ARCH 7032 - Studio Cultures: Architecture (M)

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2023

This design studio focuses on cultural sensibility and critical self-reflection in the design process. The projects will investigate historical, political, social, and experiential layers of existing built fabrics, to develop appropriately sensitive and responsive designs for adaptive reuse and urban densification. The Studio aims to shift the students? thinking away from preconceived ideas and into methodologies for creating conceptual architecture that will evolve to a built form, addressing aesthetic, organisational and technical aspects along the way. The studio rises awareness and critical perspectives on cross-cultural encounters, to speculate on alternative ways of living, social interaction, and building.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ARCH 7032
    Course Studio Cultures: Architecture (M)
    Coordinating Unit School of Architecture and Built Environment
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Corequisites ARCH 7033
    Restrictions Available to M.Arch (Cswk) students only
    Assessment Progressive design development assessment + mid and final review
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Urs Bette

    Urs Bette (course coordinator) is a registered German architect. He holds a Masters degree from the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, and a PhD from RMIT University Melbourne. His design works have been shown at the Architectural Biennale Venice, the AEDES Architecture Gallery Berlin and the FRAC Centre Orléans. His research investigates ‘the unreasonable’ in the design process, revealing strategies that facilitate the poetics of architecture within a discourse whose primary evaluation parameters revolve around expectations of efficiency and quantifiable performance. A book about his work was published by University College London, available as pdf here:  email:, phone: 08 8313 4590, location: Room 471, Horace Lamb, North Terrace Campus, contact: during studio hours / by appointment.

    Enzo Ferraro (tutor) holds a Masters degree in architecture from the University of Adelaide. His masters project ‘ Visual-Anti’ draws on reactive and passive dualities found in culture and nature, which he links through technological invention and cunning graphic persuasion. Since graduating Enzo has continued to experiment with the built form, his ongoing obsession with creative thinking has pushed him to explore design through other disciplines, including; installation, theatre and film. He balances his desire for three dimensional expression with graphic design projects, including clients like EMI and Warner Music. In parallel he works as a Design and Project Manager at Damien Chwalisz Architects. email:, phone: NA, location: NA, contact: during studio hours / by appointment.

    Athanasios Lazarou (tutor) is a Graduate of Architecture at Tectvs and a Course Co-ordinator at The School of Architecture & Built Environment at the University of Adelaide, where he is currently finishing a PhD on the relationship between space and politics during the current Greek-crisis. This interest in the politics of space has taken him internationally to speak at conferences and locally as a contributor across a range of events. His writing has appeared in numerous spaces online including Architecture AU and the Monthly Review. email:, phone: NA, location: NA, contact: during studio hours / by appointment.

    Minh Trinh (tutor) is a registered architect, practicing both in Australia and Vietnam. Minh gained his Bachelor's degree in Vietnam and a Master's in Architecture from The University of Adelaide. While working for commercial offices on large-scale mixed-use projects, he established his own design studio ‘ design’, developing and implementing a range of small scale projects in the private housing, hospitality and commercial sectors. email:, phone: NA, location: NA, contact: during studio hours / by appointment.
    Course Timetable

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

    Wednesdays 2-3pm
    Live streamed via Zoom, recordings made available through My-Uni.

    Studio Groups / Tutorials
    ST01 (15473) - BSS 524 Gallery East 10am - 1pm | lunch | 2pm - 5pm
    ST02 (15472) - BSS 527 Gallery West 10am - 1pm | lunch | 2pm - 5pm

    ST03 (15471) - BSS 524 Gallery East 10am - 1pm | lunch | 2pm - 5pm
    ST04 (15470) - BSS 527 Gallery West 10am - 1pm | lunch | 2pm - 5pm

    In case of an uneven distribution of student numbers, we reserve the right to move students across the tutorial groups to enable equal 'one on one' contact times.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1 Demonstrate a broader understanding of the relationships between built form, content, context, concept, and construction, with particular reference to culture-specific practices, perceptions and operations.
    2 Interpret site and culture-specific practices as generative parameters to creatively synthesise an architectural project.
    3 Compose an innovative design based on exploration and critical reflection.
    4 Explore and transpose site- and culture-specific means of representation to develop and communicate a design project.
    5 Demonstrate an understanding of the architect as an agent of cultural change.
    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)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.

