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Title: Design out of complexity : a mathematical theory of design as a universal property of organization
Author: Zamenopoulos, Theodore
ISNI:       0000 0004 2671 9267
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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Objective: One of the most challenging problems in science is to identify whether there are certain common principles that characterize how organization at a microscopic level leads to the formation of complex structures, behaviours or functions at a macroscopic level. This is the very quest of complexity science. Within this quest, there remains one special issue that has received little attention: the 'problem' or 'phenomenon' of design. In this thesis, design is perceived as a capacity that arises because of certain characteristic organizational conditions. In line with complexity research, design is studied as a 'universal' property of organization without making assumptions as to whether this is a biological, cognitive or social organization. The thesis can be summarised as follows: Research problem: What entails the capacity to recognize and carry out design tasks Hypothesis: Design is a function of the complexity of organization. Objective: A mathematical theory of the organizational properties which are responsible for the capacity to recognize and carry out design tasks. Methodology: The above hypothesis is an epistemological statement about the nature of design, but it also has a methodological dimension. Methodologically it gives emphasis to the production of knowledge 'by construction'. The study approaches this objective mathematically, using category theoretic constructions. Results: The main results of the study are: It explicates the notions of organization and complexity and ascertains the basic dimensions of organizational level descriptions. It characterises design as a universal property of complexity and identifies the organizational conditions and principles that are responsible for the capacity to recognise and carry out design tasks. It develops a mathematical structure (a theory) that defines the universe within which design tasks and activities are realized. Overall, the thesis offers a mathematical theory of design as a universal phenomenon of complexity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available