Designing Post-Virtual Architectures : Wicked Tactics and World-Building book cover
1st Edition

Designing Post-Virtual Architectures
Wicked Tactics and World-Building

ISBN 9781138639973
Published December 2, 2019 by Routledge
208 Pages 86 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Designing Post-Virtual Architectures: Wicked Tactics and World-Building explores, describes, and demonstrates theories and strategies for design in a post-virtual world. This book reveals affinities among social, mathematical, philosophical, and language expressions integrated into a theoretical framework, facilitating design across physical and virtual space. This experience-driven framework forms the basis for data-driven, experience design methodologies. The implementation of these methodologies takes design work beyond the stylistic expressions of parameters, to data-driven, multi-modal, parametric processes of transformation.

With this book as a resource, architects and designers have a handbook of technical and philosophical concepts to lend rigor to their design work. Numerous diagrams delineate complex ideas while also acting as templates for creating, assessing, and communicating the meaning and value of designed solutions. As a handbook, the intention is to provide a guide to support the application of interdisciplinary tactics across strategic fields. Such novel approaches open up new ways of developing singular solutions and new ways to serve the distributed behaviours systemized through architectures. In an evolving contemporary condition, a foundation of rigorous human-centred design is central to moving the discipline of design into the future.

Providing a range of rigorous methodologies for those looking to develop project-specific strategies, Designing Post-Virtual Architectures: Wicked Tactics and World-Building is a tool to facilitate the creation of innovative and meaningful architectures, and is an ideal resource for postgraduate students of architectural theory, design theory and design methods, as well as academics and professionals practicing the field.

Table of Contents

Introduction - "How exactly, do I design?"

Pillar 01 – Discover / Epoché

Terminology (lexis) of human-centered design practice.


Language is Code and Language is Strategy.


Behavioral Science / Biology / Physics

Experience / Perception / Science Fiction / Space


Artificial Intelligence / Learning Theory

Complexity Theory / Game Theory

Film Theory / Linguistics / Semiotics


Anthropology / Sociology

Mathematics / Philosophy / Poetry


Architecture / Computer Science

Design / Design Thinking / Strategy


Pillar 02 – Define / Phenomenological Reduction

Methodologies that define design practice.


Building Methodologies:

Experience Design / Process Constructive (XD/PC) Theoretical Framework

Pragma-Phenome Theory Statement

Pillars of the Applied Experience Design / Process Constructive Theoretical Framework

Design Assets, Value Creation and Evaluation Criteria

Semantic Consistency and Alignment between Theory and Strategy

Development of the Methodologies

Applying the XD/PC Methodologies

Methodologies under the Pragma-Phenome Umbrella

Choose your own methodology

Consistent across all methodologies: Building the Data Space

Gamification as a Pragmatic Measure of Engagement

From Philosophy to Project

Engage In A World-Building Design Methodology

World-Building Methodology For Big, General, Undefined Issues

Engage In A Soft Systems Design Methodology

Emphasis On Systems.

Engage In An Imagist Design Methodology

Emphasis On Value.

Engage In A Pragmatist Design Methodology

Emphasis On Objects & Action.

Four Phases of the Pragma-Phenome Design Process Methodologies.

Self-Similar Phases of the Pragma-Phenome Design Process Methodologies.

Phase 01 Discover & Analyze – Epoché

Phase 02 Define & Contextualize – Phenomenological Reduction

Phase 03 Develop & Implement – Eidetic Variation

Phase 04 Deliver & Measure – Intersubjective Corroboration

Summary of Methodologies

Systemized Processes of Design Praxis



Pillar 03 – Develop / Eidetic Variation

Abstracted Principles, Generalized, and Prototyped in Practice



Methodologies as Applied to Case-Studies

World-Building Methodology (Space for Everyone Virgin Orbit)

Soft Systems Design Methodology (Urban Public Safety)

Imagist Methodology (Mobility: MC2 / 2028 Olympics / Toyota)

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Heather Renée Barker, Associate Professor of Design at California State University Long Beach, USA develops her work through the integration of research and practice. She is founding coordinator of the graduate Human Experience Design Interactions (MA_HXDI) program and the Immersive Design Research Lab and has served the city of Long Beach, California as Design Lead for the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ funded Innovation Team (i-team) and as Design Strategy Lead for the Office of Civic Innovation.


"We live in an era where advances in technology and changes in global social paradigms collide. Inspired by philosophical insights and drawing from methodologies across a wide spectrum of professional practices, Designing Post-Virtual Architectures sets forth necessary design frameworks to solve the wicked challenges for the modern age and beyond."
—Jonathan Lo
Creative Director, Virgin Orbit


“Heather Renee Barker is the embodiment of innovation—leveraging the practice of design to inform and transform the practice of public policy in the City of Long Beach.  This book is a must read for practitioners—no matter the sector—who wish to improve user experience (from ground-up) and who seek breakthroughs in their life’s work.”

—John Keisler, MPA
City of Long Beach Director of Economic Development