Symmetric Design Cycle
Nigel Cross is one of the first researchers to study design, is the
editor of the journal Design Studies, and teaches at
the UK's Open University. His book Engineering
Design Methods is a great introduction to the culture
of engineering design and its varied techniques.
Look over Cross' Symmetric Design Cycle to the right.
You may see it as having two levels of description --
an overview of the kind of problem being addressed appears
in the model's outer border. THe inner circle shows
strategies that could be used in any order to work any
of the problem spaces found on the perimeter.