module specification

DN4015A - Spatial Design Development (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23, but may be subject to modification
Module title Spatial Design Development
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 150
84 hours Guided independent study
66 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Project work
Running in 2022/23

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

Module summary

This module introduces students to the ‘spatial journey’, a critical term used throughout the subject field of interior design.

This module encourages students to explore and manipulate the spatial qualities of interiors by applying design principles relating to, for example, the rhythm, pattern and differentiation of architectural and environmental features in their contexts, which are often termed the spatial journey throughout the interiors industry.

It considers human responses, both ergonomic and anthropometric, to commercial and/or community spaces and environments, and the specific impact of these spaces on people. Students will observe the physical and emotional values of space and learn how to relate space to its purpose. Examples of real spatial environments will be surveyed and documented, using industry standard recording and publishing techniques and tools.

Students will develop and present proposals relating to a spatial journey, exploring ways to manipulate spatial choices and realising ideas visually through drawings, models and visualisation techniques. They will be introduced to sector-specific traditional design modelling techniques. The module will be delivered through the design studio, normally including a range of exercises within teams and as individuals and through an approach that supports the generation and development of design proposals.

Prior learning requirements

Co-requisites: this module is part of a study abroad programme not available to home students. Only to be taken together with DN4008A, DN4009A and CP4015A.


Through the design studio and set projects, students will develop knowledge and experience of:
• Methods for the survey and recording of spatial environments practised in site-specific team work
• Techniques for the critical evaluation of human behaviour in relation to spatial characteristics of built environments
• Ergonomic, anthropometric and geometric principles of design
• Team Work
• Hand drawing techniques
• Site specific drawing,
• Perspective drawing techniques
• Orthographic drawing 
• Recording, formatting images and sketches, and 3D modelling in traditional media

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.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module, students will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding
LO1 survey, analyse, record and present, to scale and in detail, a spatial environment, with reference to traditional industry conventions;

Cognitive Intellectual Skills
LO2 explore selected human-centred design techniques in relation to the context of the spatial environment and the effect and impact it has on its users with consideration to the ergonomic, anthropometric and inclusive design factors;

Transferable Skills
LO3 work effectively as part of a design team, jointly addressing a studio project brief, identifying roles and responsibilities aligned with the project requirements;

Subject Specific Practical Skills
LO4 hand draw, develop, and present basic proposals for spatial environments using 2D and 3D modelling and visualisation techniques, showing understanding of key principles of scale, proportion and geometry.

Assessment strategy

At end of project reviews, students are expected to produce a coherent visual presentation of their project development and proposals, together with individual evaluation of relative successes and failures, and communicate and debate this with others.

This module will formatively assess individual or team generated environmental diagnostic surveys and visual presentation of proposals in the initial phase of the module. The satisfactory completion of relevant technical workshop, studio or computer suite activities, and continuing independent practice (and associated health and safety procedures) will be monitored.

All students are required to undertake formal interim presentations with evidence of continuous reflective journals responding to studio critique and tutorial guidance. Work presented will be subject to formal studio feedback. This will inform final assessment marks and must be considered and acted upon by the student.

The final mark is determined at the end of the module, following summative assessment of a portfolio comprising (according the requirements of the brief), a comprehensive site and environmental report, sketchbooks, sketch models and a reflective report, project development work and its presentation. Precise requirements will be given in project documentation.

Work must be carefully organised and presented to indicate the development of work and the content clearly labelled. Students must attend timetabled studio and workshop sessions.


Adobe Photoshop tutorials: < &>

Bachelard, G. (2014) The Poetics of Space, Penguin Classics
Buxton, P. (Ed) (2015) Metric Handbook Planning and Design Data, Routledge
Metric Handbook : Planning and Design Data, edited by Pamela Buxton, Routledge, 2015. ProQuest Ebook Central,

Ching, F. (2007) Architecture: Form, Space and Order, John Wiley and Sons
Ching, F. (2007) Architecture: Form, Space and Order, John Wiley and Sons

Ching, F.D.K. & Binggelli, C. (2012) Interior Design Illustrated, John Wiley & Sons
Ching, Francis D. K.;Binggeli, Corky. 2012., Interior Design Illustrated. [online]. Wiley. Available from:<> 5 April 2018

ELAM, K. (2011). Geometry of design: studies in proportion and composition. New York, Princeton Architectural Press
Erwine, B. (2016) Creating Sensory Spaces, The Architecture of the Invisible, Rouledge

PANERO, J., & ZELNIK, M. (2005). Human dimensions & [and] interior space: a source book of design reference standards. New York, Whitney Library of Design.

Ronin, G. (2010) Drawing for Interior Designers, A& C Black Publishers
Tanizaki, J. (2001) In Praise of Shadows Vintage Classics
TANIZAKI, J. (2001). In praise of shadows. London, Vintage.