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The Practice of Making Architecture

  • Module code: AR6004
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 6
  • Credits: 30
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Co-requisites: AR6001, AR6002, AR6003

Summary

The ability to integrate the diverse technological aspects of a building as fundamental aspects of its final character and as part of an ongoing and iterative process of design, is a core skill of an architect.  This module develops your ability to simultaneously consider all aspects of a building's technology in relation to its wider design aims at both a strategic, and a detailed level. This module will facilitate a holistic and ongoing integration of tectonics, technology and sustainable issues throughout the development of the capstone Thesis Design Project.

A thesis design project is a design portfolio with a theoretical foundation that demonstrates a critical and individual line on inquiry that results in a unique architectural proposition. This capstone project is the culmination of learning throughout the course.

Aims

  • To develop a design project thesis which critically integrates environment, structure, fabric, material and services.
  • To develop an overall strategy for how the making of a building defines its architectural character, its relationship to its environment and its inhabitants.
  • To achieve the detailed resolution of appropriate aspects of a complex design project.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Integrate strategic construction and assembly principles into the design proposal;
  2. Integrate construction details including an appropriate use of materials into the design proposal;
  3. Integrate structural strategies, systems design and details into the design proposal;
  4. Integrate environmental strategies and services details into the design proposal;
  5. Synthesise the elements of fabric, material, construction, structural and environmental design into the thesis of the design project;
  6. Evidence a consideration of issues of sustainability in the fabric, material, constructional, structural and environmental aspects of the design.

Curriculum content

  • Analysis of the strategic construction and assembly principles used in a range of built precedents;
  • The development of technical details to resolve the construction and material nature of the design thesis project;
  • Structural and services strategies from conception to proposition;
  • Environmental strategies and services details as part of the holistic design of a project;
  • Fabric, material, construction, structural and environmental design and their interconnected relationships in the design of a project;
  • Sustainability as a technical and cultural aspect of architecture.

Teaching and learning strategy

The module has two supportive/contextual based elements (Coursework) and one design based element (Design Portfolio). The Coursework and the Design Portfolio parts of the course are taught in relation to each other through a combination of studio based projects, lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and study visits.

The School employs various learning technologies to support the teaching and learning strategies. Canvas is used to support teaching and learning in all modules, and other aspects of the courses and School as a whole. It is used at a modular level as a repository for all module documentation, such as the module guide, briefs, lecture handouts, support material, and links to web-resources. It is also used for tutorial and workshop sign-up lists and discussion forums where appropriate.  Students should check this site on a daily basis.

All courses based in the Kingston School of Art offer students free access to the online video tutorial platform Lynda.com. This provides a wide range of subjects to choose from, many with downloadable exercise files, including software tutorials covering photography, graphics, web design, audio and music, CAD and Microsoft Office software, as well as courses on Business and Management skills. Some of these are embedded in the curriculum and offer additional self-paced learning, others may be taken at will by students wishing to broaden their employability skills in other areas.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Eg.studio-based projects, lecturers, workshops, study visits, tutorials, seminars Studio-based projects, lectures, workshops, study visits, tutorials, seminars. 75
Guided independent study 225
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

Assessment for this module has three elements of assessment. The coursework consists of two assessed elements and these are 'Coursework Assessment 1' and 'Coursework Assessment 2'. The 'Design Portfolio' is a separate element and is synoptically assessed across all 4 modules.

Within the coursework elements feedback/feed forward is given in different forms depending on the nature of the work. However all will offer the opportunity for at least one group or individual tutorial and formal written feedback following submission, within the prescribed timescale.

