Design and Visual Communication Level 1

Course Description

Teacher in Charge: Mr S. Slaney

Recommended Prior Learning

If you are interested in design and drawing this may be advantage although these skills are taught and developed

Design and Visual Communication Level 1

Design and Visual Communication is all about design.  The 2 main areas that can be explored is spatial and product.  Spatial is about spaces, this could include buildings, houses, landscaping set design and more. Product design is all about design products such as the object we use every day.

Designs are started simple and then developed.  Visual communication is used to communicate these designs and this may start with simple sketches, hand or instrument drawings or the use of computer software.

The way this course will work is that students will have the opportunity to develop using a design process either a spatial or product design.  They will generate drawings using a variety of methods to communicate the design and its details.

All of the work is done in class during the year and some of the work is marked by the teacher internally and some is then put in a portfolio and sent away at the end of the year for external marking.

All of the standards offered and NCEA achievement standards giving the opportunity to gain achieved, Merit or Excellence credits and a Merit or Excellence subject endorsement.  If Design and Visual Communication is taken at Level 3 then this is a university approved subject and can be used a one of the subject required. Excellence endorsements can mean that automatic entry is achieved to many of the design schools in the country

The use of computer aided design is taught and encouraged as a method of communication

Students will work on a formative design brief in the first term, developing skills in freehand sketching, isometric drawing, orthographic drawing and the use of a computer aided design program: On-shape . This is a cloud based program which can be easily access from home. Sketch-up may also be used

An investigation into a well-known designer will help to influence ideas for the project. 

In terms two and three, another brief will build on the skills acquired in term one. Students will work with more accuracy and precision as well as showing a fuller understanding of the design process. The final term should be tidying up the required drawings for a portfolio which is  externally assessed standards. 

Design briefs used successfully in the past have included ‘Tiny home design’ and ‘design a homework kitchen or BBQ space’ 

Course Overview

Term 1
An investigation into a well-known designer
Drawing skills including free hand sketching and rendering, CAD drawing ON-SHAPE
Design brief 1: A tiny home or BBQ design

Term 2
Refining the tiny home or BBQ

Term 3
Orthographic drawings CAD
Graphic Presentation of design ideas

Term 4
Portfolio preparation

Learning Areas:



Design and Visual Communication Level 2

This course leads to level 2 and then 3 which is a university approved subject

Career Pathways

Copywriter, Patternmaker, Architect, Architectural Technician, Boat Builder, Naval Architect, Civil Engineer, Civil Engineering Technician/Draughtsperson, Graphic Designer, Interior Designer, Industrial Designer, Graphic Pre-press Worker, Landscape Architect, Signmaker