DESST 1503 - Design Studio I

North Terrace Campus - Summer - 2015

This course introduces design as a speculative process of inquiry and experimentation. It involves knowledge acquisition and the preliminary development of skills to conceptualise, resolve and present well reasoned landscape architectural ideas through drawing and modelling. The course introduces techniques of analysis and critique of design outcomes as well as fundamental engineering principles applicable to landscapes. Under the theme of Urban Open Spaces, this course engages students with learning to design through iterative processes integrating considerations of site, precedent, human scale, site engineering and material and physical data.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code DESST 1503
    Course Design Studio I
    Coordinating Unit School of Architecture and Built Environment
    Term Summer
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Restrictions Available to B.ArchDes students only
    Quota A quota will apply
    Course Description This course introduces design as a speculative process of inquiry and experimentation. It involves knowledge acquisition and the preliminary development of skills to conceptualise, resolve and present well reasoned landscape architectural ideas through drawing and modelling. The course introduces techniques of analysis and critique of design outcomes as well as fundamental engineering principles applicable to landscapes.

    Under the theme of Urban Open Spaces, this course engages students with learning to design through iterative processes integrating considerations of site, precedent, human scale, site engineering and material and physical data.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Mr Gavin Chow

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    As a six point course, Design Studio One is aimed at introducing the basic skills, concepts and approaches essential to understanding and engaging with contemporary architecture, landscape architecture and urban design. The course learning objectives are specifically aligned with the thematic content of the lecture series, the self-directed study (including required reading and journal tasks), the studio exercises and the objectives of the assessable tasks. In pursuing these, the student will gain the following knowledge and skills:

    1. The students will develop comprehension skills in ‘reading’ a landscape and other urban open spaces.

    2. The student will develop understanding of natural, social and cultural systems and how design can impact, interact and
    improve environments.

    3. The student will be able to appreciate context — macro and micro — in the development of a design response.

    4. The student will be able to communicate and represent design strategies according to disciplinary conventions.

    5. The student will develop abilities in deriving form from verbally stated requirements (a brief).

    6. The student will be introduced to the studio environment and, in turn, develop their inter-personal skills, verbal
    communication skills and critical thinking.

    7. The student will be able to communicate critical design thinking through appropriate modes of representation; drawings,
    models and graphics.

    8. The student will be able to explore creative processes and idea generation.

    9. The student will develop a sense of scale and proportion.

    The knowledge and skills acquired in this course provide a fundamental basis for your understanding of architecture, landscapes and cities. This knowledge and the related skills constitute a seminal part of your design education in the Bachelor of Architectural Design. The skills acquired are the foundation stones of your future career as a designer.


    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)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1 2 3 4 5 7 8 9
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1 2 3 4 5 7 8 9
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1 2 4 5 6 7 8
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 3 4 6 7 8
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1 2 3 5 6
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 2 3 4 5 6 7
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1 2 3 4 5 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Ching, Francis D.K. Architecture: Form, Space and Order.
    Fourth Edition. Wiley, 2014.

    This key reference is updated with contemporary examples and interactive
    3D models.


    It is available at Unibooks and several copies are available for loan in the Barr Smith Library.


    Waterman, Tim. The Fundamentals of Landscape Architecture. Second Edition. Bloomsbury, 2015.

    This new text is available from Unibooks and other vendors.

    Journal. Available from the Image and Copy Centre, Basement, Hughes Building. $15.

    View location at
    Please note: Student Course Readers (including DESST Journal) CAN NOW ONLY be purchased online from the new Online Shop. Login to Unified and simply click on the Online Shop icon in the left hand side of the Home page. As soon as the course reader is printed and available, it will be published on the Online Shop where students can order and pay and then COLLECT  their reader from Image & Copy Centre.


    As advised in O’Week, Essential Equipment and Stationery is available as
    a pack from:

    Eckersley’s Art & Craft

    21 Frome St, Adelaide. SA

    T: 08 8223 4155


    These items are part of your course requirements and the discount prices are only valid until March 31st 2015. 

    This kit is pre-packed and will save you $154.90* off normal retail prices.


    Please note: Items cannot be removed from kit and remain at this special price.

    These items, if purchased separately from the kit, will be charged at retail price less 10% student discount.


    Recommended Resources

    Detailed information about further resources will be available on MyUni.

    The top 5 recommended resources for Design Studio I (and future courses) include:

    Ching, Francis. Architectural Graphics. Wiley, 2015.

    Dee, Catherine. Form and Fabric in Landscape Architecture: A Visual Introduction. Taylor and Francis, 2001.

    Frederick, Matthew. 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School. MIT Press, 2007.

    Littlefield, David and Pamela Buxton. Metric Handbook: Planning and Design Data. Routledge, 2012.

    Radford, Antony, Amit Srivastava and Selen Morkoç. The Elements of Modern Architecture: Understanding Contemporary Buildings.
    Thames and Hudson, 2014.

    The following reference list is an excellent starting point for research and exploration.
    Much of this resource list was originally compiled by Joshua Zeunert for 2012 Design Studio I.

