In Design & Visual Communication, design, designing, and design thinking is explored and expressed through visual communication and is informed by design heritage.

In DVC, students learn primarily about three-dimensional design, develop their practice of designing, and develop their design thinking in the context of spatial (architectural) and product (industrial) design.

Learning in DVC focuses on the inter-related fields of design thinking, design heritage, and visual communication.

Design is the imagining and creative thinking of novel, new and beneficial ideas, resolving problems to improve the lives of people. Designing is the activity and practice of design.

  • Design thinking is the creative and cognitive activities of perception (sensation, observation and awareness), inspiration, imagining, interpretation, generation and synthesis, leading to invention and improvement that informs designing. Design thinking is expressed through visual literacy: the ability to make meaning from images, and to make images that communicate meaning.
  • Visual communication is the presenting of the action of design thinking, design narratives, and outcomes, using representation and presentation skills and techniques.
  • Design heritage is the history, culture, and awareness of design. The approaches to and perspectives of design practices, design fields (architecture, interior, product, landscape, fashion, media design, etc.), design eras/movements, designers, design artifacts and the elements of design.

DVC focuses on understanding and applying drawing techniques and design practice to communicate design ideas. Students enhance their ability to conceptualise, develop, and communicate design ideas and potential outcomes, and their skill to interpret graphical information.

DVC not only provides a creative outlet for students, but also enables our visions to be drawn and shape the world around us. Personally, it offers a means of exploring the relationship between functionality and aesthetics in the context of three-dimensional design. DVC will provide me with the opportunity to explore design and architecture, and especially open pathways within the industry.
- Sophie-Rose Moratti, Year 11 student

Carolyn Higham

Bachelor of Spatial Design (BSD) (Auckland University of Technology) Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) (Auckland College of Education)

I have been teaching at Rangitoto College for the past twenty years, and during that time, I have held numerous roles including mentoring pre-service teachers as a tutor for Auckland University of Technology, Curriculum Leader of DVC, HOD of the Art & Design Department, and currently as the HOD of the DVC Department. I have enjoyed contributing to several sporting codes, particularly archery, and have assisted with the Chinese Fan Dance Club and debating, and more recently, the Wire Crafts Club and Scale Model Club. I am very fortunate to be teaching alongside passionate and committed educators, and creative, innovative, and aspiring future designers.