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Urban Design Studio C (ABPL90389)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 25On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2018
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeABPL90389
Semester 1
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Students will undertake a series of in depth, critical and propositional studio-based design esquisses or exercises leading to a major exploratory urban design proposition scheme. Their design proposition will investigate one or more key urban design issues or approaches in depth, whilst demonstrating a thorough understanding of the broader implications of their proposal.
This subject integrates a range of urban design issues and design approaches including use of urban analytics in the design process; parametric urbanism; complex adaptive systems; Pareto efficiency; the scope, opportunities, complexities and responsibilities of urban design; urban design issues, elements and systems: analytical and design skills for generating and testing alternative approaches to the urban design development of specific sites; exploring the potential the role of urban design within a given spatial, social, economic and political context.

Intended learning outcomes

  • To place urban design within a complex four-dimensional social matrix of economic, environmental, political and cultural forces.
  • To engage in a complex area of the metropolis and to analyse the urban fabric and represent this analysis in a clear graphic language at a range of scales.
  • To engage with concepts and possibilities of ‘big data’ and develop skills to use large data sets to directly inform design concepts and decision making in innovative and meaningful ways.
  • To develop critical and creating design thinking.
  • To develop the ability to put forward, and provide convincing arguments for unconventional and provocative urban design propositions
  • To show in-depth urban spatial thinking that ranges from the scale of the street to the scale of the metropolis.
  • To explore new urban design theories and to test their effectiveness in positively intervening with the contemporary metropolis.
  • To investigate contemporary multi-disciplinary theories of form, space, order and aesthetics, and to test their relevance for contemporary urban design practice. To explore ways of representing the city two dimensionally, three dimensionally, four dimensionally (with time) and fifth dimensionally alternate future realities), and as a complex adaptive system.
  • To introduce students to design as a form of research. To be able to identify an urban design problem or challenge; set out a design research question and aim; articulate a design approach or method, test their approach with rigor to put forward an urban design proposition; and draw conclusions identifying weakness and strengths of their approach.

Generic skills

At the end of semester students will demonstrate the following abilities:

  • Creative design thinking: be able to put forward unconventional or novel design propositions that address contemporary urban design issues;
  • Theoretical Position: position their urban design proposition within a historical, social and theoretical context;
  • Composition: articulation and test a design proposition in large, medium, and small scales with a critical eye to aesthetic aspects of the intervention in a sophisticated manner;
  • Communications: communicate and test ideas and design propositions through drawing, modelling (digital and/or physical), photomontage and other communication techniques;
  • Pragmatics: have an understanding of functional and pragmatic aspects of urbanism including: building functionality, landscape architecture, civil and traffic engineering concerns, walkability, and potential contribution to sustainable urbanism;
  • Engagement: engage with and contribute to not only their own work and others in the studio but also the work of the studio generally;
  • Formulation: formulate a conceptual design proposal that tests a specific hypothesis or design method in the form of a speculative urban design proposition with rigor;
  • Analysis: engage with contemporary forms of urban analysis techniques which may include solar, wind, energy modelling;
  • Critique: be able to demonstrate a critical assessment of precedents and their own design proposal – where are the strengths and weaknesses, what can be learned or concluded by the proposal? What further research would they do if they were continue with the project?

Last updated: 16 June 2018