Akademisk Fagprosa - Rum


Akademisk Fagprosa - Rum

When Architects write, draw, build? a PhD‐ Symposium, Nordic Association of Architectural Research, 2011

Creative knowledge production as a special paradigm for architectural research

- a research case in abductive method

A particular research method that better matches the way architecture itself is conceived can

be used in the development of (intermediary) analytical models that are specifically suited for

an architectural frame of reference – a new paradigm for knowledge production in

architectural research.

By Kasper Sánchez Vibæk, PhD-student, CINARK – Centre of Industrialised Architecture, Royal Danish

Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Philip de Langes Alle 10, 1435 Copenhagen K

1. Scope

This paper describes the application of a particular research approach to a specific research project

within the field of architectural research. It is, however, not a presentation of a well established and

fixed method but rather a method under formation, development, test, and discussion. Compared to

other more established fields, architectural research does not have the same unison definition of

what research and knowledge production actually is. By dealing with a creative discipline as the

research object that seemingly employ more ephemeral and heavily contextual knowledge

compared to other disciplines, architectural research often fails to locate and describe any

systematic element of architectural creation as well as it fails to establish any systematic research

approach. But what about using a similar creative approach to architectural research itself? An

introductory question here could be whether knowledge about architecture as discipline and

physical result can be produced through creative development and use of intermediary analytical

models? – models as tools that help to articulate certain useful aspects and, as in architectural

creation, crystallise as a synthesis of on the one hand the exposure of a (design)problem in question

to various external conditions and on the other hand the architect’s (or researcher’s) vision for a

solution. By, as a start, assuming that this is possible, this paper exemplifies such an attempt in a

current research project and examines its possible perspectives. The approach is inspired by the

concepts of abduction and abductive reasoning that can briefly be explained as the act of suggesting

a probable or satisfying hypothesis about what needs to be explained. Abduction thus implicitly

addresses the question about how new knowledge can actually emerge and points towards a new

(supplementary?) scientific paradigm for architectural knowledge production.

An assertion is that this method or elements from it is particularly well suited for architectural

research by in several ways resembling the way the research object – architecture itself – is

conceived through creative rather than systematic processes. 1 In literature on (architectural) design

research such activities are often referred to as research for design and research through design as

opposed to more commonly applied descriptive approaches dealing with research into or about

design. In this case it is particulary – research for design that is brought into play. 2 I will get back

this discussion later.

2. Abduction – short introduction

Science studies have, as pointed out by the contemporary Danish philosopher Ole Fogh Kirkeby,

primarily dealt with questions of the validity and the explanative power of scientific theories.

However the conception of scientific theories themselves is not a common scientific object of

systematisation. How do scientific theories actually emerge? Although creativity has been studied

in several occasions it is almost exclusively empirically as listing or classification of different

techniques and behavioural patterns. The concept abduction, as used by the North American

1 Although architecture and knowledge about architecture in terms of matter is not the same and can have very different

formats architects and architectural researchers are often converging – in fact it is the most common! This could point

towards the appropriateness of a certain degree of methodological convergence.

2 See e.g. Archer 1995 or Frayling 1993


When Architects write, draw, build? a PhD‐ Symposium, Nordic Association of Architectural Research, 2011

philosopher Charles Sanders Pierce, represents an attempt to make creativity within the sciences

into an object of philosophical and scientific theoretical analysis (Kirkeby 1994:122).

