Research in Engineering Design

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 185–199 | Cite as

Topological structures for modeling engineering design processes

  • Dan BrahaEmail author
  • Yoram Reich
Original Paper


In this paper, a mathematical framework for describing a variety of complex and practical design processes is developed. We demonstrate that our model has the desirable quality of representing several, seemingly distinct, approaches as instances of the same framework. In addition, General Design Theory is shown to be a special case of the proposed framework. Using simple examples throughout the paper, we also hint at the potential for the framework to serve as a basis for a descriptive study of design. Various design phenomena such as design failure, identification of design knowledge bottlenecks, and benefits of collaborative design could be understood using the proposed model.


Design process Design analysis and synthesis Design methodologies Formal Design Theory (FDT) General topology 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial EngineeringBen-Gurion UniversityBeer-ShevaIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Solid Mechanics, Materials and SystemsTel Aviv UniversityRamat Aviv Israel

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