How "Arteology" was born

  1. Development before the era of www
  2. Changes and additions to the www-pages, a chronological list
  3. What's New
  En Español   In Finnish   Contents page

Development before the era of www

Earliest investigations

Those earlier studies and deliberations that have served as a basis for this www site of arteology, are paraphrased on the page Evolution of Normative Theory.

1967 - 1974

The roots of "Arteology" emerge from my work in an agency of the Finnish state, called National Board of Building. This governmental office existed during the second half of the 20 century, and it took care of the design, construction and maintenance of built spaces for the needs of the administration.

The organisation of the agency followed the division between professions. There was a department for architects, another for electrical engineers and so on. Each unit operated more or less independently and, when finding a need to follow general technological development, it occasionally made a change to its working routines without consulting the other departments, which sometimes caused some disturbance in the co-operation of the departments. I was appointed in 1967 for the task of coordinating the individual development projects carried out by the various departments.

When I entered the ranks of the Board of Building, a large number of development projects were already finished, and others were in progress or in preparation. One thing that astonished me more and more was the great variation in in the approaches and methods of these projects despite the fact that the object of study in all these projects was common: buildings and how to make and use them.

It seemed that each profession dealing with buildings had their own ideas about the method of making improvements to their work. The architects usually thought that instead of concocting "general" theoretical improvements to buildings it is more rewarding to improve directly the buildings so that each new building is designed better than the earlier ones. As a contrast, most engineers preferred doing research and development as a project separated from actual building, using methods like theoretical reflection, experiments in laboratory, testing and finally communicating the results as standards.

There were differences even between the various branches of engineers. Construction engineers usually wanted to measure everything with objective meters and numbers, while the specialists on lighting or air conditioning thought that it is important to collect people's qualitative and subjective opinions. Some professionals insisted that you can get reliable knowledge only by studying a great number of events, others preferred an intensive study of just one or a few cases.

One more topic of disagreement concerned the selection of people to carry out a development project, especially the question whether the users of buildings should be invited to participate. When I started my job in the Board of Building, almost all my colleagues thought that only renowned specialists should participate in a development project and when opinions of the users were needed, these should be collected through opinion polls. A sharp contrast to this view was the extensive participation that around 1980 was used in a few large action research projects where Professor Yrjö Engeström was invited as a consult.

In the beginning I tried to explain the variety of opinions by assuming that some of the dissenting people had insufficient education and they did not know about the optimal "scientific method" which certainly could be found in appropriate textbooks, as I thought. However, after perusing several scientific libraries I found out that on the questions of research methods there is no general concordance in the opinions of even the most respected authorities. Beginning at Descartes, there are thousands of guide-books for research, and their recommendations are quite different. Almost every author also claims or hints that his method is best and perhaps the only reliable one.


My perplexion continued until I happened to find an illuminating treatise, "Structure of Scientific Revolutions" written in 1970 by Thomas Kuhn. This historian of science explains that the current confusion and diversity of methods is a natural result of the existence of a great number of relatively independent scientific research institutions. In the course of time, each of these establishments had learned that its work proceeded speediest when researchers did not spend their time in the development of new methods. "As in manufacture so in science -- retooling is an extravagance to be reserved for the occasion that demands it" (Kuhn p.76). That is why almost every research institution now possesses a tool-box that has been optimized for the typical tasks of the branch. It is to be noted, too, that at least the academic institutions have the possibility of selecting the research problems so that they suit their standard tool-box of methods. They have thus no need to tackle any customers' cumbersome problems which might necessitate constructing new methods, too.

It seemed to me that the situation in the Finnish Board of Building coincided well with the description given by Thomas Kuhn. Each profession insisted using their own methods for development, and the result was generally far from optimal. Now the question was, how to proceed from this deadlock. We should find an approach to development which would start from any practical problem encountered in governmental building and produce a method of tackling this problem, even if such a method had never before been used in any science.

I felt that the situation of a researcher approaching a novel problem resembles that of a cook who is consulting a book of recipes and searching for a combination of them that would suit the requirements of the dinner party. Accordingly, I often called my draft compilation of research procedures a "cookbook for researchers". I soon had collected such a great number of "recipes" that I had to design a menu system that would be placed on the first pages of the book in order to help the novice researcher to pick up a suitable combination of procedures.