Abduction was originally introduced by Aristotle as a third way of inference, or leap of

understanding, parallel to the more widely referred concepts of deduction and induction. Pierce

loosely interpret Aristotle’s use of the term as including into science ’anything’ that seams to make

the world more rational while moreover accepting that the same facts can be explained in several

independent ways (Pierce 1984:145f). There is in other words no universal explanation of real

world phenomena. However, this is not the same as saying that science and knowledge is left with

hermeneutics and phenomenological interpretation as the only way of producing knowledge about

the world around us. In Peirce’s own more specific definition abduction is ‘the act of adopting a

hypothesis that is suggested by facts’ (Ibid). Kirkeby clarifies this definition as consisting of

examining a number of facts and allows these facts to ‘suggest a theory’ (Kirkeby 1994:127) – but a

hypothetical theory that that can then be used tentatively and needs to be tested and successively

refined. The purpose of the hypothesis lies in its contingent empirical predictions – if they are all

true, then the hypothesis is completely true (Pierce 1984:147).The hypothesis proposed through

abduction can subsequently be tested theoretically through deduction as well as empirically through

induction. But how can these different ways of inference be characterised and distinguished?

Three ways of inference

Deduction is rule based. It is the act of applying a theoretical hypothesis or rule on specific

instances in order to generate predictions (results). Through deduction the necessary or probable

specific consequences of the general hypothesis or rule is established theoretically. The reasoning

goes from the general to the specific. Pierce uses the following example:

Rule: all the beans in this bag are white

Instance: These beans are from this bag

Result: These beans are white (Ibid:154)

Induction on the other hand is experience based. It is the act of generalising from the results of a

number of specific (observed) instances into a general rule or hypothesis. Through empirical

examination of reality (the perceived result of the instances) the experience enables the formulation

of occurrences or probabilities of these occurrences (rules). The reasoning goes from the specific to

the general:

Instance: These beans are from this bag

Result: These beans are white

Rule: All beans in this bag are white (Ibid:154)

Abduction, however, is experimentally based. The difference between the former ways of inference

and the abductive inference is that the two former deal with the validation of already existing or

available knowledge (inferring from specific to general or general to specific) whereas abductive

inference deals with the generation of qualitatively new but uncertain knowledge in the form of a

hypothesis. The abductive reasoning goes back and forth from a vague preconception of reality to

observation of reality to the formulation of a preliminary hypothesis that can then be further tested

and validated through deductive and inductive reasoning or modified through new abductive

inference. Knowledge – although in the first case perhaps imprecise or even false – is generated

through successive approximation by inferring from an intuitive synthetic guess to a satisfactory


Rule: All beans from this bag are white

Result: These beans are white


When Architects write, draw, build? a PhD‐ Symposium, Nordic Association of Architectural Research, 2011

Instance: These beans are from this bag. (Ibid: 154)

In this example the content of a bag is examined and turns out to be full of white beans. Some white

beans are found close to the bag and a reasonable guess (the hypothesis of the instance) is that these

beans are from the examined bag.

Abduction is not an exclusive way of inference. Rather it supplements or precedes the two other

more common ways. Thus, according to Kirkeby, an ‘ideal’ sequence for producing qualitatively

new and validated knowledge would be abduction – deduction – induction which can then be

reiterated for successive approximation of the proposed hypothesis (Kirkeby 1994) . This sequence

and approach is exactly what is tentatively followed and tested in the current research project.

3. Research problem, main question and goal

The research project behind this paper deals with the formation of a new concept – system structure

– in architectural design and with the definition of the substance and operationalisation of such a

concept. The initial outset is an apparent growing distance between how architecture is conceived

and how it is or can be produced. With point of departure in the idea of a systemic view on the

problem the main research question is defined in the following way:

How can systems and systems thinking help bridging the gap between architectural ideation and

contemporary industrialised construction?

The goal or operationalisation of the main question is established as a the creation of an analytical

model for clarifying the potential of industrialised construction as positively enabling for

architectural creation.

4. Model generation as abductive inference

Acknowledging the severe difficulties of presenting an abductive process in a linear manner – in

this paper dictated by the text as media – the following section however tries to describe the genesis

of an analytical model inferred through abduction.

On the most general level the current research project examines systems in architecture. An

ambition is to develop a model that in a simple way can visualise the use of systems in architectural

design. A building and the process of erecting it is subsequently defined as a complex system of

subsystems brought together in a given context at a certain point of time with a specific purpose.

