Design and Technology
The Design and Technology (DT) department's philosophy is to provide an exciting experience for all pupils. We aim to challenge pupils' creativity and problem solving skills through a wide variety of projects that encourage independent and practical thinking and that use a range of different materials.
DT is a dynamic subject that is keeping pace with the ever-changing technology used in industry. It prepares pupils for a wide range of disciplines, including engineering, architecture, product design and creative arts.
DT at Kingswood focuses on these core elements of creativity and critical analysis within each project. The department is housed in a bright, well-resourced teaching block with two fully equipped workshops and a design studio with IT facilities.
The variety of students’ projects as they enter the examinations demonstrates a key part of what makes the department such a vibrant place to be. We hold an annual exhibition that aims to showcase each students’ individuality and the choices they made to ensure that their design was bespoke.
Kingswood offers many related extra-curricular activities, including jewellery making, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), Eco-schools and opportunities to design and create individual projects in open workshop sessions. Many Kingswood pupils have applied for and received the prestigious Arkwright Scholarship, which is awarded to students aiming to study engineering.
Key Stage 3
At each level in the first three years, the emphasis is on enjoyment and learning, through experiencing, a wide range of practical skills and techniques related to design and the manufactured world that is all around us. All the projects that are undertaken will consist of key elements taught at exam level.
This course is designed to encourage pupils to develop an awareness of the nature and importance of Design and Technology in a rapidly changing society. Pupils learn to combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues, function and industrial practices, all of which are essential in the technological field. At GCSE level, pupils follow the Edexcel specification. The subject focuses on resistant materials, with a wood specialism.
Design and Technology is a subject suited to students who are dynamic, questioning and keen to fundamentally improve the world we live in. The challenge to be original and to solve problem, as well as to be a practical maker, is fundamental to design. The ability to look at the world and products, to evaluate them through design and manufacture, and to improve them through sketching and making to produce high-quality product design are the skills of a good designer.
We currently offer two courses at A-level, Product Design (Edexcel) and 3D Design (AQA).
The Product Design course will build up theory and practical skills and is suited to those who can meet a challenge and are driven to succeed. It will prepare students for further study in the world of design and engineering through creative output.
The 3D design course is more art based but is still a product design course looking at aspects of Architecture, sculpture, small product design. The course looks at aspects of design history, drawing and CAD leading to a creative output in a practical examination.
Please see work produced by this year's Upper Sixth below.
I am a model maker, studying Design & Technology at Kingswood has improved my skillset on using Computer aided design and manufacturing techniques which will be very significant in the Architecture degree I am doing at university.
My final project is a great start to what I want to do in the future as I designed and created a scaled architectural model for a new activities centre. The activities centre is designed as a one-off fully sustainable piece attending to my client’s every requirement which is designed specifically to suit its chosen site while harmonizing with the surrounding modern architecture. This project is extremely important as it represents my interest in sustainable buildings while developing my communication skills with a client which will be important as communications is one of the most important principles in becoming an Architect.
As I applied to study product design it was essential to find a product that allowed me to express my creative thinking and typified a creative piece of product design.
The re-design of a domestic air purifier has allowed me to solve a real world-problem for my client. Working in tandem with their needs throughout has helped me develop the prototype and inform change in the iterative process. The proof of concept model and the block model all function and I am sure the skills I have developed with pen and paper as well as CAD will aid me in my future as an industrial Designer. I have developed communications skills whilst working with my client as well has more practical drawing and manufacturing/modelling skills which will be invaluable as I move on to university next year.
The aim of my project was to design a device which would enable elderly users to access the benefits of the internet, in a way they felt comfortable doing.
For a long time, I took the fact that our generation had been gifted with the ability to use technology for granted. However, there are 4.2 million people aged 65+ that have never used the internet in the UK, and made me realise that something needs to be done in order to bring the internet to them, rather than expecting them to learn it. I believe the best way to do this is to use Artificial Intelligence to trigger interactions they are familiar with, such as talking, and triggering physical senses. My work followed this belief, and I hope to continue to make technology more accessible at university, and throughout the rest of my life because, I think it is something that should be available to everybody.
For my project I tried to incorporate the trend of technology getting smaller and more compact into classical instruments.
In this case an alto saxophone, my work was motivated mostly by both me and my client’s shared hindrances whilst travelling with a saxophone. The goal was to design a product that is compact and comfortable to use while still being a useful tool for musicians. I took a lot of inspiration from modern instrument manufacturers like AKAI and Teenage engineering and also classical instrument designs like from an acoustic guitar. This was to try and incorporate the functionality and feel of the old with the aesthetics and function of the new.
Design & Technology has allowed me to express my creativity and to try to solve unique problems by really understanding the difficulties and requirements for the user.
