Technological Capability in Design

Eddie Norman, Joyce Riley
1988, Vol. 20, No. 3,

Abstract


One of the cornerstones of the BA Honours degree programme for Design and Technology at Loughborough is the belief that each student should develop a personal capability to use technolgy. This capability, once developed, can be utilised in all the students' design projects and gives and added dimension to their creativity. A recent article by George Hicks and HMI' puts forward the view that:

, ... as a society we depend on those with technological capability to produce goods and services for our benefit, as well as to provide a network of systems that underpin other industries. Such people also have a responsibility to maintain and develop that capability continuously and to invent processes that open up new possibilities'.

The products needed in a Western nation will span the range from table mats to supersonic aircraft. In 1977 the Design Council evolved a model of the product design spectrum which indicated the level of industrial and engineering design in each type of product. 2 Figure I shows a slightly modified representation of this product design spectrum indicating sample products in each of three regions. For the products in region C the design considerations are mainly aesthetic. Industrial designers and craftsmen using inherited and adapted skills of craft-based design and manufacture have produced products for which technology is secondary to other considerations such as appearance, ergonomics and material suitability.


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