The development of a model should describe these (sub)systems and their interrelations in this

complex system, the building. However, as a minimum this still requires an initial definition of

what a system or subsystem of a building is. This initial definition is in the first case inferred

abductively from a primary explorative case study – Cellophane House by the architectural office

KieranTimberlake. 3

Primary case study

The primary case study had the purpose of generating a first draft for the model – a hypothesis

about a generally applicable analytical model drawn from a specific analysis of an existing

(although presently dismantled) architectural project. 4 By looking systematically at the different

documentation produced before, throughout and after the erection of the actual building an

unconventional material view of the building was established: the building as a node bringing

different systems together. The documentation included digital and analogue drawings and 3D-

3 The building was made as a full scale project for the exhibition ‘Home Delivery’ at the MoMa in New York City in


4 The project was widely prefabricated and rather assembled than built on the construction site. Furthermore it was

designed for disassembly potentially made for complete of partial reuse.


When Architects write, draw, build? a PhD‐ Symposium, Nordic Association of Architectural Research, 2011

models, descriptions, and press and picture material. Furthermore data collection included a factory

visit and the accomplishment of a series of semi structured qualitative interviews. 5

This case was chosen as a primary for several reasons one of the most significant being the

KieranTimberlakes’s keen interest in new and more industrialised ways of creating architecture.

The office has worked both theoretically as well as with the practical implementation of such

thoughts. 6 This has lead to an interest in how buildings can be divided into subelements or systems

(author’s stress) in different ways, how these systems can be integrated into larger units or chunks

and, finally, how they interface with adjacent systems in the finished building. (Kieran &

Timberlake 2004). This points towards a definition of systems in a building as physical systems and

their related processes as they are delivered and inserted into a building. Systems in this definition

of delivery will always contain physical elements that become a part of the final building. 7

Figure 1: The supply chain of

Cellophane House, Courtesy of Kieran


System structure

Applying this system definition to the case material subsequently becomes a coding into a number

of systems (or deliveries) expressing the entire building and its coming into being as a simplified –

or focussed – supply chain. 8 KieranTimberlake themselves use the term supply chain to describe the

5 The case study was carried out extensively over a 3 month period working twice a week at the office and following a

structured work plan

6 In their publication ‘Refabricating Architecture’ (Kieran & Timberlake 2004) the construction industry and

architectural creation within it is compared to other industries as car, boat and aeroplane manufacturing. The book

argues for an architecture of assembly rather than of traditional construction. Instead of processing and adapting

materials onsite in construction processes buildings could alternatively, is argued, be brought to the building site as

larger offsite fabricated industrialised assemblies. In this scenario onsite processes are (ideally) limited to pure montage.

In e.g. the car industry each car is assembled through a series of tiers (a supply-chain) converting raw materials

gradually into more integrated components ending in the finished car ready to use. A similar vision is forwarded for


7 To talk about a final building is intuitively easy to understand. It can however be problematic to conceptualise a

building as something stable over time. In the current context we will not go further into this discussion and, at least

provisionally, accept that such finished state of a building will exist for an amount of time.

8 According to Nagurney ‘A supply chain, or logistics network, is the system of organizations, people, technology,

activities, information and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer. Supply chain

activities transform natural resources, raw materials and components into a finished product that is delivered to the end

customer. In sophisticated supply chain systems, used products may re-enter the supply chain at any point where

residual value is recyclable‘ (Nagurney 2006). By ‘focussed’ is meant that it is not necessarily an exhaustive listing of

all material flows but rather a ‘zoom’ showing parts and detailing relevant for the architect and for the architecture of

the project in question.


When Architects write, draw, build? a PhD‐ Symposium, Nordic Association of Architectural Research, 2011

elaboration of a scheme of different suppliers and products in the Cellophane House project. 9 This

scheme (figure 1) draws a distinction between onsite and offsite supply as the main differentiation

of the deliveries. Each side (offsite/onsite) has a number of (tier 2) sub-suppliers delivering to a (tier

1) main supplier. Strongly inspired by this model a new version making a clearer focus on the

delivery as system entity is elaborated. Stressing that any delivery at some point of time ends onsite

the distinction onsite/offsite is replaced with one single supply chain of offsite deliveries ending in

onsite delivery at the construction site (figure 2). Each sub-system (delivery) can have different

degrees of integration and can be nested into other more integrated (prefabricated) deliveries before

arriving onsite and become inserted into the building.

