Does Textiles and Food fit into the Design course?

This year we had enough students to run a Year 11 Fashion course but not the Food & Nutrition course. For 2020, we do not have enough students to run either Fashion or Food subjects. As we have the facilities for these subjects, is there any school that is integrating Fashion & Food contexts within the Year 11 Design course? If not, what are everyone’s thoughts on this that is, would it work?


What a great question. I had one student choose to do fashion for unit one but food that is an interesting question, have you asked QCAA?

I haven’t asked QCAA as yet as I wanted to see if there was any other school/s offering this type of Design course.

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G’day Leigh,
I imagine that QCAA would say that as long as your task meet the objectives of the syllabus, then you can use any context that suits your clients and facilities. If your school can tie it into a product, service or environment, that should be fine. However any physical product is a low-fidelity prototype. The subject is not written to support full physical responses. Page 2 of the syllabus mentions Fashion design as a pathway, but not food. That should be enough to support Fashion.
Just my thoughts. I hope I am on the right track with my response.
Kind regards,
Ben Webb

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This is a really interesting question. If we apply the design process to satisfying human needs then why shouldn’t edible outcomes be viable?
Perhaps design process is the key phrase here. I imagine the culinary arts are often seen primarily as a form of artistic creative expression and therefore judged subjectively. For example, competitive entertainments such as Master Chef seem to revolve around the opinions of several expert judges more than objective criteria and understanding the needs of a user group. (No doubt this is a result of the need to create tension and drama for television rather than divergent and convergent thinking and iterative development.)
I imagine that most mass-produced foods are closer to industrial design than they are any kind of artistic expression. Doubtlessly they involve balancing the demands of numerous conflicting criteria, such as nutrition, taste, shelf life, product methods, distribution channels, and safety. I’m thinking of airline food here but I’m sure it’s the same for many other food products such as hospital food, fast-food chains and supermarkets.
This is not to say that designed food should involve so many technical concerns but it seems to me if such projects follow the double diamond then perhaps they are worth considering.


I would say yes, but like others have said, with the design process applied. After all it does come under the technology banner.

The context’s of our units could be left open in some respect to allow for a student to respond that way. I imagine it working would be where a student was designing a possible tuck-shop menu that had some specific criteria to meet rather than subjective “feeling/taste” feedback. Or if your context was light weight camping, they might do some menu item responses… or clothing type responses…

In my current Y10 course (we will run with Y11 for the first time in 2020) we do a mini unit 1-4 across the 4 terms and in the HCD responses I had 3 students doing a fashion type response.


Good question! I also want to point out that designing in relation to food can be done as process or experience design.

Two examples that give an indication of what this might look like: I give my students a “high end vending machine” redesign task; which is food-related interaction design.

I also get the company that design “the apple store experience” (back in the 2000s) to speak to them about what it means to design a process/experience.

Rather than being about the food itself, it can be about designing an experience related to food. Let me know if you’re interested to hear more about how that might look.