0

Full Content is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >

On Engineering Meanings and Representations of Technical Functions

[+] Author Affiliations
Pieter E. Vermaas

Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands

Paper No. DETC2008-49342, pp. 255-263; 9 pages
doi:10.1115/DETC2008-49342
From:
  • ASME 2008 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4: 20th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology; Second International Conference on Micro- and Nanosystems
  • Brooklyn, New York, USA, August 3–6, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4328-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3831-5
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME

abstract

In this paper I consider the relations between the different meanings and representations of the concept of technical function that are in use in engineering design methodology. I focus on two representation schemes — the verb-noun and the operation-on-flows representations — and analyse whether representations of technical functions created with the one scheme can be transposed into representations of the same functions with the other scheme. I argue that the answer depends on the particular meaning of function that one adopts. When functions of technical systems refer to behaviours of those systems, then the two representations can be reciprocally transposed following the rule that the verbs in the verb-noun representations correspond to the operations in the operation-on-flows representations, and the nouns to the (main) flows. When, however, technical functions refer to the purposes for which systems are designed, it can be argued that these representations cannot be transposed using this rule. The reason for this result is that operation-on-flows combinations, where the flows are flows through technical systems, are, in general, not suited to represent purposive technical functions of the systems. In a subsidiary and more explorative discussion I focus on the transposition of verb-noun representations of purposive functions into operation-on-flows representations of behavioural functions in design methodologies such as the Functional Basis account of Robert Stone and Kristin Wood.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME
Topics: Functions

Figures

Tables

Interactive Graphics

Video

Country-Specific Mortality and Growth Failure in Infancy and Yound Children and Association With Material Stature

Use interactive graphics and maps to view and sort country-specific infant and early dhildhood mortality and growth failure data and their association with maternal

NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In