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Alternative Technology
Appropriate technology.
Artificial Intelligence

  • Biomes links and resources, eg temperate forests.
  • quick MBA, marketing, product life cycle, etc



Design for ...
Design Process
Design Websites/Exhibitions
Design Technology
  • N.S.W. Education Board syllabus
  • Article on drawing International Journal of Technology and Design Education

Energy resources
Environmental Issues
Environment ... data legislation
  • EPA US environmental protection agency.
  • EU summary of legislation.
  • Hong Kong and legislation.
  • UNEP the UN agency
  • News from ergoweb.
  • website with links and some interesting stuff


Generating Ideas
Green Consumer
Green Design
Green Practises


  • Historical Timeline of the Internet
  • Hobbes’ Internet Timeline, developed from a variety sources. Excellent!

  • from Inventory Solutions

Knowledge Economy
  • (PDF) A Primer about the
  • Enterweb.org links for Knowledge Economy

Life Cycle

Mass Customization
News Articles



  • SRI International is an independent, non-profit research institute
  • This Website has a good story on how planned obsolescence and how it affects us.


Recycle, Reuse Recondition and Repair

  • www.physorg.com
Smart Materials


Virtual Reality

Weightless economy

Active solar collection The use of the Sun’s energy to heat up water and air directly.

Adaptation A solution to a problem in one field is used to provide a new idea for a design problem in another.

Adhesive An adhesive is a substance that is applied between two surfaces in order to bond them together.

aesthetic-usability effect A condition whereby users perceive more aesthetically pleasing designs to be easier to use than less aesthetically pleasing designs.

Algorithm A sequence of instructions to describe a set of actions.

Alloy A mixture that contains at least one metal. This can be a mixture of metals or a mixture of metals and non-metals.

Analogy The transfer of an idea from one context to another.

Animation The ability to link graphic screens together in such a way as to simulate motion or a process.

Anthropometrics The aspect of ergonomics that deals with body measurements, particularly those of size, strength and physical capacity.

Appearance prototype An appearance prototype, or appearance model, is a physical representation of an object that literally appears like the production product. However, it does not function and is made from wood, foam, clay or other prototyping materials.

Appropriate technology appropriate to the context in which it is applied. Appropriate technologies are low in capital cost, use local materials wherever possible, create jobs using local skills and labour, involve decentralized renewable energy sources, make technology understandable to the people who use it, are flexible, and are not detrimental to quality of life or the environment.

Artificial intelligence a computer-based machine or robot that has the ability to learn from information gained through feedback.

Assembly-line production the mass production of a product via a flow line based on the interchangeability of parts, pre-processing of materials, standardization and work division.

Atom The smallest part of an element that can exist chemically.

Attribute listing Attribute listing identifies the key attributes of a product or process and then enables designers to think of ways to change, modify or improve each attribute.

Automation A volume production process involving machines controlled by computers.

Bandwidth The width of the electromagnetic spectrum that a signal occupies.

Batch production Limited volume production (a set number of items to be produced).

Biocompatibility The property of being biologically compatible by not producing a toxic, injurious or immunological response in living tissue.

Biomechanics The research and analysis of the mechanics of living organisms.

Biomimetics The application of methods and systems found in nature to the study and design of engineering systems and modern technology.

Bit rate The number of bits per second produced by a digital system.

Black water that contains animal, human or food waste and would not be reused for other purposes.

Body mass index (BMI) a measurement of the relative percentages of fat and muscle mass in the human body, in which weight in kilograms is divided by height in metres and the result used as an index of obesity.

“Bottom up” modelling A designer creates part geometry independent of the assembly or any other component. Although there is often some design criteria established before modelling the part, this information is not shared between models. Once all part models are completed, they are brought together for the first time in the assembly.

Brainstorming A form of group think. A group with a recommended size of 10–12 people first devises wild ideas, all of which are written down. No criticism or evaluation is allowed until this is finished, as it is impossible to be creative and critical at the same time. The ideas are then criticized and evaluated.

