ARCT06004 2019 Architectural Design Studio 1

General Details

Full Title
Architectural Design Studio 1
Transcript Title
Architectural Design Studio 1
80 %
Subject Area
ARCT - Architecture
YADA - Yeats Academy Art Dsgn & Arch
06 - NFQ Level 6
25 - 25 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Bernadette Donohoe, Deirdre Greaney, Michael Roulston, Cliona Brady, Peter Scanlon, Mary Byrne
Programme Membership
SG_VARCH_H08 201900 Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) SG_VARCH_H08 202000 Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) SG_VARDE_H08 201800 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Architectural Design

Design studio forms the core element of Architecture at IT Sligo, with each of the design studio projects exploring the four philosophical vision points that characterise the programme. Design studio projects address design issues of relevance to the region and are integrated into the local area from a social, environmental, historical, and cultural perspective. Project types include existing buildings, extensions and new build and range from projects sited in extreme locations to those in villages, towns, Irish and European cities. They aim to give the student exposure to a range of project types including community engagement, multidisciplinary projects, live projects and public exhibition and to engage imagination, creativity, analysis and critical judgement in resolving design issues.

Architectural Design Studio 1 is an introduction to the understanding, interpretation, analysis and communication of design ideas and to the stages of the design process. The module will explore human scale, needs and experience as well as concepts of spatial enclosure and form. Basic representation methods are introduced and developed through design projects sited in both rural and urban environments. The focus of the studio module is on concepts of dwelling, and examines thresholds between living, working and public interface. An awareness of the transformative power of architecture is developed through analysis of architectural typologies.



Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Demonstrate an understanding of scale and ergonomics and apply in a design


Demonstrate an understanding of the use of form and spatial concepts in a design


Demonstrate an understanding of how basic design issues are related to place and identity


Analyse design typologies and precedents.


Demonstrate the ability to respond to a specific design brief with evaluation of contextual, environmental, historical and social criteria.


Generate coherent design proposals using fundamental design methodologies


Demonstrate a basic understanding of the integration of materials and structure in a design project


Apply a range of multimodal communication methods and media to present design proposals clearly and effectively


Utilise orthographic and paraline architectural drawing conventions at a basic level.


Participate and collaborate actively in team work.


Demonstrate the ability to critically analyse individual learning requirements and work independently in a self-directed manner

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Directed problem based learning approaches are applied to one or several design projects. The students follow written, structured project briefs which follow the key stages of the design process. In the early stages of the projects group tasks are employed. During the course of each project we deliver individual and group tutorials, a variety of lecture and supporting inputs, and facilitate formative reviews and summative assessments.

The learning experience is intended to be experiential and self directed in order to promote student independence and autonomy. Our teaching model focuses on the constructive alignment of clearly defined learning outcomes and assessment criteria including the set of skills and cognitive abilities the student must have entering practice. It is our intention to foster higher order learning that is critical, creative, spatial and contextual.   All in a way that makes explicit an understanding of and sensitivity to, historical, contextual and cultural influences on the practice of design in a global, international and national context. Therefore we use discussions and seminars; exhibitions; debates, team work, critical questioning, small group discussions and workshops as part of our overall teaching and learning strategy. Additionally, guest lecturers and guest tutors participate at various times throughout the academic year. External examiners review projects and scripts at the end of each year in line with the Institute's Quality Procedures.

The practicum facilitates learning and development in using a range of tools, and communication approaches, so that our learners structure their presentations appropriately.  Some of the modes of expression explored in project work will include: the visual, the written word (power point) and verbal dialogues including, models, drawings, annotated diagrams, conceptual sketches, scaled plans, sections and elevations as well as three-dimensional drawing such as perspective drawings.  Studio is supplemented by information technology including 2D and 3D digital packages.  Students are required to keep a design notebook to assist their reflective dialogue and inform the process of communicating and presenting findings, conclusions and decisions.

Module Assessment Strategies

100% Design project:6 - 8 projects per year.

Projects are presented and formatively assessed throughout the year. Summative assessment of a portfolio of all projects at the end of the year. 