    JOURNALS (many are online at Barr Smith Library)
    ——Landscape Architecture Australia
    ——JoLA: Journal of Landscape Architecture
    ——Kerb: Journal of Landscape Architecture
    ——Landscape Journal
    ——Harvard Design Magazine
    ——OASE  Journal for Architecture;
    ——Landscape Architecture
    ——Landscape and Urban Planning
    ——Australian Planner
    ——Volume magazine

    ——Angelil, M, 2003, Inchoate: An Experiment in Architectural Education, SFIT, Zurich
    ——Ching, F, 2007, Architecture: Form, Space and Order. 3rd edition, John Wiley and Sons, New York
    ——Frederick, M, 2007, 101 Things I Learned at Architecture School, MIT Press, Cambridge MA.
    ——Klanten, R, Bourquin, N, Ehmann, S, van Heerden, F (eds), 2008, Data Flow: Visualising Information in Graphic Design, Gestalten, Berlin.
    ——McHarg, I, 1969, Design with Nature, Natural History Press, Garden City, N.Y. Seager, J, 1995, State of the Environment Atlas: The International Visual Survey, Penguin.
    ——Steenbergen, C, 2008, Composing Landscapes: Analysis, Typology and Experiments for Design, Birkhäuser, Switzerland.

    ——Alexander, C, Ishikawa, S, Silverstein, M, 1977, A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction, Oxford University Press, USA
    ——Barbaux, S, 2010, Jardins Ecologiques : Ecology, source of creation, ICI Interface, France.
    ——Contemporary Landscape Architecture, 2008, Daab, Cologne.
    ——Leszczynski, N, 1999, Planting the Landscape: A Professional Approach to Garden Design, John Wiley & Sons, NY.
    ——Margolis, L, Robinson, A, 2007, Living Systems: Innovative Materials and Technologies for Landscape Architecture, Birkhäuser, Switzerland.
    ——Thomson, P, 2002, Australian Planting Design, Melbourne, Lothian Books.
    ——Petschek, P, 2008, Grading for Landscape Architects and Architects, Birkhauser, Basel. Boston. Berlin

    ——Ware, S, 2011, Sunburnt: Landscape Architecture in Australia, Sun, Amsterdam.
    ——Weller, R et al., 2005, Room 4.1.3: Innovations in Landscape Architecture, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia USA.
    ——Weller, R, 2009, Boom Town, UWA, WA.
    ——Zimmermann, A (ed.) 2009, Constructing Landscape: Materials, Techniques, Structural Components, Birkhauser, Switzerland.
    ——Dee, C, 2002, Form and Fabric in Landscape Architecture, Spoon Press, London

    ——Uffelen, C (ed.) 2008, 1000X Landscape Architecture, Braun, Berlin.
    —— Angles, M (ed.) 2010, In Favour of Public Space; Ten Years of the European Prize for Urban Public Space, CCCB / ACTAR. Barcelona.
    ——LAE, 2009, On Site: Landscape Architecture Europe, Birkhauser, Switzerland.
    ——Reed, P, 2005, Groundswell, Museum of Modern Art, New York.
    ——Richardson, T, 2008, Avant Gardeners, Thames and Hudson, London.

    ——Elam, K, 2001, Geometry of Design: Studies in Proportion and Composition, Princeton Architectural Press, NY
    ——Laseau, P, 1980, Graphic thinking for architects and designers, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.
    ——Cantrell, B & Michaels, W, 2010, Digital Drawing for Landscape Architects, John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey.
    ——Reid, G, 1987, Landscape Graphics, The Architectural Press, London.
    ——Tufte, E, 2001 (2nd ed.), The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Graphics Press, USA

    ——Berkinshaw, T, 2009, Mangroves to mallee : the complete guide to the vegetation of temperate South Australia, Greening Australia, SA
    ——Dashorst, G, & Jessop, I, 1990, Plants of the Adelaide Plains and Hills, Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst.
    ——Daniels, C, Tait, C (ed), 2005, Adelaide, Nature of a City: Ecology of a Dynamic City from 1836-2006, BioCity:Centre for Urban Habitats,SA.
    ——Daniels, C (ed), 2010, Adelaide, Water of a City, Wakefield Press, Adelaide.
    ——Kraehenbuehl, D, 1996, Pre-European Vegetation of Adelaide: A Survey from the Gawler River to Hallett Cove, Nature Conservation Society of South Australia, Adelaide.

    ——Bell, B, & Wakeford, K , & Badanes, S et. all, 2008, Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism, Metropolis Books, NY.
    ——Berger, A, 2006, Drosscape: Wasting Land in Urban America, Princeton Architectural Press,
    ——Bull, Catherin (2002), New conversations with an old landscape: landscape architecture in contemporary Australia, Images Publishing Group, Victoria.
    ——Corner, J (ed.) 1999, Recovering Landscape: Essays in Contemporary Landscape Theory, Princeton Architectural Press, NY
    ——Hawken, P, Lovings, A., Lovins, L.H, 2000, Natural Capitalism: creating the next industrial revolution, Little Brown & Company, NY.
    ——Horwitz, J, Singley, P (eds), 2004, Eating Architecture, MIT Press, Cambridge, USA
    ——McDonough, W & Braungart, M, 2002, Cradle to Cradle, North Point Press, NY.
    ——MDRDV, 1999, Meta City Data Town, D10 Publishers, Rotterdam.
    ——Pallasmaa, J, 2005, The Eyes of the Skin – Architecture and the Senses, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ.
    ——Reynolds, R, 2008, On Guerrilla Gardening, Bloomsbury, London.
    ——Waldheim, C (ed.) 2006, The Landscape Urbanism Reader, Princeton Architectural Press, New York.
    ——Lefebvre, H, 1974, The Production of Space, translated by Nicholson-Smith, D, Basil Blackwell, Oxford

