Creating Sustainability Minded Design Briefs

Creating Sustainability Minded Design Briefs

Lesson 4 of 4 in this unit

  • Secondary
  • Year 9 - 10
  • Technology
  • Design and Technologies
  • Environmental
  • Sustainability
  • Economic
  • Design Thinking
  • ...

Lesson summary

Students explore the impacts of their electronic devices and the three pillars of sustainability. Students will then investigate several case studies in groups to see these in real-life companies. They will then create a design brief that applies the three pillars to understand how companies utilising a circular business model balance social, economic and environmental needs.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • understand the impacts of the e-waste crisis and develop a design brief for a sustainable e-product that balances the three pillars of sustainability.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • identify the three pillars of sustainability
  • write a design brief
  • propose solutions to manage e-waste in the initial design stages.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details


This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • collaboration
  • problem-solving
  • prototyping
  • initiative
  • global citizenship
  • communication

Curriculum Mapping

Australian Curriculum (v9.0) content description: Year 9 & 10 Design and Technology

  • analyse how people in design and technologies occupations consider ethical, security and sustainability factors to innovate and improve products, services and environments AC9TDE10K01
  • analyse and make judgements on how characteristics and properties of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment can be combined to create designed solutions AC9TDE10K06

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding, Literacy, Personal and Social Capability 

Syllabus outcomes: DT5-3, DT5-3, DT4-5, DT5-5

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability 

Relevant parts of Year 9 & 10 Design and Technology achievement standards: Students explain how people working in design and technologies occupations consider factors that impact on design decisions and the technologies used to produce products, services and environments. They identify the changes necessary to design solutions to realise preferred futures they have described. Students evaluate the features of technologies and their appropriateness for purpose for one or more of the technologies contexts.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Target 12.4: By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimise their adverse impacts on human health and the environment

Target 12.5: By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.

Resources Required

  • Device capable of displaying audio-visual recordings
  • Student devices or paper and pen
  • Whiteboard

Additional Info

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – assist with design brief writing by providing guiding questions and points to cover.

This Closing the E-Loop unit has been developed in partnership with Comsol, a manufacturer, importer and distributor of electronics, who use a step-by-step approach to sustainability that aims to establish a sustainable, environmental and socially-supporting ecosystem for technology products and services. A key pillar of Comsol’s overarching framework is education. They believe that knowledge-sharing about the electronic waste crisis, sustainability and closed-loop solutions for electronic products provide opportunities for society to speed up the transition to a circular economy.

You can access all expert interviews and video content created for this unit through Vimeo. If you would like more information about the main topics and areas covered by these interviews, we have categorised them to make them easier to find and use in whatever context you see fit!

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