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Research Papers: Design Theory and Methodology

Design Principles: Literature Review, Analysis, and Future Directions

[+] Author and Article Information
Katherine K. Fu

School of Mechanical Engineering and,
School of Industrial Design,
Georgia Institute of Technology,
Atlanta, GA 30332

Maria C. Yang

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Cambridge, MA 02139

Kristin L. Wood

Engineering Product Development Pillar,
Singapore University of Technology and Design
Singapore 487372, Singapore

Contributed by the Design Theory and Methodology Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received November 3, 2015; final manuscript received June 13, 2016; published online August 30, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Mathew I. Campbell.

J. Mech. Des 138(10), 101103 (Aug 30, 2016) (13 pages) Paper No: MD-15-1746; doi: 10.1115/1.4034105 History: Received November 03, 2015; Revised June 13, 2016

Design principles are created to codify and formalize design knowledge so that innovative, archival practices may be communicated and used to advance design science and solve future design problems, especially the pinnacle, wicked, and grand-challenge problems that face the world and cross-cutting markets. Principles are part of a family of knowledge explication, which also include guidelines, heuristics, rules of thumb, and strategic constructs. Definitions of a range of explications are explored from a number of seminal papers. Based on this analysis, the authors pose formalized definitions for the three most prevalent terms in the literature—principles, guidelines, and heuristics—and draw more definitive distinctions between the terms. Current research methods and practices with design principles are categorized and characterized. We further explore research methodologies, validation approaches, semantic principle composition through computational analysis, and a proposed formal approach to articulating principles. In analyzing the methodology for discovering, deriving, formulating, and validating design principles, the goal is to understand and advance the theoretical basis of design, the foundations of new tools and techniques, and the complex systems of the future. Suggestions for the future of design principles research methodology for added rigor and repeatability are proposed.

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Topics: Design
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Figures

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Proportion of reference types

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Field of references

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Reference year of publication

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Fig. 4

Research method classification for analyzed literature

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Fig. 6

Sources from which design principles were extracted

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Methods used in literature to derive design principles

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Fig. 9

Part of speech word position semantic principle analysis

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Sources used in literature to validate design principles

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Fig. 7

Methods used in literature to validate design principles

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Fig. 10

Quantities by part of speech of first three words in first five sentences for set of design principles

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