Tweak it

Outline: ‘Tweak it’ sought to create a new toolkit for the Design curriculum in secondary schools across Aberdeen, as part of the Festival of Architecture 2016.

The toolkit called to encourage design students to better understand the principles of design, it’s context, how to respond creatively to their design briefs, how to become more critical and better evaluate their work.


Client: Aberdeen City Council

Duration: 7 months


In October 2015 icecream architecture were asked to design a toolkit for the design module for Nat 5 and Higher students. Our approach was to first of all assess the needs of the students by hosting a ‘Tweak Week.’ The week was designed to help students along with their project by looking at the work achieved so far and seeing where gaps in their development appear. For the week we also developed a tweak it accordion tool, which the students could make, and clearly see the design process. The students also looked at composition, symbolism and texture using a live moodboard exercise which helped students make quick assessments about their work and how they should progress.


After assessing the needs of the students, icecream went on to develop the ‘Tweak it’ Toolkit which comprised of a 1.3m long term timeline with lesson plans and tips on one side and a history of design and glossary of design terminology on the other.


Accordion ‘Tweak it’ accordion book and phase box template to illustrate the design process


Students Sketchbook with instructions and material to bind your own sketchbook


Teachers Resource which included explanations of lesson plans and highlighted key areas in the students’ understanding of their project.

The toolkit’s aim was to ensure students could assess their progress, have access to idea triggering exercises, be inspired by historical and contemporary designers, understand the importance of design and the designer’s role, fully understand and have confidence in the design process and become critical, understanding the importance of self-evaluation.