How to approach the design process


Before you get started, we suggest you gain an awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals. These are 17 shared goals promoted by the United Nations that world leaders have agreed to. These goals provide a framework for all of us to work together to build a better future for everyone, fighting inequality, ending poverty and stopping the climate crisis.

We now invite you to explore these exciting places and consider engineering design in this remote context. A context shaped by challenges familiar to many all over the world, including the climate crisis and resource shortages. The cultural significance of homelands and outstations adds a unique local framework to these challenges.

On the following pages we’ve outlined some steps to help you begin the process and guide you through the different stages of the design cycle. Note that although the steps are numbered one to four, it is an iterative process as the more you learn through the process the more you will find yourself back at the beginning redefining your problem statement and design criteria.

Step 1: Analyse the context

This step will guide you through the research you will need to carry out to build upon your understanding of the challenge, before proposing any design ideas.

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Step 2: Define the problem

This is where you identify the problem that you are going to address, and define the design criteria against which you will make your decisions.

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Step 3: Explore lots of options

Once you have analysed the context, defined the problem and identified the design criteria, you can start to explore how engineering and your design ability could make a difference.

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Step 4: Justify your recommendation

This step will support you in justifying and communicating your design to a variety of audiences from your team members to a panel of judges.

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