Well, from a production point of view, Mr. Roddenberry had set some fairly strict design guidelines. One example...the pairing of engines...even on alien vessels. Even as late as the film ST: Insurrection his design "guidelines" were followed. The original design for the array in that film had three sections unfurling. That was shot down in favor of the "dual wings" to abide by Mr. Roddenberry's pre-set standards.
Now, in the fictional world, Christopher makes some good and plausible observations pertaining to alien tech being adopted and adapted for use on Federation vessels.