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ARC2001 : Architectural Design 2.1

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Mr James A Craig
  • Lecturer: Dr Stephen Parnell, Mr Kieran Connolly
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 30
Semester 2 Credit Value: 30
ECTS Credits: 30.0


The design module builds on the skills and ideas introduced in the ARC1001 module (BA Stage 1).

Students develop their explorative, cognitive and creative skills via a series of pedagogically inflected design projects that grow in architectural complexity throughout the year. The sequence of projects is iterative and cumulative, presenting the students with design issues and problems that stretch their abilities whilst grounding them within the scope of their developing skills. Central to this process is the use and critical understanding of design methods in relation to context.

Outline Of Syllabus

ARC2001 is a Stage 2 design studio-based module that builds on the learning outcomes of ARC1001 through a focus on the relational aspects of architectural design. This happens through an increased complexity in architectural design thinking that is formed through a maturing awareness of the relationships between people and place.
The module introduces an understanding of the importance of context in architectural design. This is engaged with through architectural design briefs that present increased levels of scale throughout both semesters. In semester 1, students focus on designing at the domestic scale – including individual dwellings, family units and shared-housing. In semester 2, students design a small-scale public building, engaging with contextual issues such as public space ownership, environmental conditions, and the role that public buildings play. This is conducted in tandem with the critical analysis of precedent studies that are used to inform appropriate architectural design responses.
The module creates a maturing ability to integrate knowledge of social and aesthetic requirements through its emphasis on context and its relationship to people in the development of architectural design. Context is considered through both the historical and contemporary conditions of a place and this aids in the design and implementation of building technologies (including structural, material and environmental concerns) that are appropriate for a small-medium scale building.
Evolving ethical frameworks and philosophy as a basis for decision making are cultivated through the careful analysis of context and its relationship to people. Students are asked to develop a self-reflective approach to architectural design and to document this as part of their personal learning experience. Students conduct structured guided learning to inform a design process across both projects, with opportunities provided for group working and peer-to-peer learning activities. From time-to-time, opportunities to interact with other construction professionals are also provided through structured, small group sessions.
The module seeks to enhance abilities in the use of visual, verbal and written communication methods and media to test, appraise and represent ideas and designs. Time is spent considering design methods, and students are encouraged to experiment with a varied range of approaches. This includes ways of translating issues of place and people into architectural form. Students also consider the reciprocal relationship between research and precedents, and the development of their own architectural language in response to this. This happens, mainly, through individual and/or small group design tutorials that are also supported by lectures and workshop activities. The students meet their design tutors on a weekly basis to discuss their project’s development. Design tutorials as the main feedback sessions and educational activities of the course are also enhanced by oral and portfolio reviews. Attendance to the tutorials, lectures, workshops and reviews is considered compulsory for the holistic development of the architectural profile of the students.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion28:0016:00Preparation of material for assessment submissions
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials160:308:00Improving design/research skills using resources outlined in project brief
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical57:0035:00Review days – presenting work and attending other peer’s reviews
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities184:0072:00Improving design/research skills using resources outlined in project brief
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities188:00144:00Conducting tasks described in project brief e.g. sketch journal, research into site contexts
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching152:0030:00Project related group teaching
Guided Independent StudyProject work1160:00160:00Developing design projects that respond to brief
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops121:0012:00Project related workshops
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity21:002:00Reflection on assessment feedback
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork24:008:00Project site visits
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study168:0068:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision20:301:00Review feedback sessions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time150:205:00Project related supervision / tutorials one-to-one
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk161:3024:00Project briefings – mixed synchronous (Q&A) and non-synchronous (briefings)
Guided Independent StudyDistance Learning Advance Preparation151:0015:00Preparation of work ahead of project related supervision / tutorials
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

PiP Hours: Present in person provision will be delivered at the programme level, via academic mentoring on assigned ‘PiP days’. (Architecture’s programme level PiP briefing note provides further detail.)

Synchronous v Non-synchronous Hours: While there is both synchronous and non-synchronous learning and teaching activity for all modules, across the programme the structured guided learning is weighted towards non-design modules and the scheduled learning and teaching activity hours are weighted towards Architectural Design modules. The latter is a reflection of a) design studio pedagogy, which is centred on a dialogic and responsive approach to students’ own research and creative work and b) student feedback and high student attendance at weekly online Architectural Design Stage briefings (module talks) during the period of lockdown teaching in Spring 2020.’ Architectural pedagogy is reliant on a high proportion of independent learning to support the design process. The MOF hours are consistent with this approach.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2A60Portfolio Review
Design/Creative proj1M40Portfolio review
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Formal assessment will take place at the end of each semester where the semester’s design work will be assessed holistically as a portfolio and given a final mark (%).
At certain points in each semester students will be given assessment grades at design reviews for individual projects (letter grade) indicating broad performance and ensuring individual and group performance can be discussed and reflected upon.
The assessment criteria for each project are based on the objectives and learning outcomes for that particular project, as outlined in the project briefs. For each design project this will entail:
•       the demonstration of a clear design process resulting in rigorous and imaginative design responses
•       the demonstration of a personal ethical framework that exhibits an appropriate response to multiple, relational contexts within a natural and/or built context.
•       the demonstration of an ability to shape space and form with experiential and tectonic understanding.
•       the demonstration of an understanding of construction design technology and it’s synthesis with the design process.
•       The demonstration of group and/or individual work skills.
Failure to submit the full portfolio will be considered as non-submission of the entire module.

Reading Lists