DESST 2516 - Design Studio III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2020

Under the theme of revitalisation, this course introduces students to the knowledge and skills required to develop design proposals at an urban architectural and engineering scale. The course considers the local, national as well as international contexts. The local Urban Design Project will consider design proposals and supporting infrastructure that analyses and critiques the intellectual tradition of the city in the context of greater metropolitan Adelaide, through drawing and both digital and physical modelling.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code DESST 2516
    Course Design Studio III
    Coordinating Unit School of Architecture and Built Environment
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge DESST 1506 or DESST 1029
    Restrictions Available to B.ArchDest students only.
    Quota A quota will apply
    Course Description Under the theme of revitalisation, this course introduces students to the knowledge and skills required to develop design proposals at an urban architectural and engineering scale. The course considers the local, national as well as international contexts.

    The local Urban Design Project will consider design proposals and supporting infrastructure that analyses and critiques the intellectual tradition of the city in the context of greater metropolitan Adelaide, through drawing and both digital and physical modelling.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr James Curry

    Course Coordinator 
    Professor Samer Akkach

    Teaching Team
    The teaching team includes:
    Studio Leader, course coodinator
    Group Leaders, practising professionals
    Guest Lecturers, professional consultants
    Online Reviewers and Advisors, professional consultants
    The teaching team changes from year to year and details are provided on MyUni.
    Course Timetable

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

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

    1. Identify key principles of the history, theory and practice of architectural design.

    2. Analyse and evaluate architecture in context: how buildings, public spaces, streets, landscapes, transport, and amenities are brought together to make a good sense of place. 

    3. Produce architectural design propositions that interpret and contribute to the project's geo-physical, urban, social and historic contexts.

    4. Develop skills in defining an architectural program in response to the design brief. 

    5. Demonstrate confidence and self-motivation as a designer with sophisticated visual and verbal communication skills.

    6. Develop competencies in a 'live' project responding to a brief generated by the District Council of Yankalilla

    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

    Learning resources will be made available on MyUni.

    Recommended Resources

    Project-specific resources will be provided as needed during the course.

    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 sessions are scheduled for Tuesday 6pm at the Horace Lamb Lecture Theatre, and the exact detail of dates and speakers is available from the School website and the Front Office.

    Academic Support:
    The Professions Learning Centre (PLC) provides postgraduate coursework students of the Faculty of Professions free academic skills advice on critical analysis and structuring assignments, paraphrasing, referencing, oral presentation skills and other skills to assist with success at university. You are encouraged to take advantage of the service to enable you to improve your performance in your studies. To contact a Learning Advisor please send an email to

    Online Learning

    Lecture summaries, image pdfs, hand-outs, links for further reference and additional material considered of interest will be posted on the MyUni website following the relevant class.

    A Discussion Board and ability to share and build Group work will also be a feature of work for this Course.

    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.

    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
    Design Studio III involves three modes of teaching and learning:

    1. Weekly Lecture/Seminar

    A weekly 2-hour lecture/seminar involves the following activities:
       a. Presentation and discussing course information, submission, expectations, assessments and oter procedual matters.
       b. Presentation and discussion of history, theory, and practice of urban design, both in general and in relation to selected projects.
       c. Guest talks, tests, group discussions, and student presentations.

    2. Weekly Studio Sessions
    A weekly 4-hour studio session devoted to the following activities:
       a. Individual face-to-face meeting with a design tutor to discuss design ideas/proposals and provide guidance for development and submission.
       b. Group work, design collaboration, and discussion.
       c. Staged formal presentations, reviews, and assessments.

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

    This is a 6 unit course. Students in this course are expected to attend 6 hours of lecture/tutorial/seminar each week and allow for 18 hours of self-directed learning each week. That is a total of 24 hours a week for 12 weeks. The tutorials and other activities, including reviews of work in progress are an important component of learning in this course. The communication skills developed by regularly and actively participating in activities and discussions are considered extremely important by the School and are highly regarded by employers and professional bodies.

    The University expects full-time students (ie. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote at least 48 hours per week to their studies. Accordingly, students undertaking this 6 unit course are expected to devote 24 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 hours: 24 Hrs per week x 13 weeks = 312 Hrs
    Total contact hours: 6 Hrs per week x 12 weeks = 72 Hrs
    Total self-guided study: 312 Hrs – 72 Hrs = 240 Hrs

    These 240 hours should be used towards preparation of weekly tasks and for completion of the various assignments associated with the course, including development of various skills required to complete the same. Please organise your time wisely.

    Learning Activities Summary

    The following summary presents a general overview of the learning and teaching activities in the course. These are subject to slight changes according to the specific demands of the class. Detailed descriptions of learning and teaching activities will be given during the course. Please check course announcements and emails daily.

    Week Lecture Tutorial Weekly Task
    Mar 4/7
    Introduction: Rules, projects, tutors, and mode of teaching.

