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Proceedings of the ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences &

Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
IDETC/CIE 2015
August 2-5, 2015, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

DETC2015-46157

DESIGN PRINCIPLES: THE FOUNDATION OF DESIGN

Katherine K. Fu Maria C. Yang Kristin L. Wood
Georgia Institute of Technology Massachusetts Institute of Singapore University of
Atlanta, GA, USA Technology Technology and Design
Cambridge, MA, USA Singapore, Republic of
Singapore

ABSTRACT In this paper, we seek to make strides in formalizing design principles
Design principles are created to codify and formalize design in terms of the various disparate theoretical, empirical, and
knowledge so that innovative, archival practices may be experimental approaches. This research will assist in enabling a
communicated and used to advance design science and solve future fundamental understanding and development of design principles, and
design problems, especially the pinnacle, wicked, and grand-challenge associated processes, as well as guiding researchers and practitioners
problems that face the world and cross-cutting markets. Principles are in advancements and use of such principles. Ultimately, the research
part of a family of knowledge explication, which also include provides foundations to design science.
guidelines, heuristics, rules of thumb, and strategic constructs. 2 BACKGROUND
Definitions including a range of explications are explored from a The formalization of design research methodology is the indisputable
number of seminal papers. Based on this analysis, the authors pose path to the maturation of the field. Pahl and Beitz, some of the first to
formalized definitions for the three most prevalent terms in the propose formalized design processes and research [1]. Blessing and
literature – principles, guidelines, and heuristics. Current research Chakrabarti formulated a DRM (Design Research Methodology)
methods and practices with design principles are categorized and process comprised of 4 main steps: (1) Research Clarification, or
characterized. In analyzing the methodology for discovering, deriving, literature review to formulate a worthwhile research goal, (2)
formulating and validating design principles, the goal is to understand Descriptive Study I, or empirical data analysis in an exploratory study,
and advance the theoretical basis of design, the foundations of new (3) Prescriptive Study, or assumption experience synthesis into a
tools and techniques, and the complex systems of the vision of how to improve upon on the existing situation, and (4)
future. Suggestions for the future of design principles research Descriptive Study II, or empirical data analysis of the effect of the
methodology for added rigor and repeatability are proposed. improvement support developed [2]. Finger and Dixon extensively
1 INTRODUCTION reviewed design research methods, including descriptive models of
A number of technical research fields have grown and matured over design processes, prescriptive models for design, computer-based
decades through the investigation, study, experimentation, and models of design processes, languages, representations, and
validation of core principles. Accepted research methodologies and environments for design, analysis to support design decisions, design
standards similarly emerge and mature, founded on the scientific for manufacturing and other life cycle issues such as reliability,
method, but also tailored to the characteristics and scope of the field. serviceability, etc. [3, 4]. Many of the research efforts reviewed in this
The life sciences and physical sciences are classical examples of this paper fall into one of these categories, whether through descriptive
growth and maturation process. Numerous cases are prevalent in these models like case studies, protocol studies, and observations, or
fields, such as the theories and laws from classical mechanics to prescriptive models of how the design process ought to be carried out
explain the motion of particles, bodies, and systems of bodies. [4]. Inductive vs. deductive research methodologies are a particular
Design research, or design science, is a relatively young field of focus in this paper, where inductive research is based upon a process
research investigation. With the first treatises published around the in which data is collected first, patterns are extracted, and a theory is
mid-twentieth century, design science has grown steadily in the developed to explain those patterns, while deductive research is based
devoted attention and depth of investigation. From the very earliest upon a process in which a theory is developed first, after which data is
discourse related to this field, such as Glegg’s “The design of design,” collected and analyzed to determine if the theory is supported. Though
principles of design have been postulated [4]. Because of the broad not perfectly aligned in meaning, descriptive research and inductive
and interdisciplinary or trans-disciplinary nature of design science, research methods are similar in that they both rely on discovery of
numerous forms of design principles have been suggested across patterns and findings in data, while prescriptive research and deductive
disciplines, between disciplines, and at various levels of granularity or research methods are similar in that they pose a theoretical solution or
specificity. The time is now apparent to carefully study these efforts, answer, and test if it is effective or supported. The methodologies
seeking a formalization of design principles, definitions, and reviewed in this paper tend to fit into one of these two categories,
supporting research methodologies. though some are both. In reviewing the current research efforts to

