Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Design and Visual Communication 2018

Standard 93602

Part A: Commentary

The varied approaches and strengths evident in the top-ranking portfolios, especially the ones that gained Outstanding Scholarships, again showed that there is no single approach in attaining outstanding success.

The top achieving candidates engaged deeply with their context and this informed a personalised and highly thoughtful approach to designing. The candidates employed their own design perspectives responding to the needs of the brief, and this typically led to convincing and well considered design ideas and thinking.

The effective use of ideation strategies used for the generation of diverse and creative ideas can aid opportunities for success. However, there were still many approaches to initiating ideas that were generic activities. This did not allow candidates to engage with the design context with purpose, or encourage the expression of their own personal design perspective.

The successful submissions not only used ideation strategies effectively in the initial stages but recognised where they had generated ideas that were worth pursuing and extending further.  Knowing when to stop initial ideation and move into extending and evolving ideas was often a critical factor in completing a successful project. The most successful candidates recognised their best ideas and ensured that these were carried forward.

Candidates need to ensure that they send the best possible evidence of their work.  Some submitted small photographs of exhibitions. It was not possible to gauge the quality of visual communication from small photographs of outcomes. Images of final outcomes need to contain suitable detail and definition. Larger presentations on paper can be folded to fit into the A3 bags. However, it is not necessary to send work on cardboard mountings or within folders.

Projects covered a good range of suitable contexts. Spatial projects that engaged with a specific site and type of activity were often well done. Fewer candidates presented work within the field of product design although projects from this area often did well.

Part B: Report on performance standard

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • engaged deeply in ideation in order to discover interesting, original design ideas and fresh thinking
  • recognised strong ideas and pursued them in depth by investigating them further, stretching them, and enriching the ideas through further design thinking
  • pursued and extended one idea in great depth rather than initiating many different starting points
  • used ideation and design thinking to develop a unique and personal design perspective that led to a design outcome that expressed fresh thinking with integrated layers of meaning
  • engaged deeply in a design context in an invested and meaningful way that suited their own interests, expertise and approaches to design
  • produced design work that was absolutely convincing in its approach and decision making
  • expressed a captivating visual story using fluent and sophisticated visual techniques and strategies
  • employed outstanding visual presentation techniques, working to their own personal strengths with a visual impact that was convincing and left a lasting impression that evoked the spirit of the design..

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • used purposeful ideation to generate and discover ideas that were then pursued further informing part of a design practice
  • engaged in meaningful ideation at various stages throughout their process
  • recognised, extended and used good ideas
  • used the interaction between ideas and the design context to inform design thinking that improved the quality of the design in relation to its context
  • explored, refined and resolved design ideas leading to well considered solutions
  • engaged in design thinking that resulted in personal responses and original ideas in relation to the context
  • articulated the clear communication of ideas and design thinking using visual techniques (sketching, model-making and / or formal drawing – digital and / or manual) as suitable to the strengths of the candidate
  • used visuals that showed a variety of viewpoints, explaining function or intention, referencing the human element
  • used visual communication strategies that allowed them to deepen their understanding of design ideas and to develop and express them in increasing detail.  

Other candidates

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • initiated many different ideas using a large range of ideation activities but did not extend and deepen ideas and connect them with further design thinking
  • generated a range of ideas using set creative exercises or techniques but did not develop their own perspective or point of view as a designer - using inspiration material directly rather than using it to stimulate one’s own thinking
  • developed chosen ideas by carrying out a series of design stages where features of the design were described rather than exploring the idea further for the purposes of improving and refining the outcome
  • engaged in design thinking that stayed within familiar boundaries rather than engaging in design thinking that challenged conventions and searched for fresh approaches
  • did not use purposeful engagement with their design context to drive the evolution of ideas and decision making
  • lacked skills in visual communication to competently describe design ideas, to show a clear design narrative, or in the presentation of a refined outcome
  • submitted incomplete or unresolved work, lacking the completion of a finished outcome, often this was due to an over emphasis on ideation and initial idea generation.



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Previous years' reports
2016 (PDF, 193KB)

2017 (PDF, 49KB)

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