Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

5 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent of lectures, tutorials and workshops.

Unit rationale, description and aim

In order to achieve accreditation from the New South Wales Standards Education Authority and fulfil the role of a as secondary teaching professionals in the Technologies discipline, students need to be confident in key knowledge and skills in timber design, and the associated materials and digital technologies that are used. Students will learn to identify, select and evaluate principles, properties and performance characteristics of timber materials and their suitability for design applications. Students will develop competence in the selection and safe use of appropriate timber manufacturing techniques and equipment. The aim of this unit is for students to explore a range of timber design and manufacturing technologies and apply these skills and knowledge to their own designs.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Define, describe and apply principles of and factors affecting design in timber (GA2, GA5, GA8)

LO2 - Select and use a range of materials, tools and equipment competently and safely in the design and manufacture of timber products (GA5)

LO3 - Interpret and demonstrate principles of design for timber products using diagrammatic, graphic and text-based conventions (GA5, GA9, GA10)

LO4 - Consider social, ethical and sustainability impacts of timber design to critically discuss designed products and iterative design processes (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8)

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Design principles and factors related to timber product design

  • classification, structure and properties of timber  
  • analysis of properties and performance characteristics of timber 
  • selection criteria for using various timbers 
  • designing with timber 
  • case studies and examples from small-scale workshops to larger-scale industry  
  • sustainability issues in timber  
  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification  
  • Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of timber 
  • Sustainability strategies suitable for timber design projects 
  • analysis of design issues specific to timber  
  • analysis of quality attributes specific to timber design  
  • CAD and CAM - computer aided manufacturing in timber 
  • seasoning and manufacturing of timber 
  • emerging timber technologies

Graphic and design communication techniques for Timber and Industrial Design

  • AS100 drawing standards 
  • freehand drawing 
  • rendering techniques 
  • cabinet drawing 
  • exploded isometrics 
  • design communication techniques and conventions specific to Timber Design 
  • CAD skills appropriate for timber products 

Product manufacture 

  • measuring and marking out methods and tools 
  • cutting, shaping and  
  • joining techniques 
  • decorative and finishing techniques 
  • hand and machine tools use and maintenance 
  • jigs, bucks and moulds 

Workplace health and safety policies and requirements 

  • workplace health and safety practices and safe working environments 
  • risk management processes (including risk assessment) 
  • safe operating procedures  
  • development of safe work method statements

Design projects using timber as the primary material 

  • use of the design process to identify need, generate solutions, plan and manage production, and evaluate completed products (including social, ethical factors and issues of sustainability)
  • project management of timber-based design projects
  • design and manufacture of timber-based design projects

Management practices for technology teachers including safety and risk management, budgeting, selecting, storing, maintaining and replacing materials, equipment and other resources related to Timber Technologies.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

A student-focused, problem-based learning approach is used in this unit. Students encounter concepts and principles of timber design and design theory through interactive lectures, concepts are discussed and broadened through analysis of specific case studies and further informed by independent research during development of design projects. In practical workshops students design, manufacture and evaluate timber items. Design thinking skills in timber are introduced through a practice-oriented learning method. This method involves the parallel development of procedural and conceptual skills required for design, development and documentation of timber material products in technologies. Students develop solutions to timber design problems using a design thinking methodology and a user-centred design approach. They develop conceptual knowledge in timber alongside procedural knowledge of timber material and manufacturing technologies through practical design projects. Students identify needs, design, manufacture, communicate and evaluate items against principles of timber design. These methods enable the development of conceptual, procedural and professional knowledge and skill which allows students to practice design thinking and problem solving in technologies contexts with timber materials.


Mode:Lectures, tutorials, practical workshops.

Duration: Five hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.


This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the semester. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments used in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The problem-based learning strategy employed in this unit is supported by the integration of progressive authentic assessment methods embedded at critical points of the students’ learning. Theoretical conceptual knowledge and practical skills-based knowledge are applied simultaneously in in design practices. Initially students acquire knowledge in timber by undertaking research and developing a report on key concepts introduced in the lecture and then develop skills in design and manufacture through practical workshop classes. Safe work practices are introduced in workshops and assessed through a hurdle task. Practical workshops provide opportunities for formative assessment which supports assimilation of knowledge of knowledge. Summative assessment aims to assess students’ application of knowledge and skills (conceptual, procedural and professional) competencies holistically using an integrated approach common in design education which focusses on the assessment of an entire design activity rather than specific elements in isolation. In this unit the method aims to assess students’ achievement of a synthesis between design theory and practice in timber. Therefore, the main assessment method used is design projects which include two components, design documentation folio and designed and manufactured products. Folios document students design processes and include evidence of identifying user needs, product definition, research, ideation, prototyping, iteration, critical evaluation and risk assessment.


A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit objectives consistent with University assessment requirements. Such procedures may include online safety modules, reports, examinations, tutorial exercises, student presentations and practical design projects with folios work. Assessment tasks will address all learning outcomes as well as relevant graduate attributes. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Hurdle Task:  

OnGuard WHS online safety training and testing record


Assessment Task 1

Report on timber design case-studies: Require students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key terminology, concepts and principles in relation to specific examples.



GA2, GA5, 


Assessment Task 2

Timber design project 1: Requires students to demonstrate developing design, manufacturing, communication skills and knowledge of factors in timber product design and response to a timber design context.


LO2, LO3

GA5, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 3

Timber design project 2: Requires students to demonstrate developed knowledge, manufacturing, drawing, design thinking and communication skills in response to a self-defined user-centred design brief.


LO1 LO2, LO3, LO4

GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Bootle, K. (2005). Wood in Australia: Types, properties and uses (2nd ed.). Sydney: McGraw-Hill. 

Davy, P., & Plewes, B. (2011). Ultimate woodwork bible: A complete reference with step-by-step techniques. London: New York: Collins & Brown; Sterling Publishing (co-distributor). 

Feirer, M., & Feirer, JL (2011). Wood: Technology & processes. Colombus, OH: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. 

Glasner, B., & Ott, S. (2013). Wonder wood: A favorite material for design, architecture and art. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. 

Jackson, A., & Day, D. (2005). Collins complete woodworkers manual (2nd ed.). Glasgow: Harper Collins Publishing. 

Jeska, S., Pascha, K., & Hascher, R. (2015). Emergent timber technologies: Materials, structures, engineering, projects. Berlin, München, Boston: De Gruyter. 

Leadbeatter, M., Keable, B., Clarke, J., & Clarke, T.D. (2017). Woodworking (4th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia. 

McMullin, P.W., & Price, J.S. (2017). Timber design. Taylor and Francis. 

O’Donoghue, D. (2001). Hamlyn book of woodworking. London: Hamlyn. 

Wood art: Innovative wood design. (2015). Berkeley, CA: Gingko Press. 

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