An `AI in Design' View of Design

The Source of the Material

The AI in Design field has been active for more than 10 years. In that time there have been major workshops, conferences and journals established. Books have been written. A strong and vibrant body of literature has been formed (see the references in [Brown 1992]). Many AI in Design projects have web pages [Brown 1994].

A major source of the literature summarized in this paper is a graduate seminar course in AI in Design that has been taught at WPI since 1989 [Brown 1996]. Students read, present, critique and discuss selected papers from the literature.

The intent of the course is:

As a final project for the course, students produce a ``Profile''. This is a collection of questions, that, if asked about a piece of AI in Design research or a system, would allow it to be fully understood and categorized. This paper is based on sample profiles, and our ideas about what the ingredients of such a profile should be.

Our experience is that the process of forming such a profile over the period of a semester is a powerful force on the students' thinking. They comment that they had never been exposed to many of these issues before, even in courses about design, and consider the experience valuable.

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