This paper argues for a consistent and new design-specific disciplinary framework that will provide a better understanding of emergent design practice. Design today is characterised by a blurring of traditional design domains (Sanders 2006) and design activities that are backed by other subject specialist areas such as computing, electronics or bioengineering. In order to understand and facilitate collaborative working, a consistent disciplinary framework is required. Furthermore, in understanding complex disciplinary influences this framework provides a method of delineating and analysing emergent practice. To derive the framework this paper explores the existing literature on disciplinary terms. Contemporary creative design practice is then analysed via this taxonomy. To this end, the paper argues that through consistent use of the terms, ‘multidisciplinary design’, ‘crossdisciplinary design’, ‘interdisciplinary design’ and ‘transdisciplinary design’, distinctions can be made within the increasingly complex domain of contemporary design practice.