Design Technology Resources

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Stanford dschool (Design School)

  • Make a space for innovationWe’ve created three do-it-yourself guides to making some of the artifacts our students use most. Build a rolling white board“Z-rack”, adaptable foam cube s, or quickly-configure-able “T-walls”
    .We think the most important factor in creating a space for innovation is to start: start small, and start now. What we learned from a year in the trailer formed the foundation of our approach to space; if we’d waited until we had a big, new building, it would have been five years before the learning process would have begun. Make your space!

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A free digital media service for educational use from public broadcasting and its partners. You’ll find thousands of media resources, support materials, and tools for classroom lessons, individualized learning programs, and teacher professional learning communities.

Design Technology Department: An experienced British teacher has created the Design Technology Department in order to provide free educational materials for schools and colleges. The site is continually growing and will eventually offer teachers and pupils, materials for all of the Key Stages. The website contains quizzes, GCSE and A level revision materials, handouts, GCSE Resistant Materials, AS and A level materials, schemes of work, packaging, famous kite designers, structures, examples of pupils work, furniture design, inventions, department policies and links to educational and commercial websites. The site is linked to over three hundred websites including the NGFL and the BBC.

Design & Technology On The Web: A continually growing resource, currently of over 500 original pages for KS3, KS4 and KS5 students that covers all strands of study in the subject. Project help and advice sections and a gallery of exemplar work are featured for Resistant Materials, Graphics, Electronics, Systems and Control, Industrial Products, Engineering, Product analysis and Food and Textiles. There are project outlines with supporting worksheets for KS3 and KS4 that will be of use to teachers and a crossword section has been introduced. Coursework help sections guide students through the expectations of a variety of tasks and the material is expanding in response to requests for materials from students and teachers. A growing section on Designers and another section on Inventors supply information that would be useful reference sources for homework topics. As an additional useful resource a 'What's New' section allows regular users to discover the new corners of the site that might give starting points for students' design pages or a source of new inspiration for teaching ideas.

IEEE Virtual Museum: This website is premised on the belief that examining what was increases our understanding of what is. It explores the global social impact of electrical and information sciences and technologies and demonstrates the relevance of engineering and engineers to society. Designed for educators, pre-college students, and the general public, the virtual museum debuted with two exhibits. The first, Socket to Me! How Electricity Came to Be examines the early history of electricity and how it has been used in fields such as communications, computing, laser technology, and medicine. The second, The Beat Goes On: How Sounds are Recorded and Played explores sound recording from the early days of the phonograph to digital recording and distribution. Recent exhibitions include Microwaves and World War II: How War Impacted Technology. Exhibits feature interactive features and animations, audio and video clips, and images of artifacts and historical social events.

Inventions of the Industrial Revolution: This excellent BBC website enables the visitor to discover the key inventions of the Industrial Revolution through animated models. Inventions covered include The Rocket, the Beam Engine, the Blast Furnace, a Paddle Steamship, a Spinning Mill and Winding Gear.

Ettore Sottsass: Ettore Sottsass was one of the leading members of the Memphis Group founded in 1981. His versatility gave him the ability to design and create products in a variety of very different materials. He designed buildings, furniture, ceramics, metalware and glassware. His photography was even internationally exhibited. In the 1970's he was a leading figure of the 'Radical Movement' and played a very important role in 'Post Modernism' in the 1980s. This website developed by Andy Davies provides a detailed explanation of the life and work of Ettore Sottsass.

Food Forum: A professional development web site providing free guidance, advice and materials to support the teaching of food, consumer and citizenship education. Maintained by Ali Farrell, an ex teacher and advisory teacher.

