module specification

AR4002 - Design Project 1.2 (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Design Project 1.2
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 300
180 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
120 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Portfolio
Attendance Requirement 0%   Attendance
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Monday Afternoon
Year City Thursday Morning
Year City Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

This module introduces the scope and scale of architecture and interior architecture through design projects, culminating in a well-resolved small building design, small-scale adaptation of an existing building or a well resolved interior project. It emphasizes the critical understanding of contextand introduces methods of observation, analysis and interpretation of conditions affecting the project. It demonstrates how a creative engagement with these conditions informs and assists the design process. The module develops via a sequence of relatively simple projects, each of which, or component of which, focuses on a specific set of relationships. Together these projects introduce the student to the different and inter-related issues and inputs affecting the architectural design. These include the relationships between architectural design and its physical setting, a client’s brief and the needs of users, its cultural context and the natural environment, itsspatial strategy and methods of construction.

The module design process is expansive and exploratory, and emphasizes the creative and imaginative thinking involved.  Students learn how to retrieve information and research project ideas as well as develop and present their ideas using the range of techniques developed in AR4001. It developes an understanding how an architectural or interior project is defined through wide reference to historical and current practice and practice in related disciplines in including art, interior design, planning, urban design and engineering.

Module aims

The module enables students to produce imaginative, appropriate and competent design proposals in response to a variety of sites, briefs,cultural and technological issues. It familiarises students with design processes that include the analysis and interpretation ofdifferent situations, the development of a brief, the uses of precedent studies, strategies for designing spatial, material and programmatic ideas. The module supports the ability of students to see and reflect onhow their design proposals are beginning to develop into fully-fledged architectural or interior projects, and the kinds of work and thinking involved in taking their ideas further. The module aims to develop the student’s confidence and ability through presenting, evaluating and reworking ideas in response to review and feedback. Students should be able to work with and appreciate the strengths and values inherent in a socially framed and socially oriented profession. 


Students study within a Year groupthat provides the project framework, the overall context and a supportive environment.  Within this context students are expected to work with some independence in generating their detailed projects and developing their architectural or interior designs. The project work is structured by written briefs that areparticular to the aims and ambitions of the Year whilst fulfilling the aims and learning outcomes of the module.

The syllabus examines the initial stages of the design process through investigative and interpretative techniques and explorations.  Students are set 'real-life' situations to analyse and respond to and a variety of exercises to support them in moving from engaging with specific material and social conditions to a design brief.The module includesseveral design proposals culminating in a small building project,a small-scale adaptation of an existing building or a well resolved interior project. The briefs for the design proposals including writing a simple brief and are strongly related to their sites and contexts. Students analyze and explore the potential of a location or framework of ideas in the development of a strategic and conceptual approach to design that can be tested spatially, materially and environmentally.

Indicative schedule:
• Weeks 1- 7 Initial skilling project
• Week 8 field trip led by design team or CCS team
• Weeks 9-10 presentation of Initial project and making workshop
• Week 11 formative portfolio feedback 
• Weeks 12-18 context related project
• Week 19 formative review with feedback
• Weeks 20-25 finalizing project
• Week 26 portfolio submission and formative feedback in academic conversation
• Weeks27-30 final model preparation and photographic studio

Learning and teaching

The teaching and learning in this module takes place within a year group. The teaching and learning strategy is iterative and discursive.  Architectural projects are inherently complex and multi-dimensional in the kinds of knowledge, understanding and skills they require for their resolution. Students are assisted in developing fluency, confidence and competence through doing projects that repeat some aspects whilst introducing others.  The module is introduced through short workshops projects that address specific relationships and progress to a larger more synthetic project by the end of the module. 

The projects themselves are taught through a wide variety of means.  These include:

• site visits and field work;
• meetings with clients, consultants or users;
• visits (real and virtual) to related or more generally relevant events, buildings, exhibitions;
• lectures, talks and seminars on project related issues;
• group work doing surveys or modelling contexts;
• class presentations, peer review, public reviews or ‘crits’, and tutor feedback;
• project and portfolio tutorials.

Students are required to develop their project work as part of their self-directed studies.  Reflective learning is built into the basic structure of the module.  It occurs during the process of design as well as when the project is complete; it is formally exercised in the several pin-ups and presentations that review the progress and development of projects.

The course is supported by online resources that encourage integrated learning. These include reference material and a wide range of project related links. 

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of different ways of thinking in design through applying logic, imagination, innovative and lateral thinking skills in analyzing situations and solving problems;
2. Construct a simple brief, interpret briefs and identify key constituents and conditions to be met;
3. Develop simple design strategies and produce imaginative, appropriate and competent design proposals in response to a variety of briefs that satisfy social, cultural, aesthetic, technological and environmental needs;
4. Showthe application of skill, care and imagination in the design of inhabitable space;
5. Make coherent presentations of design projects in reviews, orally and in portfolio using a range of appropriate and effective media and techniques and combining competent scale drawings and models with qualitative techniques;
6. Show evidence of self-motivation, reflection and critical thinking, and demonstrate qualities of curiosity and engagement, and a creative and responsible approach.

Assessment strategy

The module is assessed as a whole in portfolio at the end of the academic year. 

The assessment criteria are based on how well the student has fulfilled the learning objectives.

The portfolio will normally include sets of drawings and models at a variety of scales appropriate to the projects they illustrate. The final version of the project in each case should be coherent, legible and annotated, clearly demonstrating how it has addressed the needs of the project brief.  Modes of documentation may include: drawings; photographic material; multi-media material; quantitative data; qualitative data; 3D models, web-based material and prototypes. In the portfolio, all three-dimensional work must appear in two-dimensional format as photographs and drawings. The development work should also be included in the portfolio to show how the building projects have progressed, their source and reference material, ideas and experiments. The portfolio must be carefully edited and organised and the content clearly labelled.

Students are expected to attend all taught sessions. Attendance will be reviewed as part of the assessment process and a mark of either satisfactory or non-satisfactory will be awarded.

The portfolio will normally include 2D and/or 3D presentations of all the set projects. 

The projects will be evaluated against how well they have met the project briefs.  These will involve a range of assessment criteria including spatial, material, social and environmental requirements.  The Portfolio will also be evaluated in terms of its sequence of projects and their development and how well they demonstrate an effective learning process, including responses to feedback.


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