Needing ideas for basic design briefs for introducing low-fidelity prototyping skills


Hi all,
I’m teaching Year 11 Design and and am feeling a little limited by my own imagination. (I think it doesn’t help flip flopping between and preparing for different subjects!)

Anyways, I’m using the TLAP provided on QCAA website to guide my teaching. I’m wondering if anyone can give me some great ideas you’ve used for ’ How do designers use drawing and low-fidelity prototyping skills?’ I’m struggling to think of interesting basic design brief ideas that would be conducive to very introductory low-fi prototyping. I’ve got a bunch of utensils here… and have thought of getting them to redesign a two hand gaming devise for a person that doesn’t have use of a hand. Anyone got any great ideas that you’ve found work?

Thank you so much Design Minds!

Joy Argow


  • Watch Netflix in bed, lying horizontal with an iPad.
  • Build a cubby/cave/chook pen/shade house
  • Design a bench press that doesn’t need a spotter
  • Storage solutions using general household furniture.
  • Design an eating tool for your favourite food
  • Design a candelabra/fire pit/steel gate
    Shopping with a disability


Any projects at the interior design, architectural or landscape architecture scale lend themselves immediately to ‘low-fi’ prototyping.

For example, a ‘tiny house’ weekend retreat for a family of 4—use cardboard to make 1:10 scale models exploring various interior configurations, more models exploring exterior ideas.

Another idea: design a public park with various function areas (BBQ, picnic, skate board… thing {whatever they’re called}) at 1:100 scale out of cardboard and blocks of foam. If you want to play with land contours perhaps use clay or plasticine over a cardboard base. Trees made from sticks and foam, etc…

All of these things are physical media for exploring spacial ideas. It’s quite a lot of fun to stick your phone camera down into the model to ‘inhabit’ the space.

Here’s a few photos of an architectural project I’ve been involved with. These models, along with a great many sketches and drawings and CAD models not shown here, were used to quickly explore a variety of design concepts.

Massing model:

Cardboard concept model:

Exploring the model:

Another cardboard concept:

Very useful for making spaces tangible. This is why I think making is such an important part of the design process but that doesn’t have to mean making the final article.



Hi Joy,
There’s a really good task about redesigning cigarette packets to try and make smoking more annoying and reduce people smoking. If you google “Design to annoy” you will be able to find the task.
Students can make really easy prototypes using cardboard.


Sam Nicholas



Thank you!! These are some great ideas.



Thank you Andrew. These too are some great ideas.



Hi Joy,
What about getting them to re-design shipping containers into small dwellings?

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