Design & Technology Online: D & T Online website provides free access to a wide range of design and technology materials, resources and software for students to use as they engage in design and technology activities as part of the UK National Curriculum. In some cases the material will be relevant to science and mathematics as well as design and technology. So far there are sections on electronics, packaging, environments, food, pneumatics, mechanisms and manufacturing projects.
Marcel Breuer: Marcel Breuer regularly exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art but he was most famous for his classic piece the 'Wassily Chair'. This was designed for his mentor the great painter Wassily Kandinsky and was inspired by the shape and form of a bicycle handlebars. Breuer was both a furniture designer and architect. A student of the famous German 'Bauhaus School of Design'. Breuer designed modern classic furniture made from chrome plated tubular steel, in his opinion 'essential for modern living. A amongst other things a description and images of the Whitney Museum of American Art designed by Breuer are provided.
Resistant Materials: This new addition to Design and Technology Department was developed to help GCSE students study for their Resistant Materials examination paper. It offers a revision guide on Health and Safety including Finishes, Ergonomics and Anthropometrics, Scale of Production, One-off production, Batch production, Mass-production, Flow or continuous production, Injection moulding, Vacuum forming, Jigs, Moulds, Thermoplastic, Thermosetting plastics, Hardwoods, Softwoods and Performance Specification. This is a must for any student revising for a GCSE or As/A level in Product Design or Resistant Materials.
Technology at GCSE: The author of this website points out that the main reason for students choosing Technology at GCSE is that they think it is easy. "Think again!" he tells his visitors, "it is time consuming and demanding". However, the author attempts to help by providing resources on Drawing Techniques, Anthropometry, Materials, Mechanisms, Fixtures and Fittings. There is also a picture gallery and advice on written work.
George Carwardine: The automotive engineer George Carwardine based his Anglepoise task lamp upon the human form. This timeless classic lighting system was inspired by the "constant tension principle of human limbs". The articulated desk light has been copied many times and is still mass-produced even today - sixty-two years after it was first patented. This website provides information on Carwardine's work and should be useful for students of Product Design and Resistant Materials.
Italian Lighting Designers: In this new addition to the Design and Technology Department the work of the classic Italian lighting designers Livio Pier Giacomo, Achille Castiglioni and Gianfraco Frattini is examined. Their work has been described as "Rationalism but at the same time possessing humour and a sculptural form". The three men designed such classic lights such as the 'Boalum lamp', the 'Luminator floor lamp' and the 'Arco floor lamp'. Amongst their product design achievements are the 'Mezzadro' (Sharecroppers stool) and the 'Sgabello per Telephono' (Telephone stool).
Buckminster Fuller: In this new addition to the Design and Technology Department concerns the life and work of the engineer Buckminster Fuller. A visionary who amongst other things gave us 'Geodesic Dome Structures' and the futuristic 'Dymaxion car'. The invention of the geodesic dome was a solution to the pressing housing problem at the time. Buckminster Fuller also developed the first mass produced, prefabricated plastic and duralumin houses. Buckminster Fuller was the first person to coin the phrase 'Spaceship Earth'. He strongly believed that the creative abilities of mankind were unlimited and that the use and development of technology and design-led solutions would create a positive future.
Great Buildings: This outstanding website is the gateway to architecture around the world and across history documents a thousand buildings and hundreds of leading architects, with 3D models, photographic images and architectural drawings, commentaries, bibliographies, web links, and more, for famous designers and structures of all kinds.

Samuel Franklin Cody, as well as being one of the early pioneers of aviation, is fondly remembered as being a flamboyant Wild West showman. There is a Cody Appreciation Society, which actively teaches young people about the subject of aviation and in particular the life and work of the first man to fly a powered aeroplane in the UK. He even has a chain of high street shop named after him selling novel gadgets, toys, gifts and ingenious electrical products. If you wish to find out more about this fascinating character visit the latest addition to the Design and Technology Department website.

How Stuff Works: Electronics: HowStuffWorks is a media company that is internationally recognized as the leading provider of information on how things work. Founded by Marshall Brain, HowStuffWorks offers in-depth articles that explain the world from the inside out to millions of readers every month. HowStuffWorks electronics offerings enables you to learn about video systems, including your TV, your DVD player, the cable TV system and MP3 players.

Classic Packaging: Are you studying Graphic Design and Packaging? If the answer is yes, you may be interested in the new Classic Packaging section from the Design Technology website. This new section of the site is under construction but already offers detailed descriptions of such classic packaging as ‘The Oxo Cube’, ‘The Brasso Polish Tin’, ‘The Kiwi Shoe Polishing Tin’, ‘The Coca-Cola Bottle’ and ‘The Plastic Carrier Bag’.

