Product Design and Technology Units 1 and 2


Unit 1 Sustainable product redevelopment

In this subject you will choose an existing commercial product to redevelop in an attempt to improve its sustainability.

Unit 2 Collaborative design

You will work as a team, choose a cultural style or movement to research, decide on a team design situation and gain feedback from each other throughout the process.

Who is it for?

This subjects is for students who like to be creative but within boundaries, i.e. within the discipline of design. You learn a process to help you expand your ideas and to solve design problems. It broadens your knowledge about sustainability issues and how to use ideas of others as influence.

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:
    • analyse the existing product (Unit 1) or research a theme or movement (Unit 2)
    • write a design brief and create relevant evaluation criteria for a product’s redesign (Unit 1) and for a team approach (Unit 2)
    • complete relevant research; draw and model ideas; plan your time, materials, safety and construction methods for the most suitable design and in Unit 2 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, so having some basic experience in wood, metal or textiles would be beneficial but not mandatory.

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.

Skills developed include:

  • 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.
  • A textbook can be purchased (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 a student has access to the tools or equipment needed to make the product they design and knows how to save and find copies of all work completed. This way, compiling work for assessment such as an e-folio will be uncomplicated.

Things you can do now

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

Depending on the material category you will be working in – wood, metal, plastics or textiles – you can research and practise further skills. Make something over the holidays. Try something you haven’t done before.

There are many instructional videos and websites on the internet. Below are just two examples:

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

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





Things to have a look at

Design elements and principles

PowerPoint presentations

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