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The distributed cognition approach, and by extension the domain of social intelligence design, attempts to integrate three until recently separate realms: mind, society, and matter. The field offers a heterogeneous collection of ideas, observations, and case studies, yet lacks a coherent theoretical framework for building models of concrete systems and processes. Despite the intrinsic complexity of integrating individual, social and technologically-supported intelligence, the paper proposes a relatively simple ‘connectionist’ framework for conceptualizing a distributed cognitive system. This framework represents shared information sources (documents) as nodes connected by links of variable strength, which increases interactively with the number of co-occurrences of documents in the patterns of their usage. This connectionist learning p...
The paper presents a longitudinal study on the iterative implementation and testing of a support tool for precedent-based design. DYNAMO—Dynamic Architectural Memory On-line—was originally conceived as an interactive workhouse to stimulate and support student and professional architects in learning from previous design experience as encapsulated by concrete design projects. Five years after its baptism of fire, the paper looks back on how DYNAMO’s role has gradually evolved from an information and communication platform to an instrument for improving curriculum integration through a process of cumulative knowledge development. After briefly recalling the underlying ideas of DYNAMO and their stepwise implementation as an operational platform, a series of case studies documents how the platform has been brought into action in different c...
Despite the intrinsic complexity of integrating individual, social and technologically supported intelligence, the paper proposes a relatively simple ‘connectionist’ framework for conceptualizing distributed cognitive systems. Shared information sources (documents) are represented as nodes connected by links of variable strength, which increases as the documents cooccur in the usage patterns. This learning procedure captures and exploits its users’ implicit knowledge to help them find relevant information, thus supporting an unconscious form of exchange. These principles are applied to a concrete problem domain: architects sharing design knowledge through a database of associatively connected building projects.
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