Technological Capability in Design
One of the cornerstones of the BA Honours degree programme for Design and Technology at Loughborough is the belief that each student should develop a personal capability to use technolgy. This capability, once developed, can be utilised in all the students' design projects and gives and added dimension to their creativity. A recent article by George Hicks and HMI' puts forward the view that:, ... as a society we depend on those with technological capability to produce goods and services for our benefit, as well as to provide a network of systems that underpin other industries. Such people also have a responsibility to maintain and develop that capability continuously and to invent processes that open up new possibilities'.
The products needed in a Western nation will span the range from table mats to supersonic aircraft. In 1977 the Design Council evolved a model of the product design spectrum which indicated the level of industrial and engineering design in each type of product. 2 Figure I shows a slightly modified representation of this product design spectrum indicating sample products in each of three regions. For the products in region C the design considerations are mainly aesthetic. Industrial designers and craftsmen using inherited and adapted skills of craft-based design and manufacture have produced products for which technology is secondary to other considerations such as appearance, ergonomics and material suitability.