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Reviewing Engineers and Introducing Industrial Designers

Reviewing Engineers and Introducing Industrial Designers
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Copyright: 2013
Pages: 26
Source title: Challenging ICT Applications in Architecture, Engineering, and Industrial Design Education
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): James Wang (National Taipei University of Technology, Taiwan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1999-9.ch006


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Much of the analysis and argument in the first half of the book has focused more on architects than on engineers, simply because architects, with their fondness for art and imagination, often seem closer to the core of design activity and education than engineers, with their fondness for science and rationality. Moreover, industrial designers have not entered the discussion at all. Therefore, a review of the argument with a focus on both engineering and industrial design seems useful at this point. It is also time to look more closely at the relationship between imagination and rationality, since a full illumination of that relationship in regard to design is the ultimate aim of this entire project, culminating in Chapter 10. The key to achieving this understanding is Aristotle, who, it must be remembered, offered the first definition of design as techne, or knowledge gained by doing – as opposed to episteme, or knowledge gained by thinking. Aristotle also called this distinction practical knowledge as opposed to theoretical knowledge. It should be remembered too that Aristotle regarded theoretical knowledge – of which the beauty sought by artists and the truth sought by scientists are perfect examples – as “higher” than practical knowledge, because they are manifested as universal ideas and they exist as ends in themselves. Design, as we have seen repeatedly, is concerned with physical particulars, and it is mainly utilitarian. Just the same, Aristotle stated that the practical knowledge of techne, like the theoretical knowledge of episteme, is achieved through rationality. This is where the problem occurs, as far as design is concerned.

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