Journal of construction processes by Sophie Allen
Year 12 Product Design and Technology Units 3 and 4
In this subject, you will design and make a product for an end-user. The major project (School-assessed Task) is worth 50 per cent of the final assessment; it starts in Unit 3 and continues in Unit 4. It consists of a folio of design and developmental work and a product.
Other theory tasks about design, industry, products and sustainability contribute 20 per cent to the final score. A final exam also contributes 30 per cent.
Who is it for?
The subject is for students who not only like to create, but who are passionate about the discipline of design. You will learn to solve design problems, which is a skill that can be applied throughout your life.
What do you do?
- decide on end-user to solve a personal, local or global design problem and follow the Product Design process
- develop drawings and ideas from research
- develop the best idea, plan its construction and produce a finished product
- learn about design in industry and research specific companies
- consider sustainability in product design.
What skills do you need?
Thinking is a great skill for design. A willingness to research widely, try things, seek out help and use critical and creative thinking to propose creative solutions to a problem are all necessary skills.
Strong drawing skills and practical skills for construction are beneficial in this subject, but they can be developed with deliberate practice.
What skills do you develop?
You will develop the following skills in the Product Design Process:
- problem solving skills
- learning to think outside the square
- learning to question everything, (Why has something always been done this way? What if…? What are the problems with…? What are the benefits of…?)
Other skills you will develop in this subject include planning and time management, critical and creative thinking, designing by using sketches or design tools, the ability to choose appropriate materials, processes and tools and use them safely, and file management and general organisation skills.
This is an online course. Students access the content and submit work online on a weekly basis.
Students are expected to purchase their own materials.
Photographs of work need to be taken as evidence, so a digital camera or mobile device is required.
Students working in:
- wood, plastics or metal – need access to a fully equipped workshop with all safety equipment and a supervisor who has completed Department of Education and Training safety requirements (essential)
- textiles – need access to sewing machines in either the classroom or at home.
A textbook can be purchased (optional) – Nelson Product Design and Technology VCE Units 1 – 4 Fourth Edition by Jacinta O’Leary and Jill Livett
Things to think about
Self-motivation is essential in this subject as it is not a matter of right or wrong answers. You need to be comfortable with a blank page, where you create your own project according to the requirements of the task. Asking for assistance along the way is vital.
Things you can do now
Practise drawing with bold outlines and colour. Go the Design Awareness in Schools page.
Click on design elements at left and open up the ‘Complete design elements Powerpoint’ and save it, then click on Design Principles and open up the ‘Design principles PowerPoint’ and save it too. Refer to them whilst drawing or looking at products and see how many you can identify and describe.
Depending upon the material category you have chosen to work in – wood, metal, plastics or textiles – you can research and practise further skills. Make something over the holidays and try something you haven’t done before. You can practise drawing.
There are many instructional videos and websites on the internet. Below are just a few examples:
Learn about the Product Design Process and the Product Design Factors on pages 9-11 from the 2018 – 2023 Study Design on the VCAA website. To find the Study Design and more information about this subject, go to the VCAA home page for Product Design and Technology
Things to have a look at
Idea sketches exploring design elements and principles by Daniel Roberts
Working drawing for a skateboard by Daniel Roberts
Top Designs at Melbourne Museum
Top Designs is an exhibition of the best Year 12 student work from the previous year.