Conceptual Design

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 The Structure of Conceptual Design

The development of solutions in complex adaptive environments requires developing the conceptual design of such solutions. Solutions imply developing systems that are integrated by processes and objects. It has to be recalled that complex systems are necessarily integrated by objects that drive their functionality.

Unicist Conceptual DesignThe purpose of conceptual design is to define the process architecture of the solution. To make this solution possible, it is necessary to be able to emulate it in mind.

Emulating in mind requires envisioning the final picture of the process and the results that will be achieved. This requires having the knowledge of the fundamentals of the process and a solution thinking approach that allows building the solution.

The emulation of the solution becomes possible if the conceptual knowledge of the solution is available.

The conceptual knowledge requires managing the ontogenetic map that defines the functionality of the concept that drives the solution.

Thus conceptual design implies integrating the emulation of the solution and the conceptual knowledge of the process to build the process architecture.

The Ontogenetic Algorithm of Conceptual Design

The Guiding Idea

The driver of conceptual design is the need of a functional solution. The existence of this driver requires having an empathic relationship with the solution. The empathic relationship with the solution is the essential driver of conceptual design while the functional solution is the “functional driver”.

When the driver is given, it is necessary to be able to manage the ambiguity of complex systems integrating processes and objects to fulfill the objective of developing a solution.

This requires integrating the triadic structure that is implicit in the operational dualistic approach of building processes and objects. For this purpose, it is necessary to manage ambiguous language to integrate the apparent contradiction between processes and objects.

Evident examples of the need of ambiguous language is the integration of the concept of yin and yang, maximal and minimum strategies, active principles and energy conservation principles, processes and objects.

It has to be considered that ambiguous language is necessary to apprehend the integration of the triadic approach of nature and concepts.

To ensure the functionality of the definitions of the processes and objects it is necessary to define which will be the destructive tests that need to be done.

The Basics of Conceptual Design

The empathic capacity and the use of ambiguous language are basic to approach conceptual design. An individual can only develop conceptual design processes of entities where s/he has the necessary capacity to deal with the triadic structure of the concept of a solution.

Unicist Conceptual DesignThe approach to concepts requires managing the operational contradiction between maximal and minimum strategies by managing the ambiguity of their integration.

The Maximal Strategy

The purpose of the maximal strategies is driven by solution thinking. Solution thinking is an approach to reality based on a conceptual solution an individual has in the specific field of the problem that is being solved or in a homologous field that can be used as a benchmark.

This approach can work as a pre-conceptual approach to reality that is driven by stagnated prejudices or can work as an adaptive conceptual approach driven by the capacity of adapting to the environment and the solution that is being built. Pre-conceptual approaches build utopias, while adaptive approaches expand the boundaries of a given activity.

The adaptive approach to conceptual design requires approaching reality using a backward chaining thinking process. This process requires emulating the final solution in mind and building the process from the end to the beginning. The backward chaining thinking process is necessary to manage the PERT (project evaluation and review technique) of CPM (Critical Path Method) processes.

On the other hand, it has to be considered that the GANTT method is based on a forward chaining thinking process, which builds the solution based on the addition of tasks. The backward chaining thinking requires having the “unified field” of the solution in mind in order to have always an alternative action that ensures the achievement of the results.

The backward chaining thinking process requires using an adaptive project management process that includes the use of plans A, B, C and D in order to ensure the achievement of results.

When this backward chaining thinking approach has been integrated with the adaptive project management model, there is a need to confirm the knowledge of the fundamentals of the specific environment.

The fundamental knowledge requires having sound knowledge and successful experiences in the specific field of action or in homologous fields.

The knowledge of the fundamentals is the catalyst of the process of ensuring the functionality of the conceptual solution of the problem.

The paradox is that it is a catalyst when there is a true valid knowledge but an inhibitor if the fundamentals are approached using rationalistic, subjective or any other fallacious approaches.

The maximal strategy expands the boundaries when the solution thinking allows emulating a solution in mind integrating the backward chaining thinking with the knowledge of the fundamentals.

When the emulation of the solution has been achieved, it is time to develop the minimum strategy, which requires confirming the conceptual knowledge that underlies.

The Minimum Strategy

The minimum strategy of a conceptual design process is to ensure the conceptual solution of the problem that is being managed. The conceptual solution is given by the functionality of the conceptual structure of the entity that is being designed. The first step is to know the essential structure of the concept, which defines the “unified field” of the entity.

