Conceptual Design

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Conceptual design (CD) as a process model of design is intuitively appealing because much of design knowledge comes through the experience of multiple, individual design situations. A major task in the development of computer support for design is the identification of the design knowledge to be included in the support tool.


Developing such a model also improves our understanding of design and challenges some of the theoretical developments in CD.
In order to effectively apply CD to design, it helps to do a task analysis of design problem solving. Design process models begin to identify some of the computational models of design and the implications of implementing one of them. Such models can provide guidelines in the development and use of computer support tools. Three models considered in this chapter include a decomposition approach to design, a CD approach, and a transformational approach.
Design, as ill-structured problem solving that has formal knowledge as well, presents challenges to the application of CD. Using CD requires the formalization of design experiences as a design case memory and the formalization of the reasoning processes of recall and adaptation. There are aspects of a design domain that have no formal representations, where the basics of CD cannot be applied as a formalism. There are also aspects of a design domain that may already be formalized and these formalisms need to be integrated with the CD model in order to have an effective design support tool. ...
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