DESST 3513 - Design Studio V

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014

Under the theme of `Big Large', this course explores the design possibilities of the cultural, environmental and programmatic contexts for mid to large scale institutional and civic buildings, expressed through propositions inclusive of consideration of meaning, space, form, structures, systems and materiality. The course provides the necessary knowledge and skills to generate complex, resolved designs. It develops critical skills required to attain a high level of architectural judgement. Students will develop ambitious designs through advanced digital and modelling articulating proposals that comprehensively represent the intellectual and physical attributes of their schemes.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code DESST 3513
    Course Design Studio V
    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
    Assumed Knowledge DESST 2519 or DESST 2501
    Restrictions Available to B.ArchDes students only
    Quota A quota will apply
    Course Description Under the theme of `Big Large', this course explores the design possibilities of the cultural, environmental and programmatic contexts for mid to large scale institutional and civic buildings, expressed through propositions inclusive of consideration of meaning, space, form, structures, systems and materiality.

    The course provides the necessary knowledge and skills to generate complex, resolved designs. It develops critical skills required to attain a high level of architectural judgement. Students will develop ambitious designs through advanced digital and modelling articulating proposals that comprehensively represent the intellectual and physical attributes of their schemes.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr James Curry

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. The ability to discuss and strategize stacking and aggregation as an operative design tool
    2. The ability to work with building and planning constraints creatively
    3. Develop skills which consider a buildings structure with its program
    4. Develop design skills that work systematically with design metrics particularly with module/ grid
    5. The ability analyse, discuss and design in section
    6. The ability to analyse and  discuss a buildings relationship with its urban setting
    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. 1,3,5,6
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1,2,3,5
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1,6
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1,6
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1,3
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 6
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 3,6
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Specific information on the development of the City of Adelaide is available through the Government of South Australia’s website. The development plan can be obtained at:

    Further relevant information is given in the handout for each session / assignment, and made accessible through MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    Recommended Readings:
    Allen, Stan. “From Object to Field,” AD: Architecture after Geometry, New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1997, p. 24-31.
    Allen, Stan. “Practice vs. Project” Praxis, v. 1, n.0, New Orleans and New York: Praxis, Inc., 1999, p. 112-123.
    De Certeau, Michel. “Spatial Practices: Walking in the City,” The Practice of Everyday Life. Los Angeles: The University of California Press, 1984.
    Robin Evans, “Figures, Doors and Passages,” in Translations from Drawing to Building (Cambridge: MIT Press,1997) pp.55-91.
    Foucault, Michel. “Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias.” Rethinking Architecture. Ed. Leach. London: Routledge, 1997
    Jeffrey Kipnis, “Towards A New Architecture,” AD Folding in Architecture, Profile No. 102, John Wiley & Sons Ltd (London, 1993), pp 40-9.
    Kwinter, Sanford. ‘Architecture and the Technologies of Life.’ AA Files 27. 1994. 3-4.

    Housing Reference Library:
    Manuel Gausa, Housing: New Alternatives, New Systems (Bikhauser and Actar 1998)
    Housing Tactics, Praxis 3 (2002)
    SELF-SUFFICIENT Housing (Actar, 2006)
    Christian Gänshirt et al., Floor Plan Manual: Housing 3 (Birkhauser, 2007)
    Gustau Gili Galfetti, Model Apartments: Experimental Domestic Cells (1998)

    Precedent List:
    Simmons Hall Dorms, Stephen Holl, 2002
    Unite D’habitation - Le Corbusier, Marseille, France 1946 to 1952
    Baker Dorms, Alvar Aalto, 1948
    Slither, Gifu Housing, Diller+Scofidio, 2003
    Women’s Dormitory, Kazuyo Sejima, 1990
    Gifu Housing, Kazuyo Sejima, 2000
    Kleiburg Bijlmermeer Housing Block Transformation, Greg Lynn 2001
    Marlies Rohmer, Smarties Student Housing, Utrecht, 2003-08
    Interbau Apartment House, Oscar Niemeyer and Soares Filho, Berlin 1957
    Living Steel Housing, N_architects, 2007
    Wozoco Housing, MVRDV, 1997

    Linked Hybrid, Stephen Holl, Bejing, 2009
    Housing - Fukuoka, Japan, Steven Holl 1989-91
    FH Berliner Tor, Coop Himmelb(l)au, 2002
    MVRDV, Parkrand, 2007

    Peabody Terrace, Jospeh Lluis Sert, 1962
    Nakagin Capsule Tower, Kurokawa, 1972
    Ftown Building, Hitoshi Abe, 2007
    Bosco Verticale, Boeri Studio, 2012
    56 Leonard Street, Herzog and DeMeuron, 2014
    Lewis-Tsurumaki-Lewis, Park Tower, 2010

    Tietgen Dormitory, Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects, 2008
    Morphosis, Toronto Graduate Student Housing, 1998-2000
    Celosia Building, MVRDV, 2009

    Eero Saarinan, Hill College House, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1958
    Paul Rudolph, Married Student Housing, Yale University, New Haven, 1960-61
    Louis Kahn, Erdman Hall, Bryn Mawr, 1965
    qubic, HVDN, 2008
    Sociopolis Development

    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

    All course material, assignments, texts, etc. will consecutively be made available through MyUni.

    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

    Lectures: lectures to give an outline of work to be covered and strategies to approaches to design approaches

    Tutorials: studio workshops consisting of exercises and project work; scaled or prototype production of design objects. Students are required to present their work each week in tutorials, subjecting it to analysis, critique and response by staff and fellow students.