Brand A brand is a product from a known source (organization). The name of the organization can also serve as a brand.

Building envelope The exterior surface of a building’s construction: the walls, windows, roof and floor. Also referred to as “building shell”.

Charge The quantity of unbalanced electricity in a body (either positive or negative) and construed as an excess or deficiency of electrons and is measured in coulombs.

Composite A mixture composed of two or more substances (materials) with one substance acting as the matrix or glue.

Computer-aided design (CAD) The use of computers to aid the design process.

Computer-aided manufacture (CAM) The use of computers to aid manufacturing.

Computer-integrated manufacture (CIM)
A system of manufacturing that uses computers to integrate the processing of production, business and manufacturing in order to create more efficient production lines.

Computer modelling A computer program that attempts to simulate an abstract model of a particular system.

Computer numerical control (CNC) Refers specifically to the computer control of machines for the purpose of manufacturing complex parts in metals and other materials. Machines are controlled by a program commonly called a “G code”. Each code is assigned to a particular operation or process. The codes control X,Y,Z movements and feed speeds.

Constructive discontent Analysing a situation that would benefit from redesign, and working out a strategy for improving it.

Convergent thinking The ability to analyse information in order to select an answer from\ alternatives.

Converging technology The synergistic merging of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information and communication technologies and cognitive science.

Corporate strategy Long-term aims and objectives of a company and ways of achieving them by allocation of resources.

Cost-effectiveness The most efficient way of designing and producing a product from the manufacturer’s point of view.

Craft production A small-scale production process centred on manual skills.

Current The rate of flow of electrons.

Data reliability The completeness and accuracy of a data set that is being used to inform a design decision.

Delighting The passive solar practice of placing windows, or other transparent media, and reflective surfaces so that, during the day, natural sunlight provides effective internal illumination.

Dematerialization The reduction of weight and use of materials.

Demodulation The process of recovering the information contained, for example, in the human voice, which had been previously added to a suitable electromagnetic carrier.

Density The mass per unit volume of a material.

Design for assembly Designing taking account of assembly at various levels, for example, component to component, components into sub-assemblies and subassemblies into complete products.

Design for disassembly Designing a product so that when it becomes obsolete it can easily and economically be taken apart, the components reused or repaired, and the materials recycled.

Design for manufacture (DfM) Designers design specifically for optimum use of existing manufacturing capability.

Design for materials Designing in relation to materials during processing.

Design for process Designing to enable the product to be manufactured using a specific manufacturing process, for example, injection moulding.

Die A tool used in the manufacture of parts by moulding, forging, swaging or stamping processes.

Diffusion into the marketplace The wide acceptance (and sale) of a product.

Digital human Computer simulation of a variety of mechanical and biological aspects of the human body.

Divergent thinking Using creative ability to produce a wide range of possible solutions to a problem.

Diversification Involves a company both in the development of new products and in selling those products to new companies.

Dominant design The design contains those implicit features of a product that are recognized as essential by a majority of manufacturers and purchasers.

Draft angle The angle of taper, expressed in degrees (usually 5° to 7°), given to the sides of the forging and the side walls of the die impression.

Ductility The ability of a material to be drawn or extruded into a wire or other extended shape.

Efficiency Mechanical efficiency is the effectiveness of a simple machine.

Electrical resistivity This is a measure of a material’s ability to conduct electricity. A material with a low resistivity will conduct electricity well.

Ergonomic A 2D physical anthropometric model based on a specific percentile, which is used with drawings of the same scale as the model to consider the relationship between the size of an object and people.

Ergonomics The application of scientific information concerning the relationship of human beings to the design of objects, systems and environments.

essential A compound that cannot be made in the body but has to be provided ready-made in the diet, for example, vitamins, essential fatty acids and essential amino acids.

Essential fatty acid Fatty acids that is required in the human diet. This means that they cannot be synthesized by the body from other fatty acids and must be obtained from food.

Expert appraisal The reliance on the knowledge and skills of an expert in the operation of the product.

