KA4013 - Introduction to Theory 1

What will I learn on this module?

This module will introduce you to a range of historical, theoretical and technological paradigms that govern the disciplines of Architecture and Interior Architecture. Through a thematic exposure to seminal historic and contemporary architecture and interiors, the module reveals key theoretical positions and thinking and allows you to develop your own critical appreciation of these in support of your broader subject knowledge. Presented as a theoretically connected continuum of architectural and interior architectural thought spanning relevant epochs, the modules content will specifically align to your studio-based design projects to ensure that you have opportunity to develop your critical thinking and to inform your emergent creative practice.

How will I learn on this module?

This module provides you with an introduction to key subject specific knowledge and an opportunity to develop research skills through a sequential programme of lectures supported by group seminars and individual study. Exemplar case studies will generate specific discussion that will allow you to explore theories and conceptual references within the subject, they will complement your developing knowledge and will support your directed and self-directed individual study.
In addition, your aligned design studio project tutorials will support your learning within the taught programme by contextualising module content to assist the assimilation of this knowledge within the design process. To aid your contextual understanding and critical appraisal, a wide range of visual material will be used to support the teaching and learning programme and your engagement with directed and self-directed research will support the application of knowledge.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Direct participation in lectures, group discussion and associated taught content is an essential part of your learning support for this module. In addition, all lectures, seminars presentations, relevant associated module information and specific bibliography will be available via the eLearning Portal (Blackboard), providing you with access to taught content remotely to suit specific learning needs. Electronic assignment submission and associated uploads will facilitate the learning experience. Periods of self-directed learning are essential for your personal research and development whilst we have an open-door policy so that you can seek further support should you need it.
You will receive feedback on formative work in a variety of forms throughout the duration of the module with written feedback provided at the summative assessment point to help you reflect and develop. Your learning will be further supported and contextualised through the application of knowledge to your studio design projects, as a holistic learning experience. In The university library offers support to you through its extensive physical and on-line resources, e-reading lists, guidance on developing academic study skills and with IT support, as provided by the Ask4Help facility.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

You will be expected:

Knowledge & Understanding:
KU 1. To Demonstrate the understanding of the fundamental theories and principles of the design process and contrasting approaches to design requirements.

KU 2. To Evaluate historical, cultural and environmental factors as tools and resources within an appraisal of building and environment design.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
IPSA 1. To Develop a personal frame work of information and references to articulate viewpoints and opinions on the historical and contemporary influences on design.

IPSA 3. To Develop an architectural vocabulary to express the design principles within architectural and interior solutions, using appropriate terms of reference in verbal, graphic and written form.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
PVA 1. To Develop an appreciation of the phenomenological relationship between Architecture, Interior Architecture and the concepts of context and Genius Loci.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will take place within each seminar and will be delivered in form of verbal feedback after presentations, as well as through informal class and individual discussions.

Summative assessment is of the illustrated written assignment (3000 words equivalent) covering all MLO’s … KU1, KU2, IPSA 1, IPSA 2, PVA 1

Feedback will be in written form and of the final assignment, to aid individual development and learning. Moderation of summative assessment will take place in at the end of the module.





Module abstract

This Module gives you a holistic and thematic introduction to the concepts and theories underpinning the disciplines of Architecture and Interior Architecture. Through the use of lectures, research-led group seminars and individual studies, you will be introduced to the interconnected precepts and philosophies informing the theoretical underpinning of the subject and their application to your design project studies. Seminal buildings, interiors and thematic epochal shifts will be explored, discussed and interpreted and you will begin to develop your research and analytical skills through the set assignment. The advancements of Architecture and Interior Architecture will be explained via the main theoretical and cultural paradigms contextualised against relevant historical periods and through an appreciation of the associated structural and technological systems that form them. This module forms the foundation of your theoretic knowledge and for the subsequent theory modules you will study, as you learn to contextualise your emergent design awareness.

Course info

UCAS Code W251

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Architecture and Built Environment

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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