Research Methods Homepage

VUIT Digital Arts

Teacher Name: Lisa Cianci - email:
Education Manager: Adam Hutterer - email:

Class Website -

Subject: REM - Research Methods

Course: Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design (CUV60411)

CLASS 10imagine


Today's Class: The Reinvention Test


// objective: to re-invent the use of a common product
      - use a range of research techniques and explore new ways of thinking

// time: two hours

// final submission: a prototype presentation to class

Introducing you the W’s - the WHAT, WHY, WHO and HOW.
These words will help you enormously when de-constructing a design problem.
Use them as a simple prompt to commence you research, such as

WHAT - is the product/project
WHY - is it used/why is it needed?
WHO - uses it/who are their competitors?
HOW - is it used?

Dig deeper in your research...

WHAT - is wrong with the product?
WHAT - works well with the product?
WHY - is it the size it is?
WHY - don’t I use a similar one (another brand)
WHO - else could use it?
HOW - can it be improved?

You shall select a product and an audience to design for from a shop in the vicinity of City Flinders Campus (30 minutes to go out and find a product & audience). This will be your case study object to research and the context of your research.

Once you familiarise yourself with the product you and your team are required to completely reinvent it based on your research findings.

The main objective is to improve the function by reinventing its use. Make it more useful, make it more unique, make it speak to a broader audience.





Main text for this subject

Smith, Keri 2008, How to be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum, Penguin Books



For Next Week

Keep up to date with your explorer journal. Remember to add the following each week:

  1. A colourful and creative mindmap of the word of the week (one page)
  2. Find an article that you find interesting and write a 100 word reflection on it. (What did you like, did not like etc) Make sure you paste a copy of the article in your journal (two pages)
  3. A photo you have taken yourself that you find interesting. Make sure you date it, tell us its location and why you took it. (two pages)
  4. A treasure discovery. Find something from the urban landscape of Melbourne and place this in your journal. 

    Tell us why you find it interesting. (two pages)
  5. ALL Notes/examples of your weekly class activity.