Designing large, innovative ships is a complex assignment and an interesting one for every company: Ship designers are capable of supporting the client’s requests and deliver a design quicker than any other related industry involved in the design of complex objects. However, at the same time it is felt that the industry could improve their innovative output by applying a more focused method to design these innovative and complex ships. Existing methods either mitigate the complex relations between systems of a ship, or concentrate on the design of a single object.

The design models evaluated in this paper, amongst others, the design spiral and system engineering, do not describe these important aspects of the ship-design cycle: To evolve beyond the current innovations, current design models do not suffice. The model presented in this paper takes the complex relations through different levels of decomposition into account and presents the possibility to track and support change during the design process. In future research, the model will be applied and developed further towards approaches and tools to support innovative design.

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