With the unified field in mind, it is necessary to access the ontogenetic map of the essential concept. The ontogenetic map implies the description of the essential fundamentals following the laws of complementation and supplementation following the evolution cycle.

The ontogenetic map defines the ontogenetic algorithm to develop the conceptual design of the solution. Each of the fundamentals that integrates the ontogenetic map works as an extrinsic object when it deals with the attributes of the entity or as a behavioral object when it deals with the approach to the external entity.

This ontogenetic map is in fact a knowledge object that defines the structure of the “unified field” that needs to be managed when developing the conceptual design. The risk of this knowledge is that it might be fallacious.

Therefore, the next step is to develop the necessary destructive tests to prove the limits of the validity of the knowledge.

The Minimum Strategy is sustained by a Learning Process

Unless the ontogenetic map is already installed in the long-term memory of an individual, the use of destructive tests of knowledge unavoidably drive to a learning process. These learning processes require following the stages of the learning of complexity management.

These destructive tests of knowledge are the entropy inhibitor of conceptual design. It avoids accessing a complex problem with hypothetical ideas that generate no results. This stage finishes when the knowledge demonstrates its functionality to apprehend the unified field of the solution that is being designed.

Thus a conceptual solution can be built in order to provide the necessary complement to complete the process architecture.

The Conceptual Design of the Functional Solution

The conceptual design of the functional solution is based on the integration of the emulation of the solution in the mind of the designer that drives the maximal strategy and the conceptual solution that drives the minimum strategy.

It has to be considered that the final purpose of the conceptual design is to build a solution in a complex environment.

This requires defining the processes and objects that will be used, making the necessary destructive tests of the processes to achieve a functional solution, which is used as the input for the design of the complex system.

Complex system building requires necessarily having a strategy to manage the feedback from the environment and the bi-univocal relationship among its components.

Therefore, the context of conceptual design is given by its integration with the purpose, which is the building of a complex system and the strategy that is needed to organize growth.

It needs to be clarified that a complex system cannot be transformed into an operational system with univocal cause-effect relationships. It remains complex.

What needs to be done is to develop simple tasks that can be managed by anyone in order to develop the necessary actions to produce results while the complexity is managed at a superior level.

Levels of Conceptual Design

Four levels of conceptual design have been discovered:

  • Level 1 – Guiding Idea: that has the generic guiding idea of what is being designed.
  • Level 2 – Logical Design: that has the logical design of the process.
  • Level 3 – Objects Design: that deals with the design of specific objects.
  • Level 4 – Process Design: that manages the unified field of the solution.

Unicist Conceptual DesignLevel 1: Guiding Idea

This level of conceptual design is based on the rational knowledge of the conceptual solution and the understanding of the ontogenetic map that allows apprehending the metaphors that are used to categorize the design of the solution.

This level of knowledge requires having operational experience in the field of action of the solution without having the knowledge of the unified field that is being managed.

Level 2: Logical Design

This level includes the preceding level and includes the capacity of managing the complete structure of the conceptual knowledge of the unified field of the solution.

It is based on having the capacity to manage the unified field of knowledge based on integrating it in reasonable and understandable terms as a sort of “semantic network” of interrelated concepts that need to produce a predefined result.

This level of design provides conceptual solutions that are controlled making the destructive tests of these solutions. It requires being able to apprehend the triadic structure of concepts.

This implies being able to manage the ambiguity of the conceptual structure, which includes, on the one hand, a maxima strategy and, on the other hand, an operational contradictory minimum strategy.

Level 3: Objects Design

This level includes the preceding level and includes the capacity of emulating in mind some of the objects that integrate the final solution.

On the one hand, Objects design requires having the necessary empathy with the functions that need to be built as objects and with the users of these objects.

On the other hand, the design of objects deals with the functional solutions, which requires emulating the solution in mind and developing a backward-chaining process to define the problem that needs to be solved.

This process has to be recycled until the final solution has been achieved or has been replaced by a solution of a superior level.

The contradictions that will be found in these processes need to be approached by upgrading to a superior level where these contradictions are integrating in a unified field.

The objects design is based on the knowledge of the fundamentals of the objects and the knowledge of the purpose to be achieved by the entire system.

Level 4: Process Design

This level includes the preceding level and requires being able to integrate the interdependent objects that have bi-univocal influence using a double dialectical approach.

