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A Classification of Design Theories and Methodologies

[+] Author Affiliations
Tetsuo Tomiyama

Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands

Paper No. DETC2006-99444, pp. 43-51; 9 pages
  • ASME 2006 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4a: 18th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, September 10–13, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4258-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3784-X
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


This paper aims at providing a classification of various design theories and methodologies (DTM) based on a philosophically sound foundation. Such a classification is necessary in order to develop further, in particular, so-called descriptive and prescriptive theories and methodologies. As a scientific foundation, this paper chose General Design Theory (GDT) which is a theory of design knowledge based on axiomatic set theory. First, the paper briefly reviews GDT and establishes a knowledge-centric view of design. Then, it gives an alternative systematic categorization framework including (1) DTM to generate a new design solution (including creativity-based design and modification-based design), (2) DTM to enrich information about functional and attributive information, (3) DTM to manage design processes, and (4) DTM to represent design information and knowledge. Finally, the paper categorizes some representative work in DTM and further discusses educational implications of this categorization.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME
Topics: Design theory



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