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ARC1017 : Architectural Representation 1

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Mr Simon Hacker
  • 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: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module focuses on the ARB/RIBA syllabus for professional skills in aspects of visual communication accompanied by self-reflection and criticality. Group work is also introduced where possible.

It offers an introduction to the essential modes of architectural representation covering a range of media, and scales from hand-held objects to the city.

The course focuses on two key approaches to drawing relevant to architectural design:
• Quantitative recordings which are used to accurately describe buildings, objects, and spaces, including survey notes, diagrams, sketches, photographs, and other supporting materials, enabling the production of measured orthographic drawings.
• Qualitative interpretative drawings or 3D physical models, including observational drawings and photographs, expressive sketches, and other forms of imaginative and transformative representation which support the design process.

The aim is to produce, compare and critically evaluate different presentation modes, in order to understand the particular conventions and qualities of each, as well as the iterative process involved in their refinement.

Students work as a team to curate a digital and/or physical exhibition of their work.

When possible, students measure a small architectural entity.

Additionally, students produce a curated portfolio, which develops skills in graphical composition and self-reflection in the communication of the tasks undertaken.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module offers an introduction to different modes of architectural representation and how they may be used for different purposes. The representational modes include: photography, analogical (produced by hand) observational, axonometric and orthographic drawings, verbal explanations, sketching, graphical layout, and various other modes.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion54:0020:00Preparation for interim submissions and final portfolio
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities140:204:40Task-related practical using online resources (pre-recorded videos on activities)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical23:006:00Exhibition build-up and visit
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities81:008:00Drawing related practical videos
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching43:0012:00Flexible mini-meetings and/or walks in the city doing practical tasks
Guided Independent StudySkills practice50:302:30Exploring different analogical media - hand drawing
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops17:007:00Interpretative drawing workshop
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity50:302:30Tasks and related summaries
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery80:304:00Related to weekly tasks
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity61:006:00Exhibition
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery81:008:00Meeting with visual experts to support weekly tasks
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study115:4015:40Self-directed practical or research activities
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk40:402:40Introduction and guidance
Guided Independent StudyOnline Discussion20:301:00Exhibition-related discussions
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

ARC1017 supports the ARC1001 design module by providing an introduction to a wide range of representation modes, mainly analogical (hand drawing) techniques.

Short (20 minute) video demonstrations by visual experts introduce specific skills and tasks to students.

Synchronous module talks help to locate each task in a wider context, while Question & Answer sessions enable students to clarify details with the Module Leader.

Synchronous surgery sessions with experts provide personalised feedback, supporting students to understand and reflect on the differences in each representation mode, as well as to improve their techniques.


The first tasks (object representation and/or room representation) are introduced during the first four weeks and submitted for preliminary ‘formative’ feedback. These form the basis for further representation tasks in ARC1017 and design-related tasks in ARC1001 (including photographs, observational and orthographic drawings).

In the second half of Semester 1, transformative pencil drawings are supported by surgery sessions, with the emphasis on developing skills related to the iterative process of design. All other tasks can be done partly independently and appear in the final ‘task booklet/portfolio submission’.

A group exhibition provides opportunities for peer learning and feedback. This is related either to ARC1001 celebration activity or an exhibition of work from the ‘City Drawing Day’ or drawings of measured pieces of architecture.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio1M100A final portfolio containing all tasks. Marked as Pass/Fail.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessment will include verbal comparative summaries of all required tasks, as well as additional skills practice.

Activities are designed to support the independent exploration of different modes of architectural representation. These are mainly analogical, with the exception of photographs and digital programmes used to compile the portfolio document.

The final assessed document consists of a presentation of the tasks themselves, together with a reflective summary related to each representation mode, allowing the student to document their learning process. The design of the final document enables students to develop skills in curating and graphically representing the findings of this comparative process.

Reading Lists