My collected material on research methods was first time published in book format as a licenciate thesis for Helsinki University of Technology, in 1975. It then reappeared, rewritten several times, as textbooks for my yearly methods class lectures in this same university and later in Tampere University of Technology and occasionally in other universities.


A difficulty apparent already when collecting my first drafts was that the approach in the research guide-books available in the scientific libraries was quite distant from the one applied in practical development projects.

The greatest discrepancy concerned the goal of research. In the books the target was understood as descriptive, in other words the researcher was expected to find out what is or what was the state of things in the object of study. He was not expected to evaluate whether this state of things is desirable or not. Even less he should try to alter this state of things. The attitude was thus quite different from development projects where the target is not just finding out but also making things better.

It was indeed difficult to find a book on normative research in any library. To be sure, the concept of normative study was known to the philosophers of science, because it was implied already in the "practical sciences" of Aristotle and it had been a manifest feature in medieval scolastics and also in 20 century Marxist research. However, almost all Western authors seemed definitely dislike this style of study. First tretise that I could find discussing normative study in an affirmative mood was Herbert A. Simon's The Sciences of the Artificial from 1969. Also the Finnish philosopher Ilkka Niiniluoto discussed in a few lectures in the 1980's the essence of normative study, its goals and differences from descriptive study.

Simon and Niiniluoto opened my eyes to see that traditional disinterested scientific research is, despite its many powerful variants, no Philosopher's stone or panacea to the problems of practical life. To be sure, many of its methods are, when applied in their proper field, excellent and well worth of applying in development projects, too. To these belong the methods of sampling, measurement, survey, statistical analysis and assessing the reliability of findings. However, beside these, development projects need also such normative procedures that are unknown or would be unacceptable in a disinterested study. These include defining the goal of development and the interested parties, assessing benefits and inconveniences, their mutual weighting, and arbitrating conflicts of interest.

Given that already the descriptive methods are numerous, my menu system of methods became finally untimely large, and I had to give many methods in abridged presentation (another reason being my restricted competence concerning some of them). First time I published this combined descriptive-and-normative methodology in 1987 in "Asuntotutkimus ja suunnittelun teoria" (Research and Theory of Housing). Publisher of the book was the Association of the Finnish Civil Engineers, Helsinki 1987. It included even an account of building research paradigms, categorized according to the goals of design (like functionality, economy etc).


The above chronicle reveals that I originally tried to deal with only those research methods that can be applied to the development of building and of the use of buildings. Already this objective includes diverse study objects: besides buildings as concrete artifacts (and as sensory objects) there are the human or mechanical activities around them like design, construction, use and maintenance.

The scope of potential objects of study being thus profuse, it soon became clear to me that the use of my methodology book need not be restricted to topics around building. In fact, it seems possible to apply it to the development of almost any product, including beside concrete objects even intangible productions and services. For this reason I proposed, in 1987 if I remember right, to give a class of research methods in the University of Arts and Design Helsinki (UIAH). This necessitated rewriting once more the textbook which now received the name of "Tuote ja tieto" (Product and Knowledge).

As I had thought, my book of research recipes proved usable in industrial design. Of course, I had to try to include all the special methods that were used, or had been used, in the projects in the UIAH. Much thinking required especially the style of so called "artistic research" which the Finnish universities dealing with fine arts (like pictures, music and theatre) were then launching as the counterpart of scientific activities in the more traditional universities. It was based on the notion that just like a scientific treatise, even a work of art can transmit valuable information to its public.

During recent years, the methods book thus received repeated enlargements and updating, particularly when the print run out. Presently the Finnish text exists in its fifth printing and the English version as a stencilled printing for the occasional classes given in English. I coined the name of "Arteology" for the English edition in order to transmit the idea of knowledge about artifacts.


Having in 1995 moved full-time to the UIAH as a teacher of methodology I could start a fundamental revision to my material on the methods. I had long been annoyed by the difficulty to present the menus in book form as two-dimensional tables and the explanatory texts as one-dimensional discourse. I was already aware of the new technique of hypertext, and was now free to try it in the university's excellent www-network. After a few months of experimenting the first pages were published in the www on March 25, 1996.


