These are intended as starting points for discussion. They should help students to generate more specific ideas of their own.

CAT 1: Biodegradable waste
There is increasing concern about the impact of putting biodegradable waste into landfill sites, mainly because of the methane it then gives off. Design a way of dealing with biodegradable waste that does not cause pollution and has a useful product. (Images)

CAT 2: Moving water
Moving water from one place to another, particularly lifting it, has been an engineering challenge for millennia and very many different methods have been used to do this. Design and make a system for moving water for a situation of your choice. (Images)

CAT 3: Food
The food we eat has a huge effect on the environment. In the UK it represents about a third of our total impact on the planet, as measured by the ecological footprint. Much of that impact is caused by processing, packaging and transporting the food. Design one or more food items that will have a low impact on the planet, or a positive impact of some sort. (Images)

CAT 4: Solar water heating
The potential for using solar water heating systems in Britain is enormous, with 40,000+ already in use in homes. Design and make a solar water heating system for a context of your choice. (Images)

CAT 5: Using timber
When chosen and used with care, timber can be a very low impact material to use for furniture. Design and make a piece of furniture that uses timber in a sustainable way. (Images)

CAT 6: Ecological housing
A few committed designers and builders are gradually extending knowledge and practice in energy efficient, ecological methods of construction. Design and make a model of an energy efficient, pre-fabricated house or alternative building, or a component for such a building. It should use ecological materials and renewable energy systems, and should be affordable and appropriate for use in the UK. (Images)


Reduce, reuse, recycle
It has been recommended for many years that reducing, reusing and recycling provide many opportunities for environmental improvements in our own and other countries and in product manufacture. Design and make a product that uses at least one of those criteria. (Images)

ITDG 1: Sustainability campaign
In many communities it is hard to promote change towards a more sustainable way of life. Identify a community (e.g. a school, a sports club, a local area) and a sustainability issue that affects it. Devise a 3D and 2D campaign to promote a more sustainable way of life. (Images)

ITDG 2: Packaging
Many people can only afford to buy every day items such as flour or sugar in small amounts. In some countries, buying and re-packaging goods for re-sale is a useful income generating activity. Investigate the process of re-packaging and design and make a sustainable method for use in your chosen context. (Images)

ITDG 3: Sustainable power
There are several sources of renewable energy. In many countries, micro-hydro power is a potential source wherever there is a reliable water supply. Investigate the appropriateness of micro-hydro power for an area of your choice and design and make a small machine that could harness that power for use in a small enterprise. (Images)

ITDG 4: Rainwater harvesting
Ensuring an adequate water supply for domestic and agricultural use is a problem in many parts of the world. However, there are opportunities for harvesting rainwater when rains do come. Investigate possible methods of harvesting water and design and make a method for filtering or storing water suitable for your chosen context. (Images)

ITDG 5: Sustainable cooking
Cooking outdoors on an open fire is a summer treat in many northern hemisphere countries. In the southern hemisphere it is often their way of life. Investigate existing practices of open-fire cooking and design and make a cooking stove which is as fuel-efficient as possible. (Images)

ITDG 6 and 7: Carrying equipment
All over the world, people have to carry a wide variety of equipment or good to carry out their jobs - the tools of their trade. Investigate the problem of carrying equipment. Design and make a sustainable method of carrying equipment or goods for the person or occupation of your choice. (Images)

ITDG 8: Generating systems and control design briefs
Advice is given to help students think of their own design briefs for systems and control projects.

Design Contexts
Developing design briefs
Images to stimulate students’ thinking (images still to come)
Advice on finding clients
Generic design contexts
Advice on specific design briefs
CAT specific design briefs
Loughborough University specific design briefs
ITDG specific design briefs
CAT support information
Loughborough University support information
ITDG support information