module specification

AR4002 - Design Project 1.2 (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Design Project 1.2
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 300
138 hours Guided independent study
162 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Portfolio- A portfolio of student-produced work addressing the tasks and criteria as set in the assessment brief
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year (Spring and Summer) City Monday Morning
Year (Spring and Summer) City Monday Afternoon
Year (Spring and Summer) City Thursday Morning
Year (Spring and Summer) City Thursday Afternoon
Year City Monday Morning
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 context and 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, its spatial 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 develops 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.

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 of different 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 on how 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.

Prior learning requirements

AR4001 (co-requistite)


Students study within a Year group that 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 are particular 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 includes several 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 analyse 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:

The detailed syllabus is project based and varies from year to year.  The following programme is indicative:

• Weeks 1-5 Initial skilling project
• Weeks 6-11 Workshop based making project  LO: 1,2
• Week 12-14 Case study / AAD organised competition  LO: 1,2,3,4
• Week 15 field trip led by design team or CCS team  LO: 1,2,3,4
• Week 16 formative portfolio feedback  LO: 5
• Weeks 16-28 context related major project  LO: 1-6
• Week 28 main portfolio submission and formative feedback
• Weeks 28 final model preparation and photographic studio  LO: 1-6
• Weeks 29 exhibition preparation

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. Students are expected to, and have the opportunity to, continue with their studies outside of scheduled classes. There will be a range of learning strategies deployed and individual learning styles will be accommodated. The module’s learning outcomes, its contents and delivery, have been scrutinised and will be regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive approach to pedagogic practice.

The module and course utilise the University’s blended learning platform to support and reinforce learning, to foster peer-to-peer communication and to facilitate tutorial support for students. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment items and interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development. Throughout the module, students build a body of work, including reflections on progress and achievement.

The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-related learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, as they progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.

Material specific to the studio teaching including talks and brief information is available on Weblearn.

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 analysing 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. show the 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, 3D work 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.
The portfolio will normally include 2D and/or 3D presentations of all the set projects.
The projects will be evaluated against how well the student has 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.

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. Satisfactory attendance means that a student has attended over 60% of taught sessions.


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