Design Assessment Skills

Subject ABPL90248 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2011.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours: 1x 3 hours of studio per week.
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours.
Prerequisites: Minimum of 2 years post graduate experience in a related field (or approved equivalent) or a level 4 design subject.

Corequisites: None specified
Recommended Background Knowledge: None specified
Non Allowed Subjects: None specified
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.
The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website :


Environments and Design Student Centre
Ground Floor, Baldwin Spencer (building 113)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

This subject will be offered again in 2010.

The semester is structured into 3 key phases of understanding how to successfully assess design:

  • Weeks 1-4:

[Design] Skills: understanding basic principles of design, the appropriate language and developing effective visual recognition skills. Key skills gained will be comprehending drawings, context analysis and building assessment.

  • Weeks 5-9:

Translation: interpreting and prioritising the full range of local and state controls and guidelines. The focus is on review of the likely issues to arise within Melbourne, predominantly residential exemplars. Key skills gained will be in assessing designs.

  • Weeks 10-12:

Articulation: practise testing the design and translation skills in real life local situations. This focuses on the refining of communication techniques required to inform design outcomes. Key skills gained will be in undertaking structured and rational negotiation regarding design outcomes.

Objectives: This subject will assist all built environment professions to ensure that good design is contributing to the creation of a high quality urban environment in Melbourne. This subject also aims to inform how to effectively apply discretionary power, particularly within the Victorian planning framework.
Planners will be provided with tools to assist in informing and making decisions on planning applications, urban designers with the knowledge of how frameworks inform the design decision making process and architects, landscape architects or designers with creating the elements that fulfil these objectives. All built environment professionals will gain an understanding of the process of creating/designing the built urban environment [including ecological sustainability] in Melbourne.
The key topics covered during the semester include;
  • Interpreting visions and objectives for specific sites
  • Prioritising + interpreting the state policy controls and guidelines
  • Critically articulating preferred design outcomes [language]
  • Recognising the desired high quality urban environment outcome [visual]
  • Identifying tools to assess design responses and ensure implementation.
  • 50% - 4 short exercises, 2 x 10% and 2 x 15% involving written and drawing based critiques (Weeks 1-4)
  • 15% - Engagement and participation within class, involving exercises and discussions of current topics and issues - the best 5 of 9 performances of the student are considered. (weeks 2-10).
  • 5 % - In class exercise which focuses on verbal skills and ability for impromptu analysis and succinct communication (week 10).
  • 30% - A major assignment involving the critique and review of a real design project. Assessment will be in two parts, the background to the subject site and the proposed design solution. 1000 words supported by drawings and annotations that clearly explain rationale (week 11).
Prescribed Texts: None specified
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Notes: Accreditation: this subject is endorsed by the Planning Institute of Australia (Victoria Division) PIA as being creditable towards its requirements for Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

The course will attract 3 credit points/session ( 1 point/contact hour) as part of the 'core' CPD. Full attendance to all contact hours equates to 36 CPD. Completion of exercises and assignments outside of these contact hours may also contribute to CPD. Refer to PIA Continuing Professional Development Guidelines, July 2002 for further details.

This subject is also accredited by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects. Participation in this subject will accrue 72 formal point(s) towards the requirements of the RAIA Continuing Education Scheme in the areas of Design and Project Management.

Related Course(s): Master of Design (Urban Design)
Master of Urban Design
Master of Urban Planning

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