KA7033 - Design Rationale

What will I learn on this module?

This module of study gives you the opportunity to design an integrated, site specific architectural solution within an urban setting. You will articulate the intent and rationale within a produced major integrated architectural design project through a critical appraisal of associated contexts; urban, theory, social, technology, environment, management, regulation and legislation. You studies will include …

Site analysis & context studies (social; political; economic; cultural; legal)
Complex buildings
Structural appreciation & design systems
Standardisation & bespoke assembly
Advanced structures & envelopes
Design & construction integration - structure, envelope, space, environmental control.
Environmental technologies & control
Materials & resources
RIBA Plan of Works
Statutory & legal requirements
Communication & presentation

How will I learn on this module?

You will produce two reports that critical appraise and articulate a design proposition; 1) a Design Report will articulate the integrated nature of your proposal with cognisance of appropriate urban, social, political, economic and cultural contexts and a rationale for your design strategies; 2) a Technical Report will synthesise the structural, environmental, regulatory and legislative contexts that you have applied. They will both be supported by lectures, tutorials and workshops which centre on the design project issues and will comprise of relevant examples drawn from a variety of sources to encourage you to develop your own advanced enquiry and self directed learning. Tutorials and workshops will assist your contextualisation of the content and its applicability to your areas of enquiry, to assist the assimilation of knowledge from theory to practice and provide you with opportunity for discourse, debate, evaluation and synthesis of ideas.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported with weekly guidance during workshops and tutorials, where you will discuss the development of your research, knowledge acquisition and the rationale for its application in context to the specific learning and the aligned design project. You will benefit from formative assessment on an individual and group basis, and are encouraged to participate in discourse about knowledge, your work, your development and that of your peers. Feedback on formative and summative assignments will be offered in verbal and written form, which will provide advice for further development and a critical appraisal of your work and performance. Directed learning will allow you to research issues raised in tutorials and independent learning will allow you to investigate you own themes and ideas. All material will be available on the eLearning Portal (ELP) so that you can access information when you need to and we operate an open door policy to help support student learning when it is needed most. The university library offers support for all students through its catalogue and an Ask4Help Online service.

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?

Knowledge & Understanding:

KU 1. Critically appraise and articulate the structural, technological and environmental characteristics of a design response

KU 2. Critically appraise and articulate the urban, contextual, theoretical and regulatory attributes of a design response

KU 3. Critically evaluate the ethical, professional and social responsibilities of a design professional within a multi-disciplinary environment,

KU 4. Critically evaluate the interrelationship between people, buildings and the local and broader context.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

IPSA 1. Articulate appropriate advanced media based, verbal and written communication methods to represent the appraisal and resolution of strategies and protocol within complex design problems

IPSA 2. Articulate advanced skills of independent learning and research to examine the subject area, evaluate alternative approaches, and propose appropriate solutions

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

PVA 1. Articulate a high level of motivation, self-management and confidence whilst expressing opportunity through recognition of constraints

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will take place within regular workshops and tutorials to provide ongoing developmental guidance and reflection.

Summative assessment is of two submitted components:

1. Design Report (50%)
3000 words equivalence

2. Technical Report (50%)
3000 words equivalence

Feedback will be offered in verbal and written form, which will provide advice for further development and a critical appraisal of their work and performance. Moderation of summative assessment will take place at the end of the module.




KA7034 Integrated Architecture Project

Module abstract

This module gives you the opportunity synthesise and articulate the design intent within a major integrated architectural design proposition, with particular reference to the relevance of design, theoretical, social, political, cultural and urban contexts, through two detail reports. It will also provide you with an opportunity to critically articulate knowledge of technological, structural, environmental, design management and legislative contexts relevant to your project. Taught within workshops in the design studio, the module is supported by lectures, workshops individual and group tutorials with regular formative assessment and appraisal, in support of the production of the written, illustrative reports. You will receive verbal and written and feedback and assessment on your work in two ways; formatively within regular tutorials and at strategic stages to provide ongoing guidance and summatively at the end of each submission to establish opportunity for reflection and independent learning.

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 semester (January to June)

Department Architecture and Built Environment

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start January 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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