Year 8

Year 8 Technology Unit

Whats in the box?

Design Situation

what is a box?

A box is a lidded wooden container distinguished from its larger cousin, a chest, primarily by its smaller size; the difference between a large box and a small chest often being a matter of opinion.

Boxes have been made to hold every conceivable object. Some of the more common uses have resulted in various distinguishable box types, such as book box, bird house, bird feeder, tea box, crates, tool box, art box, tackle box, candle box, desk box, jewelry box, knife box, tissue box, pipe box, and work box. These boxes are mostly self-explanatory and easily recognisable, such as the sloping-lid construction of a desk box which may be used as a writing surface.

Decoration, Semiotics and Communication

Throughout history decoration has been used as a form of cultural expression and a communicator of peoples statues of wealth and position in society, enhance personal appearance and signify changes in social identity and status. Who You are can be communicated by the colours, shapes and symbols you use. As a designer it is important to know what you are communicating and to whom you are targeting with your message.

Why Make a Box?

Making boxes is one of the most important skills one can master in woodworking. It allows you to learn how to make different types of joints, learn the basic tools and create something that is both beautiful and useful. The skills involved in making a box allow you to progress to larger pieces such as a chest of draws, cupboards and shelves.

why make with wood?

Design Brief

Design and produce a box to store something small that is precious to you. Jewellery, a Journal, keys, pencils, art supplies, your diary, your phone, are all examples of things that could be significant to you. Your box should represent yourself, you should use symbols, colours, shapes that represent some aspect of yourself. For example if your a piano player, make a piano themed box by using elements such as keys and music notes, if you love cartoons then make a box in the shape of a minion. Your box should be safe to use, and keep your object safe. Your box could also represent what you plan on storing in it.

 Big Questions

  • How can we use design elements (line, shape , colour and pattern) to communicate to others aspects of our own inner self?
  • How do marketing and designers target particular market sections?
  • What is good design?
  • What is bad design?
  • What strategy’s or heuristic’s can we use to ensure we produce good design?

Step 1 Analysing the brief

Rewrite the design situation and brief using your own words.

Step 2 establishing a criteria for successes

When you design something it is important to know when you have produced a successful design. The way we can determine if we are successful is if we produce a set of criteria for success.

Below are areas you must identify for your criteria for success.

  • Time Management
  • Function (target market)
  • Aesthetics (colour, shape)
  • communication and message


Below is how you can list the Criteria for Success

criteria for success Why is it important? how will you evaluate the criterion?
the box must be aesthetically pleasing to most people who see the box. It should be an object that other people would like to own. we are producing a box to store something precious, so it should be stored in something that is equally valuable and communicates the contents value. survey a number of people and ask whether or not they find the box aesthetically pleasing, in terms of shape, colour, size, texture, tactility, and functionally.

Step 3 Research:

  • Complete a visual report/mood board on who you are
  • Complete the sustainability compass worksheet.
  • Complete a resource analysis
  • Complete a study on 4 existing designs evaluate each idea using a PMI

Step 4 Experimentation

  • watch teacher demonstrations on different manufacturing techniques and tools
  • try the different tools and techniques after you have been shown their correct and safe use

step 5 Generation of Ideas

  • generate and evaluate at least 4 different design ideas.
  • use at least 2 of the techniques for idea generation listed here.
  • evaluate your idea using PMI, PCQ or another tool.
  • pick a design style and stick to it see list below for a list of most design styles
  • read the design guide to understand project constraints

from selection of


use your criteria for success and your PMI charts to select your best idea

step 7 refinement of final idea


Sizes for title block


A cutting list is a table that contains information such as, width, length, and thickness of each of the pieces required to produce your project. It also contains the parts name, and number required.


step 8 Production

  • make your final product
  • document your process by taking a photograph of each step you take

step 9 Evaluation

Evaluate your final product using the criteria for success that you created in step 2.

Step 10 RAP

produce a reflective assessment presentation and present it to the class. It should be no more than 5 minutes in length. Please do not kill your teacher and fellow class mates with a boring and long presentation. Remember this is a practical subject and images of what you have done with a description are more important than unsubstantiated waffle.

see the RAP page for more details

 Example Projects


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