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MARC4003: Digital Architecture Research Studio (2015 - Semester 1)

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Unit: MARC4003: Digital Architecture Research Studio (12 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Reinhardt, Dagmar
Session options: Semester 1, Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Site(s) for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Brief Handbook Description: MARC4003 Studio C Digital Architecture explores theories, media and techniques that involve digital mediation to create engaging architectural designs that stimulate all human senses in their relationship with the built environment. The studio addresses various issues of digital media, digital design techniques, design theories, computational concepts and other factors influencing the development of architectural production using digital tools. The studio prompts critical reflections on design conventions and creates novel design positions. MARC4001 Urban Architecture Research Studio, MARC4002 Sustainable Architecture Research Studio and MARC4003 Digital Architecture Research Studio are all available in both semesters 1 and 2. Students may enrol or pre-enrol freely, but some will be asked to swap to create equal groups. After three semesters each student will have done each of the studios. The studios examine the relationships between architecture and urbanism; architecture and sustainability; and architecture and digital design. Each is based around one or more design projects which address a specialised area of study, supported by lectures and seminars which introduce the relevant theory, knowledge and design precedents. Studios require the investigation of key technical issues and systems, and their innovative integration in the design, with the preparation of appropriate contract documents. On the successful completion of these units, students will have demonstrated: an ability to formulate, interpret and communicate appropriate concepts derived from the study of brief and site; an ability to extend those starting points into a working design proposal; an ability to develop the design proposal in response to critique, and produce a building design which demonstrably embodies understanding of the principles associated with the specialised study area; an ability to communicate the design ideas effectively through appropriate graphic and three-dimensional means using architectural conventions; and an ability to cohesively design and execute a comprehensive presentation of the project. These units are core to the Master of Architecture.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Additional Notes: This studio cannot be taken in the same semester with MARC4001 or MARC4002. Students may incur materials costs in this unit.
Tutor/s: Dagmar Reinhardt, Eduardo Barata, Lisa Fathalla, Alexander Jung, Iain Blampied, Luis Miranda
Timetable: MARC4003 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 1.00 1 6
2 Studio 6.00 13
3 Independent Study 13
T&L Activities: Lectures: Lecture and studio contact (technical consultants and demonstrations as required), plus self-directed preparation and assignments, for a minimum total student commitment averaging 18 hours per week.

Practical Work:

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
Students independently research, analyze and synthesize diverse sources of design and digital media knowledge through appropriate methods. Develop personal initiative and critically review ones own design research for continuous learning and improvement. Information, literacy, learning and research skills
Students demonstrate an understanding of technical systems and requirements within the built environment and the relationship between natural, active and passive systems. Technical skills and knowledge (Level 4)
Students document and communicate their design process and a major project at various scales and through a variety of media. Documentation, techniques of representation and communication
Students resolve complex design situations and creatively address major design projects to a high level of detail and technical resolve. Problem-solving, design, and/or planning (Level 4)
Students action and interrogate ideas using a complex and sophisticated level of critical engagement. Theoretical, social and/or historic engagement (Level 4)
Students acknowledge, implement and critically reflect on the responsibilities upheld within the architectural discipline on local, regional and/or global scales, dependant on the design brief. Professionalism: Social and environmental ethics
Students gain understanding of the conventional building project cycle and the roles and responsibilities of the architect and other participants. Professionalism: Collaboration and practice

For explanation of attributes and levels see Architecture Contextualized Graduate Attributes. .

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Information, literacy, learning and research skills
1. Research on information relating to the project and the defined thematic for the semester (e.g. historical, theoretical, technical, environmental, economic), will be critically analysed and compiled. The portfolio will document this research and demonstrate its integration into the design project.
Technical skills and knowledge (Level 4)
2. The portfolio will document the application of technical skill and specialist knowledge through a body of work based on analysis, synthesis and evaluation. It will demonstrate an ability to consider options and decide on the disposition, assembly and detail of structural systems, construction elements, materials and building components
Documentation, techniques of representation and communication
3. The portfolio will demonstrate a high level of proficiency and versatility in communication and representation techniques. It will document the project clearly to a convincing level of resolution, communicating research, design process and methodology. It wil elucidate the project for academic, professional and community audiences.
Problem-solving, design, and/or planning (Level 4)
4. The portfolio will demonstrate a high level of independent design and problem solving through the resolution of a complex design situation. It will demonstrate considered evaluation and resolution of detail and technical resolution through clear and cohesive programmatic, technical and material choices.
Theoretical, social and/or historic engagement (Level 4)
5. The portfolio will demonstrate the integration and consideration of researched historical, social, cultural and/or ethical issues in the programming and materialisation of the project.
Professionalism: Social and environmental ethics
6. The portfolio will demonstrate the integration and consideration of relevant ethical concerns.
Professionalism: Collaboration and practice
7. The portfolio will demonstrate an understanding of the planning, development and construction process. It will demonstrate an incorporation of the advice of built environment consultants.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Portfolio No 100.00 Week 13 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,
Assessment Description: Portfolio (100%)
Assessment Feedback: Students are presented with weekly verbal feedback, and at the conclusion of the semester are provided with detailed written feedback
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures:
Online Course Content:

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 13 Assessment Due: Portfolio

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Master of Architecture 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Information, literacy, learning and research skills Yes 15%
Technical skills and knowledge (Level 4) Yes 15%
Documentation, techniques of representation and communication Yes 10%
Problem-solving, design, and/or planning (Level 4) Yes 35%
Theoretical, social and/or historic engagement (Level 4) Yes 15%
Professionalism: Social and environmental ethics Yes 5%
Professionalism: Collaboration and practice Yes 5%

These goals are selected from Architecture Contextualized Graduate Attributes. which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Architecture Contextualized Graduate Attributes. for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.