Thursday, October 24, 2002

acknowledgement to Levik move to here

Problem Solving and Problem Worrying, Stanford Anderson

The problem of Problem Solving approach for architecture, originates in the nature of architecture design. According to Anderson, architecture design is about structuring environments so as to facilitate the achievement of human purposes. Purposes are problematic because they are incompletely known, not all aspects of them can be listed, and they can not be extrapolated from known purposes. Some purposes can be stated, but lots of others can not, and impossible to state. Moreover, purposes always altered by environments created to facilitate them. The problem of design is to structure environments with yet incomplete list of purposes that somehow relate both ways to the environments itself. But the design must go on.

Architectural methods also the origin of design problem. There is no convention on how architect should design, no apparent method. What happens when architect design is a series of tentative foresight taken place, to follow by critical examinations of that foresight, then actions based on these examinations that made up the design. Thus, it is obvious that architecture method is definitely undetermined in advance. The process is dynamic and very much dependent to relation between the problem and the form which the architect is trying to define. Thus, the best approach to architecture design is to understand more about the problem and the relation between problem and form, not to solve it. This is Anderson's idea of problem worrying.

He made an interesting point, while not fully investigate problem solving applications in architecture. I seen this as a valuable source for anyone who wants to embark on design automation project. He states that there are problem solving approaches to architecture that close to the idea of problem worrying, i.e. ones that involved a highly sensitive feedback mechanism and operating in "appropriate" domain. Anderson wrote this article in 1966, the time when some famous architecture scientist is about to emerge. Scientist in a sense they urged for methods, and justification. Among them