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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CIVE2860 Design Studio 2

20 creditsClass Size: 40

Module manager: Dr Yasar Awais

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

The standard qualifications (or equivalent) set by the School of Civil Engineering for entry to any of its JBM accredited UG programmes.

Module replaces

CIVE2850 - Architectural Engineering Design Studio 2

This module is not approved as a discovery module


Students will gain knowledge of the processes and practice of building design, including understanding, interpreting and critically evaluating a brief; researching, collating and evaluating background information including site and precedent studies; developing, refining and presenting design ideas for a specific proposal. The relationships between technology, fine art and building design are highlighted and explored through the design process.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students will be able to:
1. prepare and present building design projects of diverse scale, complexity, and type in a variety of contexts, using a range of media, and in response to a brief; GC1.1.
2. develop a conceptual and critical approach to architectural design that integrates and satisfies the aesthetic aspects of a building and the technical requirements of its construction and the needs of the user; GC1.3
3. In addition, students will develop knowledge and understanding of:
4. the creative application of the fine arts and their relevance and impact on architecture; GC3.2
5. the creative application of such work to studio design projects, in terms of their conceptualisation and representation.GC3.3
6. the need to critically review precedents relevant to the function, organisation and technological strategy of design proposals;GC7.1
7. the need to appraise and prepare building briefs of diverse scales and types, to define client and user requirements and their appropriateness to site and context;GC7.2
8. understand the cost control mechanisms which operate during the development of a project; GC10.2
9. prepare designs that will meet building users’ requirements and comply with UK legislation, appropriate performance standards and health and safety requirements; GC10.3

Skills outcomes
Graphic presentation skills, hand drawing, CAD modelling, building information modelling (BIM) and physical modelling skills. Development of method statement, hazard identification and construction risk assessment.


This is an open ended, creative architectural design project of a relatively small building. Students are given an outline brief, typically for a single storey café building, on a given site location, typically within the university campus.

The project is a vehicle for students to develop and explore their design capability, but also a means for them to apply and demonstrate learning from other modules.

Students work in small groups to collect, analyse and present background information relating to the site context and building type precedents, drawing attention to site conditions, character and microclimate and providing an outline options analysis for possible site locations within the given area. Precedent studies cover a range of possible definitions and key features of cafes, using illustrative examples. These background studies form a shared resource from which individual researches are developed.

Students will develop their personal vision for a given project, including a bespoke brief, choice of location, design concept and detailed expression. Details of internal layout, choice of materials and finishes are presented as an integrated architectural design. As part of this, a structural design strategy is investigated including a typical foundation and provisions for stability and robustness, while building physics design issues are explored using a thermal balance calculation. Both of these are reliant on the development of building designs and sample construction details, in the process, demonstrating how these aspects of design are inextricably linked.

Students work towards producing a high quality drawn presentation, supported by an illustrated written report, physical models and sketchbook.

The module will include a number of lectures on ethical issues related to the themes of this module and overall programme of study.

Typical reading materials in support of this module include:
Ching, F. (1975 on). Architectural Graphics. Wiley.
Ching, F. (2007). Architecture – Form, Space and Order (3rd edition) Wiley.
Addis, W. (1994). The Art of the Structural Engineer. Artemis, London.
Gordon, J. E. (2003). Structures or why things don’t fall down. De capo Press.
Hilson, B. O. (1994). Basic structural behaviour. Understanding structures from models. London: Thomas Telford Limited.
Chudley, R. and Greeno, R. (2016). Building construction handbook (11th Edition). Routledge.
Emmitt, S. and Barry, R. (2010). Barry's introduction to construction of buildings. Oxford, Wiley-Blackwell.
Szokolay, S. V. (2010). Introduction to architectural science. The basis of sustainable design (2nd edition). Oxford: Architectural Press, Elsevier. McLeod, V. (2007). Detail in Contemporary Residential Architecture. Laurence King.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours170.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Individual and group research for background studies, including: informal site surveys, precedent gathering from online, journal or book sources. Group and individual collation, analysis and critical evaluation of information. Group and individual development of creative design ideas, presentation materials.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Through the weekly tutorials process.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
PresentationBackground study - individual presentation20.00
ProjectIndividual Project80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit 100% Individual Project

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:52:55


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