Many previous researchers have shown design to be essentially the process of negotiating and resolving constraints. This has lead to a multitude of different design methods and approaches purely based on constraints; much of this work has concentrated on the late conceptual and embodiment phases of the design activity. The work presented in this paper has shown initial investigations into expanding these approaches to the earliest stages of the conceptual phase. The research has reviewed previous academic work, and the current approaches and understanding of designers working in the automotive domain. The findings of this research are presented and analysis given.