On February 28, 1997 the first "complete" version of Arteology was in place, i.e. there were no manifest gaps in the material. I retired from my full-time job in UIAH while continuing to take care of the annual Research Methods class and the www pages.

Changes and additions to the www-pages, a chronological list


September 22,1998
I added a new file 165.htm, The Economy Of New Products and a few links and anchors to the files 114, 115, 135, and 150.htm.

October 7, 1998
115.htm: This chronological list was initiated.
120.htm: Updates in Readings and www-links on Action Research. The exact place is after <A NAME="toimtutkir">
150.htm: Topological Models. Some text on hypermedia models was added; likewise a link to "Concept Maps as Hypermedia Components". The exact place is just before <a name="aritmal">
170.htm: Tools for Qualitative Analysis (near the end of the file). Text and links were added on the special software for qualitative analysis.

October 20, 1998
A new page 137.htm, "Industrial Ecology", was added.
Links to it from the files 115.htm, 120.htm#rati, 130.htm#vaatimus, 135.htm#eko, 151.htm#inconven.

October 27,1998
New links to outside www-pages were added into 153.htm, 170.htm and 195.htm (in the bibliographical lists near the end of each file).
The address of Library Research Web Pages, in 140.htm, was updated.
I changed the visual layout of 110.htm.
The fonts of the main titles (H1) of all the pages were defined as Cooper Blk BT and the colour as #800080.


January 2,1999
I added to all the pages a new line in the footing, giving the original location of Arteology. This was because I had learned that several people had copied the material into their own hard disks (which was all right), but some of them did no more remember the address where they could later get updated files.

The translation of Arteology into Spanish being almost finished by Mr. Bermejo, the total number of text and graphics files now approached 500. The systematics of file names needed some clarification in order to facilitate downloading of any desired combination of the three languages available (and later of other languages, perhaps). Therefore I added a new page 102.htm, explaining the new convention for filenames. In accordance to it I made the following changes:
- Because the initial letters e, f and s now indicate respectively English, Finnish and Spanish graphics files, I renamed twelve not language-specific files with these initials with the initial letter x. (E.g. egypt.gif was renamed to xegypt.gif and schmutte.gif to xschmutt.gif.)
- Because all text file names now should begin with either 0, 1 or 2, I renamed the three text files presenting my background to 005.htm, 006.htm, 007.htm and 105.htm.

January 22,1999
UIAH moved Arteology to a new address,

January 26,1999
- index.htm was renewed with links to the Spanish version.
- A new page, Instructions for Downloading (102.htm) was added.
- A new page, Semiotics Of products (157.htm) was created by cutting and enlarging the final part "Beauty Of A Message" from Beauty Of products (155.htm).
- This necessitated adding a link #tuovinen to "Theory Of Architecture" (135.htm).

February 26,1999
In 190.htm, Forecasting, the paragraphs on Extrapolation and Applying a Statistical Model were arranged into a more logical order. A new graphic, eextrap4.gif, was added and eextrap2.gif was removed.

March 3, 1999
- I moved this Chronological List of Changes and Additions from 115.htm to this new file 109.htm.
- In 190.htm, Forecasting, the graphic kissa2.gif was replaced with eanalog.gif.
- 122.htm, The Science of Design, received a new closing chapter "The Future Of Design Theory".

March 7, 1999
170.htm was changed in two places:
- The paragraph Stylistic classification was enlarged a little.
- The structure of Historical Study was redesigned. A graphic, evaikutu.gif/svaikutu.gif was removed.
180.htm received a new anchor: was placed just before trend

March 9, 1999
170.htm received a new graphic, xsequens.gif It was placed under Historical Study, just before the text "Regardless of your decision on the type of recording..."

March 10, 1999
144.htm, Planning a Research Project, was given a new section: Repeating the Method of Another Investigation. One of its tables, "Is there a model of the phenomenon?" was replaced with a new version: "Format of the model". Moreover, under its chapter Targets for the Use of Resources was added a few lines on the strategies of economizing with the resources.
130.htm, Developing a Product, received a new anchor "#kassavir" that was placed over the graphic etuoteke.gif.