Figure 2: Remodelled general supply chain

The visualisation of these systems of a building project in the suggested model is tentatively termed

the system structure of a building. 10 The visualisation should in the first place serve scientifically as

a retrospective analytical tool for understanding the system structure of actual (executed) building


Figure 3: The system structure of

Cellophane House. First model draft

9 The same kind of scheme has been applied to ‘Loblolly House’ - an earlier KieranTimberlake project. Loblolly House

features as a secondary case study in the research project..

10 The system structure has clear references to what in the product industry is termed the product architecture.

However, acknowledging the problem of using the word ‘architecture’ in this meaning of ‘structure’ or ‘organisation’

when dealing with architecture in the meaning of ‘architectural work’ and furthermore refraining from classifying

architectural works and buildings as mere products, system structure seems a more appropriate term to use for this new

model. A distinction between product architecture and system structure could thus be defined in the following way:

Product architecture refers to the structural organisation of an industrially manufactured product whereas the system

structure refers to a project specific combination of various deliveries (being industrialised and/or manual) into a

building i.e. an architectural work.


When Architects write, draw, build? a PhD‐ Symposium, Nordic Association of Architectural Research, 2011

Generic model

The visualisation of the system structure of the primary case study represents a first hypothesis

about how to visualise the use of systems in architectural design – a hypothesis whose general

applicability needs to be tested (figure 3). From this initial visualisation the more general hypothesis

of a generic model is inferred – a qualified guess of a model that ideally should be able to reflect the

system structure of any building and differences between buildings.

Now, deduction meant as theoretical application of the model to thought instances of different

system structures is used to produce a number of theoretical scenarios: traditional onsite

construction, contemporary onsite construction, conventional prefabrication and future

industrialised architecture (figure 4). The different theoretical scenarios display considerable

variation in system structure and suggest possible explanative power of the model. 11 The theoretical

scenarios can be characterised as a kind of ideal types. 12

Figure 4: Theoretical system structure scenarios

Subsequently inductive inference is used: The generic model is empirically tested on a number of

secondary cases as analyses of the system structure of recently finished building projects with

supposed similarity with the theoretical scenarios. Due to the qualitative character of these analyses

and the limited number of secondary cases, representativity is not a primary concern. The focus is

rather on an explorative exposure of the model (as hypothesis) to qualitatively different

situations in order to see whether it sustains explanative power. 13 Important to state is that the

data findings in the secondary case studies their analyses are in active dialogue with and possibly

modify the model itself. By this step we return to an abductive reiteration of the model as

successive approximation towards a satisfactory explanation. The ‘ideal’ sequence of abduction,

deduction and induction, as described by Kirkeby, is completed and closes in an iterative loop that

gradually increases the quality and applicability of an analytical (intermediary) model. Both the

model itself and the outcome of its application on specific cases produce, it is claimed, qualitatively

new knowledge in the form of a tool or a language to describe and handle aspects of structural

complexity of buildings through the concepts of (sub)systems and system structure. 14

11 The theoretical scenariois can only suggest not prove explanative power of the model. As a start in the model

development the important thing is that applied to different instances the model seem to express variation.

12 In the classical definition of the sociologist Max Weber ‘The ideal type is a theoretical construction that are meant to

create the highest possible conceptual clarity from a certain point of view. It is not a specific empirical representation

of reality neither is it a normative model: but it is possible to measure a distance between the constructed ideal type and

a segment of historical reality’ Translated from (Andersen, Brande & Korsnes 1998)

13 Tentatively the secondary cases also introduce the view of different stakeholders i.e. the manufacturer, the contractor,

the integrated consultant and the architect in order to see if and how it makes sense to use the same model from

different perspectives (different foci).

