The Propagation and Evolution of Design Constraints: An Industrial Case Study

Year: 2011
Editor: Chakrabarti, A.
Author: Nair, V. V.; Howard, J.T.; Culley, J. S.; Dekoninck, A. E.; McAloone, C. T.
Section: Design Theory, Methodology and Research Methodology
Page(s): 50-57


The research in this paper reports a case study of a design project which had two scopes for a variant and an adaptive design type. This is quite common practice where designers commonly propose short and long term solutions to design problems. In this particular case, preference was not voiced for an adaptive solution until the 3rd stage-gate of the project. The researcher acted as project manager of the design project using a participatory action research methodology. During the design work the researcher recorded and classified the various design constraints introduced and propagated throughout the design project.Where it was hypothesised that the variant design type will contain all constraints of the adaptive design with additional ones, the study should this not to be the case. The study also revealed that contrary to popular belief, changes at higher systems levels may exhibit less creativity despite having a greater impact.

Keywords: Constraints, Requirements, Specification, Design types.


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