1 Copyright © 2015 by ASME

scientific methodological undertaking. 2009 [9] Glegg. methodologies surrounding their conceptual kin (i.e. books. a law or fact of nature that explains how something works or why something happens” [6] Moe et al. specificity or granularity of the principle itself. and any articulated formal Principle: A fundamental rule or law. A [7] Weaver et al. LITERATURE REVIEW OF DEFINITIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS FOR “PRINCIPLE” Source Definition/Characteristics [5] Merriam-Webster “A moral rule or belief that helps you know what is right and wrong and that influences your actions. and each term is then posed based on an amalgamation and aggregate conference publications. To gain an understanding of the types throughout the research community over time. or true but Number of References 6 5 instead are generally applicable.i. among others. 2008 (transformation) principle is a guideline that. A formal definition for including monographs. the authors tabulated the following Based on the literature review and analysis of the definitions. REFERENCE YEAR OF PUBLICATION development of supporting methods. but hopefully spreading of design principles research. 2004 “A (transformation) principle is a generalized directive to bring about a certain type of mechanical transformation. Researchers use 50 40 a large variety of terms when defining “principle. deriving Sections (4. Formal This paper is both a literature review and original critical analysis of definitions ensure a common understanding and universal language. TABLE 1. therefore have an implied “design” before each term reviewed engineering journals or conference proceedings. 2. 3 • Principles are typically based on experiences.1 Principle the references come from. main contribution/brief synopsis. level Reference   0 Texts   of abstraction. or 2 empirical evidence. the field that 4. journal publications. anthologies.1-4. and true in a given 4 context. Figures 1.e. success of the principle. heuristics.extract design principles. and proposition. and/or high citation rate) or their publication in leading design and. techniques. and the distribution of references by year of Design principles are the focus of this research. experience. Specialized techniques: particular data and manufacturing techniques that have been amassed over a long period of time with respect to a very specific technology that you cannot hope to design that product without . the articulation of clear and 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY well-reasoned definitions for key concepts is imperative. effective. principles discovered. In the following Sub- and prevalence of each type of methodologies for exploring. suggestion.. design process guidance to increase the chance of reaching a successful solution. methods to find principles. singly creates a transformation. the common threads that can be observed REFERENCES throughout most of the definitions are: 7 • Principles are not universally applicable. effective.5). though the publication. formalization and added rigor to any toward a more formalized design principles research methodology.e. methods Proposed Formal Definition: to validate principles. relevant.” including: Journal   Papers   30 technique. example. which provides different ways. show the proportional breakdown of types of references. data.. camshaft for a 2 Copyright © 2015 by ASME . References were chosen based on either their assessment of the literature findings and the expertise of the authors. derived inductively from nomenclature definitions. and applicable to those for 60 design principles. as reviewed in the following sections. following is a proposed formalized definition for principle. examples. the manner in which principle is applied. This tabulation was analyzed in several extensive experience and/or empirical evidence.. methodology. assertion. design principle). the state-of-the-art with the goal of advancing and formalizing the field not only between the authors and reader. Factors considered when Conference 20 Papers classifying and describing principles include: level of detail in which 10 they impact the design. when embodied. design principles from the literature reviewed. 1 • The application of principles may be context and/or problem 0 dependent. As expected. point of application in the design process. FIELD OF review in Table 1. the information from each source where applicable: keywords/key topics. 1969 “Principles of engineering design can be divided into three distinct types: 1. and tools. and 3 (i. the level of refinement or FIGURE 1. To summarize the literature FIGURE 2. the authors present articulated formal definitions of and validating design principles. seminal nature to the foundation of the field (noted by their longevity These definitions are within the context of the design research field. As each reference was reviewed. recommendation.) 70 can be and often are similar. a basic truth or theory: an Dictionary idea that forms the basis of something. the authors reviewed 66 sources. Several definitions and characteristics have been Number of References Books   gathered and juxtaposed below in their original form. terms like PROPORTION OF “guideline” are used to define principles. but should be more generalizable than a few isolated 2011 1969 1972 1973 1980 1981 1984 1985 1988 1989 1990 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2012 2014 2015 instances Year of Publication • Principles are used as foundations for understanding and for the FIGURE 3. effective techniques and areas for 4 DISCUSSION OF NOMENCLATURE improvement and development of greater rigor can be identified In the pursuit of standardization.” [8] Singh et al. and are often used REFERENCE TYPES interchangeably in informal settings. etc.

