In this paper, a framework for the concept of flexibility in complex system design is presented. This is one of the first of many steps toward developing new design methods for designers that will aid them in the development of customizable systems that meet the requirements of multiple customers and multiple tasks. The hope is that this paper will provide both a starting point from which academia and industry can move forward in developing new design methods for flexible systems and a basis for establishing a standard lexicon for use when referring to flexible system design.

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