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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Guiding the Engineering Process: Path of Least Resistance versus Creative Fiction


The engineering design process represents a highly creative process that is decision rich. Due to the immature nature of the design information during the earliest phases of the design process, these decisions are frequently taken with incomplete or uncertain information leading to risk exposure. Engineering designers may use their own subjective experience to direct them through this process. This paper explores support methodologies that are able to complement this decision making process and thus propose a conceptual Bayesian-based decision framework. Based on the literature, two variants of this framework are presented: one which will lead the designer ‘down the path of least resistance' and one that will encourage creativity.

Insights Paper