March 29, 1999
190.htm, Forecasting, was enlarged by two new graphics: xextrap.gif and xmeteo.gif, and some 100 lines of text was added or revised.


February 17, 2000
140.htm, Finding Information in Texts: I removed or updated some dead links. Under "Finding References", just before A NAME="tilasto", the link to the Swedish School of Economics was removed. A little later, under "Statistical Sources", the link to ECE was likewise removed.
148.htm, Three Modes of Knowing: I created a link, pointing to Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical investigations.
151.htm, Ethical Considerations: under "Inconveniences Caused By The Application" the addresses of the links were updated.
160.htm, Gathering Empirical Data: links were updated under "Age of an object", just before A NAME="tarkk".

I replaced several animated GIF files with new copies (the pictorial content was not changed) because they seemed to animate more or less badly under Netscape 4. These include the GIF files: albpohj0, animkorr, ?suunkus, ?iterat, xarrowdo, xextrap, ?analog, ?vinojak, skoeanim, eanimkoe, ?hairio, ?perusjo, ?aikatau, ?sovelt, ?perust, ?muototi and ?kehit. The pictures ?kuusi and ?uustuot were deleted and replaced by slightly smaller new graphics ?uustuot and one new tri-lingual graphic xkuusi.

February 22, 2000
144.htm, Planning a Research Project: under Scheduling of Work, people had remarked that it was difficult to grasp the static initial state of the Gantt diagram in the animation ?aikatau.gif. For this reason I added a new graphic ?aikata0.gif, showing just this static initial picture (i.e.the first image in the animation ?aikatau.gif). Also, the three graphics ?pert.gif were redrawn in color and resized smaller.
In 151.htm, Ethical Considerations, four animated vignettes ?ethics?.gif were added.
In 180.htm, Quantitative Analysis, two animated graphics were added to illustrate the analysis of time series. These were given the names ?series.gif and ?season.gif. Also, the graphics ?vuostuo.gif which existed in three languages were replaced with a single, and smaller, image xseries.gif.
Some graphics were converted into animations with the same content. These were: ?arvioi?.gif, ?ennusma.gif, ?mailm.gif, valitaul.gif and ?uustuot.gif. In some cases the dimensions of the graphics were slightly altered, which caused appropriate corrections in the htm files as well.
In 160.htm, Gathering Empirical Data, the graphics eanimkoe.gif and fanimkoe.gif were renamed to ekoeanim.gif and fkoeanim, to keep in line with the Spanish skoeanim.gif.

June 9, 2000
I corrected or removed dead links in 120.htm, 130.htm, 137.htm, 140.htm, 144.htm, 150.htm, 151.htm, 156.htm, 157.htm, 160.htm, 180.htm, and 190.htm.
I changed the font of the main title of each page to Cooper Blk BT, a font more common than the Bodoni which was originally used.


January, 2001
Small clarification of text under the titles 140.htm Finding Information in Texts/Source Criticism, 144.htm Repeating the Method of Another Investigation; 151.htm The Ethics of Selecting the Problem/Universities; 150.htm Description And Explanation; 188.htm Assessing the Theoretical Output; 122.htm Science of Design (with a new anchor #tool); and 130.htm Defining Target Customers.
Dead links were removed in: 130, 140, 144, 151, 152, 160.htm.

February, 2001
122.htm. I added an anchor #friedman before the graphic xfriedm1.gif.
130.htm. I added an anchor #critic and a few lines of text, a little before etuotek3.gif.
148.htm Three Modes of Knowing was appended with some paragraphs of text.
150.htm. I clarified three last paragraphs under Description and Explanation.
155.htm Beauty of products received some clarification of the texts before the title Summary - where can it be found? An anchor #birkhoff was added. Also the graphic ebirkhf1.gif was redrawn and a new graphic ebirkhf2.gif was added.
156.htm Economy of products. A copy of the graphic ebirkhf1.gif was added even here. (The same graphic has already been in use in 155.htm Beauty of products.)
157.htm Semiotics of products. I rewrote some paragraphs and removed the graphic ebirkhf3.gif which had an unclear idea. I added the anchors #architec, #metaphor and #vihma and the graphic xsymbol.gif.
170.htm I rewrote Starting Point of Qualitative Analysis including the table Review of Methods which also received an anchor #table. Normative Analysis was rewritten, as well as a few preceding paragraphs. Tools for Qualitative Analysis was also mostly rewritten.

