means that design of Artifacts is itself an emergent phenomenon. This implies that it emerges in the creative design process, rather than being a blueprint that exists eternally in the ether like the Platonic source forms and also that the artifact that is designed has emergent properties that are more than the sum of its parts. Supervenient Design would be the opposite and it would imply that the designed artifact's properties were the sum of its parts, and that the design itself was cobbled together only by permutations of factors that already existed in some other form, say in nature. Thus emergent design has a two fold meaning. It means that the design process is creative and cannot be done by routine, and thus it is a non-routine type of work, but also it implies that the result of this creative non-routine work itself has emergent properties that cannot be reduced to the parts that it is composed of by supervenience. Like Martin Hemberg writes in his thesis on "Genr8- A Design Tool for surface generation" : "This means that we can not predict the outcome of the system just by studying the mechanics and constituents at the local level. The most striking example is perhaps the human brain. Each brain cell is in itself incapable of thought; it is an emergent property of the brain as a whole". I have to add here that the logical structure of the brain is not apparent upon visualizing it. You cannot just look at it and understand how it works....
Emergent Design refers to not just software but all forms of design of any kind of systems, including Architecture of Buildings, or large Systems of Systems produced by the networking of many systems together. Systems (and Systems of Systems) are by implication emergent as they have properties that cannot be reduced to their parts. Also in the process of Systems Design there is a creative and artful side to the Design Process by which the Design appears in the process of design.
So it is pretty obvious then that a lot of the personal esthetics are a bit arbitrary/irelevant in these kinds of processes.
More to follow