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We offer a summary view of competing theories that have guided and inspired the development of computer aided design over the past forty years with attention to how they support design processes. We identify eight distinct approaches to design. We then speculate on what a collective view of these schools posits with respect of the next generation of tools. This perspective reflects our view as teachers and researchers at institutions with different curricula, a first-hand role in the development of computer aided design technology, and specialization in design theory and methods.