they should always be considered” [14] McAdams. Off-line principles are applied at the design stage. 1994 “Technical evolution has its own characteristics and laws. which must be generalized and replicable. they are falsifiable. based on extensive that stand out between the definitions of principles and guidelines: experience and/or empirical evidence. organization.” • The literature on guidelines places strong emphasis on their modality.. and level of detail of presentation for TABLE 2. especially when they are interdependent. This interrelationship is called the working principle …and it is the first concrete step in the implementation of the solution. In this sense. altered. 1988 “Only the combination of the physical effect with the geometric and material characteristics (working surfaces. Due to their direct relation to one feature. 2011 “A set of principles can make this process more efficient as well as improve on the design of the original product. how they must be changed and revised. they are assertions that can guide the designer to a more effective outcome. recommendation.” – in describing the 40 inventive principles of TRIZ [1] Pahl and Beitz. and eventually dropped. “fundamental. imperative. They are the rules behind the rules. or recipes. 2008 “Specific Principles describe the rationale behind the design of a single feature or single research investigation.. they are not of universal application. (Toyota chief) engineers apply the principles to each design project differently. come up with the same answer. The principles in this paper are not suggestions 2014 or activities the designer should complete. 3.2 Guideline maximum effectiveness and usability. Key terms found throughout the literature quoted in Table presented in the next section.. Descriptions Based on the literature review and analysis of the definitions.” 4. the same is true of these principles. then we can use them to solve technical problems – by rules. 2004 Design principles are “…an intermediate step between scientific findings. effective. without wasting time on sorting out variants. and local experiences or examples that come up in practice. prescriptive. 2. Another characteristic that distinguishes between the principles is the level of detail that they change the design. working motions and materials) allows the principle of the solution to emerge. If we can find these regularities. prescriptions.” [17] Altshuller. instruction. but rather a set of methodologies to accomplish the goals…The breadth of the Zimmerman. This means that certain regularities exist.” [13] Mattson and Wood. Otherwise. There are cases of synergy in which the successful application of one principle advances one or more of the others. Just as every parameter in a system cannot be optimized at any one time.Although principles are not guaranteed. process.wide though their scope may be. and at times they should not be followed. 2003 principles’ applicability is important. Because of the need to interpret design principles.” [12] Anastas and “The principles are not simply a listing of goals.” [15] Perez et al. This is why different inventors in different countries. these would not be principles but simply a list of useful techniques that have been successfully demonstrated under specific conditions. Pragmatic Principles connect several Specific Principles (or several features). Design engineers use the principles to develop and evaluate a design process. … Meta-Principles capture abstract ideas represented in a cluster of Pragmatic Principles. The principles do not explicitly say what should be done. including manufacturing and during use. 2002. LITERATURE REVIEW OF DEFINITIONS FOR “GUIDELINE” Source Definition/Characteristics [18] Merriam-Webster “A rule or instruction that shows or tells how something should be done” Dictionary [19] Greer et al. …the same…principles must be applicable.” [16] Sobek et al. This definition is adapted from the definition for a design guideline according to Nowack (1997). which provides design • Guidelines seem to be presented as more context dependent and process direction to increase the chance of reaching a changeable than principles – perhaps even less “universal” or successful solution. The principles provide a means of processing the information gathered in the reverse engineering step in order to derive ideas based on specific details encompassed by the example products. if they do not yield purchase in the design process. the address factors such as when to use guidelines during the design following is a proposed formalized definition for guideline. General rules: broader theoretical considerations which are not confined to a single engineering mechanism . working on the same technical problems independently. characteristics of principles. “A principle…[is] a fundamental proposition used to guide the design process. assistance. they simply guide the engineer as decisions are made. and appropriate. Universal principles: underlying laws which cross the frontiers of most engineering design. There are two key differences Guideline: A context-dependent directive. opinion. On-line principles are applied anytime after this stage. prediction. they will be debated. guidelines. Rather.” [10] Bell et al.. they concern the design of design. When dealing with design architecture. and how they must be Proposed Formal Definition: presented and described to their user. petrol engine. they are not tied to any particular type of design.. they are not as readily falsifiable as scientific laws. The principles are generated inductively from prior examples of success and are subject to refinement over time as others try to adapt them to their own experiences. we find similar content for that of • Guidelines are described as more prescriptive than heuristics. and general. advice. with formulae. which tend to be descriptive or 2 include: prescriptive. specific principles in the database are embedded within the features. 1999 “…Principles…are not steps. though this could be an As discovered in the literature addressing the definitions and artifact of the choice of references. The key to success is the implementation of ideas as much as the principles themselves.” [11] Kali. “Design guidelines provide a means to store and reuse design knowledge with the potential to be effective in the early stages 3 Copyright © 2015 by ASME . 2003 A design principle is “‘a recommendation or suggestion for a course of action to help solve a design issue’..

