module specification

AR6002 - Design Project Resolution 3.2: Comprehensive Design Project (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Design Project Resolution 3.2: Comprehensive Design Project
Module level Honours (06)
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 Friday Morning
Year City Friday Afternoon
Year City Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

As the culmination of the design studies within the BA (Hons) Architecture course the module allows the student to excel in employing their design ability. Deriving from the studio programme, the final project will communicate an appropriate level of ambition, complexity and coherence in its design resolution. The creative dialogue with other areas of architectural knowledge informed by and informing the strategic and detailed design development will extend the understanding of the project and demonstrate the qualities of the proposal.

The module uses the research and brief making in the Design Project Development module and emphasizes the detailed resolution and critical assessment of a complex architectural design. It runs in conjunction with the Technology 3, Integrated Design Audit module that requires specific and highly detailed appraisal of its cultural, professional, technical and environmental issues.

Prior learning requirements

AR5002 DESIGN Project 2.2

Module aims

The module is the final design project of the BA(Hons) Architecture course and gives students the opportunity to deploy the understanding, knowledge and abilities they have developed throughout the course in the making of an ambitious and well resolved architecturaldesign.It aims to allow the student to demonstrate their ability as an architectural designer: their capacity to define and analyze architectural problems, generate briefs and proposals, integrate knowledge derived from different fields and sources, produce socially relevant inhabitable spaces, enrich rather than deplete the built and natural environment, and design technically competent buildings of aesthetic quality.


Students study within a design studio that provides the project framework, overall context.  Within this context students are expected to work with a greater level of independence in generating their detailed syllabus and developing their final architectural design.

The module focuses on the design of a complex building. This may be weighted towards a strategic scale, as found in urban design, or a more detailed scale as appropriate to a technologically focused design.

Indicative schedule:
• Weeks 1- 7 research build up for project
• Week 8 field trip week, studio field trip agenda
• Week 9 preparing for review
• Week 10 formative portfolio review
• Weeks 11-14 finalizing proposal
• Week 15 formative portfolio feedback
• Weeks 16-26 finalizing building proposal
• Week 27 formative portfolio feedback session in studio
• Weeks 28-30 preparation for final portfolio presentation

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 outlines rather than determines ¬what kind of project the student will undertake.  The Studio programme sets out introductory and/or component projects and frames the different stages and tasks involved in the design of the project/s. The same pattern of studio based teaching and learning continues from the previous level of study but with more emphasis on tutorial feedback. Students at this level are expected to be more pro-active and responsible in their decisions they take and the work they produce, whether analysing the context, developing their brief and proposals, organising their work schedule, meeting deadlines and presenting their work.

Together with the Design Project Development 3.1, 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.

The major project marks an important stage in the ability of the student to undertake self-directed study and use the opportunities for reflective learning embedded in the reviews and presentations that characterise studio work.

The module is supported by online 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. Make judgments as to the appropriate scale and complexity of an intervention within a given context;
2. Construct a well resolved architectural design that is explicit about how it may be realized technically, politically, economically, and integrates a knowledge, understanding and ability of design in terms of environment and sustainability, construction, materials and structures, cultural context and management, practice and law;
3. Propose a coherent architectural design that navigates an ethical route through environmental, cultural or economic issues;
4. Present and communicate a complex architectural design efficiently to lay and professional audiences;
5. Manage personal time and resources constructively, effectively and in response to tasks, colleagues and feedback;
6. Evaluate their Personal Development Plan in relation to their academic portfolio and the prospect of Professional Practice.

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 drawings at a variety of scales appropriate to demonstrating the breadth of their design decisions, digital and material models of the project. 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.

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


The specific bibliography is studio and project related. These titles are indicative.
Journals and e-magazines

Andrea Deplazes, Constructing Architecture: Materials, Processes, Structures; a Handbook

James Steele, An Architecture for People: Complete Works of Hassan Fathy

James Steele, The Complete Architecture of BalkrishnaDoshi: Rethinking Modernisms for the Developing World

Peter Zumthor, Thinking Architecture

Ballard Bell, Materials for Architectural Design

Bolles-Wilson, J+P Bolles+Wilson: A Handful of Productive Paradigms

Charles Correa, Housing and Urbanisation: Building Ideas for People and Cities

Mendes Da Rocha, Paulo Mendes da Rocha

JornUtzon, JornUtzon Logbook: Additive Architecture