Urban Design Studio B

Subject ABPL90273 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 25
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

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

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

340 hours


Admission to the MC-URBDES Master of Urban Design


Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
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


Dr Marcus White


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

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)
Web: http://edsc.unimelb.edu.au/
Email: edsc-enquiries@unimelb.edu.au

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.

Learning Outcomes:

To place urban design within a complex four-dimensional social matrix of economic, environmental, political and cultural forces.

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.

To show in-depth urban spatial thinking that ranges from the scale of the street to the scale of the metropolis.

To explore new urban design theories and to test their effectiveness in positively intervening with the contemporary metropolis.

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).

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 research question and aim; articulate 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.


Assignment 1: A series of design research exercises due between weeks 1 – 5 and worth 20%, (2000 word equivalent).

Assignment 2: Final design presentation due at the end of semester and worth 60%, (6000 word equivalent).

Assignment 3: Design folio due at the end of semester and worth 20%, (2000 word 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:

  • Theoretical Position: Position their urban design proposition within a 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 continue with the project?
Related Course(s): Master of Design (Urban Design)
Master of Urban Design

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