Design Approaches and Methods (PG)

Subject ABPL90236 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 02-Mar-2015 to 31-May-2015
Assessment Period End 26-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 13-Mar-2015
Census Date 31-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 08-May-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1 x 2 hour lecture; 1 x 2 hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


Admission into a course at the Melbourne School of Design.

Note: If you have not previously undertaken any design subjects it is recommended that you seek permission from the subject coordinator.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:

702-447 (ABPL40015) Design Approaches Methods (UG)

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:


Assoc Prof Gregory Missingham


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

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

The subject will critically explore approaches and methods in architectural design. It aims to undertake a careful, reflective engagement with a range of design approaches in architecture - from maximalist to minimalist - to examine their pros and cons, their ease of use, their outcomes and their utility and efficiency. The subject aims to assist students in developing a flexible and considered personal approach to architectural design so that they are able to judge which methods and approaches are useful in certain design circumstances.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the subject students should be able to:

  • Clarify and consolidate their personal design predilections, tastes, working methods, approaches and ambitions;
  • Engage reflectively with a range of design approaches and methods to examine their pros and cons, their ease of use, their outcomes and their utility and efficiency. These features may be examined in general terms and in relation to the individual student.
  • Access a flexible, considered, "horses-for-courses" approach to architectural design;
  • Make balanced judgements about the optimal design methods and approaches that are to be applied to a given circumstance;
  • Make informed forecasts about the design outcomes (including advantages and/or shortcomings) that result from the application of particular design approaches;
  • Appreciate that works of architecture intended to be art need to cue attitudes, responses and/or interpretations in those that use them and propose how this might be achieved.
  • Class participation (15%);
  • A journal (45%);
  • A portfolio of worked examples (40%) to a total equivalent of 5000 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:

On completion of the subject students should have developed the following skills and capabilities:

  • Awareness of different approaches to design tasks;
  • Ability to select the appropriate design approach.
Related Course(s): Master of Architecture
Master of Architecture
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 200 point Master of Architecture
300 point Master of Architecture
Melbourne School of Design multidisciplinary elective subjects

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