Course Title: Design Prototyping: Materials, Processes and Experimentation

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Design Prototyping: Materials, Processes and Experimentation

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


315H Architecture & Design


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013


City Campus


320H Architecture & Urban Design


Sem 1 2014,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 2 2017


City Campus


370H Design


Sem 1 2018,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 2 2019


Brunswick Campus


370H Design


Sem 1 2020

Course Coordinator: Dr Judith Glover

Course Coordinator Phone: 9925 1246

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Availability: Contact via email for appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Design Prototyping: Materials, Processes and Experimentation introduces you to the design prototyping environment to equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to engage productively, creatively and safely in the manipulation of materials using manual tools and industrial machines.

You will undertake a variety of practical exercises, experiments and projects. These practical activities are combined with an exposure to the principles and processes of prototyping in various categories of material including metals, wood, and plastics. You will learn how various industrial fabrication process take place, how various materials are processed and how to plan and manage the often complex process of translating a design from a drawing to a functional prototype. You will learn through an active and highly practical approach to design in a workshop context.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In this course, you will develop the following Program Learning Outcomes:

  • Apply analytical, critical, creative and strategic thinking to industrial design problems and research within complex and unfamiliar contexts and concerns. 
  • Articulate complex design ideas to diverse audiences through an advanced and adaptable repertoire of communication strategies and technologies. 
  • Initiate, plan, manage and execute research and design projects with independence and in an objective and ethical manner.

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to: 

  • Apply design problems solving to technical prototyping tasks including the correct use of industrial equipment, tools and materials.
  • Identify design and fabrication issues as they arise and adjust plans and procedures to address them.
  • Plan and manage prototyping activities, the use of tools, materials and industrial environments in a designerly manner with attention to the needs and safety of oneself and others and the appropriate use of resources.
  • Experiment with prototyping processes and reflect on failures.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be actively engaged in learning that involves a range of face to face and online activities such as lectures, prototyping workshops, group activities and individual design projects. Face-to-face tutorials will take place in the School of Architecture and Designs workshops. Given the technical nature of the curriculum you will be required to undertake and manage your own skills development in a self-directed manner using various support resources.

Overview of Learning Resources

To effectively participate in coursework you are advised to procure (as a minimum) the following:

  • - Drawing Supplies including visual diaries, pens, pencils, markers and ancillary products and consumables.
  • Prototyping Supplies including protective eye-ware, ear plugs, a dust jacket, closed toe or safety shoes a 150mm steel ruler, a high quality craft knife and ancillary products and consumables.
  • Documentation Equipment including a digital camera and an audio recording device such as a mobile phone.

Additionally, it is advisable that you have a personal computer of an appropriate specification.

Design project briefs, lecture notes and other study materials will be available online through the MyRMIT portal. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

You will have access to and will utilise the School of Architecture and Design Workshop facilities and access to computer labs with specialist software and printing facilities.

RMIT Swanston Library has extensive resources for Industrial Design Students.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning. You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment may include reports, design prototypes, design project documentation, conduct, and presentations. Assessment tasks may be undertaken either individually or in teams.

Summative feedback will be given on all assessment tasks and may be delivered in a variety of forms including critique panels, audio or video recordings and written reports. Additionally you will receive ongoing formative feedback as you progress through the course from your lecturer and from your peers in view of continuous improvement and greater degrees of reflectivity on your own learning.

Equitable Learning Service

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.

Assessment Policy

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures: