DSGN06074 2013 Architectural Context and Theory 1

General Details

Full Title
Architectural Context and Theory 1
Transcript Title
Arch Context and Theory 1
N/A %
Subject Area
DSGN - Design
CENG - Civil Eng. and Construction
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2013 - Full Academic Year 2013-14
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Bernadette Donohoe, Maeliosa O'Brien, Emmet O'Doherty
Programme Membership
SG_JINTE_H08 201300 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Architectural Design SG_JINTE_B07 201300 Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design SG_VINTE_B07 201400 Bachelor of Arts in Interior Architecture and Design SG_VINTE_B07 201400 Bachelor of Arts in Interior Architecture and Design SG_JINTE_H08 201400 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Interior Architecture RIBA 1

This module will introduce the histories, theories and criticisms of architecture and interior design, the mechanics of design, design thinking and language

The module aims to:

  • Provide an introductory overview of architecture and interiors in the contemporary built environment
  • Give an overview of the histories, theories and criticism of world architecture, interior design, furniture design and decoration examining form, space and order
  • Investigate the  relationship between architectural development and changing technologies that influence the design of buildings
  • Provide an introduction to design theory methods, procedures and processes - the design process in practice
  • Establish reflective and reflexive practice

Learning Outcomes

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


Recognise and discuss the importance of architectural precedents and design theories at an introductory level


Debate the impact that major technological and scientific advances have on the field of architecture


Evaluate key characteristics of seminal buildings and interiors from the major architectural periods


Explain the basic tenets of the theories of design, procedures and processes - the design process


Apply design theory procedures and processes in a range of regulated conditions


Develop theoretical concepts and consider significant underpinning design theory and current research in a number of directed and controlled contexts 

Module Assessment Strategies

Formative and summative assessment modes using a range of techniques which includes group and/or individual work mainly: detailed assignment development and resolutions, presentations, sketchbooks, models & debate

Indicative Syllabus

This module has two main thematic areas- 1. History, theory and criticism of architecture, 2. Mechanics, reasoning and the language of design. 

Part 1

  • An Introduction To The Contemporary Built Environment 
  • An Introduction To The Histories, Theories and Criticism Of Architecture                                      
  • The Impact Of Changing Technologies On Architecture                                              
  • Site visit to major European city                                                    

 Part 2

  • An introduction to theories of learning, learning styles and reflective practice
  • An introduction to design thinking and communication
  • An introduction to the mechanics of design - the design process
  • An introduction to the architecture of space, structure and enclosure                                  


Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Project Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 25 % Any 1,2,3
2 Continuous Assessment Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 25 % Any 1,2,3
3 Project Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 25 % Any 4,5,6
4 Assignment Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 25 % Any 4,5,6

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Architectural Studio Architectural Histories, Theories and Criticism 2 Weekly 2.00
Lecture Computer Laboratory The Mechanics of Design, Design Thinking and Language 2 Weekly 2.00
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Self directed learning 3 Weekly 3.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 4.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Part 1

Ching, F.D.K, (1996) Architecture, Form, Space, and Order, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York

Ching, FDK, (2006), Global History of Architecture, Wiley, New York

Smith, K. (2012) Introducing Architectural Theory: Debating a Discipline, Routledge, London

Unwin, S. (2010) Twenty Buildings Every Architect Should Understand, Routledge, London

Weston, R. (2011) 100 Ideas That Changed Architecture, Laurence King, London

Part 2

Adler, David, (1999) Metric Handbook: Planning and Design Data, Architectural Press,

Ching, F.D.K, (1996) Architecture, Form, Space, and Order, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York

Ching, Francis, D. K, Interior Design Illustrated, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1987

Clark, Kenneth, (2005), Civilisation, John Murray

Gropius, W,(1965), The New Architecture and The Bauhaus, MIT Press

Lawson, Bryan, How Designers Think, Architectural Press, 2006

Le Corbusier, (1985), Towards a New Architecture,Dover Publications

Malnar, J, M & Vodvarka, F, Interior Dimensions: A Theoretical Approach to Enclosed Space, John Wiley & Sons, 1991

Palladio, A, (1965), The Four Books of Architecture, Dover Publications; New Ed edition

Pile, John, F, Interior Design, Harry N Abrams, 1995

Pile, John, F, Colour in Interior Design, McGraw-Hill, 1997



Other Resources
  • Field trip budget
Additional Information