CAPTURING THE CONCEPTUAL DESIGN PROCESS WITH CONCEPT-CONFIGURATION-EVALUATION TRIPLETS
DS 68-6: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 6: Design Information and Knowledge, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011
Editor: Culley, S.J.; Hicks, B.J.; McAloone, T.C.; Howard, T.J. & Chen, W.
Author: Kroll, Ehud; Shihmanter, Alexander
Section: Design Information and Knowledge Management
Design knowledge is a key asset that companies find difficult to capture and access. Since most design is redesign, being able to use prior knowledge effectively is crucial. A record of the design process and the decisions that were made is necessary in order to understand, recreate and modify a design. Not less important is capturing the rationale behind rejected ideas. Various design methods can be used for the conceptual design phase, but most fail to explicitly capture the history and rationale of the process, including the reasons for discarded efforts. This paper demonstrates the need for capturing the design rationale with a textbook example that uses functional decomposition and morphology as the conceptual design method. It then introduces a simple and effective scheme that uses a sequence of triplets of the form concept-configuration-evaluation to describe the desired information. This scheme is based on a conceptual design methodology called parameter analysis, but we show that the proposed means of rationale capture is generally applicable.