Customer inputs in the early stages of design can potentiallyÂ lead to completely new outlooks in concept generation. WeÂ propose crowd-based co-creation as a means to this end. OurÂ main idea is to think of the customer as a source of initial designÂ concepts rather than a means for obtaining preferences towardsÂ designer-generated concepts. For analyzing a large collectionÂ of customer-created prototypes, we develop a framework that focusesÂ on generating hypotheses related to customer perception ofÂ design attributes. We demonstrate our approach through awebÂ interface to gather design requirements for a computer mouse, aÂ bicycle seat, a pen holder, and a cola bottle. This interface wasÂ used in a crowdsourcing study with 253 users who representedÂ potential end users for these products. Results from this studyÂ show that web-based co-creation allows designers to capture aÂ variety of form and function-related design requirements fromÂ user-created virtual prototypes. We also found that such studiesÂ can be instrumental in identifying innovative product concepts,Â and gaining insights about how user perception correlatesÂ with product form. Therefore, we make the case that customerÂ creation through distributed co creation platforms can reinforceÂ concept exploration in future early design processes.