The proto-theory of design : the method of analysis of the ancient geometers

Koskela, LJ and Kagioglou, M 2007, 'The proto-theory of design : the method of analysis of the ancient geometers' , Strojarstvo: Journal for Theory and Application in Mechanical Engineering, 49 (1) , pp. 45-52.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (506kB)


It is contended that the ancient method of analysis and synthesis, developed originally by Greek geometers, provides a proto-theory of design, which unfortunately has largely been forgotten in the modern period. For justifying this claim, six central features of the method of analysis and synthesis are discussed and compared to recent developments in design theory and methodology. It is shown that various issues covered by the method analysis and synthesis have recently been rediscovered in the design science, but without any connection to it. It is argued that further development and unification of the design science requires that we return to the proto-theory of design and start to validate, criticize and expand it.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects / Themes > B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Subjects / Themes > B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BD Speculative Philosophy > BD143 Epistemology. Theory of knowledge
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Schools > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable Environments
Journal or Publication Title: Strojarstvo: Journal for Theory and Application in Mechanical Engineering
Publisher: Croatian Union of Mechanical Engineers and Naval Architects
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0562-1887
Depositing User: LJ Koskela
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2010 13:10
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 09:20
References: ..., Anon., V-Modell, downloaded from on December 9, 2005a. ..., Anon., VModel, downloaded from on December 15, 2005b. BACHY, G.; HAMERI, A. P. (1997): What to be Implemented at the Early Stage of a Large-scale Project?, International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 15, No. 4, pp. 211-218. BEANEY, M.: Analysts, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2003 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = < analysis/> BOEHM, B. W. (1979): Guidelines for Verifying and Validating Software Requirements and Design Specification, Euro EFIP, pp. 711-719. BOHM, D. (1980): Wholeness and the Implicate Order, Routledge, London. DESCARTES, R. (1637): Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason, and Seeking Truth in the Science, available at html DYM, C. L. (1994): Engineering Design: A Synthesis of Views, Cambridge University Press. HALL, A. D. (1962): A Methodology For Systems Engineering, D. van Nostrand, Princeton. HATCHUEL,A.; WEIL,B .(2003): A New Approach of Innovative Design: An Introduction to C-K Theory, International Conference on Engineering Design ICED-03 Stockholm, August 19-21. HINTIKKA, J. (1969): Tieteen metodi analyyttisena toimituksena, (The Scientific Method as Analysis), in: Tieto on valtaa, J. Hintikka, Werner Söderström, Porvoo. HINTIKKA, J.; REMES, U. (1974): The Method of Analysis. Its Geometrical origin and Its General Significance, Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. XXV, D. Reidel, Dordrecht, p. 144. NIINILUOTO, I. (1990): Edgar Allan Poe ja geometrinen analyysi (Edgar Allan Poe and Geometric Analysis), in: Maailma, minä ja kulttuuri, I. Niiniluoto, Otava, Helsinki. OKSALA, T. (2.9.2005): oral communication. PAHL, G.; BEITZ, W. (1996): Engineering Design, Springer. PAPERT, S. (2000): What's the Big Idea? Toward a Pedagogy of Idea Power, IBM Systems Journal, Vol. 39, Nos 3&4, pp. 720-729. POLYA, G. (2004): How to Solve It, Princeton University Press. PUGH, S. (1991): Total Design, Addison-Wesley, Wokingham. RITCHIE, T. (1991): Analysis and Synthesis: On Scientific Method - Based on a Study by Bernhard Riemann, Systems Research, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 21-41. SCHWABER, K.; BEEDLE, M. (2002): Agile Software Development with Scrum, Prentice Hall. SHEWHART, W. A. (1931): Economic Control of Quality of Manufactured Product, Van Nostrand, NY, p. 501. STEVENS, R.; BROOK, P.; JACKSON, K.; ARNOLD, S. (1998): Systems Engineering: Coping with Complexity, Prentice-Hall, London. SUH, N. (2001): Axiomatic Design, Oxford University Press. TURNER, J. R, (1993): The Handbook of Project-based Management, McGraw-Hill, London, p. 540. WILSON, C. St. J. (1979): Alvar Aalta and the State of Modernism, International Architect, 1(2): 27-32.

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)