You'll be taught alongside students of BA (Hons) Architecture following a shared programme of study. Year 1 allows familiarity with the teaching and learning methods used across the course and the facilities available on campus. By the end of the year, you'll have gained the depth of knowledge to complete and present a simple design programme drawing on a variety of cultural and technical influences and data sources. And you'll have utilised several techniques for communication as well as appreciated their cultural significance.
You'll explore fundamental issues, processes, skills and tools that will be relevant in your studies in architecture, focusing on design in relation to the human body. The role of architecture in defining our spaces and experiences is explored, as a means by which the body might be guided through site-specific design proposals.
The content and themes of the previous unit will be synthesised through the design of a small building. You'll be encouraged to think about the way in which all journeys are articulated through space and time. You'll also consider the activities of users in your design projects, as forms of journey that suggest particular sequencings and programming of spaces.
This unit introduces you to representation as a critical practice. An understanding of the status of modes and techniques of representation in analysis and design development will be of central importance. You'll learn a range of techniques in the context of a number of projects, supported by lectures and seminars, which will provide cultural and technological contexts for your production.
Through the use of materials, the unit introduces you to some aspects of technology associated with the built environment and to their relationships with design as both a process and an outcome.
Cultural context 01
This unit explores the study of the histories and theories of architectural and spatial design, aiming to address the ways in which designed spaces, buildings and cities are situated culturally and providing you with the tools of analysis and interpretation needed to make informed readings of your environment.
Design projects will be delivered within a design studio system, with teaching given to groups of approximately 15 students. Each group is led by a member(s) of staff and is explicitly informed by their design practice/research.
We'll introduce you to ways of understanding the relationships between the subjective idea (representation) and the physical process of making and installing the idea (realisation). We'll discuss processes, theories and methodologies of fabrication.
You'll look at the concept of design activism and develop this to a 'design as activism' agenda. You'll articulate a critical political position in relation to a site and context for the project. This will usually be selected by the studio group and often relates to live projects or sites that teaching staff are involved with.
This unit is designed to provide an overview of the range of professional practices, established and emergent, within the field of interiors. You'll be introduced to a range of topics: business (including marketing and advertising), economics, law and legal, management, media, systems and operations, design strategies, professional conduct. This is in addition to a series of talks related around the RIBA stages as they apply to interiors: pre-agreement, ideas-design, pre-construction, and construction and completion.
Cultural Context 02
This unit is chiefly concerned with theory, specifically the ways in which (design) theories have been made operational through (design) propositions.
Study Abroad (optional)
This optional unit is designed to broaden your educational experience and to deepen your understanding of cultural diversity.
You'll build on the experience and skills you've already developed. You'll also receive the opportunity to carry out a major project and dissertation on a subject area of your interest. Design projects will be delivered within a design studio system, with teaching given to groups of approximately 15 students. Each group is led by a member(s) of staff and is explicitly informed by their design practice/research.
You'll have the opportunity to undertake an extended piece of interiors design work, synthesising knowledge and understanding gained in the first two years of the course. Typically, studio groups set a research theme and site or sites for the year, and individual students develop their own agendas for design and design research within this context.
Cultural context 03
You'll develop a range of research skills appropriate to your chosen topic. A series of lectures and seminars will introduce you to established research techniques and methodologies. You'll undertake research into your chosen topic, supervised by an allocated member of staff, and present your findings as either a written thesis or a research project.
This will be your chance to demonstrate your individual creative identity aligned to your career aspirations. The vehicle for doing this will be through the production of a signature portfolio, consolidating the knowledge and skills you've gained on the course.
This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your second year. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:
You’ll be fully immersed in the architecture and design industries through live projects. In the past these have included work with the leading London architecture firm AKT II, global design and architecture firms such as HOK and SOM, local government organisations and architecture companies in Margate and Folkestone. You’ll also have the opportunity to enter industry competitions.
As part of their professional studies, all of our third year students are given placements in leading architecture and design companies, such as:
- Bompas and Parr
- Piercy and Co
- Harvey and John
- Hawkins Brown
- Jason Bruges Studio.