    1, 2, 6

    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.

    1, 2

    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    3, 4, 5

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.

    2, 6

    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

    4, 6
  • Learning Resources
    Recommended Resources
    Recommended publications / readings will be announced and made accessible by throughout the semester. The University library has a collection of relevant design journals, which are an excellent resource for design ideas, theoretical texts, detailing and presentation techniques. E.g. El Croquis, Assemblage, Architectural Design, Harvard Design Magazine, Log, Project, Quaderns, Architecture Review and Architecture Australia. The School has a lecture series where respected practitioners and academics speak on contemporary architectural practice. In order to expand your knowledge of contemporary directions in design it is highly recommended that you attend these lectures. Dates and details will be made available through email and on the School’s website.

    Online Learning
    All course materials, assignments, texts, etc. will consecutively be made available through MyUni. The School uses the University email system to get in touch with the students. It is imperative that you check your email regularly and keep up to date with any new announcements. Course information and materials will be made available through MyUni. Please see the general Course Information as well as the individual Studio Groups. 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.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Tutorials / Pin-ups
    The format for Studio Cultures is the Design Studio, a structure that parallels industry processes for design development and resolution. Students are required to present their work each week in the Studio workshop environment, subjecting it to analysis, critique and response by staff and students. Students must maintain a written diary of these sessions, recording the responses to their weekly pin-up. The work presented in pin-ups may include weekly in-studio design exercises and/or "work in progress" on major assignments. In all cases the work needs to be articulated and referenced in regards to the individual topics, theoretical backgrounds and practical issues pursued by the students.

    The studio sessions are supplemented by weekly lectures. These will be live streamed and made available through My-Uni.

    We will be running some software related workshops. These are extra-curricular offerings that take place outside of the normal tutorial hours. These might be helpful, but are not compulsory to attend. Each session consist of a recorded online component and a helpline for individual problems. This will take place in the computer suite and be streamed if possible.

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

    The University expects students undertaking this 6 unit course to devote 24 hours per week to contact activities and self-guided study. Self-guided study should be used towards preparation of weekly pin-ups and the steady development of your project. The following figures are based on this framework and might assist in managing your workload. Organise your time wisely.

    Contact hours: Equivalent of 6 hrs per week x 12 weeks
    Self-guided study: 18 hrs per week x 13 weeks
    Total workload hours: 24 hrs per week x 13 weeks


    Learning Activities Summary

    W1 intro studio brief YES
    W2 studio research YES
    W3 studio coupling YES
    W4 studio interpretation YES
    W5 studio organisation YES
    W6 Mid Review presentation NO
    B1 no contact model NO
    B2 no contact model NO
    W7 studio program + brief YES
    W8 studio topography YES
    W9 studio structure YES
    W10 studio interface YES
    W11 studio drawings YES
    W12 studio resolution NO
    W13 Final Review presentation NO

  • 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


    1 - General Semester Progress: discussions / pin-ups
    Due Date: weekly Time: studio hours
    Weight: 10% Type: formative
    Method: pin-up / desk crit Objective: 1, 4

    2 - Mid Review: Graphic Proposal with reflective commentary
    Due Date: week 6, Thu / Fri Time: studio hours
    Weight: 40% Type: summative
    Method: pdf MyUni Objective: 2, 3

    3 - Final Review: Exhibition prints (model TBA)
    Due Date: week 12/13, Thu / Fri Time: studio hours
    Weight: 50% Type: summative
    Method: pdf MyUni, print & model Objective: 2, 3

    Marks published on MyUni are a guide only. The final results are determined by a moderation process within and across the tutorials and will only be available through Access Adelaide..

