By dynamically simulating constraints and the relationship between all knowable constraints, Exigen can explore complexity and network effects, and understand implications and consequence of choice, thus leading to a systemically optimal design. 

Design by Rationalised Constraint©

Businesses must make decisions based on the unknowable future. Traditionally, the cost and value of knowledge, and the consequence of complexity and network effects have limited design as a form of non-trivial choice.  The precise nature of opportunity has been limited, and the opportunity cost of any design decision has also been beyond our complete understanding.  Yet it can be much more closely known.

Design by rationalized constraint essentially requires us to be able to see the unseen.  This is ultimately impossible.  However, as humans continue to choose to exist in the future, they continue to act in advance of complete knowledge.  Practically we can significantly improve design.  The process starts with knowing what can be known:

Principles of Design by Rationalised Constraint©

  1. The Universe is constrained and constraints are universal
  2. Design, radical uncertainty and subjectivity existentially limit choice
  3. Knowledge exists in relationship to constraint, and is ultimately incomplete
  4. The value of knowledge is derived from its relationship to opportunity
  5. Opportunity, Opportunity Cost  and a Design Solution and are subject to the same constraints
  6. Knowledge is an essential prerequisite for design optimality


If consequence are exponentially correlated to the complexity of systemic design, then Design by Rationalised Constraint© seeks to mitigate risk by more closely knowing the knowable constraints of the causal chain. By using those same constraints to better define the opportunity the designer intends to reduce the space and complexity of uncertainty, thus reducing the power law risk of the final creative act of conjecture.

To minimize the risk of unintended consequence and to maximize the return to investment a designer will rationalize the operable constraints seeking to know them as the brute facts of physical characteristics, the rules applicable to conceptual categories comprising the structure of behaviour, and what we know of how humans perceive.  This is a Via Negativa process of narrowing what we don’t know by disclosing what it isn’t. Allegorically, it is what the artist calls painting the negative space.