As technology has advanced in recent times, there is no shortage of physical things but
there is fear of invisible things such as radioactive substances. In such a scenario, society requires
a transition from quantitative satisfaction to a qualitative one. This article discusses design thinking
that can help us cope with this transition. First, the general nature of design thinking will be captured
by reviewing some related theories and thoughts, such as synthesis, abduction, and inner motive.
Design thinking will then be classified into synthetic design thinking and analytical design thinking,
where the former is found to be essential for contemporary design thinking.
Based on the author’s lecture titled “Design Approaches for Social Innovation Business” in
the 45th Oukan Technology Forum held on July 1, 2015, this article explains changes in the definition
of design activities in industrial firms and presents methods and examples of Hitachi’s Experience
Design. The article also touches upon conceivable challenges in applying “Design Thinking” to
social innovation business.
As complexity of products increased, management of development project becomes dif-
ficult. For better management of product development projects, this paper proposes an integrated
model of product, process and organization. The proposed model can be described as MDM (Multi-
ple Domain Matrix). Computational methods to utilize acquired model is discussed in three illustra-
tive examples; design process structuring, organization design and product family structuring. The
proposed methods extend techniques on DSM (Design Structure Matrix) and DMM (Domain Map-
ping Matrix) to deliberate candidate structures of design process, organization and product family.
Applied examples show that the proposed project model, which incorporates product, process and
organization, provides project managers with arena to discuss various aspects of projects.
Process synthesis is one of the dominant research areas in chemical engineering. How-
ever, the development of general synthesis method is very difficult because the problems are usually
formulated as complex combinatorial programming problems. One of the promising methods is to
use a superstructure that includes all of the candidate structures in it for modelling. In this paper,
two process synthesis problems of distillation processes are modeled by using superstructures. These
problems are finally formulated as LP and/or MILP problems, and solved by a commercial solver.
The results of these two problems show that there is high possibility to create new process structures
that are difficult to imagine by human experience.
To determine the bidding prices in Engineering-Procurement-Construction (EPC) projects,
where contract prices are fixed, the contractor needs to consider the accuracy of estimated project cost
under the limited engineering Man-Hours (MH) for cost estimation to attain maximum profit from or-
ders. In this paper, we develop an algorithm where, in order to attain maximum profit, bidding prices
are determined by allocating MH for cost estimation and adjusting bidding prices simultaneously in
consideration of the competitive bidding environments, and the cost estimation accuracy under the
constraint of the total MH and the deficit risk of each order. Through numerical examples delivered
from the algorithm, we show that the developed algorithm is effective for bidding price decision in