Set-based design: A review and new directions

Boris Toche, Robert Pellerin, Clement Fortin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Set-based design (SBD), sometimes referred to as set-based concurrent engineering (SBCE), has emerged as an important component of lean product development (LPD) with all researchers describing it as a core enabler of LPD. Research has explored the principles underlying LPD and SBCE, but methodologies for the practical implementation need to be better understood. A review of SBD is performed in this article in order to discover and analyse the key aspects to consider when developing a model and methodology to transition to SBCE. The publications are classified according to a new framework, which allows us to map the topology of the relevant SBD literature from two perspectives: The research paradigms and the coverage of the generic creative design process (Formulation-Synthesis-Analysis-Evaluation-Documentation-Reformulation). It is found that SBD has a relatively low theoretical development, but there is a steady increase in the diversity of contributions. The literature abounds with methods, guidelines and tools to implement SBCE, but they rarely rely on a model that is in the continuum of a design process model, product model or knowledge-based model with the aim of federating the three Ps (People-Product-Process) towards SBCE and LPD in traditional industrial contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere18
JournalDesign Science
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Concurrent engineering
  • Design research
  • Lean product development
  • Product development
  • Set-based concurrent engineering
  • Set-based design


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