HSC Applied Arts projects 2021

Applied Arts Subject Master Mr Nicholas Green reports on some ingenious designs crafted by our 2021 HSC boys.


Design can be very broadly summarised as solving a practical problem by deciding four fundamental things: Shape, Size, Materials and Processes. If only it were that straightforward!

The 2021 HSC Design and Technology class certainly chose their project ideas and made the four necessary decisions to reach impressive practical end products. Beyond that, though, they also managed the wide range of theory topics, assessments and, of course, persevered through their second senior school year with a city-wide lockdown forcing them off campus to combat COVID-19.

The boys kept a remarkably positive outlook and made the most of home time for writing and studying and used time in the design studios to experiment, test, refine and develop solutions as they worked to bring their varied ideas into reality with hand skills, machinery and computer-driven equipment. Throughout the lessons and workshop times at school, and sessions via Zoom, the high level of energy and enthusiasm did not drop.

Many widely varying design needs were addressed and the following summaries and pictures give just a glimpse of the depth of understanding developed as the boys used creative thought, logical problem-solving, and practical and technical skills to meet genuine needs.

Matthew Britton

The future of computer-integrated workstations

Multiple needs drove this design. The wall unit, when stored, has almost no floor space footprint and the water-cooled, high-powered PC will allow non-stop gaming until the world is saved. The design was modelled at full size after research into specifications. The striking black and glass aesthetic was a key factor, with Dibond aluminium/polymer panels cut on the computer-controlled (CNC) router to clad the plywood main structure.

Max Glen

The Gossip Bench retrostyled telephone table

This piece was inspired by mid-20th Century designs when telephones with wires were fixed in place. The fundamental layout with seat and drawer supported by splayed legs on a timber frame included a modern update of a cordless smartphone charger. Machined dovetail joints and mitres were offset by hand-tooled leather upholstery.

Flint Hasemer

Flat-packed modular storage system for mobile living

This system meets the storage needs of young adults in university and shared accommodation. The two key problems of jointing the flat-packed panels for the main boxes and developing an attachment mechanism to provide modular assembly options were solved through model-making. The panels were machined on the CNC router to produce the final prototype for marking.

Oliver Judge

Hydroponic wall garden

A design for an automated, small-scale, interior garden to provide healthy greens was not readily available so this project filled the gap. Microprocessor-controlled light and moisture sensors were combined with a selfpriming pump system to produce a sleek, programmable garden system. The white acrylic panels in an aluminium frame were laser-cut and hand fitted to finalise the end product.

Raff McGuinness

FlexiBench customisable outdoor furniture

Ergonomics, weather-resistance, safety and appearance were among the many areas considered in multiple design iterations on paper, on screen and by model-making to lead to the successful finished product. The CNC router was critical in producing the hundreds of polymer components to exact specifications to allow assembly and wellbalanced functioning.

Sebastian Moore

Automated tiered vertical hydroponic system

This design combines visual impact, technical excellence and computer-controlled systems to meet human and environmental needs. The ambitious tiered spiral aesthetic was tenaciously laminated in plywood using CNC-developed moulds. The moisture monitoring and automated water delivery is computer-controlled from a smartphone app to provide remote operation and adjustments. The final design provides leafy greens as an interior design, environmental and dietary solution.