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

    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 = 726 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
    Week 1
    3 March
    Issue First Assignment
    Aggregation 1
    Due 1 April 15%
    1:50 Review
    Apartment Plan/Section + Model
    Studio Crits
    Week 2
    10 March
    *No Lecture – Public Holiday 1:50 Review
    Apartment Plan/Section + Model
    Studio Crits
    Week 3
    17 March
    Combinations + Aggregations 1:100
    Apartment Plan/Section + Model
    +Operation Aggregate studies
    Studio Crits
    Week 4
    24 March
    Reading: Object to Field
    Issue Second Assignment
    Organization, Circulation, Scenario
    Due 6 May 35%
    Apartment Plan/Section + Model
    +Operation Aggregate studies
    Studio Crits
    Week 5
    31 March 
    Structural Lecture
    Guest: Nick Roach (Arups)
    Draw Structure Scheme
    Submit/Present: Assign1:
    Aggregation 1 15%
    Week 6
    April 7
    Landscape/Architecture Site analysis/ Planning Controls/ Assign Brief and Site 1:200
    Draw Building Envelope
    Studio Crits
    2 Week Non-Teaching Break
    Week 7
    April 28
    Public/ Private
    The analogical section
    City/ Architecture
    Drawings + 1:200 Section Studio Crits
    Week 8
    May 5
    Issue Third Assignment
    Aggregation 2
    Due 3 June 50%
    Drawings + 1:500 Submit/Present: Assign2:
    Organization, Circulation, Scenario 35%
    Week 9
    May 12
    Skin/Material/Surface Drawings +1:500 Studio Crits
    Week 10
    May 19
    Scale/Size Drawings +1:1000 Studio Crits
    Week 11
    May 26
    No Lecture Final Drawings Final Pin-up
    Week 12
    June 2
    No Lecture FINAL REVIEW Submit/Present: Assign 3:
    Aggregation 2 50%
    Specific Course Requirements

    For this course you will need the ability to construct physical models, be familiar with Adobe Photoshop, and InDesign, as well as a CAD drafting package (and learn by doing).

  • 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

    The course is structured into individual tasks, whose outcomes are discussed in the pin-up sessions, subjecting it to analysis, critique and response by staff and students. The pin-up sessions are the main source of feedback. Students are encouraged to take notes in order to effectively implement the feedback into their ongoing design development. Detailed information on task type, learning objectives and assessment criteria is given in the individual handout for each session.

    Grading is based on a comparison with current and previous student work, and with the instructors’ expectations relative to the objectives of the course.

    A cumulative assessment, agreed on by all critics, will based upon the following criteria: (1) strength of the con¬cept (2) consistent and rigorous articulation and development of the concept (3) technical competency, clarity, precision, craft and timely completeness of the work submitted (4) verbal and graphic presentation, of the work during formal juries. (5) commitment, dedication and intensity of work ethic, i.e. the intangible factors which go beyond talent or gifted physical/mental abilities

    Assign No. & NamePresent/SubmitWeightSubmission MethodOutcomes being assessed
    Assign 1:
    Aggregation 1
    April 1 15% In Tutorial 1, 3
    Assign 2:
    Organization, Circulation, Scenario
    May 6 35% In Tutorial 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Assign 3:
    Aggregation 2
    June 3 50% tba 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    Assessment Related Requirements

    Attendance is compulsory at the Monday lectures (where also each session / assignment is introduced) and at the weekly studio pin-up. Weekly tasks are specified in handouts.

    Although the teaching–staff aim to accommodate (where possible) the wide variety of ‘personal issues’ that can impinge upon a student’s ability to attend all lectures and tutorials throughout the semester, students must attend a mandatory 80% of the scheduled tutorials. This requirement has been instigated in order to aid students in gaining appropriate competency standards in the subject matter, and aid in the student’s ability to apply this knowledge through set assessment tasks.

    It is expected that you will come to tutorials prepared with equipment, materials, and ongoing work for discussion

    You must keep every sketch, text, concept model, to assist your practice of thinking and making; these are part of the process of design, and can be crucial to the final outcome; studio staff will often ask you to show them this work, and sometimes this work becomes relevant at the oddest moments.

    You are expected to produce work between one studio session and the next. If you do not have work to discuss with staff in studio then there can be no feedback; research and process are the methods of a design practice. Part of the process is showing, sharing, and talking.

    Do not sit in studio waiting for someone to come and talk to you, studio is a place for you to work, (that’s what it’s for), this can be drawing, writing, reading, making – and the library is one of your prime resources

    Assessment Detail

    Marking & Feedback (General)

    • Final results for the course will only be available through Access Adelaide and students should not contact the course coordinator or the tutors for the same.
    • Feedback for in-class submissions will only be available during the tutorial as oral critique in the style of studio wall-crits. Students should arrange with peers to make notes for reference.

    The work discussed in the pin-up session is submitting as a collated document of 3 individual tasks. Presentations may be public. Due to the guests varying time schedules the date for the presentation might change, and notice will be given via MyUni. Presenting in your work should be considered as part of the submission, failing to present may be considered a late.

    In week 15 a selection of the most innovative work from this studio be exhibited in the School of Architecture and Built Environment’s ‘All-In’ public exhibition. Details of which will be provided at a later date.


    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%.

    • The deadline for all re-submissions is 12pm on Friday 14th June 2013.

    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.