module specification

AR5002 - Design Project 2.2 (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Design Project 2.2
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 300
156 hours Guided independent study
144 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Portfolio
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Friday Afternoon
Year City Friday Morning

Module summary

The aims of Design Project 2.2 are to focus on the process of designing two or more building projects. It builds on the skills, knowledge and critical reflection of its co-requisite AR5001 Design Skills, anticipating a higher level of spatial and material resolution. The module develops your skills in the integration of structural, material, environmental and experiential strategies that are tested through the resolution of the design projects.

The module fosters the development of a personal position and working methods as part of the attributes required by a designer. Through this module you will learn to articulate explanations of proposals, be able to discuss your ethical and professional considerations, present your case for specific social and environmental strategies, demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between building technologies and the execution of your design. 

The design process continues to be expansive and exploratory and emphasizes the creative and imaginative thinking involved. The projects are presented through drawings, models and prototypes using a range of media. You will be involved in the primary research associated with your project(s) and will work in groups as well as independently. You will cultivate a shared understanding of the project contexts and the briefs enabling you to work collaboratively and share tasks, review each other’s work, and enrich your own ideas.

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 the complex territory of architectural design and gives you more opportunity to determine the variables and develop coherent proposals. The process is controlled through setting projects at different scales and levels of complexity. You will learn to interpret contexts and briefs that are ambiguous, full of uncertainty and often unfamiliar. You will 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.

The aims of the module are to teach skills pertaining to Health and Life Safety; Ethical and Professional Practice; Structure, Construction and Resources; and Design Processes and Communication (‘themes and values’ from Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA): ‘The Way Ahead’ 2021) appropriate to Level 5. The module also aims to provide a practical framework through which you can address the academic discipline of architecture as outlined in the RIBA document ‘The Way Ahead, Education Themes and Values’ 2021 as well as ‘Guidance Notes to Institutions’ issued by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) in 2021.

Prior learning requirements

Pre-Requisite: AR4002 or equivalent.

Co-Requisite: AR5001.

Available for Study Abroad: NO.


You will study Design Project 2.2 within a design studio that provides the project framework and a supportive working environment. Within this context you are expected to work with some independence in generating detailed projects and developing your 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 (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO5).

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. You will 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 (LO2, LO3, LO4).

Project 1 introduces you to the studio culture including its teaching pedagogy, associated methods of design and studio themes. The first project(s) explore the setting, its social, environmental, and tectonic concerns. These are articulated through a small building project, which builds on the Skills and Representation element of Design Skills 2.1 (LO1 – 5).

Project 2 introduces you to a more complex challenge which anticipates an integrated approach to design and representation. It will allow you to explicitly develop the methods of previous learning, exploring the synthesis of spatial, technical, environmental, material, structural and constructional strategies, in relation to its users (LO1 – 5).

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching on Design Project 2.2 ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. You are expected to, and can, continue with your 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 and assessment tasks, its contents and delivery, are regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive approach not only to pedagogic practice and appropriateness to the profession.

In-class activity makes use of varied student-centred approaches such as active, flipped and blended learning, so that a range of learning strategies is deployed, and individual learning styles are accommodated. Information is provided through a range of means and sources to minimise and remove barriers to successful progress through the module. The course team seeks to embed the University’s Education for Social Justice Framework in fostering learning that is enjoyable, accessible, relevant and that takes account of the social and cultural context and capital of its students.

Activities foster peer-to-peer community building and support for learning. Reflective learning is promoted through interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, receive 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 written reflections on progress and achievement.

The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-based learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal and career 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.

Learning outcomes

On satisfactory completion of Design Project 2.2, a number of Learning Outcomes (LOs) will have been addressed.

You will:

1. Interpret project briefs, research precedents and develop design strategies that respond to the client, users, social, cultural and environmental context;

2. Demonstrate skill, care, imagination and design ability in spatial planning, the articulation of scale and the use of materials in the resolution of projects;

3. 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;

4. Design, evaluate and present building projects that synthesise technical, environmental, material, structural and constructional strategies;

5. Present projects and communicate their design strategies using a range of appropriate techniques.

Assessment strategy

Assessment items will be based on:

• Portfolio (Component 1, 100%). The Design Project Portfolio’ usually comprises two or more distinct projects. The aim of the portfolio is to develop tectonically complex projects enabled by the ‘Skills and Representation’ techniques of ‘Design 2.1’. The portfolio typically includes a complete set of design drawings required by the specific studio project briefs at a variety of scales and including digital and material models of the projects, indicated in the module learning outcomes. 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-media work should be recorded in graphic form and explained to a standard suitable for assessment purposes. The portfolio is required to show key stages in the development of the work, both material and conceptual, demonstrating an effective learning process and evaluated in terms of range, depth, invention, creativity, and originality as well as standards of accuracy and skills of execution.

The final assessment of work is carried out in portfolios (with indicative grades issued during the program) reviewed at the end of the autumn semester (portfolio review) and assessed at the end of spring semester (portfolio assessment). Written formative feedback is given through Weblearn following the portfolio review and summative feedback following portfolio assessment.

The portfolio must be appropriately ordered, edited, and presented to demonstrate the learning process, acquisition of skills and design proposals made. All three dimensional or dynamic work must be graphically presented, through photographs or other records. Work must be titled and accompanied by short explanatory notes.

Students are expected to attend all taught sessions of Design Skills 1.1. A professional approach to your studies, which includes both attending regularly or informing staff if you are unable to attend, will be reviewed as part of the assessment process.