A Cobalt Case Study: Moving Designers Towards Diplomas

Here at Cobalt, we believe design should improve the world we live in. We do this in many ways; sustainable practices, socially responsible design, and using our technical know-how to solve practical problems.

We also believe that educating future generations to be design-aware is crucial to a better tomorrow. With this in mind, we were thrilled to be asked to contribute to the principal VCE text book on product design & technology.

For those outside of Victoria (or even outside of Australia), VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education) is the certificate which students receive on completion of their secondary education. Year 11 and 12 students must pass their VCE classes to receive their final scores for their secondary education- which is where textbooks become especially important.

The textbook (Nelson Product Design and Technology, for VCE units 1-4, 4th Edition) was written by Jill Livett and Jacinta O’Leary and published for the start of the 2018 academic year. The book is a comprehensive collection of information and exercises for VCE students studying Product Design, covering topics such as design thinking, sustainable design, materials and the design process. On top of this, the book also features a case study on Cobalt Design.

Cobalt’s contribution includes the importance of teamwork, design briefs, discovering user needs, and transitioning from design through to engineering and production. Whilst these are all areas discussed elsewhere in the textbook, Cobalt’s 20 years of real world experience provided tangible examples to all these concepts.

The textbook also includes a specific look at the design process Cobalt used to design the latest KeepCup- the KeepCup Brew, describing how it progressed from initial sketches to a final glass and cork product. This case-study covers more detailed elements such as divergent thinking, iterative prototyping and even the thought process behind the specific materials used in the product, to give students insights to inspire and accelerate their studies.

Cobalt Principal Steve Martinuzzo was also asked about his personal experiences including what he liked about designing products. “I like working as part of a team, and seeing our staff grow and be their best” he said, “I get real satisfaction in finding a new approach that makes an everyday product or process a little easier- or even more enjoyable- to use”

The textbook is now the prescribed text book for VCE Product Design & Technology classes, and is available for purchase for upcoming students- or for anyone with a keen interest in the fascinating world of design.

Nelson Product Design & Technology VCE Units 1-4 4th Edition is published by Cengage Learning Australia