Persuasion by numerical and geometrical modelling

If the code of conduct for the open designer is non-manipulative Model II behaviour, he should convince relevant players through facts and figures, and present them in such a way that they are understood and accepted. In this respect, computer calculations showing the consequences of options can help a lot to persuade opponents.

Example: Selling an invention

An inventor of a new ship propulsion device wanted his invention to be applied on the world's most powerful tug at the time (20 000 Horse Power). He knew that only his invention could make it possible to meet the owner's requirements of 180 tons bollard pull and a free running speed of 20 knots. Conventional solutions could only satisfy one of these requirements.

A propulsion consultant was involved who understandably was very reluctant to give his blessing, since the invention had so far only been applied on a small river tugboat. He desperately asked again and again for analyses of new combinations of the relevant design parameters (related to the conventional solutions).

After several of such requests for more homework, the inventor decided to make computer calculations in which the design parameters were systematically varied in small steps.

In the next meeting when the consultant asked for the effect of a certain combination of the design parameters, a five inch thick pile of computer output was put on the table by the inventor. By turning some pages, the combination asked for was found in a few seconds and the answer given to the consultant. This was repeated a few times. It then became clear to all present in the meeting, that conventional solutions could never meet both requirements, whereupon the invention was accepted by the consultant.

Numerical calculations are often not convincing enough. architects are generally not impressed by numbers, they want to see what outcomes look like. To convince, therefore, outcomes of numerical calculations need to be visualised. Any numerical outcome should be visualised by associated geometrical modelling. For instance, if an alternative for the number of 2-person and 1-person rooms of an office building is proposed, a drawing of the floor plan should immediately appear on the display to visualise the features of the proposed distribution of 2 and 1 person rooms.

Geometrical computer modelling, therefore, should be integrated with numerical modelling.

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