Concept models for design practice

Stan Ruecker, Jennifer Roberts-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Concept models are common guides to living, and some more specialized ones, which have been developed and validated in other fields have been adopted by designers for use in their work. In particular, concept models serve as templates for decision-making and action, and valid concept models make decision-making and action faster, more efficient, and more successful. It is not necessary that the concept models be complete to be useful, but it is necessary that the elements they do contain are relevant to the activity at hand, and that the model itself is a sufficiently accurate representation to be predictive. However, the field of design, like many other inventive disciplines (e.g. architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, engineering, computer science) has not traditionally concerned itself with the development and validation of concept models beyond those that are applicable within the confines of a single project. In this paper, we argue that the time has come for the inventive disciplines to increasingly produce their own concept models to benefit practitioners in many different kinds of projects, both within the inventive disciplines and beyond, into disciplines where knowledge production is sequential (as in much of science) or aggregative (as in much of the humanities).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-9
Number of pages3
JournalBitacora Urbano Territorial
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017


  • Concept models
  • Design practice
  • Design research
  • Design theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies


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