module specification

AR5002 - Design Project 2.2 (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Design Project 2.2
Module level Intermediate (05)
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 Tuesday Afternoon
Year City Friday Morning

Module summary

This module focuses on the process of designing two or more building projects. This is done through to the introduction of more complex criteria, than at the previous level, and anticipates a higher level of spatial and material resolution.  The module develops skills in the integration of structural, material, environmental and experiential strategies that are tested through the resolution of the design projects. Students are expected to offer articulate explanations of their proposals, be able to discuss their ethical and professional considerations, present their case for specific social and environmental strategies, demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between building technologies and the execution of their design. 

Students learn to develop and present their building designs using the range of techniques developed in Design Skills 2.1. The design process continues to be expansive and exploratory, and emphasizes the creative and imaginative thinking involved.  Students are involved in the primary research associated with their project/s and work in groups as well as independently.  They cultivate a shared understanding of the project contexts and their briefs enabling them to work collaboratively and share tasks, review each other’s work, and enrich their own ideas.

The module fosters the development of a personal position and working methods as part of the attributes required by a designer.  The projects are presented through drawings, models and prototypes using a range of media.

Prior learning requirements

AR4002 DESIGN Project 1.2

Module aims

The aim of this module is to rehearse the production of architectural projects in preparation for the comprehensive project undertaken in the final year.  It opens up the complex territory of architectural design and gives the student more opportunity to determine the variables and develop coherent proposals. The process is controlled through setting projects at different scales and levels of complexity. Students learn to interpret contexts and briefs that are ambiguous, full of uncertainty and often unfamiliar.  They work towards producing coherent building designs that respond to their site and context whilst becoming more capable of testing and evaluating their potential impact on the users and the cultural and natural environment.  


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

The module focuses on the design of two or more building projects that range in scale, scope and complexity. The briefs for the projects 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 project set by studios
• Week 8 field trip week, studio field trip agenda
• Weeks 9-10 portfolio work
• Week 11 formative portfolio feedback
• Weeks12-17 context related project work
• Week 18 formative feedback review
• Weeks 19-25 finalise building project presentation
• Week 26 academic portfolio conversation
• Weeks 27-30 finalising portfolio
• Week 30 portfolio submission

Learning and teaching

The teaching and learning strategy is to offer a supportive, creative and critical environment for guided individual and group work.  Students are given a choice of Studio, each of which offers a specific project framework. The Studios are vertical and combine Level 5 and Level 6 students.  They run for the whole year and act as research and development hubs processing diverse fields of knowledge and modes of understanding. They promote strategic collaborative studies as well as foster independent work. 

In this module the Studio programme directs ¬what kind of project the student will undertake.  The Studio programme sets out sequence of projects and frames the different stages and tasks involved in their design. This determines what kind of projects they will undertake, their context and location, and the requirements of their specific briefs.

Together with the Design Skills 2.1, this module is introduced through projects and short workshops that address specific relationships, field work, context and brief development.  The design modules are taught through a wide variety of means. These include:

• site visits and field work;
• meetings with clients, consultants or users;
• reference to primary and secondary sources of material;
• visits (real and virtual) to related or more generally relevant events, buildings, exhibitions;
• talks and seminars on project related issues including forms of representation;
• workshops on group working and managements techniques;
• individual or group and collaborative work doing surveys, modelling contexts, developing project parameters;
• individual or group work developing a design scheme through tutorials, seminars, participatory processes;
• direct action, crits and class presentations on work in progress involving peers, tutors, subject specialists or client representatives;
• 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 projects.

The course is supported by on line resources that encourage integrated learning. These include reference material and a wide range of project related links including shared links with the Fine Art, Media and Design schools.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Interpret project briefs, research precedents and develop design strategies that respond to the client, users, social, cultural and environmental context;
2. Produce thoughtful and well-tested design proposals that create inhabitable spaces, integrate cultural and technical demands, respond to the needs of users and environmental concerns;
3. Demonstrate skill, care, imagination and design ability in spatial planning, the articulation of scale and the use of materials in the resolution of projects;
4. Design, evaluate and present building projects that synthesizetechnical, environmental, material, structural and constructional strategies;
5. Present projects and communicate their design strategies using a range of appropriate techniques.

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 outcomes.

The portfolio will normally include a complete set of design drawings at a variety of scales and including digital and material models of the projects. Modes of documentation may include: drawings; photographic material; multi-media material; quantitative
data; qualitative data; 3D models, web-based material and prototypes. All 3D, direct action and multi-mediawork should be recorded in graphic form and explained to a standard suitable for assessment purposes.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.

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.


Bibliography will be also studio related, more specific reading lists will be given out by the tutors
Journals and e-magazines


Dal Co, F., 1986. Carlo Scarpa: The Complete Works, Milan : London: Electa ; Architectural Press.
Dean, A.O. & Auburn, U., 2002. Rural Studio: Samuel Mockbee and an Architecture of Decency, New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
Egashira, S., 2006. Before Object, After Image: Koshirakura Landscape, 1996-2006, London: Architectural Association.
Ito, T., Worrall, J. & Fujimoto, S., 2009. Special issue. Sou Fujimoto. 2 G, no. 50(2), pp.4-143.
Joy, R., 2002. Rick Joy: The Desert Works, New York : Abingdon: Princeton Architectural ; Marston.
Kuma, K., 2004. Materials, Structures, Details, Birkhauser.
Mayne, T., 1999. Morphosis: Buildings and Projects 1993-1997, New York, N.Y. ; [Great Britain]: Rizzoli International.
Nahum, A., 2008. Jean Prouve - the poetics of the technical object. Blueprint, 264.
Norberg-Schulz, C., 1997. SverreFehn: Works, Projects, Writings, 1949-1996, New York: Monacelli Press.
Nordenson, G. ed., 2008. Seven Structural Engineers: The Felix Candela Lectures, New York ; London: Museum of Modern Art.
Pedreschi, R., 2000. EladioDieste, London: Thomas Telford.