LITERATURE REVIEW OF DEFINITIONS FOR “HEURISTIC” Source Definition/Characteristics [26] Merriam-Webster “Using experience to learn and improve. action recommendations. experience. 2011 1) Does not guarantee reaching the best solution. or even a solution. but satisfactory. empirical in nature. involving or serving as an aid to learning. Design guidelines address a wide range of design levels. or experiential understanding. links to design context. sense. a thorough table of contents and glossaries [21]. appropriate guidelines must be available to the designer at the time of a design decision.. knowledge. principle. which need to be adapted to the current situation of the designer… appearance of the descriptions of the guidelines have altered from a pure one-page text-based description to comprehensive descriptions with figures.. Distinctions that emerge based on knowledge. strategy. These guidelines are being continuously revised and updated to meet technical and environmental changes. that has successfully passed its empirical tests. or principles for deciding which among several alternative courses of action promises to be the most effective in order to achieve the desired goals. and 4 Copyright © 2015 by ASME . but potentially fallible depending design process applications. 2007 generic guidelines that refer to more general aspects. the contents are typically based on laboratory experiments and experts’ opinions. 2009 Heuristics “…are criteria. To maximize the compliance of the resulting products. including good or bad examples.” [33] Yilmaz and “The term ‘heuristic’ implies that it: Seifert. tacit interchangeably in the literature. This definition requires another: the phrase ‘proven scientifically valid’ refers to a hypothesis. and especially principles. 1998 “Guidelines can provide additional assistance by predicting likely outcomes of actions and by identifying additional issues that should be considered. methods. Table 3 draws upon both sets of literature on context and circumstances. examples and a quantity of text. Again. guideline. which The term heuristic has an understandably broader and richer base of are mostly prescriptive. “(Module) heuristics: A method of examination in which the designer uses a set of steps. the following is a proposed formalized definition for heuristic. simple. 1992 [29] Li et al. Key terms used in describing and defining heuristics from compared to guidelines. as it has both • Value is typically defined by usefulness connotations with computational applications as well as analogue • Heuristics are generally reliable. it is important to produce design guidelines that designers can actually understand and apply [22]. formulated after systematic. The format used to present the product evolution design guidelines is the imperative form from English grammar…According to Nowack. concise. in an attempt to generalize the definition among the fields of • There may not be as extensive evidence or validation of heuristics. 2006 support for individuals…towards a general procedure for a company addressing organization and content….3 Heuristic • Ability to be prescriptive or descriptive.” [24] Jänsch and “The generality inherent in all guidelines has been greatly increased… direction of the guidelines has changed from a personal Birkhofer. 1996 “Heuristics are rules-of-thumb that have been successful in producing ‘acceptable’. unlike guidelines. The purpose of design guidelines is to enable designers to make usable and consistent applications that conform to designated conventions. also: of or relating to exploratory problem-solving techniques that utilize self-educating techniques (as the evaluation of feedback) to improve performance <a heuristic computer program>” [27] Stone and Wood.” [20] Nowack 1997 A design guideline is “a prescriptive recommendation for a context sensitive course of action to address a design issue.” [23] Bevan and “A good set of guidelines is composed of a combination of more specific guidelines for the application at hand and more Spinhof. For guideline support to be effective.” 4. of design where…broad knowledge is beneficial. 2010 “…Design guidelines can…be considered as an intermediary interface between the designer and …[expert] knowledge. to identify (modules) in a design problem. literature from which its definition can be derived.. but often lead to potential solutions by 1980 providing a “short-cut” within cognitive processing. a design guideline has at least four parts: issue(s) addressed or impacted. based on intuition. 1984 “The term ‘heuristic’ has commonly referred to strategies that make use of readily accessible information to guide problem-solving. the heuristics are proven by following the scientific method. not necessarily ‘optimal’ solution to a type of problem.” [25] Matthews. Thus.” “And the set of guidelines should be well documented.content of the descriptions has been enhanced with figures. objective data collection.” [21] Kim. practical or “quick and dirty. common Based on the above literature review and analysis of these definitions.” [28] Bolc and “Heuristics [are] explicit rules derived from human experiences and tacit knowledge. as in the previous two section defining Proposed Formal Definition: principle and guideline.” Cytowshi. in particular flow charts and in-depth texts…. the sampled literature include: rule-of-thumb.advice within the guidelines [has] changed from addressing concrete thinking processes to general problem solving advice…instructions have changed from statements that can be immediately put into action or thought to instruction on an abstract level.. yet proven 2000 scientifically valid. which provides design the literature sampled that make heuristics unique include: process direction to increase the chance of reaching a • Emphasis on reducing search time – not necessarily an optimal satisfactory but not necessarily optimal solution. we find the terms can be and often are used Heuristic: A context-dependent directive. and rationale [20].” TABLE 3. discovery.” [30] Chong et al.” [32] Pearl. observation.” [31] Nisbett and Ross. “Heuristics are reasoning processes that do not guarantee the best solution. or problem-solving by Dictionary experimental and especially trial-and-error methods <heuristic techniques> <a heuristic assumption>. lesson. result. application.

