V.T306

Design a Chair

Design a Chair

Students will need working knowledge of design thinking processes. Students will also need prior knowledge of chair design and ergonomics.

For this assessment, students will each design and build a small (about six inches tall) model of a chair using cardboard, paint, and commonly found objects and craft items. The chair will be designed for an action figure or small toy that is between 6″ and 12″ tall (teacher provided or students brought from home). The goal will be to use the design process to create a functional, ergonomic chair for the action figure or small toy selected.

Day 1 will be used for a written assessment of the students’ recognition and interpretation of visual characteristics and organizational principles. Days 2–3 will be for construction of the chairs. On Day 3, students may begin to paint their chairs. Day 4 will be for the final coats of paint and finishing touches. Day 5 will be for testing, or reflecting on the chairs.

This item has not been field-tested by Michigan teachers.


This is an analytic rubric. The column on the left shows the dimension that is being measured in the student’s performance. The levels across the top row indicate the performance level in the dimensions. Occasionally all dimensions and performance levels are exemplified by multiple students in a single recording.

TEACHER SCORING RUBRIC–CHAIR

  • Dimension
  • Empathize, Define, and Ideate

  • Prototype

  • Materials and Processes

  • Testing and Reflect

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • Student defined one problem based on the needs of the user. Student brainstormed one solution.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student defined two problem based on the needs of the user. Student brainstormed two solutions.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student clearly defined three or more problems based on the needs of the user. Student brainstormed three or more solutions.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student uses the design process to create a chair that addresses solutions for one need of the user.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student uses the design process to create a chair that addresses solutions for two needs of the user.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student uses the design process to create a chair that addresses solutions for three or more needs of the user.

    N/A at this time.
  • There is no evidence of an effort to solve the design problem through selection of varying qualities of materials, techniques, media technology and processes.

    N/A at this time.
  • There is some evidence of an effort to solve the design problem through selection of varying qualities of materials, techniques, media technology, and processes.

    N/A at this time.
  • There is clear evidence of an effort to solve the design problem through selection of varying qualities of materials, techniques, media technology, and processes.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student tested the chair but did not identify what worked or what didn’t work in the chair.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student tested the chair and identified what worked and what didn’t work in the chair.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student tested the chair and clearly identified what worked and what didn’t work in the chair.

    N/A at this time.
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