ARC8052 : Architectural Design Practice 1 (Semester 2)


Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 40
ECTS Credits: 20.0
European Credit Transfer System


The aims of the module are to develop:

•       an ability to generate complex design proposals showing understanding of current architectural issues, originality in the application of subject knowledge and, where appropriate, to test new hypotheses and speculations;

•       an ability to evaluate and apply a comprehensive range of visual, oral and written media to test, analyse, critically appraise and explain design proposals;

•       an ability to evaluate materials, processes and techniques that apply to complex architectural designs and building construction, and to integrate these into practicable design proposals;

•       problem-solving skills, professional judgment, and ability to take the initiative and make appropriate decisions in complex and unpredictable circumstances; and

•       an ability to identify individual learning needs and understand the personal responsibility required to prepare for qualification as an architect.

Outline Of Syllabus

Architectural Design Practice 1 is the second design module of Stage 5. The module builds on
Architectural Design Research 1 and is an opportunity for students to develop their design skills to an advanced level by addressing the resolution of a complex architectural project.
The module is run through a semester-long design studio with projects that integratematerial and practical research in the development of a spatially complex and buildable design proposal. Students are encouraged to engage with materiality and making, and through the design of architectural fragments and details demonstrate how these inform wider architectural ideas, whether formal, tectonic or theoretical. The design project is enhanced by a detailed inquiry into material and technical strategies including constructional and structural issues, and environmental design.

. This project engages students with some of the key design skills and knowledge that are necessary for the successful design of a complex architectural project.

These skills extend to the detailed declaration of the tectonic and material aspects of proposed designs, which are presented as part of the project submission. The module offers a range of challenges that aim to expand on the core skills acquired during Part 1 of the professional qualification in Architecture with a specific emphasis on developing a critical understanding of the tectonics (theory and praxis) of individual buildings. It also prepares students for the independent research and design that the final year thesis project will require.

A lecture series alongside design studio introduces key technological and spatial strategies for climatically and ecologically responsive design, health and wellbeing of users and fire and life safety in buildings. Additional studio-specific inquiries will allow students to develop focused material and technical research to inform their design project.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical42:008:00Dedicated consultancy workshops to support students in developing detailed building design strategie
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical118:0088:00Tutorial, Review and Crit participation (present in person)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical28:0016:00Technical/materially focused workshops to develop enquiry and aid technical study and integration
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1264:00264:00Independent study including making of two portfolios and preparation for final assessment submission
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk82:0016:00Guest lectures (Technology) with associated Q&A session (online - synchronous)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk18:008:00Course Introduction (online - synchronous)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

•       Individual design projects allow students to demonstrate their intellectual and practical skills in the synthesis and critical appraisal of relevant information through group or individual work over the duration of the assignment.
•       Group projects allow students to demonstrate their understanding and application theoretical concepts and the practice of key skills. Group presentations at reviews will be used to assess key skills (teamwork, visual and oral presentation) as well as students’ understanding of the main themes of the module.
•       Key skills in written and visual communication (the ability to read critically, analyse and interpret precedents and existing conditions, and convey observations, conclusions, and proposals in various formats) will be assessed through these projects.

Tutorials and interim reviews are intended to be delivered on campus. They will afford the development of all the skills and outcomes described above both in a one-to-one setting and in groups. These different formats of contact will allow students the opportunity to test out and develop their ideas in preparation for their final assessment in portfolio format.

As a contingency, online and hybrid teaching possibilities for these tutorials and review sessions have been tried and tested over the past year and could be reinstated if needed to mitigate disruption to teaching.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2A50Design Portfolio. Design work, as one component of the semester's portfolio, which demonstrates a high level of development, satisfying all design requirements.
Portfolio2A45Technical Portfolio. Detailed design, or technical, work, as one component of the semester's portfolio, which demonstrates a high level of development, satisfying all technical requirements.
Oral Presentation2A5Detailed design, or technical, group work which identifies a studio technical theme and registers the design potentials of that theme.
Zero Weighted Pass/Fail Assessments
Description When Set Comment
Prof skill assessmntAPass/Fail. The submitted portfolio must achieve a passing mark for every technical learning outcome due to accreditation purposes.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

• The project will be presented for final review and later submitted as a couple of portfolios. Assessment will take into consideration both occasions, moderated across studios.

• Projects must be presented for assessment at the appointed time. Non-submissions must be accompanied by a written explanation to the Module Leader.

• Students present their projects at various points in the semester to receive interim feedback. These presentations provide students an opportunity to articulate their design approach and how it meets the assessment criteria for the module. Students will receive summative feedback after the final review which may be acted upon before the final grading in the portfolio review.

• Each project is evaluated against a clearly described set of criteria outlined in the project descriptions. The assessment criteria for each project commonly require an understanding of an ability to apply:
- a particular body of knowledge (related to the project)
- a particular range of skills and techniques (introduced in the project)

The final submission will include and cover both the design and technical requirements of the project, by means of submitting a portfolio containing both design and technical components. The design learning outcomes account for 50% of the overall project mark, and the technical learning outcomes account for the other 50%. Both design and technology have to be passed (i.e. both components of the submission must be passed) in order to pass the module. In addition each technical learning outcome must be passed.

Specific expectations for design and technical components of the portfolio are described in the project brief.

The design component of the portfolio will demonstrate the level of development that each project attains, satisfying all design requirements set out in the brief. It should include sufficient drawings, diagrams, images and annotations to explain intentions, describe proposals and address all requirements set out in the project brief.

The technology component of the portfolio will be a document that demonstrates the level of development that each project attains, satisfying all technical requirements set out in the brief. It should include sufficient drawings, diagrams, images and annotations to explain intentions, describe proposals and address all requirements set out in the project brief, from the Technology point of view. It will also offer students the chance to expand on a particular technical question relevant to their studio (e.g. on materiality, structural design, construction techniques, etc.). For accreditation purposes, all technical learning outcomes must be passed. Where a passing mark is obstructed by a fail on certain technical learning outcomes, these aspects of the work may be resubmitted and the rest of the module mark will not be capped.

Reading Lists