With inquiry and problem solving at the heart of the Design Technology subject, Year 12 students have been busy working on their final Design Projects following two years studying in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Students have the flexibility to create projects, from concept to final product across any focus area. Designs include, but are not limited to study spaces, storage solutions, clothes and sports equipment.
QUT Intern Etta Jones took the opportunity last week to sit with some Year 12 QACI Design Technology students to talk about the process and approach they have taken to complete their projects.
Year 12 Design Students: Louise Coelho, Sean Chen and Ashwini Kangatharan
Since late last year, Year 12 Design students were set with the task to conceptualise their knowledge of the design process in order to professionally plan and produce a refined product. Students had to focus on creating a product that met a demand and provided realistic functionality throughout each stage of design. The process of generating ideas and subsequently evaluating, testing, fixing and reshaping them provides the students with the skills to search for alternative approaches in situations that require problem solving.
In order to form a unique idea and identify a rectifiable need, student Louise Coelho built upon her personal experiences to create a study desk intended to be used in bed. Through the development of her understanding of ergonomics, the desk is designed to promote good posture and organisation in a space where students feel most comfortable. Centring her design on a specific and personally relevant demand allowed her to form a product with materials that have sufficient characteristics and properties.
Additionally, student Sean Chen established his idea by reflecting upon his experience in ice hockey, taking the general idea of safety skate covers and using it to design a kitchen knife cover. After conducting a school survey, he found that roughly two thirds of the respondents felt a need for an alternative to storing knives in open drawers. Through an understanding of this consumer demand, producing a knife cover that was easy to store, kept knives well maintained, and kept handlers safe was key in designing a useful and marketable product. Moreover, student Ashwini Kangatharan was motivated by sustainability to create a product that ensured a low environmental impact whilst simultaneously performing towards a sufficient product lifeline. After recognising the lack of purpose CDs and DVDs had within her own home, Ashwini uncovered a need to re-purpose them as they are unbiodegradable. After visiting a school and gaining an understanding of the high use of sports cones and markers as well as their flimsy nature and need to be continuously replaced, the idea to breakdown and redesign old CDs and DVDs into safer and long-lasting cones was formed. Through an understanding of the environmental impact of plastics, the ability to provide alternatives in manufacturing processes was uncovered.
Throughout the Design unit, QACI students have gained a better understanding of the logical, imaginative and physical elements of design. Design Technology promotes creative and critical thinking and has provided students with the freedom to take part in product processes that have the ability to positively affect others. Due to the speciality of the teaching staff at QACI, students were able to excel in a professional and safe environment where they felt free to experiment and make mistakes throughout their learning process.