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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CIVE3870 Design Studio 3.1

30 creditsClass Size: 40

Module manager: Dr May Newisar

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) 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

CIVE3850 - Architectural Engineering Design Studio 3.1 (Concept Design)

This module is not approved as a discovery module


Knowledge developed in this module includes appreciation and understanding of theoretical design concepts as applied to practical design consideration; further development of an understanding relating cultural and technological context to the built environment; a wider understanding of building types and precedent. There is also knowledge gained relating to statutory regulations including the processes of planning policy and building control, as well as a critical appraisal of structural, building physics and construction approaches.

Learning outcomes
This module will contribute to the students┬┐ ability to create architectural designs that satisfy both aesthetic and technical requirements.
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 application of appropriate theoretical concepts to studio design projects, demonstrating a reflective and critical approach; GC2.3
5. the influence of the design and development of cities, past and present on the contemporary built environment; GC4.2
6. current planning policy and development control legislation, including social, environmental and economic aspects, and the relevance of these to design development; GC4.3
7. the way in which buildings fit into their local context; GC5.3
8. the potential impact of building projects on existing and proposed communities; GC6.3
9. the need to critically review precedents relevant to the function, organisation and technological strategy of design proposals; GC7.1
10. 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
11. the investigation, critical appraisal and selection of alternative structural, constructional and material systems relevant to architectural design; GC8.1

Skills outcomes
Team working and collaboration in a creative context, individual graphic presentation skills, hand drawing, CAD modelling, building information modelling (BIM) and physical modelling skills. Site appraisal and precedent research skills.


This studio project explores urban design issues through creative building designs. It begins with a residential study visit to an historic European city, where investigative analyses of buildings and urban spaces are carried out in collaboration with a local university school of architecture. The study and design exercises are used as the basis for further design projects when the students return.

The subsequent design studio is organised around two projects, set in the study area. The design briefs are for two buildings, one which defines an urban space by defining an edge, and another being positioned within an urban space. The design study allows students to develop their understanding of the importance of the volumes between buildings in the urban environment in a practical way. Students prepare drawings, models, illustrated reports and sketchbooks of their investigations and conclusions.

The studio runs in parallel with Architectural History & Theory 3, which is concerned with the origins and development of urbanism. Knowledge from this module has direct relevance to the design studio.

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 for this module include:
The Architecture of the City, by Aldo Rossi
Studies in Tectonic Culture: The Poetics of Construction in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Architecture, by Kenneth Frampton
The Architecture of the Well-Tempered Environment, by Reyner Banham
Adapting climate and cities for climate change. A 21st century survival guide, by Sue Roaf, David Crichton, Fergus Nicol.
Towards a new architecture, by Le Corbusier.
The Metope and the Triglyph - Nine lectures on architecture, by Antonio Monestiroli, Amsterdam, SUN publishers, 2005.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group learning22.004.00
Private study hours272.00
Total Contact hours28.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

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 evalulation of information. Group and individual development of creative design ideas, presentation materials.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Through regular small group tutorial sessions, interim review with staff and peers.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportDesign Project100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Study trip report (drawings, sketches, written analysis) 20% Design project 1 (drawings, physical models, illustrated design report) 40% Design project 2 (drawings, physical models, illustrated design report) 40%

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 18/10/2023


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