Assessment Report

Level 1 Design and Visual Communication 2018

Standards 91063  91064  91065 

91063:  Produce freehand sketches that communicate design ideas

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • communicated their own design ideas
  • submitted sketches that communicated either functional or aesthetic qualities of their design, but not both
  • used a limited range of recognised sketching techniques
  • demonstrated some evidence of design exploration but did not explore any one area in depth
  • produced appropriate sketches using design briefs or contexts that did not provide the scope for candidates to produce anything but simplistic ideas.  
  • showed a variety of design ideas and sketching techniques such as crating, line hierarchy and rendering. However, ideas often were just about aesthetics, shape or form and had no further exploration or refinement.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • did not communicate their own design ideas in response to a design brief
  • submitted photocopied, instrumental or digitally generated work
  • submitted sketched drawings showing only 2-D or 3-D views, when both are required
  • produced sketches that attempted to address aesthetic values, but were completely unrelated to the candidate’s own design ideas
  • produced sketches that did not use recognised sketching techniques.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • used a wide range of sketching 2-D and 3-D methods clearly showing an exploration of design ideas, e.g. considering a range of alternatives at the conceptual stage or refinement in the development stage
  • showed more than surface details and features, e.g. construction or interior components
  • submitted sketches containing evidence (often linked) from both product and spatial design contexts  
  • showed proportion by having either dimensions, a person / human body part for scale or showed proportion between key features of their design
  • produced sketches that were accurate in scale and proportion
  • rendered designs to clearly indicate materials, textures and/or surface finishes.
  • function details were clear and related to design ideas
  • developed their ideas in depth.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • included drawings that utilised a variety of sketching techniques relevant to the design subject, some clearly showing ideation strategies
  • communicated function well through sectional, detail and exploded views showing construction details, human forms such as hands interacting with design ideas and the object by showing it in use and / or context
  • communicated aesthetic qualities such as form, shape, texture, surface finish that clearly indicated the materials being used
  • produced a wide range of sketches, including thumbnails, showing the evolution of the design. (arrows were often used to communicate a process, function or movement)
  • coherently communicated an aspect of the design through a series of related sketches, e.g. the operational sequence of a mechanical device or the evolution of an aspect of the design
  • submitted work on a context that the candidate had clearly related to, and had enough scope to explore and refine design ideas to a level where a comprehensive set of sketches could communicate both aesthetic and functional details in depth
  • communicated construction and assembly features in textile submissions, e.g. stitching, pattern, details of construction components
  • used a combination of technical sketches (exploded/ sectional/ sequential) to show in depth knowledge of their design ideas. These drawings were related to one idea and were consistent in proportion and style showing effective communication.

Standard specific comments

Candidates who engaged in an authentic and thorough design process often presented their work in a logical sequence. They clearly communicated the evolution and refinement of their own ideas in greater depth, often producing series of related sketches. Candidates who only communicated design ideas at a concept stage or followed a highly structured or directed design process found it hard to move beyond Achievement.

Fewer candidates appeared to be exploring the use, operation and context of the object they were designing. They may design a bach/crib but omit to show the relationship between the bach/crib and the users, or the site it is located on.  Exploring the relationship between the user, object and context is one means of communicating the intent of the design. 

Some design briefs limit the candidate’s opportunity to generate appropriate evidence for the standard. For example, static objects with no moving parts, tend not to have sufficient scale and complexity to explore the object in depth. Briefs that are based on the adaptation of an existing object or have a significant number of standard components can also constrain the generation of candidates own design ideas.

Including evidence from both the product and spatial contexts allows students to demonstrate a wider range of skills and techniques.

Submissions from a resistant materials context often focused on construction and structure, but did not address aesthetic considerations, limiting the submission to an achieved grade.

Textiles submissions that were strong explored designs that allowed clear communication of design intent. For example, items that could be contained in a bag.

It is important to note that the title of the standard has two parts – the skill of constructing sketches, and the communication and exploration of design ideas. To achieve at excellence level, students must not only be proficient in the skill of sketching, they must also use that skill to explore and communicate design ideas.

A predominance of ideation sketching in a portfolio at this level may communicate some aesthetic qualities, but it does not explore functional aspects. This often precludes the candidate from achieving at either merit or excellence. To achieve these grades, candidates must demonstrate consideration of both aesthetic and functional properties of a design.  

Candidates continue to submit tracings of instrumentally constructed drawings which cannot be considered for assessment as Explanatory Note 3 states - sketches “…must be created/produced unassisted by the use of instruments…”

Candidates who produce sketches using overlay techniques as the basis of the sketch and show significant evolution or refinement of design ideas between each iteration, can show a body of related sketches. Although the start of the sketch may be traced, the evolution of the design ideas differentiates the use of overlay techniques from tracing.


