DESST 3517 - Environment III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2017

Students in this course will consider cities, landscapes and urban environments as complex living systems within ethical and political contexts. At metropolitan and local scales issues of planning and design including: urban sprawl, public space, perpetual growth, plants, energy, climate change, resources, microclimate, transport, water, waste, agriculture and energy will be explored. The course aims to develop skills in critical thinking and knowledge of the technological, building codes standards, scientific and cultural factors that drive and define the problems that designers engage with to make positive contributions.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code DESST 3517
    Course Environment III
    Coordinating Unit School of Architecture and Built Environment
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge DESST 2517
    Restrictions Available to B.ArchDes & B.E(Arch) students only
    Quota A quota will apply
    Course Description Students in this course will consider cities, landscapes and urban environments as complex living systems within ethical and political contexts.

    At metropolitan and local scales issues of planning and design including: urban sprawl, public space, perpetual growth, plants, energy, climate change, resources, microclimate, transport, water, waste, agriculture and energy will be explored. The course aims to develop skills in critical thinking and knowledge of the technological, building codes standards, scientific and cultural factors that drive and define the problems that designers engage with to make positive contributions.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Jo Russell-Clarke

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Fridays, 9:00-11:00am, Hughes Lecture Theatre, Hughes 309.

    Tutorials 11am-12pm / 1-2pm Barr Smith Sth, 509/510

    ST01 room 509              Friday 11am-12pm:                   Athanasios Lazarou (Nasi)
    ST02 room 510              Friday 11am-12pm:                   Jo Russell-Clarke
    ST03 room 509              Friday 1-2pm:                          Athanasios Lazarou (Nasi)
    ST04 room 510              Friday 1-2pm:                          Jo Russell-Clarke

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1.  Demonstrate familiarity with major themes, texts, people, organisations and movements
    affecting environmental design, policy and community understandings in general.

    2.  Articulate the historic and evolving role of built environment professionals in the
    complex ethical and political contexts of project development and delivery.

    3.  Argue their position as a designer in relation to environmental themes and positions.

    4.  Communicate persuasively with verbal, written and graphic languages, applying and extending
    skills from previous courses.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Required reading material can be sourced online as indicated in assignment sheets, lectures and tutorials.

    Recommended Resources
    Additional Resources
    The following key text is available online through the library (students must log-in and can then access by clicking the grey ‘view book online’ button):
    Wall, D. (1994). Green History A Reader in Environmental Literature, Philosophy and Politics. S.l. Routledge.
    Speaker Series:
    The School has a fortnightly lecture series where respected practitioners and academics from the field deliver a public lecture on contemporary architectural practice. In order to expand your knowledge of contemporary directions in design it is recommended that you attend these sessions. The exact detail of dates and speakers is available from the School website and
    the Front Office.
    Online Learning
    University Email:
    The school uses the University email system to get in touch with the students. So it is imperative that you check your email regularly and keep up to date with any new announcements.

    MyUni is an essential online tool which will be used to communicate information regarding the course including details of assignments and interim grades. There are many other learning resources and assessment pieces that rely on the MyUni system for delivery. Therefore it is recommended that you familiarise yourself with the various functions of MyUni and employ it to its fullest extent.

    Discussion Board:
    The MyUni Discussion Board can be used to interact with other students and tutors and is an essential tool to discuss information and increase your understanding of issues.

    Lecture Recording:
    In certain cases the recording of the lectures is made available in electronic format for students to listen through on their own time and make notes, and is provided through the MyUni system. However, this service is only available for lectures with essential course content and may not include guest lectures. Furthermore, where the presentation content is subject to copyright or the guest speaker is uncomfortable with the recording of the content, the lecture recording will not be made available online. So students should not rely solely on this mode of learning and arrange to attend or get lecture content from peers.

    Noticeboard / Handbook:
    General information about the activities at the School is available online from the Student Noticeboard which can be accessed at current-student
    Students can also access a copy of the Student Handbook at the following link:
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course is delivered through lectures, tutorial activities and self-directed learning, utilising:

