevant in the process of designing.
As a result, the student should become
familiar with the theoretical and
methodological issues of their work, and
they should achieve some critical
knowledge of the various approaches in
design. In addition, they should be able
to apply some concepts and procedures
to their own design problems.
What is design?
What is the nature of its problems?
What are the specific difficulties of designing?
How to cope with these difficulties?

The series of lectures will develop the
material. Weekly section meetings will serve
to discuss, clarify, and elaborate the issues,
as well as to assist in the development of the
major paper.
Course Calendar
Wee Date Lectures Assignments

1 Jan 17 Why study Design? Readings:

Cuff, Royal Institute ...
19 Designers' Self-images

2 22 Definitions of Design Readings:

Cuff (continued), Jones (1),
24 A Model of Design Siegel

26 Doctrines of creativity Proposal Workshop

3 29 Morphological Methods I Readings:

Jones (2), Schn (1)
31 Topological Methods I

Feb 2 Examination 1 Paper Proposal Due

4 5 Values in Design and
Formation of Judgement
7 An Evaluation Method Dehlinger, Protzen

9 Evaluations by Groups Paper Draft Workshop


5 12 Schemes of Evaluation Readings:

Bross, Haldane, Thompson

14 Cost-Benefit Analysis Assignment 3 due in section

Hand-out of Assignment 4: Self-



anticipating the context of design

The unknown user and the

21 unknown context Readings:
Archer, Simon (1 & 2)
7 26 Orders of magnitude Readings:
Schn (3), Rittel/Webber, Rittel (1)
28 Procedural vs Prescriptive
Theories. Paper Draft Due

31 Examination 2

first generation theories

Technical Rationality
Design as a Staged-Process
(Asimow, Archer)

8 Mar 5 Design as Information Readings:

Processing (Simon) Rittel (2 & 3), Schn (3)

7 Design as Decomposition

9 second generation theories

12 Paradoxes of Rationality Final Paper Due

Design Problems are Wicked

14 Design as Argumentation
10 19 Design as Pin-up and Review of Assignment
Reflection-in-Action 6

21 conclusion

23 final exam