This book presents selected papers from the 1999 CIRP International Design Seminar. Design is a fundamental creative human activity. This certainly applies to the design of artifacts, the realisation of which has to meet ever-increasing demands. All ideas for new and better artifacts have been elaborated by designers, who have turned them into feasible concepts and finally transformed them into realisable product models.
Design knowledge is difficult to capture. Design, as a process, is difficult to organise. The analysis and structuring of design (process) knowledge is necessary in order to build design support systems. Furthermore, substantial research effort is still needed to develop design as a 'science of synthesis'. The principles of synthesis need to be better understood before design methods and computer support tools can be developed, which are fit for integration in the industrial manufacturing process.
This volume includes an introduction to design theories and methods, design and engineering processes, the role of computer support tools, and artificial intelligence in design support. The other contributions can be divided roughly into two categories. The first category deals with design support tools in relation to such topics as conceptual design, collaborative design, modelling, design optimization and evaluation. The second category treats the control of design and engineering processes in relation to subjects such as product and process knowledge, process representation, synthesis of thought and methods, integration, and concurrency.