    No Tutorials

    Online AchiStar Tutorials
    Complete Archistar Tutorials for Assign.1
    Mar 14
    No Lecture _ Public Holiday Myponga Site visit, documentation, site analysis, program.

    * Site Visit Form to be filled in and handed in at Arch Reception
    Assign. 1- 10% Due
    Submission Online

    Upload drawings/maps/sketches  and discuss with tutors
    Mar 18/21
    Interpreting Site:
    Spatial and Operational Considerations
    In CAD Suite– Task
    Site Interpretation Diagrams 


    Upload drawings/maps/sketches  and discuss with tutors

    Make Site Model using Sections from CAD Topography Model
    Mar 25/28
    Interpreting Site:
    Class Consultation
    James Hayter (TBC)
    In CAD Suite – Task
    Cut Sections of CAD Topography model


    Upload drawings/maps/sketches  and discuss with tutors

    Apr 1/4

    Introduction to Brief:
    From Brief to Program

    In Studio–
    Site Analysis Review
    PP Presentation (Compulsory)
    2nd Assign Pre-pinup presentation & review


    Cluster Brief into Programmatic Activities

    Apr 8/11
    Programmatic Structure

    In Studio – Task
    Diagram relation between Site Circulation and Program Circulation


    Revise Site Analysis Drawings

    Develop 3 Mass Model Using Diagram

    Develop Plans
    Mid-semester break: Apr 15 - 26
    Apr 29/May 2
    Introduction to Sections:
    Topography, Light, Sequence
    In CAD Suite – Task
    Develop and export Section 


    Revise Drawings

    1x Section Exploring   Sequence
    Interior Rendering
    May 6/9
    Depth and Atmosphere
    In Studio –
    Site v Program Review
    PP Presentation (Compulsory)
    2rd Pre-pinup presentation & review


    Upload ppt

    Revise Drawings and Model
    May 13/16
    Nick Roach: Guest Talk (TBC)
    In Studio
    Assignment 3/ Pin-up and review - 30% individual work, parallel Presentations


    Upload Assignment 3 Submission

    Structure and Envelope:
    Review & discussion
    In Studio – Task
    Unfolded Surface Drawing
    (Review Structural Scheme,Revised Plans and Sections)


    Upload drawings/maps/sketches and discuss with tutors

    Jun 27/30
    Template Released
    In Studio –
    Free Pre-pinup presentation & review


    Upload drawings/maps/sketches and discuss with tutors
    Jun 3/6
    Class Consultation
    Review & discussion
    In Studio – PP Presentation
    3rd Pre-pinup presentation & review
    In Studio – PP Presentation
    Complete 3rd stage
    Jun 10/13
    No Lecture _ Public Holiday

    Assignment 4/Final Pin-up and review – 45%

    Final Presentations UD Project with guest critics


    Upload Asssignment 4 Submission
    Specific Course Requirements

    Field Trip
    There is a compulsory field trip on Thursday 14th March to Myponga. This is a full day field trip. Please plan ahead to enable your attendance.

    ArchiStar Academy
    Students are expected to demonstrate skills in InDesign, Photoshop and Rhino.
    You have made a good start on these in Level I.
    To ensure that you are up to speed, to refresh your knowledge, to succeed in DSIII, you are expected to complete:

    Photosop and Illustrator (3 hours)
    Adobe INDesign CC (2.5 hours)
    Rhino Essentials (3 hours)
    Rhino Designer (3.5 hours)
    Rhino ADvanced (3.5 hours)
    (All of these techical course completions can go on your CV)

    You are required to complete these courses by the end of Week 2.

    You need to register at

    egister with your email
    This online digital platform is free and easy and will help you immeasurably with your success in the course.

    Small Group Discovery Experience

  • 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

    Assessment exercises (or Assignmnets) are project related and will change from year to year. Details of individual Assignment are given in hand-out sheets and generally introduced and explained in the workshops. They will also be available on MyUni.

    There are three Assignments correpondening to the three stages of the project as show in the table.

    Assignment Due DateTimeWeightTypeLearning Outcomes
    Assign 1:
    ArchiStar Tutorials

    Week 2 As advised 10%

    Online 1,2,4
    Assign 2: Task Sheets
    Week 2-12 Prior to commencement of Weekly Tutorial 15% Online completion of Task Sheets 1,2,3,5
    Assign 3:
    Site v Building program analysis and proposal
    Week 9 As advised 30%

    Pin-up and VP
    Assign 4:
    Final design
    Week 13 As advised 45% Pin-up & VP
    Due to the current COVID-19 situation modified arrangements have been made to assessments to facilitate remote learning and teaching. Assessment details provided here reflect recent updates.

    For modified assessment arrangements, please refer to my Guidelines for Online Communications and Procedures in the Online Protocol module.

    Assessment Related Requirements

    Assignment 3 is an Assessment Hurdle. You must achieve a minimum of 40% for this assessment to Pass the Course.

