Urban Design Studio A

Subject ABPL90061 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2013:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 6 hours per week
Total Time Commitment:

25 hours per week including studio contact time of 6 hours.


Admission to the Master of Urban Design (MC-URBDES) or the Master of Design (Urban Design) (MC-DESURBD)


Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013


Written approval from the subject coordinator.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


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

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)
Website: http://www.msd.unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

This subject covers an introduction to a range of urban design issues and design approaches which may include:

  • the scope, opportunities, complexities and responsibilities of urban design
  • urban design issues, elements and systems
  • analytical and design skills for generating and testing alternative approaches to the urban design development of specific sites
  • the role of urban design within a given spatial, social, economic and political context.

Students will undertake a series of studio-exercises in the first half of semester leading to a major urban design proposition and the development of that proposition for end of semester assessment.

The studio sessions are augmented with lectures and seminars in other subjects devoted to current urban design practice and theory.

  1. To introduce and explore urban design methodology, process and practice. To understand and be able to define the difference between strategic plans; urban planning schemes; urban design guidelines; urban design frameworks; urban character studies; urban design visions; site plans; landscape designs and architectural designs.
  2. To engage in a complex area of the metropolis and to analyse the existing fabric and represent this analysis in a clear graphic language at a range of scales.
  3. To be able to model urban form, building bulk, typology, sun-shading, public/private relations.
  4. To show understanding of urban spatial thinking that ranges from the scale of the street to the scale of the metropolis.
  5. To demonstrate advanced skills in 3D digital and / or physical modelling.
  6. To demonstrate competence in 2D representation.
  7. To demonstrate competence in desktop publishing skills.
  8. To explore existing urban design theories and to focus on those effective in positively intervening with the contemporary metropolis.
  9. To investigate contemporary multi-disciplinary theories of form, space, order and aesthetics, and to test their relevance for contemporary urban design practice.
  10. To explore ways of representing the city in both two and three (perhaps even four) dimensional representations.


Assignments during semester and a final design submission, equivalent to 10,000 words.

Prescribed Texts:

None specified.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

At the end of semester students will demonstrate the following:

1. Theory: historical, contextual, urban, social, critical

• capacity to develop and /or select from a wide range of theories (philosophical, scientific, artistic) and make them essential to the task at hand, whilst framing the task at hand in an intellectual context;

2. Materialisation/translation: rigor, accuracy, innovation research

• ability to vigorously and innovatively link relations between the selected or developed theory, the selected site, the city, the urban program and the final urban design intervention;

3. Composition: articulation, syntactics, tectonics

• ability to articulate both large, medium, and small scale formal / spatial. ordering and aesthetic aspects of the intervention in a sophisticated manner;

4. Communications: drawing models text verbal

• ability to develop and select from an extensive range of communication options and techniques, and select a relevant means of communicating the full range of experiential, sensual and conceptual design intentions;

6. Pragmatics: function, program sustainability, science codes

• ability integrate the pragmatic issues of project work with their urban design agenda and be fully aware of the experiential, sensual and conceptual consequences and potential of the pragmatic issues; and,

7. Engagement

• commitment, input and engagement. In addition students will demonstrate capacity to contribute to the work of others in the studio and to the overall integration of the studio generally.

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

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