Materials, Processes and Drawing

Explore design with materials, making and drawing

Program overview

A 50 hour (5-credit) short course for IB 12-13, Matthayom 5 and 6, K-12, and foundation students to develop their design comprehension as a runway to entering higher education design programs. Students will advance their knowledge of what people centered design is, and more importantly, what it does–and how it creates to social, cultural and economic value. All through the discovery of making and doing using materials, processes and drawing. At the end of the program you will receive a DSA e-certificate of completion if all the assignments have been accomplished.

What will I learn?

You will receive a live project ‘brief’ in your first learning unit and develop your design skills through making and doing various assignments with materials that are readily available locally. There are a few other basic materials you will also need to gather for this program; a sketchbook/journal, a few drawing pens and pencils, some scissors, and glue.

At the end of each unit you will be asked to reflect on your learning in your sketchbook, either with drawings or writing, or mixed media journaling. This process of learning is aligned to a first year design module at university and the professional practice of design–using ‘the crit’ to discuss work in progress.

How will I learn?

There are lectures in the form of screencasts and discussions with your classmates to get their perspectives, and practise-based design activities to develop your skills and theoretical knowledge that will support your learning. You will produce research and materials, processes and drawing investigation using your sketchbook/journal and produce a final outcome that will be submitted as a photograph as evidence you have completes the learning unit. You access everything through an easy to use online platform: the course content and media rich learning resources.

Program Curriculum

Define your identity as a designer. You will learn the basic principles of what design is, and what is does by working through three exciting live project ‘briefs’. You will gain an understanding of how to use the basic materials, processes and techniques–as well as drawing and writing in your sketchbook/journal–to produce a portfolio of work that demonstrates you creativity, passion and comprehension of design.

Tier 1 Insight and Development

This unit introduces you to practical and thinking skills in communicating ideas, perceptions and design through processes in drawing and making; development of hand, eye and brain co-ordination skills, resulting in the understanding and appreciation of visual aesthetics through use of materials and processes in drawing and making.

Tier 1 Experience and Imagination

Apply drawing and making techniques with investigating the materials, and experimentation, using technical explorations in answer to the 2 live project ‘briefs’. describing the who, what, when, where, why and how of a design project. You will advance knowledge of design research through a short lecture and have the opportunity to practice and produce a reflective piece of research set against a topic.

Tier 1 Final Project

This unit is the summation of your learning journey which will enable you to synthesize the learning, skills and knowledge of your experience. The final outcome will be an artefact/tool/public space using local materials and/or paper and cardboard for the community. You will be expected to answer how might your project add value to the community and how might this project be scaled to work in other neighbourhoods and community scenarios. Simplicity and usability though people centered design is key to this project’s success.

Tier 1 Prototyping and Modelling

This unit focusses on developing rapid prototyping techniques as a research and development method for people centred design through the lens of craftsmanship, structural integrity and attention to details in the design execution. You will reflect with a short annotated descriptions of the idea and design sketches of your final project including supportive materials, technical samples and explorations (most notably, appearance and behaviour), and providing an approach covering a wide range of levels of granularity, fidelity, and abstraction.

Tier 2 Value Creation

This Tier 2 kick off unit prepares you to consider applying for design programs in higher education. Emphasis is on shortlisting a variety of programs and allowing sufficient time to research the courses of study; in particular visiting degree shows either face to face or online; networking with program graduates and formally writing to the program office or teaching staff for a prospectus, or meeting to discover what the program is looking for in terms of incoming student skill competencies and mindset.

Tier 2 Leadership and Negotiation

This unit prepares you for communicate their work and more importantly, your mindset to peer design students, design practitioners and design educators. Having the ability to discuss verbally and critically engage in subject discourse is an essential part of design education and practice. You will discover that simple and succinct rhetoric is far better than a long-drawn-out monologue. Interview panels are looking for mindset as much as design comprehension; realising student ability through self-actualisation goes a long way to convincing design audiences that you have what it takes to be accepted to an undergraduate program.

Tier 2 Innovation and Entrepreneurship

This unit invites you to develop your own practice through materials, processes and drawing making and doing. In many ways this program is the start of what hopefully will be a lifelong journey of self-discovery by and through design using local materials. You will formulate projects beyond the program and continue to develop their reflective practice through sketch booking and journaling. You are required to submit photos of the final outcome using the materials, and a presentation of your sketches with annotations to receive your e-certificate of course completion.

For Students

You do not necessarily need to have any prior knowledge of what design is or what design does. And you do not need to have any formal qualification in English if it is not your first language.

Please be mindful that all the course materials are delivered in English and we expect you to have some level of English language competency for the assignments that require writing; therefore a basic level of English comprehension would be preferable for you to maximise your engagement and experience with the course.

Tuition fees

None. Free of charge, always, promise.


You can apply for the program via the enquire to study form.

Download DSA Materials, Processes and Drawing 2021/22 program summary ↓

Download DSA Materials, Processes and Drawing 2021/22 program specifications ↓

For teachers and educators

This short course has been extensively developed with higher education teaching experts and industry partners. It is equivalent to a UK level 4 diploma learning unit. Materials, Processes and Drawing is licensed as Open Course Ware (OCW) under Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0.

The entire curriculum is available for you to remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose here on GitHub: https://github.com/designschoolasia/matprocdraw

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