Product Context

Product Architecture is: (1) the arrangement of functional elements; (2) the mapping from functional elements to physical components; (3) the specification of the interfaces among interacting physical components [1].

Perhaps the most important characteristic of a product’s architecture is its Modularity.

System Thinking Context

System architecture is the embodiment of concept, the allocation of physical/informational function to the elements of form, and the definition of relationships among the elements and with the surrounding context [2].


Architecture is the fundamental organization of a system, embodied in its components, their relationships to each other and to the environment, and the principles governing its design and evolution [3].

1. "The role of product architecture in the manufacturing firm" by Karl Ulrich, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, December 1993
2. "System Architecture" by Cameron, Bruce, Crawley, Edward Selva and Daniel, Global Edition. Pearson Education Limited. ISBN 10: 1-292-11084-8
3. ISO/IEC/IEEE Standard 42010