What is Design Exploration?

At Design Exploration we are a team of engineers that research methods that can be used to develop new and better products. We don’t assume that the best way to design a product has already been found. We believe that unexpected, practical, and better designs and design tools are waiting to be discovered and we just need to do a bit of exploring to find them.


 We believe in the developing world

 People in the developing world don't need handouts, they need an opportunity to make more money. Creating income generating products for people who make less than four dollars a day can alleviate poverty and improve lives. We believe there are principles that can guide designers as they develop these products and we are exploring to discover them.

People in developing countries need products that are affordable and help them earn money for their families. We don’t assume we know what product will benefit them most. We visit them in their homes and ask them.


 We believe in smarter optimization

 Let’s say you want to design a car that’s affordable, fuel efficient, luxurious, safe, and lightning fast. Sounds great, right? But more luxurious often means less affordable and better fuel efficiency generally means less speed. In situations like these, you would like to get the best results possible in each of these areas without dramatically worsening any of the others, but this can be very hard to do. There are nearly infinite possibilities for how to design a car--how can you tell which one gives the most while giving up the least?

We are designing mathematical methods that generate the many possible “best solutions” to your problem. The computer does the hard work of searching the millions of possibilities, and you get to do the easy work of deciding which optimized solution you like best. By learning from your preferences, our optimization methods can dramatically reduce the time it takes to arrive at an answer--sometimes by multiple orders of magnitude! That way, when it is possible for your car to be affordable, fuel efficient, and lightning fast, you'll be the first to know!


 We believe in seeing the future

 Complex designs like airplanes, helicopters and communication systems require a significant development investment and often have long service lives.   Because of constant technological improvements and changing customer needs, the long service life can create a useability problem.  Without modifications or reconfigurations during the service life many of these designs become prematurely obsolete.

Our goal is to develop design tools that will help design teams address future technology changes and new requirements.