Design and Determination:

the role of information technology in redressing regional inequities in the development process

Ashgate Publishing, Aldershot.

10/10/10: Book available as free download in pdf format

Seoul street, Ghanaian chocolate, October 2002

Ghanaian chocolate,
Korean street.

In 1960 Ghana had a higher per capita Gross Domestic Product than South Korea, by 1997 Korea had broken the US$10,000 barrier.

South Korea has embraced manufacturing and moved into key fields of high technology and innovation.

See for detailed information.




This book was published in 2004 and went out of print in late 2010. It was then made available here for download at no charge in pdf format files

Part of this book was written in a housing development which was equipped with state of the art communication technology in the nineteen seventies. A cable TV and radio distribution system delivered two hours of black and white television programming each week from a community studio within the Fishermead estate, Milton Keynes.

For more than thirty years the system was not upgraded, in part due to changes in ownership and related legal issues. By the time digital cable arrived, many of the residents of the area had been enjoying a bewildering choice of programming delivered by direct satellite broadcasting for years.

The shift from wired to wireless delivery, in particular the domestication of the military invention of the artificial earth orbit satellite, has transformed the availability and distribution of information and communication resources.

This book addresses the consequences of the shift from hierarchical to essentially disintermediated systems of delivery. It is concerned with the balance between the constraints imposed by design decision-making in technical and social artifacts, and the space for those outside the initial decision loop to occupy and modify those design spaces.

The book is divided into three parts, these are set out below, with links to individual files.

The whole book is also available as a single pdf file (1.5Mb) here.

The foreward and contents, with hyperlinks to individual chapters, can be downloaded here (28kb pdf format).

The bibliography can be downloaded here (93kb pdf format)

Individual chapters can be downloaded from the web-page for each of the three parts of the book which are described below.

Part I
Design and Development: the worlds we live in

Chapter 1: Design and Determination: overcoming exclusion in an emergent global system

Chapter 2: Chains, Networks, Webs: the topology and geography of a global system of development

Chapter 3: Wicked Problems and Evil Empires: postivism, complexity and the Cold War origins of the information society

Chapter 4: Virtual Working: public and private place and non-place

Chapter 5: Windows of Opportunity: supporting development with appropriate technologies or appropriated technologies?

To Let: Reserve Bank, Amsterdam, June 2002

Part II
Determination and Design: frames and paradigms

Chapter 6: Finding a lever to move the world: the design paradigm and its value

Chapter 7: Time-Frames and Design Decision-making

Chapter 8: Finding a Place to Stand: a “metatechnical” framework

Chapter 9: Culture, Design and Design Cultures: achieving transferability and sustainability in development processes

Finnish Design Centre, Helsinki, December 1998

Part III
From Geography to History: designing a place in the world

Chapter 10: Development by Design: two national development paths

Chapter 11: Development: cultural consonances in post-Cold War development

Chapter 12: Through the Window or Through the Looking Glass: prospects for greater equity in development.

Gieranger, Norway, August 1998

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This page is maintained by
Stephen Little

Last update 10 July 2013

KCR museum, former Tai Po Market station, July 2002