This paper introduces a model of the design process which challenges some commonly stated assumptions about design. For example, it holds that design should be normally be recursive rather than iterative; that we design and reason about sets of artifacts, not an artifact; and that we should normally not design to meet specifications. The model integrates and provides perspective on a variety of design methodologies, including Taguchi methods and QFD. It allows formal treatment of some key issues; for example, formal conditions can be identified for the concurrent development of products and processes.

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