ill-structured problems…. • The opposite statement of the heuristic should be foolish. 2000 concise a manner as possible… Insight. A number of terms fall into the same family as principles. guidelines.. In light of the discussion thus far. “Synonyms of the heuristic: rule of thumb. random suggestions. • Granularity or Specificity: the degree of granularity or specificity 4. mutually contradictory statements: • … must make sense in its original domain or context…a strong correlation.are used as aids in decision making.” [35] Magee and Frey. working bias. rule of craft. intuition. guaranteed.4 Additional Nomenclature set of dimensions that form the definitions of heuristics.1-4. is strongly guided by lessons learned from one’s own or others’ experiences and observations. and fallible. “People typically use heuristics in three ways…[1] as evocative guides. should have stood the test of time and earned a broad consensus. or the ability to structure a complex situation in a way that greatly increases understanding of it.” [36] Clancey. with an overall form that is problem-area independent. or processes. They • Prescriptive-Descriptive Dimension: the nature of the terms tends to state that “any design rule that cannot be converted into an algorithm is be ordered as heuristics. “A heuristic is a generally reliable. and to reveal. A few • Supporting Evidence or Validation Dimension: the degree of of these terms are reviewed here as acknowledgment of their supporting evidence for the terms tends to be ordered as heuristics. guidelines. to discover. heuristically related. and principles. clearly not “common sense. but potentially fallible.. inherently unbounded. importance. if not a direct cause and effect. Algorithmic design rules are “based on knowledge where • Formalization Dimension: the degree of formalization of the terms the relationship between cause and effect is known well. continuum rather than a dichotomy between algorithmic and heuristic rules.” [37] Maier and “The heuristics methodology is based on “common sense. 1985 “The heuristic classification model characterizes a form of knowledge and reasoning-patterns of familiar problem situations and solutions. hence. • Don’t make a heuristic so elegant that it only has meaning to its creator. or heuristic. thus losing general usefulness. engineering judgment. guidelines. guidelines. technique. it would be expected that principles might be placed closer to the 5 Copyright © 2015 by ASME . • The general sense…of the heuristic should apply beyond the original context. hint. progressing heuristic” [38]. “Two forms of heuristic[s]…[1] descriptive: it describes a situation but does not indicate directly what to do about it…[2] prescriptive: it prescribes what might be done about the situation. In capturing problem situations that tend to occur and solutions that tend to work. aid. • Rather than adding a conditional statement to a heuristic. and principles in laws. “Signatures of the heuristic: • A heuristic does not guarantee a solution • It may contradict other heuristics • It reduces the search time in solving a problem for a satisfactory solution • The absolute value of a heuristic…is based on the pragmatic standard …[it] depends exclusively on its usefulness in a specific context…a heuristic never dies. and they produce predictable and reliable results. It is used to guide. thus far. Heuristic evaluation criteria “…to eliminate unsubstantiated assertions.3). • One heuristic [replaces] another by…doing a better job in a given context. 2) Provides a ‘quick and dirty’ (easier) method that often leads to an acceptable solution. le pif (the nose) A heuristic is an “engineering strategy for causing desirable change in an unknown situation within the available resources…anything that provides a plausible aid or direction in the solution of a problem but is in the final analysis unjustified. design rules are much less well defined. 1985 “All engineering is heuristic.” • The heuristic’s lesson.4. and principles: and heuristics. as in physical tends to be ordered as heuristics. value judgments. direction. either being algorithmic principles in increasing formalization. • The heuristic should be easily rationalized in a few minutes or on less than a page. anecdotal speculation. try embedding both descriptive and prescriptive messages in a heuristic. nonanalytic guidelines for treating complex. and discuss design rules as dichotomous in nature. or proven. But they must be used with judgment.” …comes from collective experience stated in as simple and Rechtin. To synthesize the three previous Sections (4. must be apparent between the heuristic and the successes or failures of specific systems. the authors pose a 4. to rational approaches and methods. though not necessarily its most recent formulation.” Heuristic increasing formalization. “Heuristics…are trusted. simplification that enables a problem to be addressed within 2006 resource constraints. this knowledge is essentially experiential. products.1 Rule/Commandment Roozenburg and Eekels for the terms tends to be ordered as heuristics. relationship.” [34] Koen. were there to be a from more prescriptive to more descriptive. personal opinions. incapable of justification. and principles in increasing evidence. It just fades from use. guidelines. and assessments…provide the successive transitions from qualitative. consider creating a separate but associated heuristic that focuses on the insight of dealing with that conditional situation. • Humor (and careful choice of words) in a heuristic provide an emotional bite that enhances the mnemonic effect • For maximum effect. but are not used as prevalently in the literature. provisional needs to descriptive and prescriptive guidelines and. evoke new thoughts…[2] as codifications of experience…[3] as integrated into development processes. and distinction from the three terms defined guidelines. corporate dogma.

