Object Design (DESA9008)


In this unit students develop and inter-relate manufacturing and artisan skills with research, analysis and design development. It aims to develop a critical awareness of the nature of objects that surround us, exploring cultural, contextual and symbolic aspects of object design as well as functional and aesthetic qualities. Sustainability and social issues relating to their manufacture, use and disposal are also discussed. The unit aims to increase appreciation of the materiality of objects focusing on timber as an example and introduces students to the wonderful diversity of timber species, environmental and ethical issues associated with their selection, and also emerging alternative materials. Through a series of exercises, experiments and production of their major project, students develop knowledge of construction techniques and skills in using wood/plastics tools and machinery and in so doing, build an awareness of industrial and craft practices and how they impact on the design process and outcome. Students will be expected to produce a research process journal and report on how a particular designer/s or movement has informed or influenced their final project/s.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Workshop 3 hrs/wk


Studio Projects and associated tasks (70%); Research Process Journal (30%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Assumed knowledge




Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.