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Location: London, United Kingdom

Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellors: Neil Spiller 

Head of Department: Nic Clear  

Architecture Year 1 Design Coordinator: Susanne Isa 


UNIT 3 Lecturer:

Elke Presser/ Yeena Yoon

Year 2013/14

UNIT 2 Lecturer:

Elke Presser/ Nicholas Szczepaniak

Year 2014/15



Year 01 structure:

Year 1 is structured in studio-based tutorial groups. Each design group or unit explores diverse aspects of architecture, ranging from rapid technological changes, emerging social conditions and contemporary cultural contexts to more abstract aesthetic and theoretical concerns.

The design projects develop abilities and skills in creating and communicating architectural ideas. Students will explore the visual and tactile world, learning visual and drawing skills and the use of computer software. The context for design work is set at the start of each term; critiques of student work are made at the middle and end of each term. Visits to art galleries, museums and important buildings and lectures by eminent speakers, and attendance at field courses abroad are offered to students of the programme.


Architectural Design Year 1: Investigation and Proposition


To undertake a series of investigations of physical and cultural context, programme, scale and material which will lead to observations, speculations, design strategies and propositions. These investigations and propositions will be presented in the form of a design portfolio.

To raise the student's awareness of architecture and it's context, and to encourage a spirit of inquiry and enthusiasm for the possibilities of experimental architectural design.

To introduce architectural design as a creative synthesis of conceptual and analytical considerations.

To give students the confidence to experiment with architectural ideas, and the critical and presentational skills needed to explore, develop and communicate architectural design effectively.

There will be an emphasis on developing 2D and 3D drawing skills, model making, manual and digital representation techniques in the context of architectural design.


Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the student will have an ability to visually communicate their understanding of:

Site survey and interpretation and be able to read, record and respond creatively to places.
The relationships between a building and its context.

The physical and conceptual aspects of materials, structure, construction and detail design.
Technical considerations in architectural design including lighting, heating and issues of sustainability.
Ergonomics as it relates to architectural design.

Design and process:
Architecture as a creative and artistic endeavor.
Architectural design, including scale, organisation, circulation and enclosure.
The process of experimental design, including brief, programme, concept, and design development.
Social and cultural aspects of architecture.
The skills necessary to enable the effective exploration, presentation and communication of architectural ideas.
The student will be required to demonstrate their understanding of these in their design projects.
Students will demonstrate the use of visual communication methods and appropriate media; including drawing, sketching, physical modelling and digital techniques; to clearly and effectively convey and critically appraise design ideas and proposals. 

Indicative content

Students will undertake a series of small design projects through which creative expression and architectural ideas are explored and developed. In the second term, they will be are asked to design a small building, to encourage the investigation of slightly more complex architectural and cultural considerations.
There will be an emphasis on learning about design and testing architectural proposals through the process of drawing and making. Students will be encouraged to develop their skills in communicating their architectural ideas through drawings, models, mappings, material constructions, photographic and digital media, and to find their own 'voice' for this in conjunction with the course in Design and Communication.

Teaching and learning activity

Studio tutorials, seminars, workshops and site visits, with regular crits.