Starting point for designing new things

Design activity is a creative process with many starting points. In the formative age of a designer, most of the time spent were aiming to understand the underlying concepts on how things work. Once the concepts were understood, the designer must choose the starting point to begin the design activity [1]. Below are three starting points that can be used to start any design (building, ship design, machine design and so on):

1. Start with a basis design for inspiration and iterate from there.
2. Use first principle techniques, i.e. collect all the underlying mathematical definitions and derive the design from there.
3. Combination of both basis design and first principle techniques.

[1] Bear in mind, the term design shall not be limited to forms i.e. how it looks like, but a combination of both on its forms and how it works.