Available in 2021
Course code



30 units


6000 level

Course handbook


This course enables students to undertake a final design research thesis, by approaching architectural practice as an exploratory, creative enquiry. Students develop a design project that enables a chosen research agenda. This involves establishing project limits and constraints, experimenting though chosen design methods, media & representational strategies, demonstrating an awareness of ethics, and exercising critical refection. By the end of semester, students will present a resolved project that consolidates and explicates a process of design enquiry, with a booklet that articulates and reflects upon the semester’s process.

Availability2021 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2021

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Develop a research agenda through a design project, establishing enabling constraints, and seeking out the relevant information to support a design enquiry.

2. Exercise a discerning and strategic use of design methods, media and representational strategies.

3. Critically situate design research in relation to relevant domains of theory and practice, including demonstrated awareness of the ethical dimensions of a design research process.

4. Prepare and present an aesthetically coherent project, coupled with a convincing argument and a critically reflective account of the design research enquiry.


    • Developing a research agenda through design-based enquiry.
    • Gathering relevant information and establishing enabling constraints for a design research project.
    • Contextualising design research amidst relevant domains of theory, practice, and socio-cultural issues.
    • Developing awareness of the key ethical dimensions of a design research process/enquiry.
    • Discerning engagement and experimentation with design methods, media & representational strategies.
    • Making compositional choices and understanding aesthetic coherence.
    • Developing critical and creative reflection as part of the process of design research enquiry.

Assessment items

Project: Phase 1: Experiment and Propose

Project: Phase 2: Iterate and Develop

Project: Phase 3: Refine

Portfolio: Phase 4: Reflect

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 13 hour(s) per Term Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 78 hour(s) per Term Full Term

Studio (including studio lectures, workshops, pin-ups, one-to-one & small group tutorials, etc)

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.