Assessment is performance-orientated and formative modes are used during the process of project work to endeavour to provide constructive feedback; as the literature indicates that this helps students to develop more appropriately (Boud, & Feletti, 2003, Ch. 21). A criterion referenced model of formative and summative assessment is utilised during and at the end of each project, including a portfolio submission at the end of the year. A range of performance assessment techniques are used including: projects; portfolios; essays; reports; presentations; and a reflective journal.  Additionally, process and outcome-oriented assessment methods are employed during the solving of the problem (Freeman, & Lewis, 1998). The emphasis in assessment is on: responding contextually; design integration; three-dimensional problem solving skills; communication skills; acceptance of responsibility for learning, and the use of a broad range of learning resources. Moreover, the aim is to draw on tutor, peer and self-ratings to assess a number of skills formatively, including effort, self-directed learning and group cooperation. The intention is that students be provided with relevant and informative feedback, during interactive dialogue, including comments on stated objectives, at the end of each stage and this involves the student and their peers, as well as tutors (O’Brien, 2008).  


Repeat Assessments

Repeat assessment will be dependent on failed components. This will be confirmed at formal exam boards.‚Äč

Module Dependencies


Indicative Syllabus

Part A (Semester 1)

Vertical Project: Run at the commencement of each academic year to encourage student interaction across years and introduce new students to the programme. Groups of architecture students from year 1 - 5, work on short, idea-based projects based on the programme vision points.

Design Studio: 

(i) Introduction to Architectural Drawing 12 weeks x 3 hours practical (12% of Design Studio Final Mark). Introduces the language of architectural drawing and rendering media. It augments the cross-disciplinary drawing and communication content delivered within the Visual Literacy module, in order to provide skills and principles specific to the study of architecture.

(ii) An introduction to the design process including analysis, interpretation and communication of design ideas, with a theoretical and practical introduction to the following through exercises and simple design project(s):

  • spatial concepts
  • representation methods
  • spatial enclosure
  • human scale
  • analysis of seminal buildings through drawings and models
  • form finding
  • place making

Narrow Home for One

Field Trip to a major European city.

Part B (Semester 2)

Develops the design process to address diverse spatial arrangements, sites and functions.

Space for Contemplation in a sensitive rural environment. 

Architectural Voices -  Photographing the character of an environment. 

Photographer's Studio and Dwelling in an urban context.


Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Design portfolio submission Continuous Assessment Project 88 % End of Year 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,10,11
2 Architecture Drawing Portfolio Continuous Assessment Project 12 % End of Semester 8,9

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Practical Architectural Studio Design Studio 14 Weekly 14.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 14.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Required Reading
2014-09-29 Architecture John Wiley & Sons
ISBN 9781118745083 ISBN-13 1118745086

"This is an introduction to the basic vocabulary of architectural design, updated with new information on emerging trends and recent developments. The book is a visual reference that helps both students and professionals understand the vocabulary of architectural design by examining how space and form are ordered in the environment"--

Required Reading
2007-10-30 The Fundamentals of Architecture AVA Publishing
ISBN 9782940373482 ISBN-13 2940373485

Now students of architecture and interior design can get a full introduction to interior architecture and its history in one authoritative volume. The Fundamentals of Interior Architecture, the first in a series on the subject, is also the only book on the market that approaches the topic in a detailed, educationally focused way. Whether "home" is the simplest railroad flat or the halls of Versailles, interior architecture reflects our times. Discover the intriguing past and the exhilarating present of architectural interiors and furnishings, drafting and presentation skills, space planning, materials, lighting design, professional practices, 2D design, color theory, 3D design, drawing and illustration skills, and the use of CAD. A great price and handy paper binding make this book a must-have for everyone interested in how we live and work today.

Required Reading
2008 Key Contemporary Buildings W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN 0393732428 ISBN-13 9780393732429

Third in the Key series, this book features 95 buildings of the early twenty-first century ... Each of the buildings is illustrated with one or two full-color photographs and accurate scale floor plans, elevations, and sections, as appropriate.