June, 2001
170.htm Qualitative Analysis had bit-by-bit grown to the extent of over 100K, so it became necessary to move parts of it on new pages 171, 172, 173 and 174.htm. This of course motivated some rewriting of these parts.

September, 2001
130.htm. Text under the title Design was reassembled into better order and somewhat enlarged.
I also slightly rearranged the layout of all the pages so that the tables of contents (of each page) show better in the searching lists.

October, 2001
135.htm History of Architectural Theory. I added the "five points of new architecture" by Le Corbusier.

November, 2001
160.htm Gathering Empirical Data had grown to the extent of over 100K, and I split it in the same way as 170.htm earlier. Parts of it were moved on new pages 161, 162, 163 and 164.htm, with some rewriting of these parts.
103.htm How to Translate Arteology was added.
159.htm Safety of products was added, now just in rather embryonic extent, because it is in reality quite a large paradigm of study. Hopefully it can be extended later.

December, 2001
145.htm Attractiveness of products was added. It is not a real paradigm of study, it is more like a list of links.
I started the practice of translating the changes and additions into Spanish, using concurrently the translating services of and For arbitrating between their proposals I had to rely on my own feeble knowledge of the language, which is indeed insufficient. I have since marked all these additions to the Spanish pages with [square brackets] in the hope that Mr. Bermejo or anybody else would have the time of seeing them through.


January, 2002
150.htm Empirical research. I amplified a little "The Relation of Empiria and Theory" without any large revisions. The anchors #subj, #epavarm, #norm and #ref were added. I moved Demarcating the Population of Study from 150.htm to a page of its own, 15a.htm.
I created a Printable Edition into a sub-directory named printabl with black-and-white versions of graphics. It also contains identical copies of all the text files except ?14.htm which includes a switch between the two editions. Because of these b&w graphics I made four new zip files: and artbw?.zip. These were added to the instructions page for downloading, 102.htm.

November, 2002
178.htm Normative Research was added.
120.htm Developing an Activity. I added a paragraph: Developing the Use of a Product.
130.htm Developing a Product. The paragraph about Product Concept was rewritten.


January, 2003
15a.htm Demarcating the Study was rewritten.

March, 2003
133.htm Artistic Research was added.
150.htm Theories and Models was split in two: 150.htm "Descriptive Study" and 15b.htm "Models".
130.htm Developing an Industrial Product had grown over 100 K and was split in four: 130, 13a, 13b and 13c.htm.

November, 2003
I added an account of the preliminary drafts and appearances of "Arteology" during the years 1967 to 1996 to this chronological list of changes and additions.
I added a few explanatory diagrams to the page about sampling (152.htm).
I renamed the contents pages (earlier ?14.htm) into e00.htm, f00.htm and s00.htm. Now it will be easier to copy the htm text files until the "printabl" sub-directory, because you need not keep in mind that the files ?14.htm were different in the two directories. (The files e00.htm etc. are still different, but you do not need to remember it because they will be copied together with the image files, thanks to the initial letter e.)
I clarified the opening paragraphs on the pages 174.htm Analyzing Development, and 135.htm Theory of Architecture. The latter page grew over 100 K and I moved most of it into new pages 13k.htm and 13l.htm.


January, 2004
159.htm Safety of products was mostly rewritten and the division between descriptive and normative studies was applied to it in the same way than to most of the other paradigms.

February, 2004
I introduced a more distinct division between descriptive and normative studies on the pages Synopsis (110.htm), Contents (e00.htm), Planning a Research Project (144.htm) and Reporting (195.htm). I rewrote the paragraph about Normative Semiotics (157.htm) and added the graphics ead.gif and ead2.gif.

March, 2004
I rewrote a few paragraphs in Classification (173.htm) and added the graphics eclust2.gif and egauss.gif.
Several clarifications to Theories of Architectural Synthesis (13l.htm) and Three Modes of Knowing (148.htm).
Small additions to Science of Design (122.htm) which put it over the 100 K line. I moved the historical part on a new page Arteology 123.htm.

