Toolkit: Reverse Design

Reverse design is an exercise to help students discover the design decisions of a device, object or system through observation and analysis of its structure, function, history and operation.

This toolkit aims to scaffold students engagement as they deduce design decisions from end products with little or no additional knowledge about the procedures involved in the original production. Students will also (re)design the device, object or system to meet the needs of a user or in response to their critical analysis of the original design.


Adam Jefford, 2012 Queensland-Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt Design Museum Fellow

expected duration

30 minute tasks designed to be delivered weekly.


We are always looking to improve our toolkits and we would love to hear your thoughts. Please email your suggestions to

Design Minds is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.
View more information about the Design Minds collaboration.

Receive APDL updates in your inbox. Once a month, no spam.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.