Required Reading
2011 Studio Craft and Technique
ISBN 1905254547 ISBN-13 9781905254545
Recommended Reading
2008 The Architectural Drawing Course
ISBN STANFORD:36105131795911

This practical foundation course in architectural design offers key advice on the principles, practice and techniques of the subject. Dealing with much more than just the technical aspects of drawing, it introduces the reader to the visual language of architecture, encouraging them to think spatially and question the built environment. All architecture students, and anyone interested in the creative side of architecture, will find this book an invaluable tool and reference.

Required Reading
2009 Analysing Architecture Taylor & Francis US
ISBN 0415489288 ISBN-13 9780415489287

Clear and accessible, Analysing Architecture opens a fresh way to understanding architecture. It offers a unique 'notebook' of architectural strategies to present an engaging introduction to elements and concepts in architectural design. Beautifully illustrated throughout with the author's original drawings, examples are drawn from across the world and many periods of architectural history (from prehistoric times to the recent past) to illustrate analytical themes and to show how drawing can be used to study architecture. Since its first edition appeared in 1997, Analysing Architecture has established itself internationally as one of the key texts in architectural education. This third edition includes a new section discussing the ways analyzing examples cultivates a capacity for design. Original chapters have been expanded, new case studies added, and the format rearranged for additional clarity. The bibliography of recommended supplementary reading has also been extended. In Analysing Architecture, Simon Unwin clearly identifies the key elements of architecture and conceptual themes apparent in buildings and relevant to other works of architecture such as gardens and cities. He describes ideas for use in the active process of design. Breaking down the grammar of architecture into themes and 'moves', Unwin exposes its underlying patterns to reveal the organizational strategies that lie beneath the superficial appearances of buildings. Exploring buildings as results of the interaction of people with the world around them, Analysing Architecture offers a definition of architecture as 'identification of place' and provides a greater understanding of architecture as a creative discipline. This book presents a powerful impetus for readers to develop their own capacities for architectural design. It will also be of use to all those with an interest in the human occupation of and involvement with space anthropologists, archaeologists, film-makers, installation artists, planners, urban designers, politicians. A companion website will be available at

Recommended Reading
2010-01-01 Key Buildings of the 20th Century
ISBN 1856696596 ISBN-13 9781856696593

Featuring more than 100 of the most significant and influential buildings of the twentieth century, this book includes both classic works by such seminal architects as Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe and Alvar Aalto, as well as those by more recent masters, such as Norman Foster, Frank Gehry and Rem Koolhaas. For each of the buildings included there are numerous, accurate scale plans showing each floor, together with elevations, sections and site plans where appropriate. All of these have been specially commissioned for the book and are based on the most up-to-date information and sources. There is also a concise text explaining the significant architectural features of the building and the influences it shows or generated, together with full-colour images. Cross-references to other buildings in the book highlight the various connections between these key structures. This second edition features 8 new buildings, and 16 additional pages. It also has some additions to the information and images on many of the buildings from the first edition. It has a new introduction and a new jacket.

Recommended Reading
2011-09-21 100 Ideas that Changed Architecture Laurence King Publishing
ISBN 1856697320 ISBN-13 9781856697323

This inspiring book chronicles the most influential ideas that have shaped architecture. Entertaining and intelligent, it provides a concise history of the subject, and is also a fascinating resource to dip into. Arranged in a broadly chronological order to show the development of architecture, the ideas that comprise the book include innovative and influential concepts, technologies, techniques and movements. Each idea is presented through interesting text and arresting visuals, and explores when the idea first evolved and the subsequent impact it has had up to the present day.

Recommended Reading
2015-04-06 Architectural Graphics John Wiley & Sons
ISBN 9781119035664 ISBN-13 111903566X

This guide offers an introduction to using graphic tools and drafting conventions to translate architectural ideas into effective visual presentations, using drawings to illustrate the topic effectively. This updated edition includes new information on orthographic projection in relation to 3D models, and revised explanations of line weights, scale and dimensioning, and perspective drawing to clarify some of the most difficult concepts. New examples of modern furniture, APA facilities, and presentation layout provide more up-to-date visuals, and the Reference Center features all new animations, videos, and practice exercises.

