Level 1 Design and Visual Communication

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Subject Description

Teacher in Charge: K. Jacobs.

Design and Visual Communication (DVC) is a widely offered course in New Zealand secondary schools, providing students with valuable skills in various aspects of design. Through DVC, students engage in hands-on learning, including freehand sketching, instrumental drawing, and exploring different drawing media. They delve into product design, architectural design, and gain inspiration from specific eras and designers. The course encourages students to draw on their heritage, such as Māori influences, to inform their design work. Additionally, DVC equips students with knowledge in cultural awareness, ergonomics, and anthropometric data to design for people's needs. The versatility of DVC opens up diverse career pathways, including architecture, engineering, drafting, graphic design, product design, advertising, and more. The renewed DVC achievement standards, form the basis for assessment, allowing students to specialize in their chosen area of interest as they progress through the course.

Design and Visual Communication encompasses three essential strands: design thinking, visual communication, and design heritage. Design thinking involves generating, exploring, progressing, and effectively communicating design ideas to serve specific purposes and embrace innovative possibilities. Visual communication skills enable students to think critically, evaluate, and present their design ideas and outcomes effectively. Design heritage introduces students to the rich history, culture, and awareness of design, encompassing design tikanga, design fields, eras, influential designers, artifacts, and the elements of design. By incorporating their personal experiences, cultures, values, and perspectives, students develop their unique voices as designers while being responsive to the needs of others and considering ethical, environmental, and cultural impacts. Through developing their skills and techniques, students gain the ability to bring their ideas to life, fostering confidence, resilience, resourcefulness, and a sense of ethical responsibility towards the people and places they design for.


Architecture, Spatial Design, Engineering, Product Design, Graphic Design.


An individual course will only run if sufficient students are accepted into the course.

All approvals for courses through this system are subject to satisfactory achievement in remaining internal standards and external examinations. Course Confirmation Day will run at the start of next year, where final approval for each course will be confirmed.