Our integrated approach to product development research combines new academic findings with meaningful corporate application. Our work focuses on the early stages of product and service development.

Product Development Models – Investigation into leading edge needs and capabilities in the product development process. The goal is enable effective and efficient product development execution.

User models - Investigating the user is represented within the project development process resulting in models that integrate into corporate processes. The general model is made specific to any company or project, and serves as a formal means to understand how the user impacts, or should impact, the process.

Brand – Exploration and modeling product and company brand representation through the product itself, versus the advertising campaign. The goal is to understand the relationship between product, customer and brand, and position brand relative to customer and company values, and company strategies.

Design Metrics – Investigation into metrics of the design process and products. The goal is develop measures to help assess the likelihood of market success of a new product. Our approach is many-fold, merging qualitative and quantitative methods.

Global Design – Investigation into how local cultural and lifestyle influences can be incorporated into business strategies for global product development, addressing the challenges that global market and corporate partnerships and acquisitions brings to product and service design, distribution and strategy.

Product Design Languages – Exploration of repeatable languages of form, function and brand within a class of products. The goal is to understand and guide the development of new products that meet desired function or form requirements. The approach is to develop and apply grammar systems, such as shape grammars, that use productions – or rules – to build up or modify designs that meet functional or brand requirements. We have modeled brand languages of Harley Davidson and Buick, characteristics of vehicle classes enabling the design of cross-over vehicles, form and function development of coffee makers and structural design of hoods and building trusses. Our research also includes the means to implement these languages on the computer.

Perceptual Gaps - Understanding the differences that different disciplines view products, users and the product development process. The goal is to more completely understand the way different players in the design process think about their project and their team members, and identify tools to improve interdisciplinary team performance.

Other Research – Our individual expertise also includes research in computational synthesis, cognitive models of the design process, statistical market evaluation, design history and more