Urban Design Studio B

Subject ABPL90273 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

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

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 6 hours of studio per week.
Total Time Commitment:

Estimated total time commitment 20-25 hours per week (including studio time of 6 hours).


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

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
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


Justyna Karakiewicz

Subject Overview:

This subject touches on a range of urban design issues and design approaches including:

  • 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-based design esquisses or exercises leading to a major exploratory urban design proposition. Their design proposition will investigate one or more key urban design issues or approaches in depth.

  1. To place urban design within a complex four-dimensional social matrix of economic, environmental, political and cultural forces.
  2. To engage in a complex area of the metropolis and to analyse the urban fabric and represent this analysis in a clear graphic language at a range of scales.
  3. To show in-depth urban spatial thinking that ranges from the scale of the street to the scale of the metropolis.
  4. To explore new urban design theories and to test their effectiveness in positively intervening with the contemporary metropolis.
  5. To investigate contemporary multi-disciplinary theories of form, space, order and aesthetics, and to test their relevance for contemporary urban design practice. To explore ways of representing the city two dimensionally, three dimensionally, four dimensionally (with time) and potentially fifth dimensionally (alternate future realities).
  6. To introduce students to design as a form of research. To be able to identify an urban design problem or challenge; set out a design approach or method, test their approach with rigor to put forward an urban design proposition; and draw conclusions identifying weakness and strengths of their approach.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of semester students will demonstrate the following abilities:

  • Theoretical Position: Position their urban design proposition within an historical, social and theoretical context.
  • Composition: Articulation and test a design proposition in large, medium and small scales with a critical eye to aesthetic aspects of the intervention in a sophisticated manner.
  • Communications: Communicate and test ideas and design propositions through drawing, modelling (digital and/or physical), photomontage and other communication techniques.
  • Pragmatics: Have an understanding of functional and pragmatic aspects of urbanism including: building functionality, landscape architecture, civil and traffic engineering concerns, walkability, and potential contribution to sustainable urbanism.
  • Engagement: Engage with and contribute to not only their own work and others in the studio but also the work of the studio generally.
  • Formulation: Formulate a conceptual design proposal that tests a specific hypothesis or design method in the form of a speculative urban design proposition with rigor.
  • Analysis: Engage with contemporary forms of urban analysis techniques which may include solar, wind, energy modelling.
  • Critique: Be able to demonstrate a critical assessment of precedents and their own design proposal - where are the strengths and weaknesses, what can be learned or concluded by the proposal? What further research would they do if they were to continue with the project?

Assignment 1: A series of design research exercises, due between weeks 1 and 5 (20%, 2,000 word equivalent)

Assignment 2: Final design presentation, due end of semester, (60%, 6,000 word equivalent)

Assignment 3: Design folio, due end of semester, (20%, 2,000 wod equivalent)

Prescribed Texts:

To be selected by studio coordinator.

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 abilities:

  • theory: historical contextual urban social critical develop and/or select from a wide range of theories (philosophical, scientific, artistic) and to make these theories essential to the task at hand, while also being able to place the task at hand into an intellectual context
  • materialisation/translation: rigor accuracy innovation research understand and rigorously and innovatively link relations between the selected or developed theory, the selected site, the city, the urban program, and the final urban design intervention
  • composition: articulation syntactics tectonics articulate both large, medium, and small scale formal. spatial. ordering, and aesthetic aspects of the intervention in a sophisticated manner
  • communications: drawing models text verbal 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
  • pragmatics: function, program sustainability science codes fully integrate the pragmatic issues of the project with their own architectural agenda and be fully aware of the experiential, sensual and conceptual consequences and potential of the pragmatic issues
  • engagement: commitment, input engage with, and contribute to not only their own work and others in the studio but also the work of the studio generally overall integration management internal coherence submit and/or present, a well-integrated and well-managed professional design process and product
Related Course(s): Master of Design (Urban Design)
Master of Urban Design
Master of Urban Design

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