Design and Manufacture in S5-S6

Purpose and Aims of the Course

The Course provides a broad and practical experience in product design and manufacture. It provides opportunities for learners to gain skills in designing and communicating design proposals and opportunities for learners to refine and resolve their design ideas effectively.

The Course stresses the integration of designing and making. It confirms that design is an iterative process. The Course highlights the close relationship between designing, making, testing, and refining design ideas.

The Course provides opportunities for learners to apply practical skills and an understanding of the properties and uses of materials and manufacturing processes. It does so in a way that allows learners to inform and refine their own design proposals. It offers them opportunities to explore design alternatives and to consider the manufacturing practicalities that these design alternatives bring to light.

The Course combines elements of creativity and designing for aesthetic or visual impact with elements of designing for the practicalities of manufacturing. It helps the learner appreciate the importance to a product of form, function, and performance. It helps them develop strategies for the evaluation of these attributes and to refine and resolve their designs accordingly.

The Course allows learners to consider the various factors that impact on a product’s design. It will consider the life cycle of a product from its inception through design, manufacture, and use, including its disposal and/or re-use — cradle-to-cradle.

The Course provides learners with opportunities to develop:

  •  research skills
  •  idea generation techniques
  •  the ability to read drawings and diagrams
  •  the ability to communicate design ideas and practical details
  •  the ability to evaluate and apply both tangible and subjective feedback
  •  the ability to devise, plan and develop practical solutions to design opportunities

The Course allows learners to engage with technologies. It allows them to evaluate both the impact that design and manufacturing technologies have on our environment and society and how technologies have impacted on the world of the designer and on the manufacturing industry.

The Higher Design and Manufacture Course differs in purpose and aim from the equivalent Courses at National 4 and National 5. It does so most obviously by requiring learners to give greater priority to evaluating design proposals and arriving at a resolved design. Of necessity, this may reduce time spent on crafting quality prototypes. Subsequently it is likely to increase the time spent on making practical models in order to inform and refine design proposals.

The aims of the Course are to enable learners to develop:

  •  skills in design and in refining design proposals
  •  practical skills in the planning and development of models and prototypes
  •  skills in evaluation and research
  •  knowledge and understanding of manufacturing processes and materials
  •  an understanding of the impact of design and manufacturing technologies on our environment and society

The emphasis is on pupil centred learning where pupils work individually, and in teams, on set assignments and case studies, analysing products, producing design solutions, modelling and evaluating them. The department provides a stimulating and dynamic learning environment where students are able to explore a variety of learning styles. The department enthusiastically harnesses the potential of multimedia technology to present teaching material in a way that deepens understanding of the subject and this in turn motivates and engages the students. Students are encouraged to experiment with materials and their creativity is liberated by the freedom they’re given to assemble their concepts in 3 dimensions at the earliest possible opportunity.

Homework will be set on a regular basis and will concentrate on reinforcing design knowledge and graphic skills. To be successful students will need to be consistently industrious over the course of the year. As it nears the time for folio work assessment, students will be expected to complete the work at home and in their own time.

  • Problem solving.
  • Thinking creatively & critically.
  • Planning & organising.
  • Communicating & presenting.
  • Researching.
  • Evaluating.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Digital literacy.
  • Applied numeracy.

‘Design and manufacture feels like a great break from being in the classroom, as it is very practical and hands-on. The analysis and theory is equally interesting.’

Sophie Cabrelli 6Mo

Is design and manufacture for me? 

You will enjoy this subject if: 

  • You want to learn think like a designer and use the design process to organise your thinking.
  • You aim to work efficiently and collaborate with others.
  • You like being creative and thinking critically.
  • You like testing and exploring how things work.
  • You want to learn about design and how it can be used to improve the world we live in.
  • Want to develop skills in design and analytical thinking- communicating through graphics and modelling.
  • Like to work things out, solve problems and take things apart.

Influential Designers

  • Zaha Hadid – Hadid is legendary in in the field of architecture and the built environment. Famous in Glasgow for her zinc clad Museum of Transport Zaha cut her own path through a male dominated field. In 2004 Hadid was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, considered the profession’s highest honour. She was the first woman to receive the award. 
  • Ivor Sigmund Tiefenbrun MBE – The Scottish founder and Chairman of Linn Products Ltd, manufacturers of high fidelity audio equipment and home theatre equipment. He was influential in the manufacture and retail of British audio in the 1970s and 1980s. The company he founded goes from strength to strength creating some of the most highly acclaimed audio equipment in the world.