Product Design Project


To evaluate and compare two consumer products (utility knives) on identified criteria and present the findings


Two to three 40 minute periods


  • Identifying criteria
    • Criteria from class discussion and brainstorming (can add to this list)
      1. How long does blade last?
      2. How easy is product to use
      3. How safe is the product to use?
      4. How durable are the blades? The rest of the product?
      5. How easy/safe is it to replace blades?
      6. Does the product look good?
      7. How easily does it cut paper? Cardboard? Mat board?
      8. Cradle2Cradle – was it designed with the ‘end’ in mind? Can it be recycled, reused, etc? Will the company take it back at the end of it’s lifecycle and make it into something else?
      9. Is the size appropriate for the task it provides
      10. What is the quality of the product?
      11. Easy to carry / store?
      12. Is it manufactured with sustainable / non-toxic materials?
      13. Was the manufacturing process environmentally friendly?
      14. Fair wages given to workers?
  • Designing comparative tests based upon the criteria
      1. Pick 3 or more criteria from above and design tests to test that criteria. On your wikipage, state what criteria you’re targeting and how you are testing it. Take pictures
  • Testing, conducting the tests, and collecting data
      1. Conduct the tests and collect data. Put all information up on your wikipage. You might/should be taking pictures
  • Analyzing data and creating report
      1. Discuss your findings and write concluding statements on your wikipage, based upon your findings
  • Presenting findings


It was nearly 20 years ago that Braungart and McDonough first laid out their Cradle to Cradle® philosophy in the book, “Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the way we make things” — a new model for abundance and prosperity in which the making of things is transformed from a destructive process into a positive force for people, economy and planet.

This is a critical moment to rethink the way we make things. Billions of people around the globe are poised to gain middle class consumer power; and we must rethink how we produce, design, use, and reuse products and materials. If the world is going to flourish, shared prosperity must be realized with a new consumption model free from waste, pollution, and social and environmental expense.