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• These are factual statements, derived
from experience, that characterise the
guidelines, requirements, and procedures,
that are necessary for the technical
success of the engineering design
1) The material nature of the
object of engineering design
• The object of design is a material good or
service which is physically realisable.
• This means that Engineering design has
an authentic purpose, and is not
• Furthermore, the objects are not meta-
2) The iterative nature of the
design process

• Design is an iterative problem-solving

process; in which the list and timetable of
activities identified as philosophy of
design, are applied repeatedly, until a
satisfactory solution is obtained;
3) The decision-making nature
of the design process
• Design is a progression from the abstract
to the concrete; starting with probably
abstract ideas about need, and thereafter
elaborating detailed specifications of the
object that would satisfy the need
4) Structure of design problem
at the appex of a hierarchy of
• In attending to the solution of a design problem, there is
uncovered a substratum of sub-problems; and the
solution to the original problem, is dependent on the
solution of the sub-problems.
• This statement re-iterates the process of synthesis and
analysis. Synthesis creates the whole from the parts.
Analysis achieves the opposite and resolves the whole
into parts.
• The statement therefore says that the whole can only
determined by elaborating the parts. A concept is not
designed, until the parts are designed;
5) Information processing
feature of the design process

• Design is a processing of information that

results in a transition from uncertainty to
certainty, regarding the success or failure
of the design;
6) When to terminate a design
• A design project or sub-project is
terminated whenever confidence in its
failure is sufficient to warrant its
abandonment, or
• Is continued when confidence in an
available design solution is high enough to
warrant the commitment of resources
necessary for the next phase;
7) Design solution in available
modes of communication
• A design is a description of an object and
a prescription for its production or
• Therefore it will have existence to the
extent that it is expressed in the available
modes of communication, such as graphic
(drawings), written (reports), and verbal
• These are statements or guidelines that
respond to ethical issues of the designer’s
responsibility to society,
• Recognising the fact that while a design
problem has no unique answers, the
designer has to consider and reconcile the
possibly conflicting interests and value
judgements of
1) the consumer,
2) producer,
3) distributor and
4) himself.
1) Human needs, Engineering
design, and Technology factors

• Engineering Design must be a response

to individual or social needs which can
be satisfied by the technological factors
of culture.
• Technological factors of culture are the
library of production techniques available
from human History, including those that
science has yet to explain.
2) Planning or design process
has a cost to be controlled
• Information and its processing has a
cost, which must be balanced by the
worth of the evidence bearing on the
success or failure of the design;
3) Avoidance of pre-mature

• In the solution of a design problem at any

stage of the process, commitments
which fix future design decisions must
not be made beyond what is necessary
to execute the immediate solution.
• This will allow the maximum freedom in
finding solutions to sub-problems at
lower levels of design.
4) The need for economic

• The good or service, described by a

design, must have utility to the consumer
that equals or exceeds the sum of the
proper costs incurred in making it
available to him, the test of economic
5) The need for financial
• The operations of designing, producing
and distributing the good must be
financially supportable, the test of
financial viability;
6) The need for optimal choices
• The choice of a design concept must be
optimal among the available alternatives;
7) Criteria of optimality to be
agreed with stake-holders
• Optimality must be established relative to a
design criterion (such as quantity, quality,
cost, etc.), which represents the designer’s
compromise among possibly conflicting
value judgements that include those of
1) the consumer,
2) the producer,
3) the distributor and
4) the designer.