1 x 50-minute lecture weekly
1 x 120-minute workshop weekly
1 x 180-minute project work weekly
^ = may be enrolled concurrently
1 ENGR1711 - Engineering Design
1a ^ DSGN1102 - Design Communication
Must Satisfy: ((1 or 1a))
Enrolment not permitted
DSGN8722 has been successfully completed
Topic description
Design Methods is a design foundation topic that will help students develop the necessary detailed skills and knowledge employed by contemporary designers. Following the phases of a Stage Gate product development process, the topic will cover design methods associated with:

  1. Problem Identification, Assessment and Planning
  2. Problem Research and Needs Identification
  3. Product Definition/Design Criteria/Product Specification
  4. Idea Generation
  5. Concept Development, Testing and Evaluation
  6. Detailed Development

Students will be introduced to the social, cultural and technological changes shaping the development of modern design, from the Industrial Revolution to Post-Modernism. Students will become familiar with key design movements and theories, significant designers, exemplary works of design, and important technological and social changes.

Students will extend their knowledge on design and technology innovation by investigating ways of designing, assessing and discussing products that reflect the intangible and theoretical criteria of aesthetics, functionality, social sustainability, cultural identity, and symbolic meaning with the goal of inspiring visionary artefacts.
Educational aims
  1. Contemporary theoretical issues (e.g. social, cultural, environmental, and ethical) that shape design practice
  2. The development of skills in research, development and concept evaluation for usability
  3. Prepare students to enter corporate or consultancy positions and the exploration of aspects of professional practice necessary for successful development as a designer not previously covered in other courses
  4. Discuss the legal and financial aspects of design
  5. Use hierarchical, morphological design methods to define and structure complex design problems
Expected learning outcomes
At the completion of this topic, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Understand and apply a comprehensive series of product/service design methodologies
  2. Understand and apply a new product/service development process
  3. Undertake project selection and analyse the commercial viability of a proposed new product or service, as it proceeds through a Stage Gate product development process
  4. Plan projects effectively and develop design briefs and proposals
  5. Identify and analyse complex problems
  6. Undertake effective problem research and needs identification
  7. Develop product definitions, design criteria and product specification
  8. Employ idea generation techniques and apply conceptual development processes
  9. Develop proof-of-concept prototypes
  10. Undertake prototype testing and evaluation
  11. Develop final product/service concepts
  12. Undertake detailed development and full product documentation