The design process can be conceptualized in at least three different ways: 1) as a process of transforming inputs into outputs, 2) as a flow of information through time and space, and 3) as a process for generating value for customers. Case studies and research findings to date indicate that design management in construction is deficient from all three of these points of view. In this paper, a series of experiments aiming at creating clarity and introducing systematic management principles from all three perspectives is described. The results of these experiments suggest that the use of relatively simple, albeit theory-driven, tools can achieve major improvements in the process of construction design. It is argued that only when based on suitable conceptualizations, and informed by empirical data, can effective methods be devised to ameliorate construction design and engineering.