design

Discover if Design is for you

A designer is a professional that requires a balance of skills including technical, commercial, human and aesthetic requirements. They are both technician and artist.

The difference between a designer and a craftsperson or artist is that designers usually develop things that have requirements set by others and will ultimately be produced and used by others.

Design requires attention to technical detail, person to person consultation and communication, and a great deal of administration.

Do you like solving problems creatively? Designers require a range of problem solving skills from those that are strictly rational, analytical and objective, to those that are inspiration, artistic and subjective.

Examples of design professionals are Architects, Landscape Architects, Interior Designers, Fashion Designers, Industrial designers and Interactive and Visual Designers.

ARCHITECTURE

Architects shape and transform the environment in which we live through the creative and functional design of buildings.

Like all designers, architects are constantly working in the future – designing things that don’t yet exist.

If we are going to have a sustainable future then architects are vital since they deal with all the dimensions of sustainability. Architects don’t just deal with how buildings look, they deal with how they work, how people use them, how they impact on our environment, and the long term use of materials and energy.

Architects have the skills and knowledge to make our buildings, towns and cities into better places for everyone, now and long into the future.

Activity:

You have been washed up and stranded on a deserted island. The only other things that have come ashore from the ship wreck are:

• Several long pieces of timber (100mm x 50mm normally used for making houses),
• Several sheets of corrugated metal (3 metres long x 800mm wide normally used for making roofs),
• A hammer and nails.

Design yourself a small shelter using only these materials. You should design the shelter by making a model of it.

You will use lengths of balsawood (for making scale models) and pieces of thick paper (cut to the correct scale size).

Think about raising the floor off the cold wet ground, which side the sunshine comes from, space to stand up to lie down. How do these materials work best – what can you do with them, what else is important?

Resources:

1. QUT Website

2. Architecture Website

3. Architecture Australia Website

4. Architect Daily Website

5. World Architecture Festival Website

6. QUT Architecture Studio Video

 LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

Landscape Architects design meaningful and enjoyable outdoor spaces to achieve the best use of land resources.

Practicing landscape architects are creative and visionary and are required to lead and work in multi-disciplinary teams. They have the ability to contribute to the management of natural resources such as forests, wetlands, coastal ecosystems, rivers and lakes.

As a landscape architect you could be called on to collaborate in projects that address climate change issues, mining reclamation or humanitarian needs. Or you could work for the government, private multidisciplinary firms, at the university or for non-profitable organisations.

Ultimately, you could create better living conditions for people by planning more sustainable cities to designing exciting playground, adventurous skate parks, bike trails, beautiful community gardens or vibrant urban parks and plazas.

Activity:

Create a poster to illustrate how one perceives and understands what is landscape and what is relevant when thinking of it. Each individual will create a different outcome.

From A to Z pair a word, an image (drawing, photograph, collage, material…) and a description (paragraph/20 words) that will give an interpretation of how one perceives, describes and represents his/her undertsanding of landscape and its meaning.

Resources:

1. QUT Website

2. QUT Video

3. Video: Day in the Life: Landscape Architect

4. Video: I want to be a landsape architect…

INTERIOR DESIGN

Interior Designers are concerned with the relationship between people and all aspects of the environment through a focus on interior settings that are functional and enhance the quality of life and cultural experience of the occupants.

People spend approximately 90% of their lives inside. As such the interior environment plays a fundamental role in supporting people functionally, emotionally and socially as they go about their everyday life.

For many interior designers this involves a focus on the workplace and how it can be disgned so that those working there are comfortable and are ableto work more effectively and efficiently.

To achieve this, interior designers consider functional aspects such as ergonomics, lighting and temperature. They also consider how employees interact with other people and whether spaces are set out and furnished in such a way so as to accommodate the different activities undertaken in that workplace.

Activity:

This exercise invites you to consider how interior environments can be disabling as well as enabling.

Unfortunately, many of our environments, whether they be our home or public environments like workplaces, are not designed for people who may be visually impaired or who are in wheelchairs.

For this exercise you are to imagine that you are visually impaired or in a wheelchair, and describe the experience of entering your school building and moving around in the classroom.

What are the physical barriers? What feelings are you experiencing? How would you redesign these spaces to make them easier to navigate and feel more welcoming? Draw a sketch of your ideas.

Resources:

1. QUT Website

2. QUT Video One

3. QUT Video Two

4. QUT Video Three

5. QUT Video Four

FASHION DESIGN

In today’s environment fashion designers don’t just make cool stuff, they are also thinking about how to design clothing that is less harmful to the environment and to fashion workers.

This might include up-cycling, re-cycling, or considering ways to use local materials. Or it might mean designing clothing that can be worn many different ways.

Thinking about how to make beautiful, ethical and sustainable clothing that is great to wear is central to fashion design today.

Activity

Choose a 3D shape and deconstruct it into flat planes. Draw these onto paper, then cut out and reconstruct back into a 3D shape, configuring the paper in new ways to suggest garment shapes.

Use these forms as the basis for sketches or new models.

Resources

1. QUT Website

2. QUT Video

3. Frock Paper Scissors Website

4. The Fleet Store Facebook Page

5. The Stitchery Collective Website

INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

Industrial Designers design and develop the experience, function and appearance of a wide range of products and systems in order to make the world a better place to live.

Activity

Design a remote control for your TV. Consider:

Which buttons do you use the most?
What are the most essential buttons?

Design a coat hanger that:

  • Won’t tangle
  • Will hang skirts, dresses, shirts and jeans

Resources

1. QUT Website

2. QUT Video

3. Core 77 Website

4. Design Institute of Australia Website

INTERACTIVE AND VISUAL DESIGN

Interactive Visual Designers use contemporary design skills for print media, websites, mobiles and computer games.

It is the job of Interactive and Visual Designers to design interactive technologies and streams of information so that people are able to make sense of infomration, to learn from it, and act wisely based on it.

Interactive and Visual Designers are not only concerned with the surface appearance of things or with technical gimmickry, they critically examine the real needs of users and have a deep understanding of how to visually communicate with them.

Activity

You have been approached by a curator for a museum to redesign the meseum experience for visiting school groups.

The museum is looking for an experience that can get students excited about the museum collections and also allow them to learn something.

The activities can utilise digital technology, such as an app, but the museum would also like to make use of the physical space and artefacts of the museum. The experience  should also be collaborative, involving groups of students to complete.

You should come up with a concept for the experience and develop a short 10 panel comic strip storyboard, which shows your concept and how students would use it. You should think about what the user’s goals are, how they accomplish them through the experience, and how they cooperate.

Also, what are the visual cues in the environment and space that helps students to navigate the experience.

Resources

1. QUT Website

2. QUT Video

3. Interaction Design Association Website

4. AGDA Website

5. Complete Beginners Guide to Interaction Design Article

6. Information Design: The Understanding Discipline Article