Design and Complexity

Four areas where design and complexity interact – Johnson (2006). Many designed systems are complex e.g. aeroplanes, cities, information systems, organisations. Designers need to understand complex dynamic processes used to fabricate & manufacture products & systems – design, product & processes c0-evolve. Social & economic context of design is complex. Involves market economics, regulations, trends, culture and fashion etc. Design […]

Classification of Hard and Soft Systems

Problem situations classified along two dimensions, according to Jackson and Keys (1984): complexity – number of of elements and their interactions divergence of values and interests Low complexity – few elements and well-defined, linear, stationary interactions. High complexity – many elements, many interrelationships, dynamic and not well-understood relationships in turbulent environment From systems viewpoint, envisage two types of complexity: Technical […]


Many systems display¬†non-linear behaviour i.e. their¬†outputs are not directly proportional to their inputs. Non-linear systems do not satisfy superposition principal, or superposition property. For all linear systems, net response at given place and time caused by two or more stimuli is sum of responses which would have been caused by stimuli individually. If input A produces response X and input […]