LEGO: Ever wish you had an infinite bucket of LEGO bricks for your children? With BrickBuilder, you can create anything you can imagine, using dozens of different virtual bricks and you'll never run out! (requires Macromedia Flash.) This is one of the many interactive activities and problem-solving puzzles included on the official LEGO website.

The Memphis Group was founded in 1981 by Ettore Sottsass with a group of recently graduated designers and journalist Barbara Radice as public relations/art director. The group's main aim was to revive Radical Design. The products created by the Memphis group included limited production creations of unusual objects and functional designs. Most products featured plastic laminate surfaces, bright colours and bold patterns. The Memphis Group attempted to make a political statement. They strived to break down the barriers between high class and low class. To some, this concept was alien but to others it offered freedom.

Viking Boat: This project from Minersville Area High School got its start as a requirement for senior graduation. Sixteen seniors were divided into groups of from one to three. Just like the Viking builders, each senior had a set of building tasks. The project's goal was to replicate a twenty-one foot cargo boat. Plans were obtained from the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, Norway. Upon completion of the boat successful sea trials were held on a local lake and the boat was donated to the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle, Washington for its final resting place. Educationally, the project combined the disciplines of Social Studies with Industrial Technology. The website was created and maintained entirely by the students. The site includes the boat's history, sailing and tour information, photos of the boat's construction, displays including a visit to the Smithsonian Institution, animated blueprints, and a 360 degree view of the boat.
TECHtionary: The producers of this website claim that it is the world's first animated dictionary on technology. With more new terms everyday the website currently includes more than 600+ terms and 250,000+ Macromedia Flash animation effects on telecommunications, data communications, networking and Internet technologies, TECHtionary can be accessed anytime-anywhere to learn how things work. TECHtionary also provides key terms and concepts for preparation of the NACSE – National Association of Communications Systems Engineers.
Nutrition Foundation: Every aspect of nutrition and food safety is covered on this website. There are sections on Nutrients, Diet, Food Commodities, Food Functions, Balanced Diet, Mood and Food, Topical Information Sheets, Food Requirements and Careers Information. There is also a Teacher Centre and Parent Area.

DT Online is produced by the National Association of Advisers and Inspectors in Design and Technology, in cooperation with Dial Solutions, using materials provided by teachers for pupils. DT Online is free at the point of use and has three aspects: (1.) It is an online repository of information relating to most DT focus areas. (2.) For electronics and packaging, there are interactive designer sections that allow online production of circuits and packaging nets (3.) There is a developing projects section that also provides access to remote manufacturing centres in volunteer schools and colleges.

Ero Aarnio: Have you have ever seen the following films’ 'Tommy', 'Dazed and Confused' and 'Moon Zero Two' or the cult sixties series, ‘The Prisoner’? If your answer to this question is yes then you would have probably seen some of the radical furniture designs of Eero Aarnio. This new addition to the ‘Design and Technology Department’ examines the work of Eero Aarnio. He started working with plastics in 1960 and opened his own design office in 1962. He created two of the most famous chairs of the decade, the 'Ball' or 'Globe' chair and the 'Pastilli' or 'Gyro' chair for which he was awarded an A.I.D. Aarnio has now returned to traditional materials like wood.
Techitout: Everything for Design and Technology in 5 sections with its own search engine. Contents, Exams, Projects, Resources and Skills. Already it has 190 Searchable pages, 100 Pictures and 100 Edited related links. For two years, Tony Bell has been designing a simple logical system for storing and retrieving all Design and Technology data. An expanding series of pigeon holes. Eventually the Skills section will include short instructional Video clips.
Bad Designs: A scrapbook of illustrated examples by Michael J. Darnell of things that are hard to use because they are badly designed. Objects are listed under the following categories: Things that don't work the way you expect. Things that are hard to see. Things that don't work well together. Things that get in your way. Things that are hard to handle. Things that are hard to remember. Things that don't fit you. Things with ergonomic designs. There are also sections on Signs, Names and Labels, Displays and Controls.
Philippe Starck is on of the best-known contemporary designers in the world. He has not only received public acclaim for his amazing building interior designs but has also proved to be an accomplished architect and product designer. This website produced by Andrew Davis allows you to examine the variety of projects that Starck has been involved in from the mid sixties to 1991.
Ettore Sottsass was one of the leading members of the Memphis Group founded in 1981. This Austrian-born designer has been described as "a forward-looking designer who is also mischievous!" Throughout his remarkable career Sottsass drew inspiration from a variety of sources such as popular culture, other cultures and of course his own travelling experiences. His work was colourful and humorous in contrast to the black, modern products of the 1980's. It could never be accused of being bland and dull. In the 1970's he was a leading figure of the 'Radical Movement' and played a very important role in 'Post Modernism' in the 1980s.
Food Link is organized by the Food and Drink Federation in association with the Food Standards Agency, the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, the Local Authorities Co-ordinating Body on Food and Trading Standards, the Departments of Health, Food and Education, the National Farmers Union, the British Retail Consortium and the British Hospitality Association. The programme provides a focus for communicating messages aimed at helping everyone understand and carry out the basic precautions which they can take to reduce the risk of suffering from food poisoning.

