:: Specific Design Brief
- further information
PRODUCT DESIGN UK
- KEY QUESTIONS
OPEN-ENDED BRIEF – Moving water from one place to another,
particularly lifting it, has been an engineering challenge for millenia and
very many different methods have been used to do this over the centuries.
Design and make a system for moving water for a situation of your choice.
SPECIFIC BRIEF – There is an ever-growing interest in gardening and many
people are building ponds in which they want to have some sort of moving water
feature. There are issues of energy and water consumption involved. Design and
make a system which will provide moving water in a low impact and low cost way.
Is the product something that people want and need?
• Will it always be wanted and needed? Is it subject to the whims of fashion? Is
it economically feasible to make the product given the whims of fashion and the
• Who would benefit the most from this product given their available income and
their local environment?
• Will production (and any subsequent repair, recycling) provide work to help
people earn money?
• Which raw materials will be used? Are they renewable?
• What pollution is caused by the extraction and processing of the raw
• How will the product be manufactured?
• What other materials are needed in order to use the product? (eg fixings,
surface paints or varnishes)
• Can the product be made locally using local skills and local materials?
• How much energy is used at different stages of the products lifecycle?
• How will the product be packaged?
• How will the product be sold / transported to the shops?
• How will the product be promoted / marketed?
• How will it be used? Will it only be used for its intended purpose? How many
times will it be used before being thrown away?
• How will it be disposed of after use?
• Could it be repaired? Re-used? Re-cycled?
• Can the product be easily repaired using local materials? How many parts can
go wrong? How likely are they to go wrong?
• Materials can be selected to minimise their initial environmental impact.
• The issue of balancing this against the product life can be explored – early
replacement simply leads to increased environmental load.
• Structural analysis can be applied to ensure that the size of all components
is appropriately minimised
• Styling needs to be explored. There is no point in extending the life of a
product in a ‘technical sense’ if it simply becomes redundant in a ‘fashion
sense’. For a long product life, a ‘design classic’ is the target.
ISSUES & RESOURCES