Courses & Units

Urban Design Studio KDA339


Studios in the major of the Bachelor of Architecture & Built Environments focus on the development and refinement of conceptual, analytical and technical skills through applied-problem-based learning in a diverse range of real-world contexts. In third year, studios are double weighted capstone units emphasising the creative synthesis and critical application of knowledge and skills encompassing technologies, theories and spatial design principles.

Urban Design Studio focuses on the design of complex public buildings framed by critical interrogation of key debates and practices in urban design and social inclusion. Through expert lectures, self-directed research and engagement in debate with diverse audiences you will explore understanding of ‘publics’ in their broadest sense and articulate the implications for urban projects and public spaces. In response to a given project brief for a mixed-use project in an urban setting, you will develop a critical return brief, reconceptualising and expanding understanding of program and site and justifying design priorities. Combining speculative and strategic approaches to design thinking and emphasising design across scales from the urban to the detail, you will develop schematic design propositions that align and synthesise conceptual frameworks and design priorities with functional, environmental, technical and regulatory requirements. Employing your toolkit of techniques, you will identify and develop a targeted communication approach encompassing choices of narrative, graphics, drawing types and scales, media and models that clearly communicate your rationale, process and design outcomes to expert and non-expert audiences.


Unit name Urban Design Studio
Unit code KDA339
Credit points 25
Faculty/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Technology, Environments and Design
Discipline Architecture & Design


Level Advanced
Available as student elective? No
Breadth Unit? No


This unit is currently unavailable.


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* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2020 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2020 will be available from the 1st October 2020.

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Learning Outcomes

ILO 1: Critically evaluate theories, practices and precedents for social inclusion to frame design approaches for public urban projects.
ILO 2: Justify design priorities through critical interrogation and interpretation of a given project brief.
ILO 3: Develop schematic design solutions for public buildings at macro and micro scales aligning conceptual frameworks with functional, environmental, technical and regulatory requirements.
ILO 4: Communicate rationale, process and design outcomes to expert and non-expert audiences through targeted narrative, graphics, drawing types and scales, media and models.

Contribution to Graduate Outcomes (Degree major)
Ethics: Students consider dimensions of social inclusion in the context of public, participatory projects and adopt strategies for mediating diverse needs conflicting interests; assessed via maquette (preliminary model) and essay (AT2)
E&C: Students emulate professional creative practice in which design briefs are dynamic. They respond to real project clients by revising and re-presenting a critical return brief; brief assessed for creative response and professional standard (AT2)
Sustainability: Students are guided to mediate, align and integrate multiple design priorities and requirements, including social-ecological imperatives and environmental performance standards; assessed via large-scale schematic design (AT3)
Well-being: Students identify strategies for fostering well-being in public use contexts integral to designing for social inclusion, social cohesion and community well-being; assessed via revised critical return brief (AT2)
Experiential learning: Students engage with clients and practitioners to receive feedback on design brief preparation and presentation; assessed via critical return brief (AT2)



Band Field of Education

Fees for next year will be published in October. The fees above only apply for the year shown.

Please note: international students should refer to this page to get an indicative course cost.



KDA245 and KDA235 and KDA243 and KDA241


Teaching Pattern

Workshop - 6-hr x weekly


AT1 – Primer: Abstract Speculation (25%)
AT2 – Critical Return Brief: Visual Report (25%)
AT3 – Schematic Design: Visual & Verbal Presentation (50%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



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