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Saturday, May 1, 2010

What is a design?

To design is either to formulate a plan for the satisfaction of a specified need or to solve a problem. If the plan results in the creation of something having a physical reality, then the product must be functional, safe, relaibale, competitive, usable, manufacturable and marketable.
Design is an innovative and iterative process. It is also a decision making process. Decisions sometimes have to be made with too little information, occasionally with just right amount of information, or with an excess of partially contradictory information. Decisions are sometimes made tentatively, with the right reserved to adjust as more becomes know. The point is that the engineering designer has to be personally comfortable with a decision making, problem solving role.
Design is a communication-itensive activity in which both words and pictures are used, and written and oral forms are employed. Engineers have to communicate effectively and work with people of many disciplines. These are important skills, and an engineer's success depends on them.

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