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AOs/LOs by level

Technological practice (TP)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3

7-1 | 7-2 | 7-3

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3

Technological knowledge (TK)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3

7-1 | 7-2 | 7-3

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3

Nature of technology (NT)

6-1 | 6-2

7-1 | 7-2

8-1 | 8-2

Design in technology (DET)

6-1 | 6-2

7-1 | 7-2


Manufacturing (MFG)

6-1 | 6-2

7-1 | 7-2


Technical areas (TCA)


Construction and mechanical technologies (CMT)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3 | 6-4

6-5 | 6-6 | 6-7

7-1 |  7-2 |  7-3 |  7-4

7-5 |  7-6 |  7-7

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3 | 8-4

8-5 | 8-6 | 8-7

Design and visual communication (DVC)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3

7-1 | 7-2 | 7-3

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3

Digital technologies (DTG)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3 | 6-4

6-5 | 6-6 | 6-7 | 6-8

6-9 | 6-10 | 6-11 | 6-12

7-1 |  7-2 |  7-3 |  7-4

7-5 |  7-6 |  7-7 |  7-8

7-9 |  7-10 |  7-11 |  7-12

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3 | 8-4

8-5 |  8-6/7 | 8-8 | 8-9

8-10 |  8-11 | 8-12

Processing technologies (PRT)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3

7-1 | 7-2 | 7-3

8-1/2 | 8-3

Knowledge of design practice DVC 7-3

Achievement standard 2.33 AS91340

Design practice focuses on developing conceptual designs in response to a brief. Knowledge of design practice includes understanding that designers identify the qualities and potential of design ideas in terms of the broad principles of design (aesthetics and function) and sustainability, and that they are influenced by societal, environmental, historical and technological factors.

Learning objective: DVC 7-3

Students will:

  • demonstrate understanding of design movements or eras.


Students can:

  • investigate a design era or design movement and explain the aesthetic and functional characteristics of the design movement or era
  • describe social factors such as cultural, historical, societal and technological, that influenced the design movement or era
  • interpret and embed into their own designs, characteristics identified in the chosen design era and movement
  • show understanding that design does not develop in a vacuum, but is affected by the circumstances of the society in which it exists and serves (for example, Bauhaus is a response to the need for industrial growth after the First World War), and that the social, economic and political environment has a significant impact on establishing and evolving a designs movement.


At level 7, students have progressed from:

  • applying the aesthetic and functional characteristics of the designed artefacts of individual designers to applying the broader and recognised design attributes that characterise a body of work that exemplifies a design philosophy
  • learning about design in terms of both past and present designed artefacts to learning about the specialist knowledge that relate to specific design fields to which the artefacts belong (approaches, technical information, visual communication modes, and techniques).

Teacher guidance

To support students to develop understandings about design movements and eras at level 7, teachers could:

  • provide opportunity for students to understand how design elements are characterised in different design movements and eras 
  • ensure that students understand that the application (including their prioritisation) of design principles and elements is particularly susceptible to changes in fashion, taste, historical changes, technological advancements 
  • ensure that students understand that the development of designs does not occur in a vacuum and that there are recognisable links and influences 
  • help students develop awareness of the visual motifs and concepts that identify a style, movement or era 
  • promote students to be design thinkers by putting people first and to imagine solutions that are inherently desirable and meet explicit needs.

Contexts for teaching and learning

  • Provide opportunity for students to be able to classify and critique local and contemporary designs in accordance to established design movements or eras.
  • Arrange a trip so students can identify styles from different eras. For example, a museum trip or a street walk to identify different architectural styles.
  • Choose design eras or movements that will engage students’ interests or expose your students to a variety of design eras and movements so they can make informed choices and select their own.
  • Spend time ensuring students understand the elements of design that characterise design movements. Investigate, together, the difference in design movements throughout history and how social factors have influenced the movement. For example, Art Deco, influenced by transport and machines that developed between the wars; the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb by Howard Carter 1917; tribal African art, and the jazz music of the 20s and 30s. This could include relating the key design features and ideas to what was happening in society at the time.
  • Discuss how designers and visual communicators have looked to design history for inspiration. Show this through YouTube clips or develop own PowerPoints.
  • Explain that students will be looking into significant eras in design history as well as particular design styles that can be used as inspiration for their own work.
  • Get students to be become engaged by letting them choose a design era/movement themselves rather than the teacher prescribing one.
  • Get students to create a fact file about the movement – When did it start? How? What is their philosophy? What was happening in society that had a bearing on their design decisions? How much of an impact did they have on society? Find some examples of designers from that movement.
  • Encourage students to collect typical images of examples of the selected design movement/era and analyse the style and design elements in detail.
  • Encourage students to investigate a different context, for example, look at a fashion movement then degenerate a design in another context such as spatial design. This could encourage creative and divergent thinking.
  • Develop a design brief that links the design characteristics of a design movement/era with either a product or spatial graphics practice. This will encourage students to push their own design thinking from a firm base of design elements.
  • Encourage students to show the progression of their design ideas using a variety of modes and media that allows their ideas to be visually communicated. The emphasis should be on students developing their interpretation of the design movement/era characteristics into their own designs. Note, students should not be replicating aspects of the design era but using this as a stimulus for their own design work. Both the development process and the final idea should be visually communicated.
  • Provide continual feedback to students as they develop their portfolios.
  • Allow students to critique each other’s work in order to develop a collaborative working environment.
  • Students could put their own design ideas against existing designs from their chosen design movement to evaluate whether it has the characteristics to "fit" within that movements style/philosophy or whether their peers can see the connection in peer to peer critiques.

