Discussion on Why Emphasis on ‘Problem Domain’ or ‘Requirement Management’ is very important in EA – Contextualization
Alexander’s central premise, driving over thirty years of thoughts, actions, and writings, is that there is something fundamentally wrong with twentieth century architectural design methods and practices. In Notes, Alexander illustrates failures in the sensitivity of contemporary methods to the actual requirements and conditions surrounding their development. He argues that contemporary methods fail to generate products that satisfy the true requirements placed upon them by individuals and society, and fail to meet the real demands of real users, and ultimately fail in the basic requirement that design and engineering improve the human condition. Problems include:
- Inability to balance individual, group, societal, and ecological needs.
- Lack of purpose, order, and human scale.
- Aesthetic and functional failure in adapting to local physical and social environments.
- Development of materials and standardized components that are ill suited for use in any specific application.
- Creation of artifacts that people do not like.
Timeless continues this theme, opening with phenomenologically toned essays on “the quality without a name”, the possession of which is the ultimate goal of any design product. It is impossible to briefly summarize this. Alexander presents a number of partial synonyms: freedom, life, wholeness, comfortability, and harmony. But no single term or example fully conveys meaning or captures the force of Alexander’s writings on the reader, especially surrounding the human impact of design, the feelings and aesthetics of designers and users, the need for commitment by developers to obtain and preserve wholeness, and its basis in the objective equilibrium of form. Alexander has been working for the past twelve years on a follow-up book, The Nature of Order, devoted solely to this topic (see [29,9]).