Required Reading
Metric Handbook: Planning and Design Data: 6th Edition Routledge

Required Reading
2009-02-17 Basics Architecture 02: Construction & Materiality AVA Publishing
ISBN 9782940373833 ISBN-13 2940373833

This book examines the future of construction and materiality in architecture whilst considering aspects of structure construction and sustainability.

Required Reading
2016-10-01 The Space Within Reaktion Books
ISBN 9781780236605 ISBN-13 1780236603

Alvar Aalto once argued that what mattered in architecture wasn't what a building looks like on the day it opens but what it is like to live inside it thirty years later. In this book, architect and critic Robert McCarter persuasively argues that interior spatial experience is the necessary starting point for design, and the quality of that experience is the only appropriate means of evaluating a work after it has been built. McCarter reveals that we can't really know a piece of architecture without inhabiting its spaces, and we need to counter our contemporary obsession with exterior views and forms with a renewed appreciation for interiors. He explores how interior space has been integral to the development of modern architecture from the late 1800s to today, and he examines how architects have engaged interior space and its experiences in their design processes, fundamentally transforming traditional approaches to composition. Eloquently placing us within a host of interior spaces, he opens up new ways of thinking about architecture and what its goals are and should be.

Required Reading
2005-06-20 The Eyes of the Skin Academy Press
ISBN 0470015780 ISBN-13 9780470015780

Since the book's first publication, interest in the role of the body and the senses has been emerging in both architectural philosophy and teaching. This new, revised and extended edition of this seminal work will not only inspire architects and students to design more holistic architecture, but will enrich the general reader's perception of the world around them. The Eyes of the Skin has become a classic of architectural theory and consists of two extended essays. The first surveys the historical development of the ocular-centric paradigm in western culture since the Greeks, and its impact on the experience of the world and the nature of architecture. The second examines the role of the other senses in authentic architectural experiences, and points the way towards a multi-sensory architecture which facilitates a sense of belonging and integration.

Required Reading
1964 Experiencing Architecture MIT Press
ISBN 0262680025 ISBN-13 9780262680028

A classic examination of superb design through the centuries.

Required Reading
2000 Walls Have Feelings SUNY Press
ISBN 0415235421 ISBN-13 9780415235426

This book uniquely brings to bear questions of urgent cultural relevance on critical design decisions. As such, it is of as much importance to architects, planners and students of design, as to students of cultural history, geography and film.

Required Reading
2009-05-01 Basics Interior Architecture 03: Drawing Out the Interior AVA Publishing
ISBN 9782940373888 ISBN-13 2940373884

Required Reading
In Praise of Shadows Sora Books

Required Reading
2008-01-01 Materials, Form and Architecture
ISBN 1856695557 ISBN-13 9781856695558

"This book aims to counter the tendency to think materials as a 'technical' issue by addressing the subject historically and critically, linking cultural ideas to technical means. It will serve as a stimulating primer, richly illustrated with detailed close-up photography and inspirational examples and quotations." - back cover.

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Recommended reading:

Ching, F.D.K., (2014). Form, space and order (4th ed). London, UK: John Wiley & Sons.

Dunster, D. (1990). Key buildings of the twentieth century. London, UK: Butterworth.

Farrelly, L. (2007). The fundamentals of architecture. Lausanne, Switzerland: AVA.

Gregory, R.  (2008). Key contemporary buildings: plans, sections and elevations. USA: W.W. Norton.

Gorman, A, & Delaney, M. (2011). Studio craft and technique. Dublin, Ireland: University College Dublin.

Norberg-Schulz, C. (1993). Concept of dwelling. New York, USA: Rissoli.

Unwin, S. (2004). Analysing architecture. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Weston, R. (2004). Plans, sections and elevations: key buildings of the twentieth century. UK: Laurence King.

Weston, R (2011). 100 ideas that changed architecture. London, UK: Laurence King Publishing.

Zell, M. (2008). The architectural drawing course. USA: Thames and Hudson.