Exploded isometric drawing An isometric drawing of an object with more than one component that depicts how the parts of assemblies fit together.

Fabric A material made up of a network of natural or artificial fibres formed by knitting, weaving or pressing into felt.

Fashion A style or trend.

Feed speed The feed speed is the rate at which the cutting tool moves in X, Y and Z paths.

Fibre A class of materials that are continuous filaments or are in discrete elongated pieces, similar to lengths of thread with a length to thickness ratio of at least 80.

Fibre structure A filamentous material long in relation to its width/breadth.

Field trial a test of the performance of some new product under the conditions in which it will be used.

Finite element analysis (FEA) The calculation and simulation of unknown factors in products using CAD systems. For example, simulating the stresses within a welded car part.

Fixed costs The costs that must be paid out before production starts, for example, machinery. These costs do not change with the level of production.

Flash Excess material on a moulded part, forming a thin fan where two parts of the mould meet.

Flow chart a schematic representation of a process.

Freehand drawing The spontaneous representation of ideas on paper without the use of technical aids.

Functional prototype A functional prototype, or functional appearance model, is a prototype that “looks like” and “works like” a production product. Although they are made from prototype materials, these models simulate actual finishes and colours as well as mechanisms.

G code Coordination-based code that also includes feed speed and stop/start.

Green design Designing in a way that takes account of the environmental impact of the
Product throughout its life.

Grey water Waste water generated from processes such as washing dishes, bathing and laundry.

Haptic technology Haptic technology is an emerging technology that interfaces the user via the sense of touch.

Hardness The resistance a material offers to penetration or scratching.

Human development index A comparative measure of poverty, literacy, education, life expectancy, childbirth and other factors for countries worldwide.

Ideo-pleasure Pleasure derived from satisfying people’s tastes, values and aspirations.

Incremental design Small changes to the design of a product that seem trivial but the cumulative effect of which over a longer period can be very significant.

Industrial robot A flexible computer-operated machine that is able to perform a range of tasks in an efficient and accurate manner.

Injection moulding The direct introduction of molten plastic under pressure into a die, which then cools rapidly, allowing the formed object to be released from the mould.

Innovation The business of putting an invention in the marketplace and making it a success.

Intelligent building Intelligent buildings apply technologies to improve the building environment and functionality for occupants and tenants while controlling costs to improve end-user security, comfort and accessibility and help user productivity.

Intelligent fabric A fabric with technology-enhanced performance used in smart clothing, for example, enhanced stain resistance, breathability or incorporating input sensors.

Invention The process of discovering a principle. A technical advance in a particular field often resulting in a novel product.

Isometric drawing A 3D representation of an object drawn with the horizontal plane at 30° to
The vertical plane.

just-in-case (JIC) A situation where a company keeps a small stock of components (or complete items) or ones that take a long time to make, just in case of a rush order.

Just-in-time (JIT) A situation where a firm does not allocate space to the storage
Of components or completed items, but instead orders them (or manufactures them) when required. Large storage areas are not needed and items that are not ordered are not made.

Life cycle analysis the assessment of the effect a product has on the environment from the initial concept to disposal.

Lifestyle The way a person or group lives, including patterns of social relations, consumption, entertainment and dress.

Literature search The use of consumer reports and newspaper items to follow historical development. Useful sources of information could include CD-ROMs, such as encyclopedias and newspapers, or more specific disks, subject-specific magazines and manufacturers’ information.

living building Houses and offices designed to function like living organisms, specifically adapted to place and able to draw all of their requirements for energy and water from the surrounding sun, wind and rain.

Lone inventor An individual working outside or inside an organization that is committed to the invention of a novel product and often becomes isolated because he or she is engrossed with ideas that imply change and are resisted by others.

Machine tool step variable this applies to 3D profiling. It is the amount of tool that passes over work already cut and determines the quality of the finished surface. It is expressed as a percentage—the higher the quality, the higher the percentage.

Manikin An anatomical 3D model of the human body.

