1. PROBLEM STATEMENT 2. DESIGN BRIEF 3. INVESTIGATION 4. PROPOSAL 5. INITIAL IDEAS 6. RESEARCH 7. DEVELOPING THE CHOSEN IDEA 8. PLANNING 9. MAKE/MANUFACTURING 10. TEST, EVALUATE AND IMPROVE
During this stage the technologists (the learners in the technology classroom) should identify the problem or need for which they should find a solution. This is usually expressed in one or two sentences in the form of a problem statement.
If the technologists knows what the problem or need is for which he should find a solution, he formulates a design brief in collaboration with the client ( who experiences the problem or need). This would typically consist of one or two sentences giving a broad indication of what should be designed in order to solve the problem or satisfy the need.
In some cases the client could communicate this directly to the technologist.
Once the technologist knows what the problem or need is and which product could broadly serve as a possible solution, he must gather information about the problem and the possible solution. He could launch an investigation into existing products or aspects thereof which could serve as possible solutions.
The availability and affordability of suitable material from which to manufacture the product can also be determined.
During the proposal stage the technologist has the opportunity to discuss his tentative solution with the client. This also offers and opportunity of verify whether the problem has been identified and interpreted correctly. The client should receive an indication of more or less which product will be provided, its specifications (measurements, etc.) and a time frame indicating how long it would take to complete.
Once the client is satisfied with the direction that the technologist has taken, the technologist can begin to develop ideas. During this creative stage the technologist puts his/her ideas on paper in the form of freehand sketches. The different ideas are weighed up in terms of their advantages and disadvantages by means of critical analysis.
Eventually the technologist selects one idea to be developed further.
There are often particular aspects of the chosen idea which are problematic in the sense that the technologist is unsure of how to handle them. To find answers to these problematic aspects, research is required. Research implies a more in-depth and focused search for information than during the initial investigation.
Research is conducted to solve problems and answer questions relating to the problematic aspects of the chosen idea in order to develop it into a workable solution.
The research results give rise to the development and refining of the problematic aspects of the chosen idea. A final idea takes form once all the problematic aspects of the chosen idea have been resolved.
After the final idea has been developed, plans can be formulated on how to manufacture the product. During the planning stage a working drawing (drawn to scale and including measurements) is made using drawing equipment. A list is compiled of all the parts of the product, its size and the materials to be used for manufacturing.
A list is also compiled of all the tools required. The order of the steps to be followed when making the product is shown on a flow diagram. A time schedule is also drawn up.
During the manufacturing stage the preceding planning is executed. The product which is manufactured should be in line with the working drawing.
Testing is a very important part of design. It tells if the solution works, and if so, how well it works. The functioning of the product may be tested (seeing if it works) or it might involve repeated testing to check reliability. Following the testing of the product it may be necessary to do further design work to improve it or even redesign the product.