Teachers notes: The Hills Hoist
Designing, Making and Appraising
- investigates how community needs and environment affect the design of products and the processes used, e.g. investigates cooking utensils and cooking methods from different cultures.
- creates and prepares designs and production ideas after considering various alternatives and their advantages and limitations.
- creates and prepares designs and production ideas that consider function, aesthetics (appearance) and use in society and the environment.
- creates and prepares designs and production ideas using suitable graphics and conventions (accepted methods of developing designs) as well as appropriate technical language and symbols.
- organises, carries out and adjusts production processes that require the preparation of detailed plans and reports and uses suitable technical language and conventions (accepted ways of doing things).
- justify their choice of materials taking into account functionality, appeal and environmental impact e.g. justifies the choice of materials for a toy garage or spice rack on the basis of strength, safety and aesthetics.
- selects and uses techniques and equipment to work materials with precision and safety in order to achieve a specified standard.
- explains the elements (parts), structure, sequence (steps), operation (workings) and control (management) of systems, e.g. talks about, draws and demonstrates how a pneumatic pump works.
The Hills hoist is a national symbol of suburbia and an excellent example of the impact of design on our everyday lives.
Review the Hills hoist design.
- Are the materials appropriate?
- What are its design advantages and disadvantages?
- Can it be improved upon?
Consider the design feature of the crown and pinion winding mechanism which allows the Hills hoist frame to be raised and lowered.
- Discuss its mechanism.
- How innovative as a design solution do you think it is? Why?
- When you have a good idea, how do you protect it so that you can commercially benefit from it?
- Go to IP Australia’s website to see how Hill protected his design at http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/patents/ex_hoist.shtml
- How do other cultures in densely populated areas solve the same problem of clothes drying? What ideas for new design solutions might this suggest?
- Draw up some initial ideas for a new model clothes drying hoist or stand. Ensure function, materials, aesthetics and economies of scale are all considered, in your design solution. Present your idea to the class.
- Would you like to set up a business of your own?
- What young entrepreneurs do you admire? Visit the young entrepreneurs site to find out more. http://smartmoves.questacon.edu.au/busmoves/ent_networks.asp?category=Young%20entrepreneur%20networks
- See other examples of Australian design innovation at http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/patents/ex_index.shtml
- Have a look at the Hills story at http://www.hills.com.au. What do you think has been their secret to success?