My project was influenced by my love of animals. Spending time around my dog every day inspired me to make something to solve an issue surrounding dogs. The form of my project was inspired by the minimalist movement where I decided to use solid colours to exaggerate the function of the project rather than the aesthetics being the main attraction.
My design work tends to explore a modern, aesthetic look with which I try and blend together natural materials with industrial looks often through the contrast of woods and metals.
I have always enjoyed playing with different designs and sometimes ones that are a little farfetched and unrealistic. I like to reference my work sometimes towards the Bauhaus design principles with newer modernist twists of colour and aim to be shaped by new innovative processes or materials.
The Product Design course has substantially improved multiple skills that will assist my future development. Firstly, my communication skills through regular contact with clients and other bodies has allowed me to get to grips with the best way to maintain clear and simple communication. The variety of communication techniques that I have developed whilst studying Design & Technology will be of huge benefit in the future. Presenting ideas and communicating with clients and understanding the need for compromise to find a solution to the brief is key in any industry. I have learnt resilience and perseverance within my project, and I will need to utilise all of these skills as I move on towards flight school.
As saving our planet is becoming increasingly important for us, we all have a role to play in order to help.
As a designer I wanted to try and do my part by designing a product to help the removal of plastic waste from our beaches but also to educate people about the issue. I wanted to come up with a design which would encourage others to help clean our beaches and protect their beauty. This product itself is a prototype which represents a smaller product which would be made from all recycled materials in order to ensure it is not harming our planet further. This project has allowed me to explore more technical approaches such as problem solving and maths which are topics that I would like to pursue in the future. For example, the use of an iris, in order to separate the floating plastic from the sunken sand, was a very technical approach which required lots of problem solving and an iterative design process.
Throughout my project my passion for architectural design and construction has inspired my Well-Being Suite designed to fit onto a chosen site at Kingswood School.
The building is aimed to be eco-friendly and act as a facility to practice infrequent activities such as aerobics and yoga that the school can now propose. Whilst incorporating elements of existing Kingswood architecture, including materials; wooden panels, glass and steel, these all meet the recent new build of Hall House. In addition, I have created some energy efficiency through a rainwater storage and a vegetation wall. All these elements will help to tackle environmental problems that a school can face in relation to architecture in today’s society.
As a potential engineer, I enjoy very much working with physics, and the applied topics.
My Design & Technology project reflects my ambition to make certain aspects of life easier for others, as that is ultimately what most of the engineering business is all about. In this case, it’s developing the level of teaching/learning by showing someone a complex idea through a simplified teaching aid. During the design phase of the project, I really had to put myself in the shoes of the user. Every component was carefully chosen based on user-centred design. The materials were chosen based on analysing their material properties, sustainability and relatability. This all has helped develop this prototype teaching aid.
I’ve always been interested in transforming mundane tasks into exciting and engaging experiences using Product Design.
Everyone loves popcorn…but the process of making it, not so much. This is what led me to invent ‘The Popcorn Gun’, which revolutionises movie snack making into a fun experience for all the family.
The design task provided me the opportunity to significantly improve my computer-aided-design work, moulding, 3D modelling and produce a fully working prototype. The gun has incorporated ergonomics and uses anthropometric data that ensures the product is optimized for human use.
Studying Product Design at A-Level has confirmed my desire to help overcome the design challenges of the world and further my design journey at undergraduate level, allowing me to continue to explore the range and depth of the subject.
Throughout the last two years in Design & Technology I have been looking in to this global water shortage.
I eventually came up with a design that acted as a solar powered water irrigation system. Which can pump from any type of water source and does not need any electrical power source as it is run off solar panels. I took such an interest in this topic as I felt that it was an unexplored area and was an opportunity to benefit and develop the agriculture in areas of the world that have been affected by droughts. In making this product I learned many skills that have influenced my decision to further explore design and develop my understanding and technique at an even higher level by doing an Art and Design foundation course.
With a keen interest in sport and keeping fit the decision to choose to design a fitness device seemed a natural fit for my design project.
I worked closely with the PE department to fine tune the idea and develop a unique piece of strength building fitness equipment. Within the project I learnt how to weld and bend the steel as well as use the Lathe. I really have developed my understanding of manufacture and I feel I have really grown with the project. The end product has unique attributes for the individual seeking to develop their upper body strength. The use of Sports science and materials manufacturing has really kept me focused and I have really enjoyed the practical aspect of this course.
Made in Kingswood
Every year, the Art and Design & Technology departments celebrate the outstanding work produced by their students with the annual Made in Kingswood Exhibition. Please see below images from a previous exhibition as well as a link to an archive of work from recent years.