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The Engineering Design CK Theory: Contributions and Limits

Abstract : The CK theory of design created by Hatchuel and Weil has raised interest and controversies both in the academic community and among practitioners. After presenting the scope and focus of CK theory, and the contributions claimed for it by its creators, we compare it to concepts and models more commonly used in traditional design approaches. It can be noticed that important concepts are ignored by CK theory, even if some of them are integrated into the research programs of Hatchuel, Weil, and Le Masson. This initial analysis demonstrates that even in its scope, CK theory appears incomplete for engineering design and does not consider important dimensions of the validity of the research program as claimed. Then we analyze the foundations and hypotheses of CK theory from a critical viewpoint. Some suggestions for its improvement are made. Additionally, the ability of CK theory both to effectively assist and direct the creative process and, moreover, to organize the complete design and innovation processes is questioned. Finally, we draw conclusions about the ambitious program and results claimed by the creators of CK theory.
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Eric Coateana, Joelle Forest, Denis Choulier. The Engineering Design CK Theory: Contributions and Limits. 22nd International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology, Aug 2010, Montréal, Canada. pp.83-92, ⟨10.1115/DETC2010-28523⟩. ⟨halshs-00705402⟩



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