KA6044 - Design Project 1: Experimentation

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will develop and demonstrate the ability critically to appraise, understand the nature of, and develop design briefs. You will develop your creativity and criticality in assessment of the complexities of the project’s cultural and social context; and propose and justify a design strategy. This module is designed to create spaces for meaningful ‘play’, to help you to embrace the ‘mess’ and ‘risk’ of practising as a fundamental part of the creative process, and to recognise, analyse and learn from the heuristic and happenstance as much as the preconceived. You will be facilitated to and engage with self-reflection in developing your approach to architectural design.

How will I learn on this module?

As a project-based module, primarily you will learn through doing; a cyclical process of intuition, reflection and iteration – that is, you will make, measure, learn, and change (…‘it’/ the artefact; the ‘situation’; yourself; etc.).
You will be supported through weekly tutorials with your design tutors, where you will receive verbal (and drawn) feedback and discuss the development of your contextual inquiry and responses, approaches and methods.
You will receive regular interim/ progress reviews and written formative feedback for the future development of your design project. You will write your own self-reflection following the reviews and you will be expected to participate in discussions with your peers regarding both your and their work.
You will be encouraged to utilise and contribute to peer-to-peer support and learning within the structures of year group cohort, in group work/ seminar groups, and in design studio.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Although it is intended that you will become an autonomous, self-motivated learner, this will be achieved within a supportive environment.

The studio tutor(s) are facilitators to your self-directed learning. Collectively the tutor(s) and MArch students in each ‘vertical studio’ form a community of practice, where knowledge is generated collaboratively and evolutionarily, working with and alongside peers from both year groups.

Written summative feedback will be provide advice for further development and appraisal of your work and performance in the module.

Project material will be available on the eLearning Portal (ELP) so that you can access information when you need to; we operate an open door policy to help support student learning when it is needed. The university library offers support for all students through its learning and teaching initiatives, and its 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. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the nature of, critically appraise, and develop design briefs to ensure that the design response is appropriate

KU 2. Demonstrate an understanding and application of the constraints within the discipline of architectural design through appropriate formal study of related theories, social and communal considerations, technologies, material properties, processes and legislative controls.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

IPSA 1. Evaluate, propose and use appropriate visual, verbal and written communication methods and appropriate media to represent the testing, analysis, critical appraisal and resolution of complex design problems.

IPSA 2. Exhibit the skills of independent learning and research to examine critically the full extent of the subject area; evaluate alternative approaches; and make appropriate proposals.

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

PVA 1. Articulate an awareness of, and critical perspective on, contemporary influences on design, through study of related theoretical, social, ethical, technical, environmental, and cultural issues of architecture, the arts, urban design and related disciplines.

How will I be assessed?

Formative feedback will be given within regular tutorials and at interim reviews to provide ongoing developmental guidance and reflection.

Summative assessment will take place at the end of the semester. Written feedback will be provided to aid future learning and study.

Project based activities reflect authentic practice and demand a portfolio output.

Summative assessment will be moderated.
Moderation of summative assessment at the end of the semester.





Module abstract

This project-based module is foundational to the March programme and in the transition to self-directed, post-graduate and professional, lifelong learning.
In this project-based module you will consider architectural design as a process of questioning and cultural production, which enables us to consider and discuss speculative changes to a specific condition or ‘situation’. Design is the means by which we can understand, speculate about and then enact change in the material world. Architecture is, arguably, unique in design disciplines in that it operates across scales, from landscape and the urban (perhaps even the global) to the smallest detail of one building.
Within the conceptual scaffolding provided by the studio, you will develop the subject and approach to your own, self-instigated design inquiry. Framed by the studio’s thematic, you will investigate the context, practices, and disciplines associated with contemporary architectural thought and application of sustainable environmental strategies. You will synthesise creative skills and experimentation to create a meaningful proposition responsive to a context, defined in its broadest sense.

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 2 years full-time

Department Architecture and Built Environment

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023 or September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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