Student Assessment Checklist
These questions are to help you think about sustainability
throughout your designing and making. You can ask many of the questions at any
point in your project.
FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES OF SUSTAINABILITY (See Handbook p 49.)
• Is your product really needed? Will it serve a useful purpose for someone
without wasting any resources?
• Will your product have any damaging results for the environment as a result of
the materials and method of manufacture you choose? Will your product improve
people’s lives in any way? Will your product provide jobs for people?
• Can you justify why you have chosen to use one material and one manufacturing
process rather than another, especially if it’s not the most sustainable?
INITIAL INVESTIGATION AND ANALYSIS (See Handbook p 50.)
• Have you found some examples of existing sustainable designs and other
relevant information that give you ideas to include in your own designs?
• Have you discussed with your client/external partner what sustainability
aspects they want to include in the specification – e.g. do they only want you
to use environmentally friendly materials, recycled materials or are they more
concerned about commercial success?
DEVELOPING A SPECIFICATION (See Handbook p 51.)
• Does you spec show you’ve thought about using recycled or renewable materials,
renewable energy sources, ease of disassembly and disposal?
• Does it show you’ve thought about whether the product itself or the process of
making it can contribute to a better life for people?
• Does it show you’ve thought about fair trade, profitability or job
• Have you justified your decisions about which materials and manufacturing
processes you will use, especially if you have chosen a less sustainable option?
• Have you used an eco-design tool appropriately to assess either existing
products or your own design ideas or to evaluate your final design?
GENERATING IDEAS (See Handbook p 50.)
• Can you show you’ve thought about environmental, economic and social
sustainability when producing ideas in relation to your spec?
• Can you show you’ve asked relevant people (stakeholders in your project,
especially if they are abroad) for advice?
• Have you looked at existing sustainable products to give you ideas to use
DEVELOPS, COMMUNICATES AND EVALUATES DESIGN PROPOSALS
• Have you tried out different possible materials and thought about their
implications at all stages during the product’s life cycle?
• Have you asked the relevant stakeholders for their opinions on your ideas?
• Have you shown you’ve thought about whether the materials and methods of
manufacture will be OK to use in the context for which you’re designing,
especially if it’s abroad.
• Can you show you’ve thought about the sustainability of the methods people
will use to make your product and why you’ll use them (e.g. batch or mass
• If you find you need to use something not very sustainable, can you explain
why you’re using it (e.g. only thing available, cost, time) or change to
• Can you prove you’ve tried to include all the sustainable ideas you’ve thought
about when you’re actually making your product (materials, energy, sociability,
TESTING AND EVALUATING
• Can you provide evidence that you’ve asked all the relevant stakeholders for
feedback rather than just given your own opinions or those of friends/family?
• When you’ve had feedback, have you made use of it to suggest how you can
improve your product or modify it in any way?