This level allows integrating the maximal and minimum strategy of each object in order to ensure the achievement of the results.

The process is based on emulating the dynamics of the solution in mind in order to be able to develop adaptive solutions and manage the influence of the environment.

The process requires being able to manage the unified field of the entire system and its dynamics, which requires developing the necessary destructive tests of the processes in order to ensure the functionality.

The final functional solution needs to have a maximal strategy to expand the boundaries of the system and a minimum strategy to ensure its survival.

There has to exist an extreme level of empathy and ambiguity management, because a complex system is a composite object itself where all the ambiguous aspects of the objects and processes that integrate it need to be structured as functional conjunctions.


Generating Value in Adaptive Environments

The unicist conceptual design is necessary to ensure the production of results in adaptive environments. This conceptual design implies having the knowledge of the concepts of reality.

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The discovery that human actions are driven by the concepts people have, established a new stage in the understanding and influence of individual, institutional and social behavior. The paradigm shift in sciences that was introduced by the Unicist Theory, which is applied to individual, institutional and social behavior, is based on the discovery that human actions are driven by the concepts that individuals have.

It is necessary to acknowledge that concepts define the nature of things. These concepts are built in “mind” using the “ontointelligence”, which is the intelligence to apprehend the nature of things and is integrated by the ethical intelligence, the strategic intelligence and the type of logical thought.

People who intend to assume the responsibility for the results of their actions need to be aware of the concepts of what they are doing. The unicist conceptual design is the methodology that allows transforming the knowledge of the nature of things into processes to make things happen.

It is necessary to be aware of the concept of a given reality in order to be able to assume the responsibility for producing results in adaptive environments. Those who cannot emulate the structure of concepts can only assume the responsibility of operational tasks or use their preconcepts to develop an activity.

The discovery of the behavioral objects explained how concepts guide conscious actions. They integrate the available data in the long-term memory, which includes the semantic, episodic and procedural memory. This explained that the capacity to emulate in “mind” the external reality depends on the level of conceptualization of an individual.

The Paradigm Shift in Sciences applied to the Nature of Things

The discovery of the ontogenetic intelligence of nature allowed finding the roots of evolution, involution and mutation.

Each entity or function has one essential concept that defines its nature. The apprehension of this concept allows defining what is possible to be achieved and how to influence the environment.

Each entity or function has one essential concept that defines its nature. The apprehension of this concept allows defining what is possible to be achieved and how to influence the environment.

This intelligence drives the purpose of the living entities in nature based on an active principle that sustains growth, change and mutation and an energy conservation principle that saves energy, sustains the survival and the purpose and inhibits the entropy produced by the active principle.

This structure that regulates the nature of living beings was called intrinsic concept and is described by a unicist ontological structure that was called ontogenetic map. In a specific living entity, the active principle becomes an active function and the energy conservation principle becomes an energy conservation function.

This structure underlies the living beings, their actions and deeds. When dealing with inanimate functional entities, the concepts were defined as extrinsic concepts because they are deposited on them by the living entities. They also have a purpose, an active function and an energy conservation function.

These concepts are abstractions that describe the essences of the functionality of an entity.

It has to be considered that while the active function of a concept can be observed and measured, the energy conservation can be perceived and the purpose needs to be intuited.

As the structure of a concept in its unit is a complex system that cannot be observed, the only way to confirm conceptual knowledge is by measuring the results of the actions the concept regulates.

This implies that concepts can only be confirmed by the facts they produce.

Therefore, the confirmation of conceptual knowledge requires “predicting” the evolution several times and measure the results produced until the forecast becomes accurate and the structure of the concept can be considered as valid. We consider that five accurate forecasts are necessary to validate a conceptual knowledge.

Concepts are the Behavioral Objects that drive Actions

Concepts are the behavioral objects that drive the conscious actions of human beings; the level of depth of these behavioral objects defines the type of actions that are driven. The lack of concepts makes the data stored in “mind” behave as meaningless entities.

The behavioral objects are entities stored in the long-term memory that drive human actions. The functionality of these objects is to transform the data, stored in the long-term memory, into meaningful information to generate adaptive actions. A behavioral object is a type of knowledge object that is fully action oriented.

The research that led to this discovery showed that the concepts work as the behavioral objects that guide their actions.

