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The concept of scale is shared between systems science and design and, as a foundational element for systemic design theory and practice, provides a way to connect and share units of analysis between disciplines. To better connect these disciplines and begin a more rigorous, shared investigation of scale and hierarchy, I will illuminate the need and potential of a more explicit use of scale in problem formulation, theory and methods discussion, and design education. By discussing one well-known case study of sustainable design, I demonstrate how the designers’ process can be deconstructed using scale as an organizing concept. I then apply this analytical technique to the mundane example of a cup of coffee, to demonstrate some of the important generalizable properties of multiscale thinking in design. The most notable of these is the notion of cognitive point of view, which is grounded in second-order cybernetics and operates as a construct useful for understanding the dynamics between designer, design process, and designed object. Finally, the article argues that the concepts and topics found here should be taught explicitly to design students in practical ways, and researched formally as a subfield within the systemic design community as a method for recursive design.

@article{barba_cognitive_2019, title = {Cognitive {Point} of {View} in {Recursive} {Design}}, volume = {5}, issn = {2405-8726}, url = {http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405872618300212}, doi = {10.1016/j.sheji.2019.04.003}, abstract = {The concept of scale is shared between systems science and design and, as a foundational element for systemic design theory and practice, provides a way to connect and share units of analysis between disciplines. To better connect these disciplines and begin a more rigorous, shared investigation of scale and hierarchy, I will illuminate the need and potential of a more explicit use of scale in problem formulation, theory and methods discussion, and design education. By discussing one well-known case study of sustainable design, I demonstrate how the designers’ process can be deconstructed using scale as an organizing concept. I then apply this analytical technique to the mundane example of a cup of coffee, to demonstrate some of the important generalizable properties of multiscale thinking in design. The most notable of these is the notion of cognitive point of view, which is grounded in second-order cybernetics and operates as a construct useful for understanding the dynamics between designer, design process, and designed object. Finally, the article argues that the concepts and topics found here should be taught explicitly to design students in practical ways, and researched formally as a subfield within the systemic design community as a method for recursive design.}, language = {en}, number = {2}, urldate = {2019-06-30}, journal = {She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation}, author = {Barba, Evan}, month = jun, year = {2019}, pages = {147--162} }

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