How this course experience contributes to the study of industrial design.

This course aims to build design agility by exploring the many ways in which to learn to think – this may be in terms of abstractions, linearly, divergently and holistically – as well as in a detailed and specific way relevant to a defined and particular problem. Since industrial design problems may range from the design of a medical device, to tableware, or the design of socially inclusive programs for refugees, to the creation of creatively managed share economies – the capacity to seamlessly slide from macro to micro thinking is a valuable and essential capability. This in conjunction with other practical and creative skills contributes to the core compendium of successful design capacity.

Industrial design has evolved over the last century from being and essentially product design orientated discipline to one addressing more complex issues around human behaviour, cultural contexts of design and delivery of solutions in complex systems. In the current climate of excessive consumerism, Industrial Design is part of the problem, contributing to increasing demands, wants and desire markets, borne from the narratives embedded in, and created around products produced. Concurrently a significant part of the world still deals with essential problems of the most basic kind – food shelter and clothing. This tutorial aims to look at the way we might think around problems whose complexities are vast and intricate. Looking at different methods and ways of working through and around problems, the course examines how through Play, Storytelling and rough prototyping, along with a range of established ‘processes’, we critique methods and tactics used to do design thinking. We do this through the examination of case studies quick class workshops. The intention of the course is to construct a series of particular resources, accessible through an online portal. The learning over the semester is brought about by this reflective and intentional engagement of content development.


Assessment Tasks

Besides being present and engaging in class, students will submit assignments.

Assessment is based on the extent and quality of research, inferences drawn and subsequent presentation of the journey. Students will also be assessed on the quality and ingenuity of their presentation. Student participation at all levels during class will contribute to their grades. Assessment tasks may be undertaken either individually or in teams.

Submissions & Presentations

Students need to submit 3 Assignments as listed besides in class work.

Each assignment will be supported at the onset by a rubric that allows you to determine how to approach the task and questions that allow for self assessment prior to commencement, execution and submission.

Schedule for Individual Assessment Tasks for Submission





Assignment 1

Week 7  / Apr 20

One in-depth Case Study analysis that illustrates a significant method of design at its core. 1500 words supported by images and an annotated bibliography of a minimum of 5 resources. Also presented as a 5 min PDF Presentation

Assignment 2

Week 10 / May 11

A reflective exploration of a design tactic with reference to case studies, literature and people. 1500 words supported by images and an annotated bibliography of a minimum of 5 resources.

Assignment 3

Week 12  / May 25

One Propositionl Design Tactic Uploaded onto the relevant digital framework. Title, Explanation, Illustration, Example (500 words) Presentation 5 -8 minutes per student


Break-up of marks:

Assignment 1

Wk 7

Assignment 2

Wk 10

Assignment 3

Wk 12

(Presentation in W 12 can submit with changes upto wk 14)




You will be assessed on your development of the following program learning outcomes:

  • Apply analytical, critical, creative and strategic thinking to industrial design problems and research within complex and unfamiliar contexts and concerns.
  • Articulate complex design ideas to through an advanced and adaptable repertoire of communication strategies and technologies
  • Advocate through design practice the improvement of the conditions and wellbeing of people, cultural practices and environments
  • Reflect on own learning and the efficacy of design decisions made, adapting to needs and issues as they arise, and continuously seeking improvement.
  • Demonstrate through practice-based design research an advanced knowledge of the socio-technical, environmental and economic eco-systems of industrial design both locally and globally


Summative feedback will be given on all assessment tasks and may be delivered in a variety of forms including critique panels, audio or video recordings and written reports. Additionally you will receive ongoing formative feedback as you progress through the course from your lecturer and from your peers in view of continuous improvement and greater degrees of reflectivity on your own learning.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

An assessment charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures which are described and referenced here:


There is an expectation for all students to participate in a minimum of 80% of scheduled classes and associated learning activities. 80% participation in face-to-face course work is a simple responsibility of being a university student. Attending and participating in course work is an essential learning activity as it provides surety in the building of confidence and gives all students the opportunity to engage and learn from each other. Individual participation in course work will be tracked by your lecturer and may be used as means of indicating whether you are either at risk of failure of the course or a re-negotiation of your inspirational grade. Courses in the Industrial Design Program use a face-to-face tutorial and studio format that relies on discussion and peer to peer learning as it primary mechanism for capability development. Demonstrating your commitment to your university experience by formally communicating and enacting a minimum level of participation and attendance will benefit your learning. Where a Student DOES NOT demonstrate a satisfactory level of participation the student may be notified that they are at risk of failure of a course and will be asked to attend and academic advisory meeting with academic staff.  The submission of all assessment tasks and the presentation of work at scheduled times and being involved in peer review and critique activities constitute an important aspect of your course participation. Students that cannot fully commit to such a participation scheme are encouraged to review their individual appropriateness for the course and should consider withdrawing prior to the census date so as not to incur fees.

Group Work and Peer Review

Every student will be required to do peer appraisals of the various assessment tasks. Here you will have to read and make recommendations to peers regarding the demonstration of their learning based on the Rubric provided to you. Peer review is an important part of your professional development and is highly valued within the RMIT Design School.