Composite Materials: When two or more materials with very different properties are combined together they form a composite material. The different materials work together to produce a new material, which combines all of the properties of the previously separate materials. Within the composite it is still possible to easily tell the different materials apart. They do not tend to blend or dissolve into each other. Composite Materials can be either man-made but they may also exist in nature. Find out more about such composite materials as mud bricks, car tyres, concrete and fibreglass at the Design and Technology Department website.

Design & Technology On The Web covers just about everything students of Design and Technology might want to know. This includes help with KS3 homework, projects, coursework guidance, exam revision or just checking out issues linked to technology. A growing site that already with over 300 original pages. Type in your keywords and you should find references quite easily. There is an A-Z section to check out those topics you didn't know you wanted to check. Whether its Resistant Materials, Graphic Products, Systems & Control, Electronics, Industrial Production (Engineering), Food, Textiles, A Level or whatever - there should be something here. If you find something is missing then the site designer is always interested in adding new material to satisfy student needs.

Polyprop Chairs: From 1963 to the present day over 14 million Polyprop chairs have been sold in twenty-three countries. Designed by Robin Day, this chair has been described as one of the most democratic modern designs of the 20th century. You can find out more about Robin Day and the the Polyprop Chair at the Design-Technology website.

Design and Tech: This website provides links to over 400 sources of information on Design and Technology. The material is organized under the headings: Resistant Materials, Electronic Products, Textiles, Graphic Products, Systems & Control and Food Technology. There is also a list of links to schools with good Design and Technology websites. Students also have the facility to send photographs of work produced in Design and Technology lessons.

GCSE Technology: Student visitors to this website are told: "The biggest single reason for students choosing this option is that they think it is easy. Think again! It is time consuming and demanding!" However, the author has done what he can to make the subject more accessible. There are excellent sections on Drawing Techniques, Anthropometry, Materials, Fixtures & Fittings and Mechanisms.

Inventors and Inventions: A new part of Bill Richmond's website, Design & Technology On The Web, currently details the achievements of 25 inventors and their inventions with additional individuals and their achievements in the pipeline. This is a useful homework help and coursework-inspiration resource that is allied to the Designers & Designs section that covers the achievements of 35 international names and their designs.

Virtual Craft Place: Käspaikka (Virtual Craft Space) is a national virtual community linking learners, teachers and researchers. It’s purpose is to support the sharing of the newest knowledge of design and bring it available to all. Käspaikka, based in Finland, includes free study materials produced by crafts teachers and learners. Käspaikka represents a significant step in the process of establishing working relationships and dialogue between schools and other educational institutions. Käspaikka represents an important development in establishing project-based learning and collaborative designing between schools and teachers. All these activities will facilitate social creativity and will foster the emergence of best practices and new knowledge concerning craft education.