Designing a novel optical system is a nested iterative process. The optimization loop, from a starting point to final system is already mostly automated. However this loop is part of a wider loop which is not. This wider loop starts with an optical specification and ends with a manufacturability assessment. When designing a new spectrometer with emphasis on weight and cost, numerous iterations between the optical-and mechanical designer are inevitable. The optical designer must then be able to reliably produce optical designs based on new input gained from multidisciplinary studies. This paper presents a procedure that can automatically generate new starting points based on any kind of input or new constraint that might arise. These starting points can then be handed over to a generic optimization routine to make the design tasks extremely efficient. The optical designer job is then not to design optical systems, but to meta-design a procedure that produces optical systems paving the way for system level optimization. We present here this procedure and its application to the design of TROPOLITE a lightweight push broom imaging spectrometer. © 2014 SPIE.