APL2001 : Alternative Practice: Theories and Practices

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To critically explore, and gain knowledge and understanding of, theories underpinning alternative practices in architecture and planning.
To critique mainstream approaches to professional practice in the built environment.
To test theories of alternative practice in relation to ‘real world’ case studies.
To encourage the student to articulate a position in relation to the theoretical contexts of alternative practice in architecture and planning.

Outline Of Syllabus

Review of critical theories pertaining to architecture and planning, to include: Marxist and neo-Marxist approaches (for example, Harvey), Social Constructionist approaches (Bourdieu), Poststructuralist approaches (for example Foucault; Derrida), theories of democracy and their application (for example, participatory design, collaborative planning and community architecture), alternatives to market-centred interventions- mutualism, co-operatives etc.; professionalism and anti-professionalism (for example, Jacobs, Till); and ideas of rights, including rights to the city. Each theme will be illustrated with case study approaches from practice.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture202:0040:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1100:00100:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching162:0032:00Seminar
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study128:0028:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide the structure for student guided learning through reading and essay preparation to develop a more detailed knowledge and understanding of theories of alternative practice and their application in ‘real world’ case studies. Seminars will give an opportunity for student-led group presentations, developing and reinforcing the lecture material, giving students the chance to critically explore and test issues and ethical questions for themselves.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M752500 words
Prof skill assessmnt1M20Group Presentation
Written exercise1M5Group work - 3 forms
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Designed to test the students’ ability to assemble and synthesise appropriate information to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of alternative practices in architecture and planning. The group presentation component encourages students to critically explore, test and articulate their own ethical position. The group work dossier attached to the group presentation component also tests the students’ abilities to work in groups.

Reading Lists