Encourage students to:

  • research a design movement or era to gain understanding of its key characteristics movement/era 
  • identify and explain the aesthetic and functional characteristics of the chosen design movement or era 
  • explain how elements of design are used within a selected design movement or era 
  • describe the social factors, such as cultural, historical, societal and technological, that influenced the design movement or era 
  • relate the key design features and ideas to what was happening in society at the time 
  • apply visual communication and design techniques and knowledge to initiate, explore, and refine their own ideas, integrating them with design characteristics from the selected design movement or era 
  • generate design ideas where it is evident that the identified characteristics of a design movement or era have been interpreted and embedded into the design ideas 
  • focus on developing their own ideas, informed by design principles and influences (cultural, historical, societal, and technological) that are associated with the selected design movement or era 
  • annotate: sophisticated integration may be less obvious visually so some form of annotation could provide greater clarity of design thinking and aspects of integrating interpretations 
  • explain their thinking, as more sophisticated integration may be less obvious visually and some form of annotation could provide greater clarity of how the student feels they are integrating their interpretations 
  • consider how elements of design such as shape, form, rhythm, balance, proportion, colour and contrast, durability, stability, flexibility/rigidity, characterise the movement/era
  • create a design portfolio that shows the progression of design ideas: initial research, initial ideas and ideas development (include sketches, drawings, models, photographs, digital media, display boards or installations).

Literacy considerations

  • Design movement: a group of designers that agree on general principles such as Modernism, De Stijl, Bauhaus, Deconstructivism, New Look, American Industrial design, Memphis Group, Arts and Crafts.
  • Design era­: is a period of time when people share common assumptions about what is good design. A design style is the product of a specific, usually culturally homogenous, group who believe products that look a certain way look better than other products. For example, the Art Deco style and its designed outcomes used a lot of geometric shapes. Other eras: Aztec, pre European Maori, Shogun, Renaissance, Victorian, 1920’s, 1960’s. Contemporary design criteria looks at sustainability, eco-friendliness, and green issues. These recent eras are just as valid.
  • Elements of design: describe fundamental ideas about the practice of good visual design, they are the building blocks that can be combined to create a larger structure, elements such as: Point, line, form, shape, space, movement, colour, value, pattern, texture and function; durability, stability, and flexibility.
  • Compositional principles: how designers integrate various elements considering proximity, alignment, hierarchy, positive and negative space, unity, balance, to create a cohesive presentation.
  • Social factors: Social changes can have a significant impact on all parts of the community. In many ways the messages and implications of social change can be seen in the visual communications produced in such times. One era that can easily demonstrate how social change can affect the designs of the time was the 1960s. Designers can also influence trends in society. Fashion trends, interior design and industrial design can influence and dictate what consumers might buy.

Resources to support student achievement


  • Product Design In The Sustainable Era – June 1, 2010, Dalcacio Reis
  • A History Of Design From The Victorian Era To The Present: A Survey Of The Modern Style In Architecture, Interior Design, Industrial Design, Graphic Design, and Photography – Ann Ferebee
  • Designs of the Times – Lakshmi Bhaskaran
  • The Elements of Modern Architecture: Understanding Contemporary Buildings – Antony Radford/Selen Morkoc/Amit Srivastava
  • Icons of Architecture: The 20th Century – Edited by Sabine Thiel-Siling
  • Key Buildings of the 20th Century: Plans, Sections and Elevations – Richard Weston
  • Architect: The Pritzker Prize Laureates in their Own Words – Edited by Ruth Peltason and Grace Ong-Yan
  • Designing the 21st Century – Edited by Charlotte and Peter Fiell
  • Vintage Furniture: Collecting and living with modern design classics – Fay Sweet
  • 20th Century Design: The Definitive Illustrated Sourcebook – Judith Miller
  • Modern Design: Classics of our time – Catherine McDermott
  • Icons of Design: The 20th Century – Edited by Volker Albus, Reyer Kras & Jonathan M. Woodham
  • At Home: A Century of New Zealand Design – Douglas Lloyd Jenkins
  • Key Contemporary Buildings: Plans, Sections and Elevations – Rob Gregory
  • Great Designs: The World’s Best Design Explored and Explained – Philip Wilkinson




Assessment for qualifications

The following achievement standard(s) could assess learning outcomes from this learning objective:

  • AS91340 Design and visual communication 2.33: Use the characteristics of a design movement or era to inform design ideas

Key messages for DVC standards

Key messages for individual DVC standards can be found on the following pages.

Last updated June 8, 2018