A review with 38 refs. The ultimate goal in protein de novo design is the construction of artificial proteins exhibiting tailor-made structural and functional properties. To create native-like macromols. in copying nature's way had proven to be difficult because the mechanism of folding in its complexity has yet to be unravelled. In the present review the authors describe a conceptually different approach in protein design, the concept of template assembled synthetic proteins (TASP), in order to bypass the folding problem. Topol. templates as \"built-in\" devices for the induction of well-defined folding topologies and progress in synthetic strategies, e.g. chemoselective ligation methods and the use of pseudoprolines to enhance peptide solvation open the way for the design of more complex, and hence functional TASP mols. [on SciFinder (R)]