Defence of dissertation in the field of civil engineering, Ergo Pikas, M.Sc. (Eng.)

Symptom: Building project delivery is wasteful. Diagnosis: Poor understanding and implementation of the design process. Treatment: Integrating the social and technical aspects of design process.

The public examination of the doctoral dissertation of Ergo Pikas, M.Sc. (Eng.), will be held on 13 May 2019 at 12.00 at the Aalto University School of Engineering. The title of the dissertation is Causality and Interpretation: Integrating the Technical and Social Aspects of Design. The field of the dissertation is civil engineering, design and design management.

Construction industry has been suffering from a poor image for a long time. Many problems, probably the majority, are caused, directly or indirectly, by poor design and design management processes. Remedies have been attempted but no effective solutions have emerged. I argue that the root problem could be the prevailing view of an incompatibility between the technical (designing to function with methods) and social (designing for humans with humans) standpoints of design.

Instead, I assume that the technical and social views of design are complementary. Based on the ancient methods of geometrical problem solving (technical) and rhetoric for developing a persuasive speech (social), a new design model is constructed and applied in three case studies. The application of the new model has the following results: a better understanding of design is developed; a more robust energy and cost efficient building is designed; and significant quantitative and qualitative improvements in design management practices are achieved.

This research contributes to dissolving the deeply ingrained assumption that design is either a technical or social activity, and demonstrates the theoretical and practical usefulness of integrating the technical and social aspects of design.

Opponents: Professor Amaresh Chakrabarti, Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing, Indian Institute of Science, India, and Professor Chris Gorse, School of Built Environment and Engineering, Leeds Beckett University, UK

Supervisor: Professor Jari Puttonen, Aalto University School of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering

Electronic dissertation:

Doctoral candidate’s contact information: Ergo Pikas, Technical University of Denmark DTU, [email protected] and +372 56 455 953

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