This module aims to establish the theoretical and physical context for the final thesis design, the cultural, social and economic boundary conditions and analyses design parameters. This is designed to enable students to develop a detailed design brief of adequate complexity and ambition for the Comprehensive Design Project.
This module constitutes the concept stage of the final thesis design project and aims to develop a design concept for Comprehensive Design Project, through experimentation and explorative design enquiry.
In parallel with its related technology module Technical Awareness, it seeks to establish the ambition, frame of reference and theoretical area of investigation for the final thesis design. Students have the opportunity to experiment with methodologies and formulate a personal agenda and strategy for a year-long project. Material aspects of design and construction are addressed on a conceptual and experimental level and placed in an individual philosophical context, with emphasis on exploitation of synergies within the group through the exchange of ideas and design skills.
This module aims to build upon site and concept investigations performed during design modules Comprehensive Design: Brief and Context and Comprehensive Design: Concept. It looks to address technological issues as identified in Technical Awareness, and forms the basis for Technical Appraisal. In combination, these modules form a year-long final thesis project, which forms the culmination of design teaching.
This module gives students the opportunity to investigate the social and cultural context of architecture, view their own design and design-related research in a theoretical context, and explore and question the relationship between social and cultural theories and architectural projects and architects’ research.
A series of lectures and seminars explore the function and use of theory in architectural and design investigations. Through selected readings, lectures and seminar discussions, a variety of social and cultural perspectives will be considered.
Students are expected to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of competing theories, their potential for their own work performed in design and research studios, and their application through the work of others.
In this module, students are required to think large scale and holistically, to demonstrate the capacity to have a systemic understanding of their project parameters, scale and the intention of their urban investigations. Within these project parameters students are expected to set out and explore a technological and environmental position including techniques and materials which impacts upon and form part of their of their design project.
Projects developed within studio groups typically identify boundary conditions of an architectural project, addressing urban / regional, national and global issues through design. This includes issues of sustainability (cultural and physical), historic and social, as well as physical cause and effect relationships shaping the world, and dynamic properties of societies shaping cities and landscape.
Individual or groups of students are required to explore these issues through design, resulting in a strategy for intervention which informs a physical and conceptual master plan and generic design brief. This may form the basis for development at building scale during Project B.
This module is designed to address issues raised during Design Project A and develops them at building scale. Typically, this results in a complex proposal for a single or series of buildings drawing upon the systemic and conceptual work undertaken at larger scale during Design Project A.
This module aims to introduce students to postgraduate level study and its intellectual and creative requirements, looks to re-familiarises them with project-based learning in a studio context, and challenges their perceptions of design theory and practice.
Creative exploration of ideas, formulation of individual philosophical and cultural points of reference, and a willingness to critically appraise their own and their peers’ work and working methods encountered during previous study and time spent in practice, are core requirements for successful negotiation of the course.
Experimentation, by means of an iterative and integrated design process, can enable students to make, and communicate visually, connections between design and a philosophical and theoretical framework, and focus general interest towards clear study goals and objectives.
This module consists of two elements:
Professional Practice (Written Examination and Written Assignment) and Personal Development Plan.
The principal aims of the Professional Practice elements are that students will have the opportunity to:
- Develop a critical understanding of the standards and expectation of professional practice
- Appreciate the complexities of operating a practice
- Be able to evaluate alternative procedures and practices involved in running a project
- Be able to satisfy client demands through effective communication at all stages
The Personal Development Plan is fundamental in providing coherence and rationale to students' programme of study. The emphasis is on the personal monitoring of development through being critically aware of past achievements and future aims. Students have the chance to organise their own programme of study based on their own appraisal of personal and academic objectives and personal strengths.
This module constitutes the main research component of the programme and is taught in the context of parallel research studio groups, along within defined fields of research and following group and project specific research methodologies. The module incorporates two distinct parts:
- Research Methods, which aims to introduce the strands of research on offer by the research studios, outlines appropriate methodologies for the chosen subjects of study and their theoretical basis, and guides students towards informed choices between research studio groups.
- Research Project, during which a research studio tutor directs the group towards establishing the area of group enquiry and points it at related research. They advise students on extending their reading in a chosen direction, and guide students through a research process towards, initially, formulation of a structured research proposal and programme informed by individual research interest. Subsequently substantial individual research should be evidenced through written and verbal presentation.
This module constitutes the technology component of the Comprehensive Design Project. It is designed to enable students to identify the technical requirements of their building projects, critically analyse and choose from a range of technologies, and develop an integrated technical resolution of their projects. Expanding upon Technical Awareness, the module re-visits ambitions and pre-design research and evaluates their suitability for their building design.