Within the Design Portfolio element ie. in Studio, the following strategies for feedback/feed forward apply:

  • Weekly tutorials, either group or individual as appropriate to the project stage
  • At least one formal presentation and review, with written feedback, within each teaching block
  • Formative feedback on a submitted portfolio at end of teaching block 1
  • Formal written feedback on a submitted portfolio at end of teaching block 2

Coursework Assessments (50% in total):

The Coursework consists of two elements and these are 'Coursework Assessment 1' and 'Coursework Assessment 2' which are reflected in Learning Outcomes 1-6.  The 'Coursework Assessment 1' element on this module is group work with submission of an A3 illustrated report describing the structural, servicing, material and environmental aspects of a precedent study which is directly related to the Thesis Design Project (20%). This assignment is carried out and is assessed as a group.  The 'Coursework Assessment 2' element on this module is an A3 illustrated report describing the structural, servicing, sustainability and material strategy of the Thesis Design Project (30%). This assignment is carried out and is assessed individually.

Design Portfolio (50%):

The assessment for the Design Portfolio element of this module is a portfolio of work related to the integration of tectonics within the Thesis Design Project including synthesis and resolution of structural, material, environmental, and sustainability aspects within the Thesis Design Project.  This is reflected in Learning Outcomes 1-6.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
1) Integrate construction and assembly methods into the design proposal; Coursework Assessments (Group A3 illustrated report of a Precedent Study and A3 illustrated report relating to the Thesis Design Project) and Design Portfolio
2) Integrate construction details including an appropriate use of materials into the design proposal; Coursework Assessments (Group A3 illustrated report of a Precedent Study and A3 illustrated report relating to the Thesis Design Project) and Design Portfolio
3) Integrate structural strategies, systems design and details into the design proposal. Coursework Assessments (Group A3 illustrated report of a Precedent Study and A3 illustrated report relating to the Thesis Design Project) and Design Portfolio
4) Integrate environmental strategies and services details into the design proposal; Coursework Assessments (Group A3 illustrated report of a Precedent Study and A3 illustrated report relating to the Thesis Design Project) and Design Portfolio
5) Synthesise the elements of fabric, material, construction, structural and environmental design into the thesis of the design project; Coursework Assessments (Group A3 illustrated report of a Precedent Study and A3 illustrated report relating to the Thesis Design Project) and Design Portfolio
6) Evidence a consideration of issues of sustainability in the fabric, material, constructional, structural and environmental aspects of the design Coursework Assessments (Group A3 illustrated report of a Precedent Study and A3 illustrated report relating to the Thesis Design Project) and Design Portfolio

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
Coursework Assessment 1 (A3 illustrated report of a Precedent Study) Coursework 20%
Coursework Assessment 2 (A3 illustrated report describing the structural, servicing, sustainability and material strategy of the Thesis Design Project) Coursework 30%
Design portfolio Coursework 50%
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It is a requirement that the elements of assessment for Coursework are passed on aggregate and it is a requirement that the element of assessment for the Design Portfolio is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module.

Bibliography core texts

Ching, F.D.K., 2002. Architectural Graphics, Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons

Bielefeld, B., Skiba, I., 2007. Basics. Technical Drawing, Basel: Birkhäuser

Zell, M., 2008. The Architectural Drawing Course, London: Thames & Hudson

Schilling, A., 2007. Basics. Modelbuildings, Basel: Birkhäuser

Deplazes, A., 2008. Constructing Architecture: Material Processes Structures, Basel: Birkhäuser

Farelly, L., 2008. Representational Techniques. Worthing: Ava Publishing

Conzett. J., Mostafavi, M., Reichlin. B., Hagmann, A., 2006. Structure as Space, London: Architectural Association

Littlefield, D., 2007. New Metric Handbook: Planning and Design Data. 3rd ed. Oxford: Architectural Press

Bibliography recommended reading

Pye, D., 1995. The Nature and Art of Workmanship, Herbert Press

Saint, A., 2007. Architect and Engineer: A Study in Sibling Rivalry, New Haven: Yale University Press

Piedmont-Palladino, S., 2007. Tools of the Imagination, Princeton: Princeton University Press

Wentworth Thompson, D. 1961. On Growth and Form, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Sennett, A., 2008. The Craftsman. London: Penguin Books Ltd.

Studios will provide specific recommended reading lists relevant to each project.

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