The application of computer-aided design and manufacture in school-based design
online resourceposted on 07.06.2007, 08:56 authored by Alister S. Fraser, Tony Hodgson
The increased provision of digital media to facilitate design activity in commercial practice, Higher Education and schools, has led to the need to consider what the likely impact has been on design education. The potential for Computer Aided Design (CAD) to impact the activity of ‘designing’ within an educational context is clearly established and it has been identified that many of the activities associated with projectbased design could be undertaken using CAD technology. This paper aims to examine the extent to which the potential identified is being effectively implemented in design activity within education. To do this, the paper reports further research on a survey distributed to design and technology departments nationally (Hodgson and Fraser, 2005) and describes the role and impact that CAD may have on aspects of design and technology education. It reports both teacher and pupil opinions arising from interviews and analysis of student work. It provides relevant case studies to support any conclusions drawn. It notes that CAD/CAM is having a significant and positive impact on the activities undertaken in design and technology education and that, at the very least, this allows participants to make and manufacture items that would not have been possible either by more conventional means or within the time constraints of a modern curriculum. Despite this, the paper suggests the impact of Computer Aided ‘design’ and the role it can play in the activity of ‘designing’ is an area of potential not very well established or often recognised. It notes an increasing awareness of how the technology may be used to better facilitate ‘designing’ and that the use of CAD in design development activity could be seen as furthering the potential already well established.
- D&T Association Conference Series