Design and Technology Week: 14-20 Oct

Celebrate the wonderful world of Design and Technology, 14-20 October, 2019

Celebrate the wonderful world of Design and Technology, 14-20 October, 2019

Cathleen Jackson, Head of Design and Technology

Design and Technology Week is a national initiative engaging schools throughout Australia to promote this area of learning, and to showcase the creative, innovative and challenging work our students are engaged in. To celebrate Design and Technology Week at Radford College, a selection of students’ work will be on display in the Library and a number of lunchtime activities will be run, which are designed to test students’ logic and creativity.  Further details will be advertised through the Daily Announcements on Radford Online.

At the heart of all good design, whether we’re designing a chair, a menu, an infographic, a prosthetic leg, or a computer program, is an understanding of the purpose of the product and, more importantly, a deep understanding of the human beings who will using the product in the end. People from outside the education system are sometimes surprised at the grouping of subjects within the Design and Technology area, but it is this necessary understanding of humanity, and the human uses of the products that we are designing, which binds all these subjects together. 

The study of Design and Technology subjects provides students with complex learning challenges in which they use design thinking and technologies to generate and produce solutions for identified needs and opportunities. Students manage projects independently and collaboratively, from conception to realization, using both traditional and emerging technologies.  

Students apply design processes to investigate ideas, generate and refine ideas, plan, produce and evaluate designed solutions. They develop a sense of pride, satisfaction and enjoyment from their ability to develop innovative designed products, services and environments.  Students experiment with tools, materials and technologies to manage and produce prototypes, products and solutions to identified needs and problems. 

Students have the opportunity to study Design and Technology through one or more of the following subject areas:

  • Digital Technology (Year 7 – 12)
  • Engineering Studies (Year 11-12)
  • Food Technology (Year 7-12)
  • Graphics and Design (Year 7 – 12)
  • Textiles Technology (Year 7 – 12)
  • Wood Technology (Year 7-12) 

Textiles Technology offers a unique way of thinking creatively and critically.  The discipline covers an array of design contexts, from interiors to clothing. Design in textiles drives innovation, and engages students in the process of planning, designing and developing solutions, with each year group focusing on different themes that set design parameters. 

Food Technology is the conduit for connecting science, technology and engineering to create, design and produce food products in a range of contexts. It provides a unique opportunity for students to showcase their creativity, ingenuity and practical prowess.  Design principles are utilised to develop nutritionally balanced menus and food presentation techniques, which enhance the aesthetics of quality food products. 

In Digital Technology, we often seem focused on the technical components, however, the end result of this is the ability to control computers in a way that solves human problems. The design process is at the heart of creating digital solutions. Digital Technologies aims to equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to design, create, manage and evaluate digital solutions. We look to build confidence with computational thinking and coding skills, so that each student has the ability to use digital systems to automate processes and to create digital content.  All of these digital production processes are firmly embedded in the context of the design process where experimentation and problem-solving are rewarded. 

Graphics and Design at Radford College encourages students to use a balance of creative skill and new technology to produce a range of design solutions to challenging problems. Students acquire the skills and other processes needed to meet these challenges via the scaffolded learning of fundamental principles of design, new software platforms and project-based assessment. 

Wood Technology provides learning options that cannot be readily supplied outside the safe school environment, using specialised machinery and technology, such as the laser cutter and CNC router.   Students can explore new ideas and techniques to construct their own projects, using a range of products to address a specific design brief. The practical application of these skills allows students to demonstrate and refine high quality carpentry skills in a creative manner, preparing students for future job opportunities or leisure activities. 

Just as when we are sitting on a well-designed chair, we should be so comfortable that we’re not thinking about how well it has been designed, when we are using a well-designed computer program, the last thing we should be noticing is its design. It should be so intuitive that it just seems natural to be using it. The ability to be able to create products rests on that dual understanding of the tools we are working with, and the people at the end of the process. When we develop these understandings, we are able to design and create amazing things.

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