April, 2004
Small amplifications to Beauty: Gradual comprehension about the structures of diachronic works, and to Reporting: Filing the Report and Material about long-term storage.

November, 2004
Small clarifications to Ethics of Research, Registering Facts, Models, Observation and Interrogating Methods.


April, 2005
I added the pages Theory of Furniture and Product Usability and changed the title of the chapter copied from Prof. Keinonen's thesis to be Usability of Interactive Products. I added a paragraph on Methods of Research and Development to the page about Product Ecology.

May, 2005
Modifications in terminology: In order to add clarity and avoid unusual words, I replaced many occurrences of the word "artifact" with "product". I introduced the dichotomy "idiographic" vs. "nomothetic". I also added the page Diachronic View on Arteology and moved to it several paragraphs from other pages that discussed the evolution of arteology.

I added a weblog blogger for the comments and corrections of the visitors.

December, 2005
A new page: Theory of Production. - The paragraphs that described the historical evolution of methods and theories seemed not to interest those visitors who wanted to apply research just to their actual problems. Therefore I created four new separate pages (Early Theories of Production, Early Explanatory Models of Development, Early Theories of Beauty and Early Theories of Message) and moved there these historical descriptions.


February, 2006
I rewrote the table of contents (e00.htm) in order to emphasize the contrast between descriptive and normative research, and also the contrast between research methods and research results, i.e. theory. It turned out that these dichotomies necessitated a new page Methods of Normative Analysis (179.htm).
I also revised the composition of the page Message of a Product (157.htm).

April, 2006
When participating April 5-7, 2006 in the First International Symposium of Visual Studies in the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Monterrey, I learned much about the working methods of artists, and decided to add the page Finding the Typical (176.htm) and also to rewrite much of Methods of Normative Analysis (179.htm).

June, 2006
In Finding Information in Texts (140.htm) I added two chapters on how to evaluate the validity and utility of information in your context.

December, 2006
In order to give more weight to the normative approach and get a better balance into the descriptive/normative dichotomy of approaches, I added three new pages: Theory of Service (127.htm), Recording Normative Data (166.htm) and Normative Reporting (196.htm) and split the page "Diachronic View on Arteology" in two parts Evolution of Descriptive Theory (124.htm) and Evolution of Normative Theory (126.htm).
Because the text about normative research had gradually grown to contain not only product development but also many other professional activities, I changed the sub-title of "Arteology" (on the contents page and elsewhere) from "the Science of Artefacts" to "the Study of professional skills".

Removed Graphics
The following gif graphics have sometimes appeared on the pages of Arteology, but have then later been removed, and can be deleted if you still have them:
English edition: elaatu emuototi enormat eopipain esuunte2 etable7 eweber
Spanish edition: slaatu smuototi snormat sopipain ssuunte2 stable7 sweber
Finnish edition: flaatu fmuototi fnormat fopipain fsuunte2 ftable7 fweber
Common to all editions: gogh hesire korr01 korr02 korr03 korr04 korr06 korr07 korr08 korr09 latklogo lengfoto lengyel rubin xdaliclo xfontana xprocess xsequens

Removed pages (htm):
English edition: 107 108 111
Spanish edition: 200 207 208 211
Finnish edition: 007 008 011

I removed the Nedstat/webstats4u visitor counter from the contents pages because, according to the McAfee site advisor, the counter was sending much spam to the visitors. The counter was now showing 9952 visitors to the English contents page during the 23 months it had existed, of which 2066 came from United States, 874 from United Kingdom, 594 from Finland, 397 from Australia and 338 from India. The most visited page on the site was the Spanish contents page which had received 31490 visitors.

What's New


I added the page Normative Point of View the paragraph Forecasting Opinions, rewrote much of the page Normative Analysis and Preparing the Proposal (179.htm), and enlarged a little Modes of Knowing (148.htm).

I rewrote much of the page Case Study (171.htm), and added the page 108.htm Make a Book of Arteology?

  En Español   In Finnish   Contents page

August 3, 2007.
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