as Gruber defines it. purpose. as translated (to the extent possible) into exact numerical specifications – no small feet to achieve. as the methods and sources for deriving and validating any of describable relationships among them. This set of objects. time. products.8 Rule of Thumb Merriam-Webster defines rule and as old ones become obsolete and are deleted” [34]. 25. Every knowledge base. are design. let alone define. reconfigurable design. successful design experiences. and the expertise of the state of literature that used deductive the art practices. guidelines or software design. and based on beliefs rooted in abstraction of good design decisions and processes. such as principle or heuristic.4. Suh states that “in purely algorithmic the work of Hamstra [39]. so naturally state of the art practice is defined by those 2: a general principle regarded as roughly correct but not intended to heuristics. The research the process will lead to a design embodiment that satisfies design describes commandments as “not written in stone…[as] creative work goals. create associated heuristics one is tempted to add a conditional 4. An ontology is an explicit specification of a principles and their kin.6 Strategy Merriam-Webster defines strategy as the statement – in that there are corollaries and associations among them following: as well. algorithmic design. 46-88]. 6-9. over a long period of time 4. “a Transformation Facilitator is a design archetype that concepts. the author portrays design principles as restrictive.4. 22. or “a group of heuristics. 43]. the proportion of METHOD CLASSIFICATION into place through governmental regulations. relying upon agreement research efforts in the FOR ANALYZED LITERATURE of law makers and technical experts.4.4. strong terms like universal design.5 Standard Standards. include: transformational 4. The axiomatic approach is based on the in that they are prescriptive in nature. 40.” He goes on to stipulate that “each strategy. axioms are general principles or self-evident truths that cannot be 4. user interface definitions of characteristics. more so than 4. so in the end commandments for exhibit and experience design. Generally. process and services are fit for their purpose. The research efforts analyzed in Section 5 include the represents knowledge” [40]. mix of softer. in addition to being potentially descriptive rather than “1: a careful plan or method for achieving a particular goal usually prescriptive. This the level of unshakeable truth and correctness of them makes axioms term harkens to the recommendation of Maier and Rechtin [37] to the most stringent term discussed yet. 6 Copyright © 2015 by ASME . design. which presented a set of seven design. 11-17. As stated by counterexamples or exceptions. RESEARCH interpretation of these mixed subtexts is that standards are often put In Figure 4. despite the semantic connotation of the term. to ensure that materials. According development.algorithmic end. One topics. the set of objects that can be represented is and any of the other familial terms reviewed in the nomenclature called the universe of discourse. biomimetic/bio- “documented agreements containing technical specifications or other inspired design. none of the sources reviewed here directly or definition of ontology. and 4. The topics addressed in the research efforts reviewed here may sit. which he defines simply as a None of the sources reviewed here directly or explicitly defined SOTA. are reflected in the the knowledge codification types reviewed previously is valuable to representational vocabulary with which a knowledge-based program this analysis. energy and entropy that are results of helps or aids in creating mechanical transformation. biomechanical design.2 Facilitator Facilitator is a term found in a series of derived or proven to be true. “generalizable principles that govern the underlying behavior of the Commandments as defined come across as most similar to guidelines. from which the definition for algorithm and the following definition Only one instance of the term commandment was encountered in for axiom are taken [42.4. and are designed to spark discussion and to Suh. most terms discussed thus far would fit within the category of inspiration…and to clarify ambitions to clients” [39]. and the section.6 Algorithm Suh conceived of Axiomatic Design. should be labeled…and…time stamp[ed]. but for which there are no related works that study the design of transformers [6-8]. [as]…SOTA is a function of such as principle or heuristic. guidelines somewhere in between. robotics.4. Interestingly.7 Axiom Suh goes on to define axioms as commandments. explicitly defined rule of thumb. While Suh uses Facilitators aid in the design for transformation but their the term “principle” in the definition for axiom. 33-36. 27.4 Ontology Gruber provides a relevant and cogent As with strategy.3 State of the Art (SOTA) Koen inextricably links 2: the skill of making or carrying out plans to achieve a goal” [44] heuristics to the term state of the art [34]. system being investigated. To gauge the state of the art in research methodologies for design explicitly or implicitly. It changes as new heuristics become useful and are added to it 4. but rather used rule of thumb as a simplified view of the world that we wish to represent for some synonym for other terms. could be following references: [2. Koen sees all of engineering as “1: a method of procedure based on experience and common sense heuristic. 43]. FIGURE 4. the algorithmic approach is founded on the notion cannot be done from a straightjacket of design principles…[they] that the best way of advancing the design field is to understand the combine…beliefs about…goals and planning. Axioms generate new abstract the authors. conceived of as the umbrella under which all other terms discussed 39.4. but rather used rule of thumb as a synonym for other terms. among other “precise criteria”. knowledge-based system. Transformation Newton’s laws and thermodynamic laws” [42. As stated earlier. 24. From this conceptualization…When the knowledge of a domain is represented in point forward in the paper. “guidelines” in combination with more definitive. be scientifically accurate” [45] 4.” This definition has a green/environmental design. and content design process by following the best design practice” [42]. Ontology. as defined by Cheng [41]. or 5 DESIGN PRINCIPLES RESEARCH METHODS knowledge-level agent is committed to some conceptualization. the requirements for implementation does not create transformation singly” [6-8].4. 21. As stated of thumb as the following: earlier in the heuristic section. and “ensure”. 19. more subjective words like “agreements” and TRIZ. heuristics closer to the heuristic end (naturally). …methods. the term “principle” is used to refer to itself a declarative formalism. precise criteria to be used consistently as rules. “technical specifications”. 30. we try to identify or prescribe the design process. such as force. 66 publications were analyzed. stating that “a conceptualization is an abstract.

