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VCE Art and Design

Product Design and Technology Unit 1: Sustainable Product Redevelopment


There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Course Description

This unit focusses on the analysis, modification and improvement of a product design with consideration of sustainability.

It is common for designers in Australia to use products from overseas as inspiration when redeveloping products for the domestic market. Sustainable redevelopment refers to designers and makers ensuring products serve social, economic and environmental needs. Generating economic growth for design and manufacturing in Australia can begin with redeveloping existing products so they have positive social and minimal environmental impact.

In this unit students examine claims of sustainable practices by designers. Students consider the sustainability of an existing product, such as the impact of sourcing materials, manufacture, distribution, use and likely disposal. They consider how a redeveloped product should attempt to solve a problem related to the original product. Where possible, materials and manufacturing processes used should be carefully selected to improve the overall sustainability of the redeveloped product.


Areas of Study

Sustainable redevelopment of a product

This area of study introduces students to the product design process, lifecycle analysis/assessment (LCA), IP and the product design factors, with an emphasis on sustainability. Students consider contemporary practices of designers who claim to incorporate sustainable practices.

This area of study includes:

  • the environmental, economic and social impacts associated with the origin/source, manufacture, use and disposal of products;
  • approaches used by designers to incorporate sustainability practices in product design;
  • impacts of unsustainable products and resource use on environmental, social and economic systems;
  • systems, models and strategies used to assess the sustainability of a product;
  • methods of incorporating relevant product design factors in a design brief;
  • methods of developing criteria for evaluating a finished product;
  • creative and critical design thinking techniques;
  • methods of generating, analysing and evaluating ideas for the redeveloped product;
  • the importance of acknowledging the IP rights of the designer of the product;
  • the role of annotations and appropriateness of different drawing techniques in the design and development stage of the product design process using digital and manual methods and relevant material and process research methods such as tests, trials, comparisons and production process samples; and
  • the role of scheduled production plans.

Area of Study 2

Producing and Evaluating a Redeveloped Product

This area of study focusses on the implementation of the design and planning completed in Area of Study 1.

Students refer to their working drawings and scheduled production plan, and apply a range of techniques and processes safely to make a redeveloped product. Students develop practical skills and implement their risk management for the use of tools, equipment, machines, and materials. They record and reflect on their progress.

Students are introduced to methods used to critically analyse and evaluate their redeveloped products. They use criteria to compare the features of their redeveloped product with the original design, and evaluate the success of their design improvements including sustainability considerations.

Students use their knowledge of the characteristics and properties of materials and refer to their record of progress to complete the evaluation of their production work.



Assessment Tasks
(school-assessed coursework)
Sustainable redevelopment of a product
  • Design folios
  • Production plans
  • Production tasks
  • Annotated visual displays
  • Website presentations
  • Datashow presentations
  • Tests (short answer, open book)
  • Short written reports (materials testing activities, industry visits, product evaluation report)
  • Oral reports
  • Practical demonstrations
Producing and Evaluating a Redesigned Product

Overall Final Assessment

End of Semester Examination - 1.5 hours.

Information can be obtained from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, Victoria, Australia: