Course Title: Industrial Design Honours Project Part One: Design Research and Development

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Industrial Design Honours Project Part One: Design Research and Development

Credit Points: 24.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


315H Architecture & Design


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


City Campus


320H Architecture & Urban Design


Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 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,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 1 2023,
Sem 2 2023,
Sem 1 2024


Brunswick Campus


370H Design


Sem 1 2022,
Sem 2 2022

Course Coordinator: Emma Luke

Course Coordinator Phone: Please email

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Please email

Course Coordinator Availability: Please email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required Prior Study 

You should have satisfactorily completed GRAP2225/GRAP2925 Methods in Design Research and Practice AND GRAP2221/GRAP2934 Design Studio: Digital AND GRAP1035/GRAP2929 Design Studio: Social AND GRAP1034/GRAP2928 Design Studio Speculative AND GRAP1033/GRAP2927 Design Studio: Materiality

before you commence this course. 

Alternatively, you may be able to demonstrate the required skills and knowledge before you start this course.  

Contact your course coordinator if you think you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning.  

Course Description

Located in a design-research studio context you will undertake a complex design project with supervision by academic staff members, and in collaboration with peers. You will concurrently research and develop design solutions to a self-defined set of questions culminating in a refined design proposition that will be presented through a variety of mediums. Alongside your design development activities you will produce a comprehensive body design-research documentation that describes your particular inquiry including: the key ideas, literature and case studies within that field; the methods by which you undertake design research and practice; and, the specific knowledge you generate through it.

This course commences the capstone project to be undertaken in the final year of the Industrial Design program. The design research and development undertaken form the methodological and practical foundation for the next phase of capstone design project - Industrial Design Honours Project Part Two: Design Research and Prototyping.

If you are enrolled in this course as a component of your Bachelor Honours Program, your overall mark will contribute to the calculation of the weighted average mark (WAM). See the WAM information web page for more information.

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.
  • Collaborate with other specialists and key stakeholders on design problems on multi-disciplinary projects in diverse settings.
  • Articulate complex design ideas to diverse audiences through an advanced and adaptable repertoire of communication strategies and technologies.
  • Generate innovative approaches to design problems and solutions, with a criticality and openness to the perspectives and needs of others in a situation.
  • Advocate through design practice the improvement of the conditions and well being of people, cultural practices and environments.
  • Initiate, plan, manage and execute research and design projects with independence and in an objective and ethical manner.
  • Reflect on own learning and the efficacy of design decisions made, adapting to needs and issues as they arise, and continuously seeking improvement.
  • Demonstrate through practice-based design research an advanced knowledge of the socio-technical, environmental and economic eco-systems of industrial design both locally and globally.

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

1) Identify complex design issues and opportunities and propose concepts developed through research-led design processes.

2) Articulate the outcomes of your design and research practices to a professional standard through a range of mediums including drawings and design documentation, prototypes, academic writing and presentations.

3) Critically analyse your own positions in the design research context and reflect on the efficacy, rigour and ethical considerations of your own practices.

4) Apply critical, creative and strategic design thinking, and specialist knowledge and skills in the management of design research projects in collaboration with peers and other stakeholders.

5) Initiate and conduct design research around a set of clearly framed and self-defined questions and methods in a particular context of application. 

Overview of Learning Activities

Delivered in a design studio format, you will actively learn through a variety of face-to-face, self-directed and online activities. This course immerses you into specific aspects of the discipline, its methods and practices through doing design projects. These projects involve a range of planned learning experiences including: individual and group problem solving; sketch ideation and the iterative development of design concepts; prototyping for the purpose of further refining propositions; realising material design artefacts within workshop environments: and, presenting and reporting on individual and collective learning. The design studio format gives you the opportunity to explore and apply social, contextual , technical, and theoretical design issues in depth and through a variety of approaches, principles, real and simulated situations, and practical constraints.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

To effectively participate in coursework, either on or away from campus, you are advised to obtain (as a minimum) the following:

  • Drawing Supplies including visual diaries, pens, pencils, markers and ancillary products and consumables.
  • Personal Protective Equipment including protective eye-wear, ear plugs, a dust jacket, and closed toe safety shoes
  • Prototyping Supplies including a 150mm steel ruler, a high quality craft knife and ancillary products, materials and consumables.
  • Design and Documentation Equipment including a personal computer of an appropriate specification, course specific software, a digital camera and a mobile phone.

    When on campus you will have access to and will utilise the School of Design workshop facilities, specialist computer labs and software, and 2D and 3D printing facilities.

    Course specific resources such as readings, reference lists, access to specialist software, video demonstrations and class notes will be provided online.

    There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes.   Assessment Tasks   Assessment Task 1: Project Abstract, 10% CLO1 Assessment Task 2: Project Report, 50% CLO1, CLO2, CLO3, CLO4, CLO5 Assessment Task 3: Representational Outcomes 40%, CLO1, CLO2, CLO3, CLO4, CLO5   Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.   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 Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more. Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.