14 The system structure model is still under reiterative development. Subsequent steps of this development and an

evaluation of its applicability will be reflected in the final research report due by October 2011.


When Architects write, draw, build? a PhD‐ Symposium, Nordic Association of Architectural Research, 2011


The system structure introduces and offers simplified (and focussed) visual access to the complex

web of processes of production, construction and/or assembly by focussing on deliveries as a

relevant system entity in the architectural design process. The concept of system structure enables

an understanding of how architectural concepts can be turned into specific building projects – how

they are or can be produced. The different tiers of the model, inspired by supply chains, serve

particularly well, although not exclusively, to illustrate industrialised system structures where the

construction of buildings increasingly become assemblies of integrated product deliveries. 15 The

model can visualise buildings as combinations of more or less industrialised deliveries, their degree

of complexity or integration and their combinations, interrelations and nesting into each other.

5. Creative knowledge production

This paragraph returns to the question of what research and knowledge production is within

architecture and how the sketched application of an abductive approach and the resulting model can

be located within this discussion as what I term as creative knowledge production. According to

Archer, who is specifically dealing with the question of research and knowledge production within

the arts, research can in a general sense be defined as ‘systematic enquiry whose goal is

communicable knowledge’. By systematic is meant ‘pursued according to some plan’, by enquiry

‘seeks to find answers to questions’, by goal that ‘objects of the enquiry are posed by the task

description’ , by knowledge that ‘findings […] go beyond providing mere information’ and by

communicable that ‘findings must be intelligible to […] an appropriate audience’ (Archer; 1995:6).

Although Archer does not explicitly mention architectural practice and design it is included under

the umbrella of the Arts. 16 Below, Archer’s definition is tentatively related to the model and its


Communicable knowledge

The current research project is pursued according to a predefined research plan that describes the

background, the overall purpose, the main question, and the general methodological approach of the

project. The project was stated to be primarily case based and in itself to be generating new theory

and model(s) within the area of system design, systems thinking and building concepts in modern

industrialised construction. 17

The project seeks to find answers to the question of: how systems and systems thinking can help

bridging the gap between architectural ideation and contemporary industrialised construction. 18

– and the objects of the enquiry posed by the task description (i.e. the goal) become the creation of

an analytical model for clarifying the potential of industrialised construction as positively enabling

for architectural creation. In this sense, the project seeks simultaneously to be dealing with the

development of a (research) method, an analytical model and and understanding of a specific

research area – the latter being obtained partly through the two former.

Concerning whether findings go beyond providing mere information, the elaboration of the model

should make a distinction from mere information by enhancing the understanding of industrialised

production scenarios. The model provides a new (supplementary) language for conceptualising

architecture that relates it to the different ways in which architecture can be produced as real world

15 Examples of these integrated product deliveries are: integrated façade solutions, prefabricated bathpods, integrated

partition wall systems or other emerging system products in construction.

16 The referred article was published in a design research journal, Co-design – interdisciplinary journal of design.

Archer defines the Arts as comprising ‘language, literature, drama, history, architecture, art, music etc’ (Archer 1995)

17 Borrowed from the initial project frame description: ’PhD in System design, integrated product deliveries and

building concepts in industrialised architecture’

18 See paragraph 3, ‘Research problem, main question and goal’, above


When Architects write, draw, build? a PhD‐ Symposium, Nordic Association of Architectural Research, 2011

objects. The findings of the analyses, expressed with the model as media, are intended to be

intelligible to the architects as an appropriate audience that lack appropriate tools to bridge the

apparently increasing gap between how architecture is conceived and how it is or actually can be

produced. An assumption is that the model as a simplified (or focussed) visual tool provides an

intermediary link between the more abstract architectural concepts and the specific physical

deliveries with different levels of standardisation, integrations and industrialisation.