91064:  Produce instrumental, multi-view orthographic drawings that communicate technical features of design ideas

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • showed basic design ideas with two or more aligned views
  • labelled views either in writing or with correctly labelled reference lines
  • used correct line weights for construction and lining in
  • used squares and compasses to construct instrument drawings appropriately.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • did not use a compass to construct circle work, used freehand lining in
  • presented views that were not aligned
  • presented only one view on a sheet
  • presented views that were not labelled either in writing or with correctly labelled reference lines
  • presented very basic geometric shapes with no design features evident
  • submitted class exercises with no or very little design input.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • used and indicated scale that was correctly verified by full size dimensions
  • projected views accurately including a sectional view or hidden detail that conveyed more information than the main view
  • used correct conventions for sections, dimensioning and labelling. Most CAD submission had settings configured to NZ standards
  • produced drawings with more complex shape and form.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • accurately verified scale with dimensions
  • used a recommended scale to construct drawings
  • produced multiple drawings, but didn’t compromise overall clarity with excessive detail  
  • had all CAD settings configured to appropriate conventions
  • presented high quality drawings of internal and external details.

Standard specific comments

There was an increase in the percentage of candidates achieving at merit level this year.

Candidates showed a better understanding of scaling and dimensioning, and of using clear sectional views to show internal information.

CAD drawings not showing accurate sectional detailing, or failing to use correct conventions did not move beyond achieved.

Although there were fewer class exercises this year, there were still teacher directed templates with very little student design input. Presenting detailed drawings that were almost identical made it difficult for candidates to clearly communicate technical design features.

91065:  Produce instrumental paraline drawings to communicate design ideas

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • presented a clear design idea
  • presented one drawing using a paraline method with no other supporting drawings
  • used 2 or 3 different paraline drawing methods but failed to communicate any other additional information about the design idea
  • presented drawings that had no complex form (such as isometric circles, curves or circles, curves constructed and drawn in the oblique plane, non paraline lines)
  • showed some good drawing skills but could not move beyond achieved because the design brief did not allow candidates to produce work that was either complex or showed meaningful additional information. For example, pulling a drawer out, or a cross section of something simple communicates no additional information about the design idea.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • did not present a design idea or presented a design idea that was too simplistic
  • presented a drawing that was not at Level 1 standard
  • presented class exercises
  • presented an incomplete drawing
  • presented a perspective drawing. Some CAD drawings were not paraline but perspective with non-parallel lines
  • presented drawing(s) containing too much freehand sketching when crating.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • presented well-constructed CAD drawings, but rendering sometimes caused visual confusion 
  • presented drawings that had complex form (for example an isometric circle/ curve which had been constructed without the use of a template, a circle/curve constructed and drawn on the oblique plane, the construction of non paraline lines, complex overall form of the design idea/s 
  • produced drawings that communicated complex form.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • presented additional drawings that were related/ linked together to effectively communicate in depth (other or new) information about the design idea
  • drew lines/circles/curves that were clear and precise (used sharp pencil when hand drawing)
  • used a series of related paraline drawing techniques that showed detail through accurately constructed drawings, e.g. sectioned, exploded and cut-away views
  • presented work that was complex and had a range of related drawings that supported each other and communicated other in-depth information about the design idea.

Standard specific comments

It is important to remember that this standard is not only about drawing skills but communication also. To achieved at higher levels contexts must allow for the communication of new/ other information about the design idea that cannot be seen on the external form. A drawer pulled out or generic fitting is not enough.

Clearly detailed drawings that included geometric construction of complex shape to generate complex form generally achieved higher grades.

Output from CAD drawing or modelling programs exported in bitmap form pixelates when printed at large size, and therefore cannot meet clear and precise line-work criterial for excellence.

The increased use of CAD drawings had varying results.

A significant number of architectural CAD drawings communicated the outside of a building. This was then was supported by another drawing with the roof removed to communicate internal features (mainly walls and rooms). However, it should be noted that to see detail, face walls need to be removed.

Candidates must be careful and accurate when going over a drawing with a fine line pen, and are advised to use a compass when drawing circles and curves.

Some CAD cut away drawings were confusing to read as they contained a lot of lines. Candidates need to consider clarity of these drawings while still communicating additional/ in- depth information. In CAD there is the opportunity to use different and appropriate line weights to differentiate and communicate information.

Use of furniture and objects in Architecture CAD taken from the library (library dumping) is not a design idea or additional communication or in-depth information.

Product design contexts tended to gain higher grades as the submissions communicated things such as operation, assembly, different parts using related drawings.

An auxiliary view drawing should be included when using the ordinates method for the construction of curves and shapes.

When drawing a design around a component, the redrawn component cannot be considered for assessment e.g. light fittings used in a lamp design.



Design and Visual Communication subject page


Previous years' reports
2016 (PDF, 220KB)

2017 (PDF, 54KB)

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