Object oriented design

I am probably the only person on the planet who had not heard of object oriented design. But, today I did learn a bit about it. Forgive me if I have the wrong end of the stick!

So, the idea is that you create a “black box” or a “mock up” in your design. You may not understand what goes on inside the “object” but you do understand how it needs to link with other “objects”: the inputs and outputs. If you are designing a house, a window space might be an “object”. You know the size and what is needed around it, but you may not have decided what materials it is made out of, whether it is double glazed, how it opens, etc. But you know enough about the “object” to continue with your design work. In this way, you do not have to design every detail – you can even leave the final design of the window to someone else – maybe the interior decorator.

The reason I particularly like this thought is that it allows you to mix top-down design with bottom-up design. For example, top-down design is when the architect takes the brief from the client and draws up the outline of the house and the floor plan and the windows and … Bottom-up design might start with some detailed design of the windows, and then, taking inspiration from the window design, adding walls and roof to match.

Maybe I did not fully understand the conversation I had – but I still like the idea of mixing top-down design with bottom-up design. I must learn more about “object oriented” design.


About Andrew Campbell

Ashridge Executive Education Focus on strategy and organisation Almost retired!
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