Areas of study
The course is taught over three semesters over 12 months.
This module will introduce established and emerging principles, theories, and thematics in design. The module will help you situate yourself, your interests and practices within contemporary design discourses and global contexts and help identify and nurture personal motivations within your area of specialisation.
Themes covered may include sustainability, powers and politics, equalities, systemic complexity, and creating change through design.
Design 1: Urban Strategies
The first design module introduces you to urban design strategies, methods and issues as you evolve your critical position. These are explored through a range of textual and material examples. You'll make an analysis of a specific city space, informed by the methodologies discussed in the studio. The analysis is tested through the generation of a site-specific design, in response to a brief, which demonstrates the experiential qualities of the design at the scale of the individual and is further tested as an adaptable urban prototype.
Design 2 aims to consolidate and extend the priorities, ideas and strategies established in Design 1. You will explore architectural and urban ideas in more depth and complexity. The emphasis here is on curiosity and speculation, supporting the development of methods to help with enquiry, reflection and debate.
The Critical Readings module will develop your skills in critical practice through an analysis of cultural, historical, theoretical and practical issues in architecture. It provides the opportunity to carry out initial investigations into the ideas that will drive your masterwork project.
Research Practices introduces you to the challenges involved in designing, implementing and disseminating a research project. You will develop a written proposal that can inform the development of your masterwork project, encouraging you to consider how your investigations contribute to the academic knowledge in your field.
The masterwork is the final stage of study, requiring you to perform as a self-reflective critical researcher and lay down the foundations for innovation in your future practice. You will develop your project from an agreed research proposal, which may be either a text-based dissertation or a design-led research project with critical reflection. You will be asked to focus the areas of interest that have developed in your previous practice and studies, identify research questions and develop research methods, bringing critical investigation and creative responses together.