Data frame model for the engineering design process

Kenneth Preiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Computers are being integrated into the technological design process, just as they are being integrated into banking practice, airline reservations, and many other activities. Until now, computers have served as tools used by designers in methods dictated by the paper-based information systems to which humanity has become accustomed. Computers perform design calculations or analyses, and produce documentation such as drawings, schedules, specifications, and tapes to control production machines. However, as more technical information is stored in computer memories, and as the communication networks between computers develop, different working methods, adapted to electronics-based rather than paper-based information systems, may develop. This paper explores briefly the process of design, and then, using some concepts published in the last few years, proposes a model of the design process that can be implemented by computer. Emphasis is placed on the 'frame' concept with a final reference to recent research in artificial intelligence. The paper does not attempt to give a comprehensive survey of the subject of problem solving in engineering design. Furthermore, the ideas expressed have not yet been used to create a working design program. The examples used as illustrations of various concepts are therefore only partial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-243
Number of pages13
JournalDesign Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Engineering
  • General Social Sciences
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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