Module Catalogues

Urban Design Studio

Module Title Urban Design Studio
Module Level Level 3
Module Credits 5.00

Aims and Fit of Module

This module connects students prior learning on complexity of the contemporary built environment to the processes, principles and approaches of urban design. 
The goal is to enable students to analyze, understand and transform complex urban contexts at different scales. These urban contexts must serve the needs and desires of people in terms of functions, mobility, sustainability, aesthetic, social interaction and economic issues.
This will be achieved through multiple learning steps, such as:
a) learning methods of evaluating and reflect about the quality of the built environments and the urban structure and organization;
b) learning different theories of urban design and advanced urban design principles and elements;
c) understanding the social, economic and political production of space and tools to influence this production.

Learning outcomes

A. Critically appraise the framing and rationale of urban design guidance in a wide and complex site
B. Assess problems and challenges of urbanization
C. Understand and reflect on contemporary urban policies in relation to urban issues
D. Demonstrate the necessary analytical skills in evaluating a complex site and the characteristics and qualities of urban spaces in order to develop meaningful design proposals
E. Develop an effective research by design project using appropriate methods and techniques
F. Develop an effective research by design project using appropriate methods and techniques

Method of teaching and learning

Module Structure
The module consists of a series of lectures and weekly tutorials that allow the students to explore a wide and complex urban area;
Lectures provide the theoretical basis and methodological tools to understand a complex urban environment, to identify opportunities, and to define a design proposal.
Studio based group and individual tutorials are used to facilitate the teaching and learning process and provide the students the tools needed to successfully complete their projects.
Seminars are conducted in the form of workshops, discussions on coursework assignments, presentations by the students and reviews in the presence of other staff members or external guests.
Context and scales
Wide and complex urban area(s) are proposed to be investigated. Specific sites, programs and scale of intervention are defined by the students according to their interest and to the spatial, environmental and socio-economic issues that impact the area.
Site Visits
Students are encouraged to make site visits to build up their knowledge of different types and qualities of places, and to understand their production and usages.
Students taking the module are assessed on the basis of group design work and individual design work.
Apart from posters, other materials such as physical models, etc. are also assessed as part of the learning outcomes