Product Design and Technology Units 1 and 2


Product Design and Technology focuses on design thinking, creative problem solving and understanding product design factors. Through this subject you take on the role of the design maker.

In Unit 1, Sustainable redevelopment of a product, you choose an existing commercial product to use as a reference to redevelop (design and make) a new product that fulfils the same purpose but has improved sustainability.

In Unit 2, Collaborative design, you work as an online team, choose a cultural style or movement to research, decide on a team design situation and share feedback with each other throughout the process.

Who is it for?

This subject is for students who like to be creative but within boundaries, i.e. within the discipline of design. You will learn a process to help you expand your ideas and to solve design problems. You will broaden your knowledge about sustainability issues. You will learn about different drawing types and their purposes and how to use the ideas of others to influence your own.

What do you do?

In studying this subject you will:

  • learn about the factors that influence design
  • use design thinking as you work through the product design process to:
  • analyse an existing product or research a theme or movement
  • write a design brief and create relevant evaluation criteria for a product’s redevelopment (Unit 1)
  • work in a team to design and plan a product or range of products in response to a design brief (Unit 2)
  • complete relevant research; draw and model ideas; plan your time, materials, safety and construction methods for the most suitable design and seek feedback from others.
  • make the product you designed and at the end, evaluate both the product and your activities in relation to the original design for Unit 1 and within a team for Unit 2.

What skills do you need?

You need the ability to be open to change and to try methods to extend yourself with ideas. You also need the willingness to practise drawing and construction skills, as well as the confidence to start with a blank page and create something according to limitations.

Tuition in materials is not provided, therefore basic experience in wood, metal or textiles would be beneficial.

What skills do you develop?

You will improve your ability to “think outside the square”. You will come to see that everything can be improved – it just requires research, trying, trialling and thinking.

You will develop the following skills:

  • planning and time management
  • critical and creative thinking
  • designing by using sketches or digital tools
  • the ability to choose appropriate materials, processes and tools
  • digital file management
  • general organisational skills.




You must have access to the internet in order to access this course. All weekly work will be completed and submitted online.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 DET safety requirements (essential)
  • textiles – need access to sewing machines in either the classroom or at home.

You can purchase the textbook (optional): Nelson Product Design and Technology VCE Units 1-4, 4th edition by Jacinta O’Leary and Jill Livett.

Things to think about

It is important that you have access to the tools or equipment needed to make the product you design. You should also know how to save and find copies of all your completed work, this way compiling work for assessment such as an e-folio will be simple.

Things you can do now

Practice drawing
Learn the language of the design elements and the design principles to explain your drawings and ideas.

Start Researching
Depending upon the material category/ies 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 some examples:

  • Types of wooden joints


  • How to install a zipper


Learn about the Product Design Process and the Product Design Factors on pages 9-11 from the 2018-2022 Study Design on the VCAA website.

Go to the VCAA website for more information about this subject.



Things to have a look at

Student Work Unit 1

Unit 1: Redeveloped product by Nicole Crozier

Student Work Unit 2

Unit 2: Exploring the design elements and principles in a Summertime theme by Grace