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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
The magic of three
Johann van der Merwe
Keywords Autopoiseses, Cybernetes, Constructivist, Identity, Inter-relational
Purpose–This paper aims to combine several modes of thought based on systems organization and observing systems in order to construct a model for a “designerly way of thinking”.
Design/methodology/approach–The approach is to regard design as a “groundless field of knowledge” that may source methodological insights from cybernetics, systems theory, cognitive studies and complexity theory, among others.
Findings–The focus of this research is to model an adaptive frame-of-reference that design students may use in order to construct their own autopoietic identity systems. The semantic question “How does a student obtain information about design?” is changed to a structural question “How could students acquire a structure enabling them to operate innovatively in a modern design environment?” With the backing of cybernetic principles, it is apparent that this process is not only feasible but also preferable.
Practical implications–While the practical use that can be made of any design theory is not within the remit of this paper, it is nonetheless the goal of theory to enhance the individual's analytical and communicative skills.
Originality/value–This paper suggests an autopoietic model-for-becoming that can have the virtual potential of bringing one to understand the grey areas of human-object relationships.