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ARC8115 : Design studio

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Natalia Villamizar Duarte
  • Lecturer: Dr Laura Pinzon Cardona, Mr Thomas Kern
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

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

Semester 1 Credit Value: 40
ECTS Credits: 20.0
European Credit Transfer System


In broad terms the module aims to help students to develop advance design skills and apply them to a range of design projects.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module takes a critical approach to design that encourages hands on experience of material practices.

The module is made up of two components, as follows:

1.Communication skills and techniques - A skill building set of lectures, workshops

2.A Design studio organised into separate design projects each with a particular emphasis and challenge. These aim to develop a critical awareness of a range of contemporary issues in architecture, sustainable design, urban design, and encourage students to research, develop, test and articulate their own particular standpoint. Design projects seek to develop graphic skills and encourage an imaginative approach to design and its representation. Projects will involve both group and individual work and will engage students in a creative dialogue with staff and their peers.

MA Urban design students also share this module.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching28:0016:00Design reviews – present in person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching96:0054:00Group and individual design tutorials – present in person
Guided Independent StudyProject work1203:00203:00Research and design development
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops113:0033:00Skill building workshops - present in person
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity168:0068:00Reflective journal
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork24:008:00Project site visit – present in person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk72:0014:00Talk/Lecture introducing topics relevant to the development of the project - present in person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk14:004:00Module introduction – present in person
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

For the communication skills and techniques part of this module, teaching and learning includes short online lectures, seminars and workshops. Based mainly on experiential learning, these will demonstrate various drawing/presentation techniques, and cater for varied learning styles.

The design studio is the integrative environment where students can synthesise knowledge from other modules and develop their understanding and skills in the context of a design problem set by tutors. Students are supported in their learning through briefings, lectures, group tutorials and critical reviews. Tutorials and reviews are also the principle means through which students receive feedback on their progress.
If the public health situation makes present in person teaching impossible, design tutorials, reviews, workshops and the module introduction will all be taught online.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Design/Creative proj1M25Interim review
Design/Creative proj1M50Final review
Design/Creative proj1M25A series of graphic outputs from the skill building workshops presented as a reflective journal
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

For the communication skills and techniques part of this module, assessment is one piece of coursework. This will demonstrate that the student has developed a range of qualitative representational skills important to the design process.

The development of design skills is assessed through the traditional method of critical review, where students give a visual and oral presentation of their work to an audience of tutors and peers. The work is discussed and the tutors assess the work against the criteria set out in the project brief. These marks are moderated by another tutor or tutors. Feedback is given orally during the review and as a set of written comments later.

Reading Lists