Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit asks students to engage with the idea that the objects they design have a ‘life-cycle' and are therefore always implicated in networks. As they develop and prototype a complex piece of furniture, designed to be suitable for commercial production, students are asked to engage critically and pragmatically with concepts of sustainable design and life-cycle-analysis. As well as traditional workshop production skills, participants are given instruction in rapid-prototyping, CAD/CAM machining, and other computer-mediated production processes. The unit is built on a basis of ‘research through making' as it investigates the way furniture design draws materials, technologies, designers, the media, consumers, regulatory agencies, and users into complex networks of production, distribution, and consumption.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) critically analyse the relationships (social, environmental, and economic) between the inputs and outputs of furniture design practices; (2) demonstrate an understanding of life-cycle analysis and apply it to contemporary furniture and product design; (3) acquire skills in the production and manufacture of complex prototypes; (4) develop and apply skills in the use of rapid-prototyping, CAD/CAM machining, and other computer-mediated production processes; and (5) represent design research and practice in innovative ways.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) research poster and drawing set and (2) physical prototype(s), digital prototype, and full documentation drawing set. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Peter Kitely
Unit rules
Approved quota: 44—students in their final 24 points will be given priority enrolment, and then selection will be based on academic merit.
Incidental fees
Incidental student fees and charges are costs incurred by students as part of their studies at UWA that are in addition to their tuition fees (further information is available here).
Participation in this unit will incur the following incidental fee(s):
Materials Supplied specific to unit (estimated cost - $50 -$200).
Contact hours
lectures: 12 hours
seminars/workshops: 24 hours
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.