Manufacturing technique A specific manufacturing term, sometimes relating to one material group only.

Market development Finding new applications for existing products, thereby opening up new markets.

Market penetration Increasing sales to existing customers or finding new customers for an existing product.

Market pull The initial impetus for the development of a new product is generated by a demand from the market.

Market sector A broad way of categorizing the kinds of market the company is aiming for.

Market segmentation Markets divide up into smaller segments where the purchasers have similar characteristics and tastes.

Mass customization A sophisticated CIM system that manufactures products to individual customer orders. The benefits of economy of scale are gained whether the order is for a single item or for thousands.

Mass production the production of large amounts of standardized products on production lines, permitting very high rates of production per worker.

Mathematical model A model using mathematical symbols that can be manipulated numerically.

Mechanical advantage this is the factor by which a machine multiplies the force put into it.

Mechanization A volume production process involving machines controlled by humans.

Minerals Natural compounds formed through geological processes.

Modulation The process of adding the information contained, for example, in the
Human voice to a suitable electromagnetic carrier.

Molecule Two or more atoms that are normally bonded together covalently.

Morphological synthesis Morphological synthesis is an elaboration of attribute listing. After completing the list of attributes, list them along two sides of a 2D grid. Think creatively about how the attributes can be developed through new
Ideas in each of the cells to improve the design.

Motion capture technology The recording of human and animal movement by any means, for example, by video, magnetic or electro-mechanical devices.

Multiplexing To combine multiple signals for transmission over a single line or medium.

Nanotechnology Refers to materials and devices that operate at the nanoscale. “Nano” means a billionth (1/1000,000,000). A nanometre is one-billionth of a metre.

Negative saturation The most negative voltage the operational amplifier can output (–13 V).

non-renewable resources A natural resource that cannot be re-made or re-grown as it does not naturally re-form at a rate that makes its use sustainable, for example, coal, petroleum and natural gas.

Numerical control (NC) Automated machines that require data to be inputted manually by a trained operator.

One-off production An individual (often craft-produced) article or a prototype for larger-scale

Organoleptic Involving the use of sense organs.

Orthographic drawing A series of flat views of an object showing it exactly as it is in shape and size.

Paper prototyping Representative users perform realistic tasks by interacting with a paper version of the user–product interface that is manipulated by a person acting as a computer, who does not explain how the interface works.

Parison A short length of extruded pipe for use in blow moulding.

Passive solar design The technique of heating and cooling a building naturally without the use of mechanical equipment.

Percentile range That proportion of a population with a dimension at or less than a given value.

Performance test An evaluation of the actual performance of the task or learning objective using the conditions under which it will be performed and the absolute standard for acceptable performance.

Permanent joining techniques A permanent join is a type of fastening that is not supposed to be removed. It is only possible to remove such joins by drilling, cutting or grinding the join away.

Perspective drawing A 3D drawing that realistically represents an object by utilizing foreshortening and vanishing points (usually imaginary ones).

Physio-pleasure Pleasure derived from the sensory organs, including pleasures connected with touch, taste, smell and sensual pleasure.

Planned obsolescence a conscious act either to ensure a continuing market or to ensure that safety factors and new technologies can be incorporated into later versions of the product.

Plastic deformation The permanent deformation of a solid subjected to a stress.

Population stereotypes Responses that are found to be widespread in a user population.

Poverty Deprivation of essential goods and services, for example, food, clothing, shelter and education, and a lack of sufficient income and wealth.

Product champion An influential individual, usually working within an organization, which develops an enthusiasm for a particular idea or invention and “champions” it within that organization.

Product development The creation of new, modified or updated products aimed mainly at a company’s existing customers.

Product family A group of products having common classification criteria. Members normally have many common parts and assemblies.

Product stewardship Everyone involved in making, selling, buying or handling electronic equipment takes responsibility for minimizing environmental impact of the equipment at all stages in the life cycle.