    Assessment Detail
    Details of each assessment task are available on MyUni.
    In this course there are two ungraded submissions and three graded submissions. The two ungraded submissions are set up to help students prepare for the final two graded submission. Both types of submission involve visual and verbal presentations: the ungraded is digital, while the graded is hardcopy. The dates and locations for the six submissions are shown in the table. More details on each submission are given during the course.

    SumissionDue DateTimeWeightSubmission Method
    Assignment 1
    Archistar Tutorials
    Week 2
    Online 10% Online completion
    Assignment 2
    Completion of Task Sheets
    Weekly Due
    Prior to Commencement
    of Tutorial
    Online 15% Online completion
    Assignment 3
    Pre-pinup PP Presentation
    Week 8 Studio 0% Digital: PPoint Group Presentation
    Assignment 3
    Site v Building Program
    Analysis and proposal
    Week 9
    Studio 30% Hardcopy: Pinup & Individual Presentation
    (in groups)
    Pre-pinup PP Presentation
    Final Design
    Week 12 Studio 0% Digital: PPoint Group Presentation
    Assignment 4
    Final Design
    Week 13 Studio 45% Hardcopy: Pinup & Individual Presentation
    (in groups)

    Submissions (General):

    • All submissions must include Student Name and Student ID Number. Submissions without Student Name or ID Number will not be considered for marking, and will receive zero marks in accordance with the guidelines.

    • In addition, all assigments need to have an Assignment Cover Sheet which must be signed and dated by the student before submission. Please attach the cover sheet in front of the document, to the top left hand corner.

    • Please adhere to submission deadlines and follow instructions provided.

    • Students must not submit work for an assignment that has previously been submitted for this course or any other course without prior approval from the Course Coordinator.

    • On occasion, the lecturer/tutor may wish to retain students’ work for future reference and the relevant student will be informed at such a time.

    Early Submission:

    • There is an early submission box located on Level 4 which is cleared out daily at 10am. Please mark your submission clearly before placing in box.

    • Models for in-class presentation cannot be handed in early.

    Late Submission:

    • The school will NOT accept late submissions and any such assignment will receive zero marks. This also applies to electronic submissions.

    • Printing delays & hard disk crashes will not be entertained as legitimate causes for delay, so please ensure that the work is finished in advance.


    • The school has a resubmission policy whereby students can redeem failed work by submitting additional work for a maximum of 50%.

    Good practice:

    • Students should ensure that they regularly backup their work on multiple locations as hard-disk crashes are an unfortunate reality.

    • When relying on community printing facilities, students should attempt to finish their work in advance to avoid unnecessary delays.

    • Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted (digital or hardcopy), as originals may be lost during the submission process.

    For modified arrangements of submission and assessment due to special circumstances see the following Assessment Task Extension(s) & Additional Assessment guidelines.

    Modified Arrangements (General) 

    • Students can apply for extensions or modified arrangements based on Medical conditions or other Extenuating circumstances. However, students need to submit their application along with supporting documents within 5 business days of the condition becoming applicable.
    • The application forms are available from the Front Office and at and need to be submitted at the Front Office along with any supporting documentation.
    • Please note that submitting an application does not guarantee acceptance and the Course Coordinator will inform the applicant if the application is accepted. Please DO NOT contact the Course Coordinator directly.

    Medical Reasons:

    • In case of an extended medical condition which makes it impossible for the student to submit the work on time, an Application for Assessment Task Extension due to Medical Circumstances may be lodged with the Front Office along with a doctor’s certificate within 5 business days.

    Extenuating Circumstances:

    • If the student is unable to submit the work on time due to extenuating circumstances an Application for Assessment Task Extension due to Extenuating Circumstances may be lodged with the Front Office.
    • Please note that this is only available for certain military, religious, or legal obligations and does not extend to minor personal problems. (Refer to Student Handbook at for further details or contact Student Advisor).

    Compassionate Grounds:

    • In case of certain extraordinary personal problems students can apply for extensions based on compassionate grounds. However, these must first be discussed with the Course Coordinator in person through appointment during the assigned office hours.
    • To maintain privacy relating to personal issues students can contact the University Transition and Advisory Service at 8313 0100 or, or approach the Counselling Service on 83035663 for an individual appointment.

    Additional Assessment:

    • If a student receives a Fail grade for the course with an overall mark between 45 and 49, they may be eligible for an Additional Assessment which would allow them to get a maximum of 50 Pass for the Course.
    • Additional Assessment offers are made by the School and the student will be informed directly once these are made available.


    • Students who have a disability and wish to seek modified submission or assessment arrangements need to contact the University Disability Services at 83135962 or for supporting documentation and then communicate these to the Course Coordinator in person through appointment during the assigned office hours.

    Elite Athlete:

    • Students who have national/international sporting commitments and wish to seek modified submission or assessment arrangements need to register with the University Elite Athlete Support Scheme at and then communicate this to the Course Coordinator in person through appointment during the assigned office hours.
    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.