Research starts as guesswork

The argumentation above tries to follow an external line of reasoning in order to discuss the

research dimension of the applied approach. Archer’s point is that there is ‘more than one way of

defining research’. This is expressed through availability of several traditions (Archer 1995:6).

Referring to Popper 19 he states that a modern approach to scientific research acknowledges ‘that

new scientific propositions may properly be, and mostly are, the result of inspired guesswork rather

than the product of inductive reasoning’ (Ibid) This points towards Peirce’s abductive reasoning

that ‘suggests a theory’ which is subsequently tested and refined through successive approximation

by inferring from an intuitive synthetic guess to a satisfactory explanation. Archer summarises the

modern philosophy of creating new knowledge like this:

1) be liberal about the sources of conjecture and hypothesis at the commencement of research

2) be sceptical in the handling of data and argument during research and

3) be astringent in testing findings and explanations on the completion of research (Archer 1995:7)

This has obvious parallels to Kirkeby’s Peirce-interpretation of the ideal sequence for producing

new and validated knowledge (abduction – deduction – induction).

Validation and reliability

Archer’s specific objective is to distinguish explicit scientific knowledge from the tacit knowledge

produced through artistic practice itself. In most cases artistic practice cannot be characterised as 'a

systematic enquiry whose goal is communicable knowledge'. Practice is not research just because it

produces new knowledge. Although convergence between practitioner activity and research

activity (research trough practice) is possible through what he terms as ‘action research’ (ibid:12)

he equally distinguishes two other relationships between object and research method in the arts:

research about practice and research for the purpose of practice. The former is far the most

widespread and often draws on well established research traditions in order to validate research

findings. 20 The current project however classify rather as the latter type, research for the purpose

of practice, which is different concerning the validation of scientific knowledge. 21 However, if

knowledge is exclusively produced for the purpose of a practitioner activity the question of

validation is less pressing – and can in some cases even become redundant. As Archer writes:

In the case of research for the purposes of a practitioner activity, however,

there may be circumstances where it does not matter whether the research

was well done or badly done, or whether the research results turned out to

be true or false, or whether the findings were situation-specific or

generalisable. It may be sufficient to demonstrate that the practitioner

outcome itself is satisfactory. (Archer 1995:12)

19 Karl Popper was a famous Austrian-British philosopher of science

20 Examples are art or design history within humanities or art and society studies within the tradition of social sciences

(Archer 1995)

21 Archer however states that: ‘Where an investigation for the purposes of contributing to a practitioner activity is

conducted according to the principles of its field, and is indeed a systematic enquiry whose goal is communicable

knowledge, then the investigation can properly be called research’ (ibid:12)


When Architects write, draw, build? a PhD‐ Symposium, Nordic Association of Architectural Research, 2011

We are here back to Pierce’s loose interpretation of Artistotle’s use of the concept of abduction as

including into science ’anything’ that seams to make the world more rational. The production of

qualitatively new scientific knowledge does seem to require some sort of creativity which in itself

is hard to validate. This does not necessarily challenge the question of validation later in the

process – at least if we limit the meaning of validity to ‘satisfactory’ or ‘useful’.

The question of reliability is more problematic. Reliability refers to whether the tool or method

used to measure or explain a certain phenomena is sufficiently reliable so that e.g. repeating the

same procedure would always produce the same result. The creative element in abductive

reasoning introduces the subject as a factor influencing the result thus making less probable that

another subject would come up with exactly the same results – in this case the same model or the

same coding of a particular case study within the model. This is a fundamental issue in qualitative

research where the question of reliability in some cases is handled by correlating or merging the

results or codings of various individuals or by triangulation where several parallel methods are

used to reach a result. 22 Using Archer’s terminology within the current project it is rather by trying

to be ‘liberal about the sources of conjecture and hypothesis at the commencement of research’

that reliability is sought handled in the first case – by assuring broadness of data sources. 23

