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91046: Use design ideas to produce a conceptual design for an outcome to address a brief

Updated December 2016. This document has been updated in its entirety to address new issues that have arisen from moderation.


This standard focuses on generating and selecting design ideas to develop a conceptual design that is fit for purpose. When creating design ideas, the emphasis should be on generating a range of alternative ideas to avoid getting hooked on a set idea.

If the brief is developed by the student, the assessor must ensure that it is suitable for the development and evaluation of a conceptual design at this level.

Creating and refining design ideas

As ideas are generated, functional modelling such as creating, constructing, testing, predictive modelling, or mock ups should be undertaken to test design ideas, findings of which should inform the selection of design features in the development of the conceptual design. Stakeholder feedback and reflecting on the physical and social environment is a key part of this selection process.

Stakeholder feedback should be undertaken throughout the development process. It should be relevant and of sufficient depth so that it allows the student to justify the selection of design ideas for the development and evaluation of the outcome. Students should be supported to undertake quality feedback.  

To move beyond Achieved, students should analyse aesthetic and functional design features of existing outcomes, select features relevant to their design context and generate design ideas using these selected features. Large volumes of research that are not relevant to the design context or contribute towards generation of design ideas do not add depth to the submissions.

Conceptual design

Where students engage in programmes which assess multiple standards, the refined final design for the conceptual design (after modelling and testing) should be clearly communicated. Generally, initial ideas such as thumbnail sketches on their own are insufficient in communicating this. While a scaled model is an acceptable technique to communicate a conceptual design, a prototype or a constructed final outcome is not.

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