    Quizzes, group powerpoint preparation and verbal presentation, textual close reading and writing workshops, graphic design exercises including manual and various digital software production.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements:
    The University expects full‐time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote at least 48 hours per week to their studies. Accordingly, students undertaking this 3 unit course are expected to devote at the minimum 12 hours per week to contact activities and self‐guided studies.
    Based on this framework here are some figures that might assist workload management:
    Total workload hrs: 12 hours per wk x 14 wks (inc. of mid‐semester break) = 168 hours
    Total contact hours: 3 hours per week x 12 weeks = 36 hours
Total self‐guided study: 168 – 36 hours = 132 hours
    These 132 hours should be used towards for working on the various assignments associated with the course, including development of requisite research, knowledge, and skills. Please organise your time wisely!
    Learning Activities Summary
    WK1 Jul 31 L01 Introduction T01 Introduction A0 “Reading Home" issued
    WK2 Aug 07 "L02 Elaboration
    Film: “Urbanized”" "T02 A0 pinup
    Theme discussion" "A0 Submission
    A1 "Defining Readings" issued" Initial forays
    WK3 Aug 14 L03 Time T03 Discussion 02; Workgroup setting "Form workgroups
    Explore city 01"
    WK4 Aug 21 L04 Work T04 Fieldtrip (TBC) "
    " "Explore city 02
    Define investigations"
    WK5 Aug 28 L05 Play T05 A1 Progress Define investigations
    WK6 Sep 04 L06 Guest Lecture (TBC) "T06 A1 Review
    " "A1 Submission
    A2 "Develop Reading" issued"
    WK7 Sep 11 L07 Framing a Reading 01: Question+Method T07 A2 Progress 01 Refine investigations
    WK8 Sep 18 L08 Framing a Reading 02: Documentation; Visualisation; Interpretation T08 A2 Progress 02 Pursue individual investigations - Gather data 01
    BREAK 1 Sep 25 Pursue individual investigations - Gather data 02
    BREAK 2 Oct 02 "Editors’ group forms;
    Analyse+interpret data/material"
    WK9 Oct 09 L09 Production 01 T09 A2 Review "A2 Submission
    A3 “Assemble Readings” issued" Adjust individual investigations;
    WK10 Oct 16 L10 Production 02 T10 A3 Progress 01 "Finalise individual investigations
    prepare outputs."
    WK11 Oct 23 L11 Conclusion: Mobilising Urban Readings T11 A3 Progress 02 Flow in content; Layout pages
    WK12 Oct 30 L12 Final Words, Review T12 Final Book Review A3 Submission Deliver book files
    WK13 Nov 06 EXTRA: Book Production Print books
    Specific Course Requirements
    Failure to attend teaching due to medical, compassionate or extenuating circumstances is dealt with the School Policy, administered by the School Office. Submit the appropriate application for supplementary consideration together with the original signed medical or other relevant officer, to the School Office. If you foresee a problem contact the Course Coordinator BEFORE the problem actually occurs. Otherwise, contact the Course Coordinator as soon as possible and submit the appropriate application for supplementary consideration to the School Office.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Ass1 is a small group discovery experience.

    This is a group ‘research’ project investigating environmental concerns within a given area of social, political and economic debates. These topic areas are the X. They are: land reform, animal rights, vegetation protections, mineral extraction, human rights, air rights and ocean issues. Each of these areas encompass old and current arguments about opportunities and threats to environmental health and ecological stability. Each research group will produce a booklet or pamphlet illustrating 26 A-Z word or phrases relating to an aspect of the given topic area. For example, animal rights encompass critique of a very wide range of ways that humans alter, use or exploit animals for food, labour, other products and experiments of many sorts. The words may be the names of processes (e.g. vivisection), animal products, famous animals (e.g. Laika the Soviet space dog), activists, movements or legislation that promotes or defends the use of animals for human profit or pleasure. The ‘animal rights’ group is to find and illustrate 26 words or terms starting with each letter of the alphabet (e.g. V = vivisection). Include terms linked to examples of animals or animal products used in building materials or construction and consider threats to the environments of particular species through architectural or planning decisions including the loss of types of habitats (wetland
    and grassland loss has endangered many species – while some species have thrived and become pests, for example in urban environments such as the ‘bin chicken’ and ‘trash panda’) or specific projects (you may use the proper names of dams, housing estates or individual buildings). Well-designed graphic outputs must follow the assignment requirements.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Please refer to assignment briefs made available on MyUni for individual assessment criteria and requirements. Notify course
    coordinator if assignment briefs are not accessible.

    1: Small Group Discovery Project – A-Z of X / DUE Week 4 17th Aug / In class & upload / 20% / summative
    2: Apocalypse Movie / DUE Week 8 13th Sep / In class & upload / 40% / summative
    3: Quiz / DUE Week 12 / In class online / 30% / summative
    4: participation / DUE ongoing / In class & upload / 10% / formative
    Assessment Related Requirements
    To do well, students need to participate in all class activities. Please make sure you attend regularly and come prepared for class.
    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.


    Task/Assignment No. & Name Due date Time Weight Submission Method
    A-Z of X 17 Aug 7pm 20 online and presentation
    Apocalypse Movie 13 Sep 11.59pm 40 online and presentation
    Quiz 27 Oct 11am (end of class) 30 inclass online
    Participation ongoing 10 in class & upload
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.