Designing techniques for systemic impact: lessons from C-K theory and matroid structures

Le Masson, P, Hatchuel, A, Kokshagina, O and Weil, B 2017, 'Designing techniques for systemic impact: lessons from C-K theory and matroid structures', Research in Engineering Design, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 275-298.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Designing techniques for systemic impact: lessons from C-K theory and matroid structures
Author(s) Le Masson, P
Hatchuel, A
Kokshagina, O
Weil, B
Year 2017
Journal name Research in Engineering Design
Volume number 28
Issue number 3
Start page 275
End page 298
Total pages 24
Publisher Springer UK
Abstract As underlined in Arthurs book the nature of technology, we are very knowledgeable on the design of objects, services or technical systems, but we dont know much on the dynamics of technologies. Still contemporary innovation often consists in designing techniques with systemic impact. They are pervasiveboth invasive and perturbingand they recompose the family of techniques. Can we model the impact and the design of such techniques? More specifically: how can one design generic technology, i.e. a single technology that provokes a complete reordering of families of techniques? Advances in design theories open new possibilities to answer these questions. In this paper, we use C-K design theory and a matroid-based model of the set of techniques to propose a new model (C-K/Ma) of the dynamics of techniques, accounting for the design of generic technologies. We show that: (1) C-K/Ma accounts for basic phenomena in the design of pervasive (and non-pervasive) techniques, in particular for generic techniques. (2) C-K/Ma, when applied iteratively, helps to propose new laws for the dynamics of techniques and helps to build strategic alternatives in the design of techniques. Moreover, C-K/Ma contributes to design theory since it provides some basic quantifiers and operations that could lead to a computational model of the process of designing techniques with systemic impact.
Subject Innovation and Technology Management
Keyword(s) design theory
independence
generic technology
DOI - identifier 10.1007/s00163-016-0241-4
Copyright notice © Springer-Verlag London 2016
ISSN 1435-6066
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