Task Examples

While the core business - the design project - is being done by the students, a range of related tasks can become integrated into the project. While they may seem different to regular teacher handouts, they fit with students thinking and functioning as professionals contracted to you. Here is a selection of tasks emailed to the students:

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Dear ...,
RE: Trainee Designer (Workplacement)
I have been asked to place a trainee designer to gain experience. I have been very impressed with the way your project is coming along and feel the trainee will gain a lot from the experience of working with you on the current Design Project. The trainee is 20 years old, her name is Kayleen, she is and currently enrolled in a Diploma of Industrial Design at Chisholm Institute. The institute has stipulated she has at least 120 hours industrial experience. I have allocated $1,300.00 for her wages. Please check the following site to find the minimum hourly rate). If this amount does not allow us to employ her for the 120 hours, let me know how many hours we can employ her up to $1,300.00

The site is: www.fairpay.gov.au Let's know if you have any difficulties.

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Dear Project Team,
Your fellow team member, Domenic Rastara found out yesterday that his partner Julianne has breast cancer and other complications. Things look grim, and Domenic will be juggling the demands of looking after Julianne, the two girls, and his project. I just thought it would be a really nice gesture of support if we could each write a few encouraging words to them in their difficult time. Send your messages to me and I will take them around with some flowers and a casserole or two.

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Dear Project Team,
RE: Travel Opportunity
I am delighted to announce the possibility that you could be selected to present your Design Project to the International Design Forum in the United Kingdom in September. The forum, the largest gathering of designers from all over the world, coincides with a major exhibition of materials, products, graphic design, and manufacturing processes at the same venue. The forum and the exhibition will be held at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, England, during September 12 - 16 2010.
A summary of what is required:

  • Transport arrangements and costs - including air, train, bus, taxi, hire car. You need to nominate actual airline and flight times, as well as detailed other transport schedules and costs.
  • Accommodation costs - the sponsorship provides you with the opportunity to spend one week in the UK apart from the time at the forum. You will need to provide a detailed itinerary including the places you intend to visit and the associated accommodation costs. Actual accommodation venues and costs are necessary.
  • Meals - while it is not necessary to list actual meal costs, you will need to provide a detailed meal budget based on your research.

It is essential that you include travel insurance. Your application does not need to include entry fee for the Design Forum, or meals and accommodation for the four days you will be attending the forum. Remember to convert UK Pound to Australian Dollars.

I am inviting each of our project designers the opportunity to present a detailed costing to attend and present at the forum, and encourage you to respond. It represents an amazing opportunity to have your work recognised on the world stage.

Application forms will be sent next week.
I look forward to reading your applications.

Sometimes the design team slips back into the 'student' role, and here is a task that usually has dramatic results:

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Dear Design Team,
RE: Performance Complaint
I have just received a message from the site manager expressing his disappointment at the way you are approaching the Design Projects, in particular the lack of an acceptable work ethic. I regard this as a serious breach of contract and to me it suggests a lack of commitment on your part. As a part of our contract, you are now required to state reasons why your contract should not be terminated. I will await your response this week, and also a report from the site manager before deciding on your future involvement with this company.

This statement must be to me by COB Thursday 25 March 2010.

And a comment from the teacher/Project Manager who wrote the message:

Last term, there were clear signs that the development of a positive work ethic was not taking place. I was disappointed, and told them so, pointing out the specific areas of concern. I also told them that I would be reporting my concerns to the 'project manager'. The next day each student received an email from the project manager (me) detailing the specific concerns, and asking them to show cause why their contract should not be terminated. The kids took it very seriously, and asked me to help them prepare their replies. Were they confused? Not at all. I asked one of them later if it was confusing getting me to help him write a letter to myself. His response was: "I didn't think about it."