The aims of MYP design are to encourage and enable students to:
• Enjoy the design process, and develop an appreciation of its elegance and power
• Develop knowledge, understanding and skills to design and create solutions to problems using the design cycle
• Access, process and communicate information, model and create solutions, and solve problems
• Develop an appreciation of the impact of design innovations for life, global society and environments
• Appreciate design within cultural, political, social, historical and environmental contexts
• Develop respect for others’ viewpoints and appreciate alternative solutions to problems
• Act with integrity and honesty, and take responsibility for their own actions developing effective working practices.
Developed as part of a concept driven, context based curriculum, students have the opportunity to study a wide range of skills, including both physical and digital making. These skills enable students to create a wide range of products over the program, such as fashion pieces, architectural models, animations, videogames and toys.
Each design objective corresponds to one of four equally weighted assessment criteria. Each criterion has eight possible achievement levels (1–8), divided into four bands with unique descriptors that teachers use to make judgments about students’ work.
Criterion A: Inquiring and analysing
Students are presented with a design situation, from which they identify a problem that needs to be solved. They analyse the need for a solution and conduct an inquiry into the nature of the problem.
Criterion B: Developing ideas
Students write a detailed specification, which drives the development of a solution. They present the solution.
Criterion C: Creating the solution
Students plan the creation of the chosen solution, then follow the plan to create a prototype sufficient for testing and evaluation.
Criterion D: Evaluating
Students design tests to evaluate the solution, carry out those tests and objectively evaluate its success. Students identify areas where the solution could be improved and explain how their solution will impact on the client or target audience.
DESIGN USED TO INFLUENCE
Statement of Inquiry: “How we feel and act is influenced subconsciously by the Time, spaces and places around us. We can change ourselves by changing our environment”.
Students reflect on how the built environment has a large hand in subconsciously shaping how we feel, and therefore how we act. They identify a space that has a negative effect on the feelings and actions of the people who use it, and analyze why the physical layout, decoration, lighting etc cause this. Students redesign this space so it has a more positive effect on the users feelings and behaviour. They create a scale architectural model that showcases how this new regenerated space avoids the problems of the original.
DESIGN USED TO PLAY
Statement of Inquiry: “As we age, life brings tough changes. As emotional and social problems get more complex, getting nostalgic for good times from the past can help people stay happy”.
Students reflect on how getting older can bring with it challenges. Our busy stressful lives can lead to social isolation, negative mood and fading memories. We can forget how to have fun, and become too serious for our own good. One tool that is being used more and more by designers to fight these changes is Nostalgia (looking back fondly at our memories of the past). After identifying someone who could use a nostalgia boost to help with these issues, students create toys that remind people of the ones they played with as children. These toys are then play tested by the identified user.
DESIGN USED TO REDUCE WASTE
Statement of Inquiry: “Modern culture is obsessed with new trends, and we often dispose of things that still have life in them because they are out of style. This isn’t sustainable long term”.
Students focus on how our obsession for keeping up with quickly changing trends leads us to buy clothes that we wear only a few times, if at all. This obsession with new things leads to massive waste in the fashion industry, greatly harming the environment. Students create new, fashionable items of clothing by upcycling older out of fashion garments. They create a fashion line in groups that promotes a more sustainable way of keeping up with contemporary trends.
DESIGN USED TO COMPETE
Statement of Inquiry: “Eventually we all have to compete with one another to earn money and survive on our own. We need to learn the systems we can use to promote ourselves, while still acting ethically”.
In this independent unit, students identify their own design issue and target users, before designing and creating a product unique to their own project. Within each class, students compete for funding on our own version of kickstarter. After pitching projects to the school community, members will have a set amount of (imaginary) money they can use to divide up and back designs of their choice. The students who receive the most votes win Design Awards to be issued at the awards ceremony.