and then reduced to broader categories. inductive approaches TABLE 4. Patents. data collection and data coding and analysis. 29 discussed in Section 5. in Existing Principles.2 Teams 12 • Analysis of Existing Designs / Design Repositories/Empirical Designs (sketches. usually the author(s) Derivation from N/A (2). N/A (2) N/A (2) Experience which the theory is the starting point of the research confirmed by the N/A (2) N/A (2) validation step. • Students: students serve as the subjects for a design study Figure 6 shows the sources that researchers used from which to derive • Not Specified/Not Applicable: the authors did not state the source principles. studying existing designs themselves.1 Review of Methodologies for Extraction/ Derivation/ 10. interviewed.” This choice was made to illustrate biomimetic design that many authors and researchers are writing about their own design experiences. Existing Principles benefit of publicly accessible data sources and large accessible sample 2 sizes. from which principles were extracted Designs. or studied as the source principles from their own design activities. a methodology that has the Literature 442. sharing their life long Experience (Person) Years 40. from which principles are derived – can be less time Derivation from Design Design project/task 2. 40. 10. 90 used by the authors to derive. 3 Each of the 66 references was examined to ascertain the methodology Consumer products. These were first tabulated as their specific detailed Analysis of Existing Nature methodologies. lessons learned for designers to come. it was coded as “authors”. discover. including: Designs Examples 163 • Not Specified or Not Applicable: the authors did not state the Nature 1 method by which the principles were derived 200. rather than deriving 7 Copyright © 2015 by ASME . The categories shown in Figure 4 are in terms of observation. 40. Discovery of Design Principles Consumer products 15. and accumulated knowledge. as in biologically inspired or rather than “design project/task. lessons. of experiences in a memoir-esque format. Sources of Principles Methods to Find/Derive Principles Literature Analysis of Existing Designs Consumer products Existing principles Engineers Experience Patents Derivation from Design Practice Authors Derivation from Laboratory Designers Design Expert Observation Nature Expert Industrial Designers Not Specified or Not Applicable Not Specified or Not Applicable 0 5 10 15 20 Students Design Project/task Number of Papers 0 5 10 15 20 FIGURE 5. or how they were derived. 46. Principles Unit of Sample Size Size 5.5 analyzed N/A N/A As shown in Figure 5. early stage) 50 Data Sets: consumer products. extract. METHODS USED IN LITERATURE TO DERIVE Number of Papers DESIGN PRINCIPLES FIGURE 6. If the authors generated observed. nature. described as the following: Very few of the papers did not specify or address where the principles • Design Project/task: designers/study subjects perform a design task came from. 10. a clear deductive approach to design principles research.000. Designers Laboratory Based Design 20 • Existing Principles: existing literature was used as the source of Practice Engineers 36 principles. N/A (2) methodologies are those that are highly energy and resource intensive it from an external source. Existing Patents 90 • Derivation from Design Practice: based on design performed by Principles the authors. 20. The second most frequent methodology used principles derived N/A (6) N/A (6) by others. Design experts often write about their career’s worth 30. including those that used both approaches. 3. otherwise would fall into the next Practice Engineers N/A category N/A (3) N/A (3) • Experience: derived from the experience of an expert designer or Design project/task 5 collection of expert designers. for example using both • Expert Designers from Industry: expert industrial designers were consumer products and literature review. The majority of LITERATURE TO DERIVE PRINCIPLES researchers used an inductive method. 23. SAMPLE SIZES USED IN is shown. which will be discussed further Methods to find Sample in the next two sections. SOURCES FROM WHICH DESIGN PRINCIPLES WERE EXTRACTED vs. patents. 1 and experience than expert level. Patents 41 • Design Expert Observation: in situ observation of expert designers Computer Programs N/A at work expressly not a laboratory setting or study Reconfigurable systems 33 • Derivation from Laboratory Base Design Practice: design study Analysis of Existing based data was collected. which were validated or tested using one of the means Students 300. Many cited multiple sources. N/A principles. or codify design Consumer products. the most publications derived principles by N/A (5). 40. • Nature: natural phenomena. or even software are Design Expert Observation (Person) Years 0. The least prevalent 1. Patents 190. 190. 1.

