Engineering design is usually seen as a knowledge-intensive process that driven by certain objectives eventually delivers an artefact having the desired properties or functions. Design is inherently iterative and the design goals evolve together with the solutions. Many current design theories present more or less efficient ways for finding a suitable solution to the given goals. However, they often leave open the question of the ‘solution talkback’. Under ‘solution talkback’ we understand the reasoning process that is able to infer what formal amendments to the initial design specification need to be made in order to produce a feasible solution. Modified explicit design specification would in turn enable designers to refine the solutions to their design problems. This paper suggests an early-stage theory that incorporates some typical features of design problems, and defines a reasoning framework for the reflection on the actions in design. First, the key terms are defined that are elaborated later with the focus on generation of new design goals through the reflection on the partial design solutions.

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