    Assessment Related Requirements
    Participation in the weekly meetings is required in order to demonstrate the projects’ progress and to take benefit from the tutors’ feedback. Students are asked to maintain a diary of comments and suggestions. Mid- and Final Review are joint events of all studio groups with their respective tutors and invited guest. Mid and Final Reviews are schedule during studio hours. Digital versions of presentations need to be uploaded to MyUni prior to reviews. Presentation timelines and venues will be issued in a timely manner. Student participation in Mid and Final Review is compulsory. Work handed in but not presented in person is considered as ‘not submitted’.

    Assessment Detail
    1 - Semester Progress
    Description: Students discuss their work in progress during weekly pin-ups and desk-crits with their studio leaders and fellow students. Those discussions should be accompanied by drawings, models, or any other materials as described in the weekly task sheet

    Criteria: Students will be credited for clear and confident articulation of their work, presentation of ideas, drawings and design strategies, self-criticism, knowledge of like projects, as well as the student’s contribution to the discussion around other students’ work.
    Submission: weekly pin-ups

    2 - Mid Review
    Description: Students show the development of their design from initial investigations, tests and trials, to preliminary ideas, concepts and a subsequent proposal, in form of screen presentation that includes reflective commentary on each of the design tasks. Work on it is supposed to commence from the start of the semester and capture the weekly discussions and pin-up sessions. The continuous editing of a presentation is a formalised way to reflect upon your design process and helps you synthesising possible solutions. The aim is to critically evaluate each steps, substantiate and test its credibility, and arrive at a coherent proposal that can be successfully communicated. Material shown may include annotated diagrams, drawings, renders, models, photographs, as well as any other material that supports the understanding of the design process.

    Criteria: Students will be credited for a comprehensibly laid out booklet that gives evidence of their design thinking, demonstrating their understanding of the given or selected task / topic / problem, the rigor and intensity of their investigation, knowledge and understanding of like or relevant projects, originality and inventiveness in both approach and subsequent proposal.

    Submission: Presentation via projection in a public forum. Students will be required to speak to their display and answer questions from the assessment panel. A pdf version of the booklet has to be uploaded to MyUni prior to the presentation. The file needs to be named: familyname_firstname_MID.

    3 - Final Review
    Description: The final design proposal is presented on 2 A0 posters. The content shall be similar to the Mid Review, however, be more focused on the final design and developed to higher detail. The presentation should be supported by annotated diagrams, drawings, photographs, renders, models, a written project description, any other material that supports the design, and as negotiated with the studio leader. It should include a graphical summary of the design process, any technical aspects that are pertinent to the scheme, and demonstrate structural considerations through physical model, axonometric drawing or section. The best works will be shown in a public exhibition at the Black Diamond Gallery in Port Adelaide.

    Criteria: Students will be credited for a coherent presentation that draws a clear and legible argument from the initial investigations to the conceptual idea and final design proposal. Students will be credited for courageous investigations, demonstrated knowledge and understanding of design strategies, innovation, integration of functional and technical aspects, as well as addressing cultural, social and urban design issues. Students will be credited for a legible and detailed documentation of their designs through plans, sections and elevations, renderings and models, expressing their confidence in using the language of architectural communication.

    Submission: The presentation format are 2 portrait A0 posters, accompanied by a single or multiple models. Content shall be similar to the Mid Review, but developed to higher detail. Students are required to speak to their display and answer questions from the assessment panel. The prints have to be on the wall 1/2h before the presentation starts. A pdf version of the prints needs to be uploaded to MyUni prior to the presentation. This file needs to be named: familyname_firstname_FIN.
    1 - General Semester Progress: discussions / pin-ups
    Due Date: weekly 
    Weight: 10% Type: summative
    Method: pin-up / desk crit

    2 - Mid Review: Graphic Proposal with reflective commentary
    Due Date: week 6
    Weight: 40% Type: summative
    Method: pdf MyUni & in-class presentation

    3 - Final Review: Exhibition prints + model
    Due Date: week 12
    Weight: 50% Type: summative
    Method: pdf MyUni & in-class presentation

    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.

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