Lesson #7: What makes a good design?

Part of the unit: Two-Dimensional Furniture Design |


Students will be able to:
Understand that evaluation is a prerequisite step to finding a solution to a design problem
Understand that designers evaluate and work in teams to come up with solutions for ways to refine a product
Understand that a good design finds a solution to the needs of targeted audiences through function and form
Construct a rubric for evaulating a design
Use the rubric to assess their own design and the designs of their classmates, cooperatively in teams.
Xerox or drawing paper and pencils or pens for creating and scoring a rubric.
What is Design?
1. Refer back to the What is Design?poster:
  • Where are we now in the design process?
  • How can we evaluate our own design?
  • How would we know what a good design is?
1. Distribute paper and pencil or pen to each student. Explain that we will be designing a rubric to evaluate our own and each other's designs. 2. Co-construct a rubric with the class. Encourage students to think beyond their personal taste and to consider the design's effectiveness, in terms of function, form, and addressing the needs of the targeted audience. Some guiding questions to ask are:
  • What do you look for when you go to purchase a product? For example, for a cell phone, are everyone's needs the same as yours?
  • Then how do we know if that product is good or not?
  • What was the process you went through to arrive at your design?
3. The rubric should have a list of criteria to consider for each chair design, going down the left hand side of the chart, and three or four columns to the right, each headed with a description of the degree of success. Have students write the completed rubric on the board onto their papers.
1. Co-construct a rubric with the class. 2. Divide the class into design teams according to assigned scenario/targeted audience. *note: evaluating each other's work is a sensitive issue at this age group. If you foresee difficulties, pair up students that work well together. In extreme situations, have students evaluate their own design. 3. Have students display their proposal drawings along with their 3-D sketch model. 4. Each person in each team gives a short presentation of his/her product, as the rest of the group uses the rubric chart to evaluate the design. Encourage the listeners to evaluate the design by "putting themselves in the scenario/targeted audience's shoes." 5. Walk around to each team. When necessary, help out in leading a peaceful and productive discussion. Encourage the listeners to look for uniqueness in each design.
Gather the teams back together, as a class. Have each team talk about a design that they all agreed was successful in finding a solution to their scenario problem. Some questions to ask:
  • How was it successful?
  • What unique qualities did it have?
  • What challenges did you have in designing your product?
Extensions: Students can continue on to the last stage in the design process by creating a life-size prototype of their concept chair. The scenario groups may continue working together as a design team to create their prototypes. They can either choose one design that best fits the solution to their scenario problem or combine their designs to make a better solution.