KA6002 - Architectural Design

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What will I learn on this module?

This module requires you to synthesize and apply your creative design skills and accumulated knowledge to systematically develop, test and propose solutions for complex architectural projects. Set projects will propose a range and mix of contexts and typologies, requiring you to propose meaningful architectural propositions through the critical investigation and evaluation of context, narrative and an attitude towards abstract ideas and concepts. Your design process will address authentic complexity and demonstrate an understanding and application of technology and environmental requirements. You will work in a variety of graphical and modelling 2D and 3D media to develop and communicate architectural solutions, and you will be communicate your proposals by means of a summative exhibition to demonstrate skills of communications, editing, story-telling and self-management. Your inquiries and activities will include:

- Comprehensive site analysis (environmental historical, cultural , social, political, geographical, etc.)
- Comprehensive brief analysis (data collection, selection of themes, precedent analysis, functional requirements)
- Concept development, modelling, testing and evaluation
- Analytical diagramming (parti, massing, geometry, proportion, adjacencies, etc.)
- Design development, planning and evaluation
- Technological, structural and material choices
- Environmental tempering and sustainability strategies
- Communication of process and outputs
- Self-directed inquiry and self-managed scholarship

How will I learn on this module?

The module will be supported by individual and group studio based tutorials. Additional workshops will be provided for key skills and knowledge. Comprehensive project briefs and guidance sheets will introduce and structure the design projects, proving you with inherent flexibility in approaches to the design process. Studio focused lectures, including content in technology, history and management modules, will support and expand upon inherent themes and ideas in your project development. Your independent learning and inquiries will be supported through the critical evaluation of design precedents, reflecting upon design process and time management, and by a range of peer and individual feedback mechanisms.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported with weekly guidance during tutorials, where you will discuss the development of your ideas and solutions to the design projects and agree strategies for achieving your design intent. You will benefit from regular progress reviews as formative assessment on an individual and group basis, and you are encouraged to participate in discussions about your work, your development and that of your peers. Feedback on formative and summative assignments will be offered in verbal, written and drawn form which will provide advice for further development and a critical appraisal of your work and performance. Directed learning will allow you to research issues raised in tutorials, and independent learning and self-directed inquiry will allow you to investigate you own themes, ideas and clarify and focus your intent. All project material will be available on the eLearning Portal (ELP) so that you can access information when you need to and we operate an open door policy to help support student learning when it is needed most. The university library offers support for all students through its catalogue and an Ask4Help Online service.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

KU 1. Evidence creativity through the application of an advanced understanding of architectural issues, precedents and concepts to respond to context and to generate a sense of place

KU 2. Conceptualise, analyse, synthesize and creatively apply all the aspects of Design, Technology and Management to the realisation of architectural proposals and project

KU 3. Evaluate and select appropriate, rigorous and scholarly design processes and methods for individual projects.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

IPSA 1. Evidence the application of academic attributes of motivation, inquiry, management, confidence and imagination in an enquiring, disciplined and diverse approach to problems and issues, through testing opportunities and evaluating constraints.

IPSA 2. Effectively communicate complex design intentions, concepts and proposals to a wide audience using professional oral, written, and manual and digital graphical communications.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

PVA 1. Develop and appraise professional and academic skills of research, communications, time-management and independent learning towards professional practice

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will take place during the weekly studio based tutorials, and at interim reviews to provide you with ongoing developmental guidance. Formative written feedback will be provided at these periodic reviews.

Summative Assessement is of the three assessed components:

1. Design project 1: KU1, KU2, KU3, IPSA1, IPSA3, PVA1

2. Design project 1: KU1, KU2, KU3, IPSA1, IPSA3, PVA1

3. Exhibition Communication: IPSA2, PVA1

Feedback will be offered in verbal, written and drawn form which will provide advice for further development and a critical appraisal of their work and performance. Component One and Component Two submissions will consist of design workbooks with supporting models and design development work. Component Three submission will be a curated exhibition consisting of presention boards and physical models.


Completion of level 5 modules



Module abstract

Within this module you will have the opportunity to create, test and apply the range of your knowledge, skills and research in the design of two complex design projects that simulate authentic practice. These projects and skills will inform the final assignment, a presentation your ideas and project realisations within a final year exhibition. You will articulate a detailed understanding of the relationship between the many aspects of context and locale, and your proposed solutions will evidence self-directed, imaginative and expressive responses to complex, site defined briefs, demonstrating an advanced appreciation of form, programme, technology, materiality and environment. You will be encouraged to articulate individual attitudes towards narrative and the manipulation of language, reference and form within a complex spatial programme whilst demonstrating authoritative technological design skills and environmental strategies. You will receive verbal, written and drawn feedback and assessment on your design project work in two ways; formatively within regular tutorials and at strategic stages to provide ongoing guidance and summatively at the end of each project to establish opportunity for reflection and independent learning. Skills of design communications and imaginative responses to authentic project briefs will be developed in order to facilitate your entry into the architectural profession or alternative employment.

Course info

UCAS Code K100

Credits 60

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with study abroad

Department Architecture and Built Environment

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020 or September 2021

Fee Information

Module Information

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