Infused design. I. Theory

Offer Shai, Yoram Reich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper introduces infused design: an approach for establishing effective collaboration between designers from different engineering fields. In infused design, the design problem representation is brought up to a mathematical meta-level, which is common to all engineering disciplines. The reasoning about the problem is then done by using mathematical terminology and tools that, due to their generality, are the same for all engineers, disregarding their background. This gives engineers an opportunity to infuse their work with knowledge, methods, and solutions shared by specialists from other engineering fields. When these knowledge, methods, and solutions cross disciplinary boundaries, they are provably relevant to any problem in another domain to which it can be transformed. The suggested meta-level consists of general discrete mathematical models, called combinatorial representations (CR). Specific mathematical basis for the combinatorial representations chosen in this paper is graph theory although other representations are possible. We explain the theory of infused design and carefully contrast it with other approaches. This comparison clearly demonstrates the advantages of infused design and its potential. We conclude with several practical issues related to the introduction of infused design into practice and briefly discuss the role of information systems in infused design. A companion paper includes several examples that demonstrate the details of infused design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-107
Number of pages15
JournalResearch in Engineering Design - Theory, Applications, and Concurrent Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • Collaboration
  • Combinatorial representations
  • Concurrent engineering
  • Creativity
  • Design process
  • Graph theory
  • Knowledge infusion
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Product quality


Dive into the research topics of 'Infused design. I. Theory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this