Programmable interface controller (PIC)
Microchips that can be programmed by a computer to simulate an integrated circuit. Having been programmed they can be disconnected from the computer and used in electronic projects to recognize range of inputs and to control the project.

Prosthesis An artificial limb, tooth or other part of the body manufactured to take the place of a missing or dysfunctional one.

Psycho-pleasure Pleasure derived from people’s mental and emotional reactions to a product.

Quality assurance This covers all activities from design to documentation. It also includes the regulation of quality of raw materials, assemblies, products and components, services related to production, and management and inspection processes.

Quality control Involved in development systems to ensure that products or services are designed and produced to meet or exceed customer requirements and expectations.

Radical design Where a completely new product is devised by going back to the roots of a problem and thinking about a solution in a different way.

Reconditioning Rebuilding a product so that it is in an “as new” condition, and is generally used in the context of car engines and tyres.

Recycling refers to using the materials from obsolete products to create other products.

Refresh rate How frequently (per second) an image is captured and transmitted.

Renewable resources that are naturally replenished in a short time.

Repair The reconstruction or renewal of any part of an existing structure or device.

Resistance The opposition that a substance offers to the flow of electric current.

Resolution A measure of the clarity of an image captured.

Reuse of a product in the same context or in a different context.

Robust design Flexible designs that can be adapted to changing technical and market requirements.

Service costs The cost required to maintain or repair a product or system.

Socio-pleasure Pleasure from relationships with others, for example, specific relationships with friends, loved ones, colleagues or like-minded people or with society as a whole when it is related to status and self-image.

Solid modelling Solid models are clear representations of the final part. They provide a complete set of data for the product to be realized.

Sprue This is the passage through which a liquid material flows into a die, where it solidifies to form parts.

Stiffness The resistance of an elastic body to deflection by an applied force.

Sublimation printing process A two-step process in which paper is first printed with sublimation dyes and then heat and pressure are applied to the paper so that the image is transferred to another material, for example, fabric.

Surface modelling A realistic picture of the final model, offering some machining data. Surface models contain no data about the interior of the part.

Sustainable development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Technocautious Someone who needs some convincing before embracing technological change.

Technology push Where the impetus for a new design emanates from a technological development.

Technophile Someone who immediately welcomes a technological change.

Technophobe Someone who resists all technological change.

Tensile strength the ability of a material to withstand pulling forces.

Thermal conductivity A measure of how fast heat is conducted through a slab of material with a given temperature difference across the slab.

Thermal expansion (expansivity) a measure of the degree of increase in dimensions when an object is heated. This can be measured by an increase in length, area or volume. The expansivity can be measured as the fractional increase in dimension per Kelvin increase in temperature.

Time constant The time required for the current or voltage in a circuit to rise or fall exponentially through approximately 63% of its amplitude.

“Top down” modelling “Top down” design is a product development process obtained through 3D, parametric and associative CAD systems. The main feature of this new method is that the design originates as a concept and gradually evolves into a complete product consisting of components and sub-assemblies.

Torque “Rotational force” commonly measured in units of Newton metres.

Toughness The ability of a material to resist the propagation of cracks.

Triple bottom line sustainability
An expanded spectrum of values and criteria for measuring organizational success: economic, environmental and social.

Upgradeability How easily a system or product can be upgraded, that is, its performance

User population The range of users for a particular product or system.

User research Obtaining users’ responses.

User trial The observation of people using a product and collection of comments from people who have used a product.

U value A measure of the thermal conductance of a material. The higher the U value, the greater the conduction.

Value for money The relationship between what something, for example, a product, is worth and the cash amount spent on it.

Variable costs that vary with output, for example, fuel or raw materials.

Velocity ratio A measurement of force amplification.

Virtual reality The ability to simulate a real situation on the screen and interact with it in
A near-natural way.

Voltage The difference in electrical potential between two points.

Work-space envelope a 3D space within which you carry out physical work activities when you are at a fixed location.

Yarn A long continuous length of interlocked synthetic or natural fibres.

Young’s modulus The stiffness of a material.