“People ignore designs that ignores people” – Frank Chimero
Design Technology is based on a model of learning that incorporates knowledge, skills and design principles in problem-solving contexts, while at the same time maximising the use of local and readily available resources. It assumes no previous experience in either technology or design. The design cycle is at the core of the course, and it is expected that students will use this process in the practical investigative work as well as in the theory. Each element in the design cycle represents an aspect of design technology, which, when viewed together, constitutes a holistic approach.
Technology relies on the laws and properties of nature and the accumulated knowledge of technology to create new products, techniques and systems. Design Technology sits comfortably in the Diploma Programme experimental sciences, because the design cycle involves inquiry, and students need to study scientific principles in order to understand advances made in society and to be able to speculate what might be achieved in the future.
Design Technology as a complement to the arts
The Standard Level (SL) Design Technology is ideally suited to the non-science specialist. It can be used as a bridge between the sciences and the designed world around us. Design technology is concerned with people’s needs and what they regard as important. The politics of society, and the cultural, aesthetic and artistic needs and values are given due status. In addition, environmental considerations are given significant emphasis. Design technology interfaces well between the sciences and the arts, using principles from both in the design cycle.
Design Technology for the scientist or engineer
Where students may be considering a university or college course in Science, applied science, technology, product design or engineering, the Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL) courses may be taken in conjunction with any other course in Group 4. Diploma Programme Design Technology then provides such students with the opportunity to deal with realistic problems and to synthesise appropriate solutions using the processes practiced during the course, in particular through the design project.