SUSTAINABLE DESIGN AWARD ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
PART 2 - ADVANCED LEVEL
The overall aim of the assessment criteria is to enable students to
show an understanding that there are issues of sustainability in all
designing and making activities. They should show this throughout the
different elements of their design folder.
Teachers can use the criteria for continuous
assessment of students’ work. They also provide
a checklist for students. However, it must be remembered
that sustainability issues are only ONE part of exam
board criteria and that those criteria offer students
far more opportunity for scoring marks.
In order to receive an SDA Part 2 the student must show evidence of
having met the compulsory criteria (in bold) as well as five of the other
N.B. The A2 level criteria are intended to show a progression from AS,
indicating a broader and higher level of understanding of sustainability.
The first box is intended for students to record where, in their folder,
they meet the criteria. The second is intended for teachers to use to
verify that the criterion has been met.
FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES OF SUSTAINABILITY
F1. Has shown an understanding of the need to consider whether
the product SHOULD be made at all (e.g. has asked whether
we could do without the product, or asked why we are making it?)
F2. When a decision to make a product has been made, has shown
an understanding that the three main dimensions of sustainability should
be considered in the designing and making processes (e.g.
indicates concern about environmental, social and economic issues as
well as fitness for purpose, aesthetics etc.)
F3. Shows an understanding that all issues of sustainability are moral
issues. (e.g. shows that a designing and making decision such as whether
or not to use a renewable source of energy is a moral judgement as well
as an environmental one).
INITIAL INVESTIGATION AND ANALYSIS
A1. Includes a range of sources of information, including the work of
other designers, about how environmental, economic and social/cultural
issues relate to the design context (e.g. evidence of research into how
product/s may have short or long term repercussions for the environment,
for social/cultural life and for people’s lives in the UK and other
parts of the world).
A2. Presents an analysis of the information showing opportunities and
constraints for addressing environmental, economic and social/cultural
issues within their designing (e.g. shows there are social/cultural implications
in mass production manufacturing, potential financial costs in sustainability
A3. Investigates the sustainability requirements of the client,
discussing the social, economic and environmental impacts of their
activities in sourcing materials, use of the product and ultimate disposal (e.g.
asks client if they wish to use recycled materials where practicable).
DEVELOPING A SPECIFICATION
D1. Develops a specification/brief that includes relevant criteria
for the development of a design solution that addresses all three aspects
of sustainability at all relevant stages of a product’s life
cycle (e.g. specifies that the product manufacture should
use renewable energy or material sources wherever possible, considers
the employment repercussions of the manufacturing processes, understands
that waste disposal has social implications).
D2. The specification shows an understanding of the complexity
and inter-relatedness of design decisions, especially where sustainability
is concerned. (e.g. shows evidence of understanding that tackling
a single sustainability issue such as reducing the thickness of a material
may have implications for other environmental factors, e.g. the durability
of the product or for a social issue, e.g. may lose a cultural tradition,
or have economic results e.g. result in job losses).
D3. Shows evidence of using sustainability design tools in evaluating
criteria for developing a design solution (e.g. uses the Design Abacus, or
the Eco-design Web or Eco-indicator).
G1. Considers the three main dimensions of sustainability in their design
shows evidence of having asked questions or completed research about environmental,
economic and social/cultural issues).
G2. Generates ideas that build towards a proposal which meets
the previously identified specification with particular reference to
sustainability (e.g. shows how a proposed solution may have
maintained a social/cultural tradition).
G3. Seeks information using the expertise of a client or SDA
partner (e.g. considers ideas that involve genuine, real-life
G4. Researches products that use sustainable ideas in their design and
manufacture (e.g. shows evidence of research on website, e.g. www.stepin.org,
or from SDA references).
DEVELOPS, COMMUNICATES AND EVALUATES DESIGN PROPOSALS
C1. Experiments with different materials and considers the potential
reusing or recycling the materials or components chosen at all stages of the
product’s life cycle (e.g. tries to ensure the least possible quantity
is used in packaging, ensures that component parts can be disassembled and
re-used where possible).
C2. Provides evidence of objective evaluation that the sustainability
ideas generated, including the requirements of the client, have been
incorporated into design proposals (i.e. show that ideas generated
in G2/3 are incorporated into proposals).
C3. Shows an understanding that the materials, energy, equipment, skills
and techniques needed in product manufacture are appropriate to the context
for which it is intended (e.g. gives evidence that local skills and equipment
available have been investigated to ensure it can be made in the locality
for which it is intended).
P1. Shows an awareness of the three main dimensions of sustainability
in planning manufacture at an appropriate scale of production (e.g.
ensures that product components can be easily disassembled at end of
life, ensures traditional skills are not lost, ensures production methods
are safe and appropriate).
P2. Demonstrates a willingness to modify the original design, where
to include methods that would improve an aspect of the product’s sustainability
or its appropriateness for the context (e.g. includes a method of filtering
and re-using water in the manufacturing process, takes account of the lack
of electrical power in the area of manufacture).
M1. Shows how sustainability decisions made earlier have been
incorporated into the manufacture of the product (e.g. shows
that the amount of waste material has been reduced to a minimum).
TESTING AND EVALUATING
T1. Gains a thorough objective evaluation of the finished product
against the specification (D1), including the client’s sustainability
requirements (e.g. gives clear evidence of comparing the product
against the specification and of having sought feedback from the client
or an SDA partner, or others with sustainability expertise).
T2. Shows a willingness to modify the manufacturing process in the light
of feedback on how it can be made more sustainable.