Synthesiology as sustainability science
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I first became interested in sustainability in the late 1960s. At the time I was developing a general design theory with the objective of constructing an intellectual framework for the creation of artifacts—artificial things—compatible with nature. But my article introducing this concept was rejected several times over, both in Japan and overseas, and it did not appear in print as an academic treatise until 1975. Looking back, I can see that this design theory, being a form of artifactual engineering or synthesiology, was considered outside the purview of conventional science. Synthesiology is a term for the theory of integration of scientific and technological knowledge from different disciplines with the needs of society.
Traditionally, science starts with an object of study that it analyzes in order to understand it. The analytic results accumulated by scientists contribute to the development of new scientific disciplines. As the analytical process advances, its object of study...