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ARC3015 : Theory into Practice

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Matthew Ozga-Lawn
  • Lecturer: Dr Edward Wainwright
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 5
Semester 2 Credit Value: 5
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To extend students' design vocabulary and analytical/critical skills.
To develop students' verbal/visual presentational skills.
To foster a reflective approach to architectural design and representation and students’ own developing practices.
To encourage critical engagement with architecture as a design-led discipline.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module comprises a series of lectures in the form of recorded conversations between the module leaders, and small-group seminars led by ‘critical friends’. The critical friends role is to develop the theoretical interests of the students so that they can better understand the context they are design within.

The lectures and seminars explore the theoretical parameters of design practice, particularly around issues of architectural design and representation, the role of taste cultures and critical doctrine as formative influences on design, as well as the methods and approaches that inform design as a creative discipline. These lectures and seminars are closely coordinated
with staff teaching in ARC3001 design graduation studios. The critical studies offer students the opportunity to engage with critical practice and discourse around their graduation studio project/s.

Students develop reflective essays drawing from these lectures and seminars to inform their thinking on their own developing practice.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture52:0010:00Delivered in person or online in recorded sessions.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion671:0067:00Independent Study developing reflective essay.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture60:303:00Module Talks outlining module content. Delivered synchronously online.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading34:0012:00Reading preparation for seminars.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching31:003:00Seminars – three per student in studio groups.
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion40:302:00Non-synchronous online discussion forum for module Q&A with Module Leaders.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00Essay-writing ‘drop-in’ sessions with staff, either in-person or online.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module is structured so as to engage students in activities that will impact directly on the development of their design, presentation and critical abilities. To highlight this symbiotic relationship between design and theory/ criticism the module is linked to the design module ARC3001. For this module students are expected to write an illustrated critical appraisal and assessment of their own developing practice.

Lectures will take the form of 2-hour conversations delivered in person where possible, or else involving a hybrid in-person/remote element where one contributor is located elsewhere.

Seminars will be led by Critical Friends, and take place remotely via Zoom/Teams. Seminar groups will be 8-10 students and will last 1 hour. Critical Friends are assigned by the Module Leaders at the start of the academic year, and relate to the ARC3001 design studio staff. They are drawn from a pool of potential contributors across SAPL.

Students are expected to synthesise what they have learnt through the module and use it to explore and unpack their own design practices, reflecting on the methods they use, and their critical and theoretical interests.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M100Individual 1500-word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Individual student performance is assessed by means of one short (1500 word) illustrated essay which reflects on
their design studio work undertaken in the ARC3001 module. The essay should unpack the representational
techniques employed by the student, exploring their practice within the defined pedagogy of the studio they are
working within. Students should demonstrate an awareness of the various meanings and codes attached to
architectural representation and be able to situate their own work within a wider, ongoing series of practices.
Criteria for assessment are each student’s:
• Ability to carry out independent research into architectural representation and the principles and theories that
underpin it.
• Understanding of the principal design concept(s) underpinning their chosen architectural designs and the way they
are represented.
• Ability to analyse the relative success of their architectural solutions in terms of the cultural factors that influenced
the project.
• Ability to relate the selected project to the context of current architectural debate, and to their own personal design
• Skill in communicating ideas and conclusions, succinctly, by means of appropriate media.

Reading Lists