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‘A dialogue between the real-world and the operational model’ – The realities of design in Bruce Archer’s 1968 doctoral thesis

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/05/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Design Studies
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)185-204
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date21/12/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The article centres on a single document, the 1968 doctoral thesis of L. Bruce Archer. It traces Archer’s earlier publications and the sources that informed and inspired his thinking as a way of understanding his influential work at the Royal College of Art from 1962. Analysis suggests that Archer’s ambition for a rigorous ‘science of design’ inspired by linear algorithmic approaches was increasingly threatened with disruption by his experience of large, complex design projects. Reflecting on Archer's engagement with other models of designing, the article ends with Archer’s retrospective view and an account of his significantly altered opinions. Archer is located as both a theorist and someone fascinated by the commercial and practical aspects of designing.