    ——Saniga,A (2012). Making Landscape Architecture in Australia. Sydney, Australia: NewSouth Publishing.
    ——Hobhouse, P, 2002, The Story of Gardens, DK, London.
    ——Kastner, J, 1998, Land and Environmental Art, Phaidon Press, London.
    ——Lailach, M, 2007, Land Art, Taschen, Koln.
    ——Leopold, A, 1949, A Sand County Almanac, Oxford University Press, New York.
    ——Lyall, S, 1991, Designing the New Landscape, Thames & Hudson, NY.
    ——Trieb, M (ed.) 1993, Modern Landscape Architecture: A Critical Review, MIT, MA.

    ——Nordahl, D, 2009, Public Produce: The New Urban Agriculture, Island Press, USA.
    ——Pollock, M, 2006, Fruit & Vegetable Gardening in Australia, DK, Victoria.
    ——Roberts, P, 2008, The End of Food, Houghton Mifflin, Boston.

    ——Campbell, C, 2005, Oil Crisis. Multi-Science Publishing, UK.
    ——Carson, R, 1962, Silent Spring, Houghton Mifflin, USA.
    ——Catton, W, 1980, Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change, University of Illinois Press, USA.
    ——Deffeyes, K, 2010,When Oil Peaked, Hill and Wang, New York.
    ——Diamond, J, 2005, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive, Penguin, London.
    ——Downton, P, (2009), Ecopolis:Architecture and Cities for a Changing Climate, CSIRO, VIC.
    ——Flannery, T, 1994, The Future Eaters: An Ecological History of the Australasian Lands and People, Reed Books, Chatswood, N.S.W.
    ——Flannery, T, 2003, Beautiful Lies, Population and Environment in Australia, Issue 9, Black Inc., Melbourne.
    ——Flannery, T, 2005, The Weather Makers: The History and Future Impact of Climate Change, Text Publishing, Melbourne.
    ——Heinberg, R, Lerch, D, (ed) 2010,The Post Carbon Reader: Managing the 21st Century’s Sustainability Crises, Watershed Media, California
    ——Holmgren, D, 2009, Future Scenarios: How Communities Can Adapt to Peak Oil and Climate
    Change, Chelsea Green Publishing, Canada.
    ——Holmgren, D, 2002, Permaculture: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability, Holmgren Design Services, VIC
    ——Hopkins, R, 2008, The Transition Handbook, Chelsea Green, VT
    ——Kunstler, J.H, 2005, The Long Emergency, Atlantic Books, London.
    ——Leggett, J, 2005, The Empty Tank: Oil, Gas, Hot Air, and the Coming Financial Catastrophe. Random House, New York.
    ——Low, T, 1999, Feral Future, Viking, Victoria.
    ——Low, T, 2003, The New Nature, Penguin, Victoria.
    ——Lowe, I, 2005, A Big Fix, Black Inc, Melbourne.
    ——MacLean, A, 2008, Over: The American Landscape at the Tipping Point, Abrams, NY. Newman, P & Jennings, I, 2008, Cities as Sustainable Ecosystems - Principles and Practices, Island Press, Washington.
    ——Seddon, G, 1972, Sense of Place, UWA Press, WA.
    ——Soleri , P, 1969, Arcology: The City in the Image of Man, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
    ——Suzuki, D & Dressel, H, 2003, Good News for a Change: How Everyday People are Helping the Planet, Greystone Books, Canada.
    ——Thompson, G, & Steiner, F, 1997, Ecological Design and Planning, John Wiley and Sons, NY

    ——KOYAANISQATSI (1983)
    ——Urbanized 2012
    ——Baraka (1992)
    ——Manufactured Landscapes (2006)
    ——Life After People (2008)
    ——The Plan (2010)
    ——Samsara (2011) RADIO
    ——THE PLAN; (Radio Adelaide 101.5FM,Wed 6-7pm)      & by Podcast
    ——The Architects (RRR-Melbourne) by Podcast

    ——Compass         ——Weather (BOM)       ——Moon phases                             ——Theodolite       ——Sun (e.g. sunseeker)




    GENERAL WEB REFERENCES,29307,1626519,00.html


    Google Map / Terrain / Earth

    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.

    In addition to the above resources, further assignment resources are available on MyUni. These may include further reading material for the lectures and studios, reading material that will assist with the preparation of assignments and appropriate links to
    assist students with academic writing including essay writing as required.

    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 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 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

    Students can also access a copy of the Student Handbook at the following link:


  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

  • 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

    No information currently available.

    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    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.