Meta knowledge and specific knowledge

What is here described as creative knowledge production through the development of an

intermediary model has two levels: On the one hand the model itself is a kind of meta knowledge

that as a general tool or a language enables access to project specific knowledge that become

visualised through its application. On the other hand the model is also created through the

synthesis of this project specific knowledge it describes. The analyses expose the model to the

secondary cases which again modify it. The relation between tool and material become a mutual

dialogue with the aim of creating satisfactory or useful knowledge rather than universally true

knowledge. Meadows, argues that any model used to describe real world phenomena must have

specific point of departure in the reality it seeks to model (Meadows 2008). The assertion in this

project is that the creative development of the intermediary model initiated in the study of the

Cellophane House provides for good base for explanative power of industrialised aspects within

any architectural work. However, general knowledge cannot be drawn directly from a single

incident or case. Abduction requires subsequent successive approximation. The model is meant as

an open tool.

6. Perspectives

The approach described above suggests the establishment of a special scientific tradition within

architectural research based on the general type research for or for the purpose of practice – a new

paradigm for research based on abductive reasoning. Acknowledging the simultaneously creative

and context specific nature of the object of research – architecture – it is proposed that scientific

knowledge production within this field could be based on similar creative and context specific

principles. Architecture as practice is inherently synthesising and cross disciplinary. By using the

same principle when dealing scientifically with the field, the actual applicability of this knowledge

in the practical field seems more likely. The approach does not exclude the appropriateness of other

approaches when it comes to research into/about practice or research through practice.

22 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangulation_(social_science) – accessed April 5 th 2011

23 Qualitative research, as the present model development represents, can have the advantage of bringing in a more

holistic view which can equally enhance the overall validity. Here, quantitative research with its (intentionally) limited

view runs the risk of applying models or methods that are too simplified or controlled to actually produce valid

explanation on real world phenomena which is often complex and contextual. For an extended but simple explanation

on validity and reliability see e.g.



When Architects write, draw, build? a PhD‐ Symposium, Nordic Association of Architectural Research, 2011

The model developed through the approach does not dictate a certain ideal system structure of a

given building. Neither does it promote that a system structure should primarily be based on

industrialised deliveries. Rather, it has point of departure in an observed tendency within

construction and architectural creation that it seeks to describe. Through the meta knowledge

synthesised in the model a new or emerging field of knowledge is articulated and structured and

thus made accessible as a (supplementary) aspect. The present research seeks this way to deal

simultaneously with the development of a (research) method, with development of an analytical

model and with the understanding of a specific research area. Although outside the framework of

present research, the long term ambition is to develop the model into a more proactive design

supportive tool applicable from the early design phases, where different production scenarios result

in different system structures that each of them will have specific advantages and drawbacks seen in

a holistic and synthesising perspective that includes both architecturally aesthetic, economical, time

and technical aspects. It is however important to underline that the use of such a second or third

generation system structure model never in itself can ensure high architectural quality. The model is

proposed as one tool among others that in the hands of a qualified architect or integrated project

team can support decision making early in the architectural design process and thus counteract

problems of ‘translation’ between architectural concepts and final architectural result.

7. References

Archer, Bruce (1995) The Nature of Research IN: Co-design, interdisciplinary journal of design, pp

6-13, Taylor & Francis, January

Frayling, Christopher (1993) Research in Art and Design IN: Royal College of Arts Research

Papers 1, Royal College of Arts, London

Kieran, Stephen & James Timberlake (2004) Refabricating Architecture, McGraw-Hill, New York

Kirkeby, O. Fogh (1990) Abduktion IN: Andersen, Heine (red.): Videnskabsteori og metodelære.

Bd. I. Introduktion.

Meadows, Donella H. (2008) Thinking in Systems: a primer, Chelsea Green Publishing, White

River Jct

Nagurney, Anna, (2006) Supply Chain Network Economics: Dynamics of Prices, Flows, and

Profits. Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham Glos

Peirce, Charles Sanders (1994) Semiotik og pragmatisme, Gyldendal, København




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