It has to be considered that human actions are triggered by intuition. The intuitive approaches are spontaneous impulses that are based on the analogies, the preconcepts or the concepts that individuals have in mind. In this sense, the analogies stimulate illusions and the preconcepts avoid personal risk-taking. The concepts allow emulating in “mind” the nature of an external entity to drive conscious actions.

The research on the ontology of concepts described their structure composed by a purpose, an active function and an energy conservation function. This essential structure, that is implicit in nature (ontogenetic intelligence of nature) and includes human beings and their creations, is the basis for conceptualization. Conceptualization is possible when the unicist structure of a concept has been apprehended. Then the individual is able to emulate in “mind” the structure of a concept.

The use of the unicist ontology of concepts began in the early ’80s. This allowed developing multiple applications with the participation of individuals who had different levels of conceptualization. The research of conceptual structures was developed using the complexity science research methodology.

Personal Freedom is needed to Apprehend Concepts

To discover a new concept, it is necessary to have the necessary external and inner freedom to open the “mind”.  This allows apprehending the concept without “transforming” the concept into a preconcept. That is why personal freedom is the psychological driver to apprehend concepts. Freedom, by definition, is associated to the assumption of a responsibility.

Personal FreedomPersonal freedom requires having assumed the responsibility to adapt to an environment, which implies being able to influence the environment while one is influenced by it. It implies that individuals are not observers but participants.

The external freedom drives the “maximal strategy” of the development of personal freedom. The expansion of freedom is a step by step process that begins by developing the freedom to do, being aware of the actions one is doing and ensuring that they are adapted and add value to the environment.

When external freedom begins to be earned, it is necessary to expand inner freedom which requires reinforcing the “responsibility to be”, which includes assuming a transcendent responsibility, a social responsibility and an individual responsibility.

Inner freedom also requires being able to make adapted decisions, which imply that the individual has the courage to do, the need to do and the true will of paying the necessary prices to expand this inner freedom.

It has to be considered that each “inch” of freedom that is gained requires leaving aside the solutions that were functional before.

The last step towards inner freedom is to have the necessary consciousness to integrate the outside with the inside but knowing the fuzzy limits that separate beliefs from external facts.

The individual needs to be able to discriminate the perceptions in order to go beyond analogical comparisons and be able to integrate them with homological comprehension. This allows individuals “to introject” new elements based on the discovery of homologous patters that allow recognizing an external reality.

Finally, the use of the “ontointelligence”, meaning the integration of ethical intelligence, strategic intelligence and the type of logical thought, allows transforming abstract consciousness into functional knowledge. This closes the circle of the expansion of inner freedom.

The Background of the Unicist Approach

The term Concept in Western philosophy can be found in the works of Plato and Aristotle. Their approach drove to the definition of concepts as describing the essence of things defined as a universal domain. Ernst Cassirer (Substanzbegriff und Funktionsbegriff) included the definition that concepts not only define the essence of things but also their shape.

Descartes can be considered as the initiator of a new stage that considered the term “idea” as homologous to concept. But empiricism, with Locke and Hume, gave the terms “idea” and “concept” only a psychological meaning.

Immanuel Kant gave the term “concept” a functional meaning, considering it as the framework of any possible action.

The Unicist Ontology of SciencesPeter Belohlavek went further. He developed a complexity science approach to deal with complex adaptive systems that integrated philosophy, science and action in a unified field: reality.

His approach to what he called extrinsic concepts, which are the ones deposited by humans on the elements of their external reality, defines that such concepts have a functional structure that emulates the ontogenetic intelligence of nature.

He discovered that such concepts have three elements:

  1. A purpose that is homologous to the “purpose” in nature.
  2. An active function that is homologous to the active principle in nature.
  3. An energy conservation function that is homologous to the energy conservation principle in nature.

He also discovered the complementation and supplementation laws that are implicit within each conceptual structure and the concept of anti-concepts that is homologous to the concept of anti-matter.

The Unicist Approach to Epistemology developed by Peter Belohlavek went beyond the use of falsification processes (Karl Popper and others) to confirm the validity of the knowledge of complex adaptive environments.

It introduced an upgrade in epistemology based on the use of destructive tests and non-destructive tests approaches that allow building secure knowledge.

With the unicist approach, Peter Belohlavek integrated the Western and the Eastern approaches but focused on a different purpose.

This approach is based on adapting to the environment by generating value in order to foster a sustainable evolution.