:: Generic Design Contexts - Print Version

Northern contexts
These are intended as starting points for discussion and should help you generate ideas of your own. Once you have a project, feel free to go straight to the 'Sustain-a-balls' checklist

ITDG Contexts
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.

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

Loughborough University
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.

CAT Contexts
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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.