approaches. but does use of crowd-sourced design and other online platforms [89]. with very few offering any prescriptive application of not address the validation of the principles. asymptotic convergence. 64. papers that did not specify that particular information. the authors or others performed small-scale agent based modeling of design processes. 1. the source for validation was naturally not convergence analysis referenced earlier [8. Design project/task 1 The sample sizes used for the derivation of the principles were also design project/task tabulated. As is true of much of design science the design principles. 50 existing literature Convergence Analysis. Figure 7 shows that the majority of publications did themselves. 1. The largest Design project/task 1. 1. a niche in the publication set [8. 3.• Designers: designers performed design tasks. 1. regardless of energy/time/resource intensive requirements – Convergence/Asymptotic Analysis: Examining a larger set of source or alternatively. 1. and complex systems modeling. neither novices nor 6 PROPOSED FUTURE DIRECTIONS FOR DESIGN experts. observed. Notice that nearly half (28) of tools like logic operators. N/A studies. nor engineers or roboticists – a middle category for design PRINCIPLES RESEARCH METHODOLOGY study subjects • Authors: the authors of the research publication served as the TABLE 5. This material (test data) until the quantity of principles converged to a issue of sample size and access to expert or advanced level design horizontal asymptote. and individuals reporting Team 1 on their own person-years of experience. through techniques like validation methodology. Most often. The second design principles so as to combine the benefits of longitudinal most prevalent validation methodology was a design project or task – expertise and reduction of bias in reporting on just one personal most often a case study of solving 1 to 3 design problems employing perspective or experience.1. 28 sample sizes came from analysis based on student participant design Students 6. i. 17. most research efforts focus on the presentation of principles that were derived. level of formalization. Experience N/A (4) N/A (4) 5. The largest sample sizes came from analyses As discussed earlier. as shown in Figure 8. Design Project/task 3. or interviewed as the Consumer Products 4. not address the validation of the utility of the principles. is an additional way the papers did not report the method to validate principles nor the to add rigor and repeatability to the research methodology. 2. There is also an opportunity for more computational and As expected based on the number of publications that did not address numerical validation of the principles. SAMPLE SIZES USED IN LITERATURE source either through design activity or experiential knowledge FOR PRINCIPLE VALIDATION • Patents: patents were analyzed as the source Methods to Validate Unit of Sample Size Sample Size Principles • Engineers: engineers were studied. This numerical participants is being addressed innovatively through efforts like the technique shows promise for its computational robustness. decision trees. examined for the ways in which they validated the design principles First. computational validation might include other data mining techniques. patent/consumer product analyses. and customer review analyses. 1. 80] is represented by those who validated principles through: designers. a solution to this problem should be developed. etc. patent analyses.e. Alternative addressed either for the majority of publications. but rather focused on the these principles into design practice for their validation. there are dimensions of principles that of consumer products. 2. including level of supporting evidence or validation. modeling of human implementations of the design principles in practice as proof of cognition through Bayesian statistics or other philosophical concept and initial validity at a case study level. 80]. Interestingly. If any information was not included. emerge from the various definitions that should be considered or even Most papers went about validation with 1-3 design tasks implementing explicitly stated. 1. 4. artificial intelligence models implementing methods like Sample sizes used for principle validation were also tabulated. Design Expert Observation Designs 218 N/A was marked. 3. 645 source Analysis of Existing Designs Industrial Products 2 • Consumer products: consumer products were analyzed to extract N/A (2) N/A (2) principles Customer reviews 200 • Literature: principles were taken as already articulated in pre. 4.2 Review of Methodologies for Validation of Design N/A (28) N/A (28) N/A (28) Principles The review of the design principles literature indicates some key Similar to the analysis in Section 5. using those samples for each paper analyzed. METHODS USED IN LITERATURE TO VALIDATE Number of Papers DESIGN PRINCIPLES FIGURE 8. SOURCES USED IN LITERATURE TO VALIDATE DESIGN PRINCIPLES 8 Copyright © 2015 by ASME . as neural networks. the derived principles. An they were for derivation. 70. level of granularity or specificity. and position Methods to Validate Principles Sources of Validation Not Specified or Not Not Specified or Not Applicable Authors Design Project/task Examples/Case Studies/Design task Analysis of Existing Designers Convergence Analysis Students Experience Consumer products Patents Design Expert Observation Consumer Reviews 0 10 20 30 Expert Industrial Designers Number of Papers 0 10 20 30 40 FIGURE 7. language structures. as shown in Table 4. Convergence Analysis Patents 41. research. more investment must be made into the study of expert 74. Table 5 shows the samples sizes and units of increased level of formalism in the articulation of principles. Numbers in parentheses denote the number of 1. source nor sample size. 74. Author derivation of the principles. 1. or more often the pure presentation of the experience should be combined with empirical derivation/discovery of principles themselves without regard for methodology. the source literature was also opportunities for future directions of design research methodology.

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