Capturing Creativity: Using a Design Repository to Drive Concept Innovation


This paper describes how a design repository can be used as a concept generation tool by drawing upon archived function-based design knowledge. Modern design methodologies include several types of activities to formally generate design concepts. Typical concept generation methods range from open-ended creative brainstorming activities to quantitative function-component analysis. A combination of two such methods—the Chi Matrix and Morphological Matrix techniques—is the basis for this work. Building on existing functionality of the design repository, desired product functions can be specified in a search of stored design knowledge, returning a Morphological Matrix of artifacts solving the specified functions. Such a search is termed a Morphological Search. The repository Morphological Search feature is evaluated against concepts generated in a previous original design project,. Results of the Morphological Search return are then compared to ten of the original concept variants generated during the design project. This comparison shows that 76% of the specified subfunctions return results and that, on average, 61.35% of the components used in the hand-generated concepts can be derived by using the Morphological Search feature.

Meeting Name

ASME 2005 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (2005: Sep. 24-28, Long Beach, CA)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Chi Matrix; Morphological Matrix; Morphological Search Feature; Design Repository

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2005 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

28 Sep 2005

This document is currently not available here.