Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Design Synthesis
Code LARC510
Coordinator Ms J Muszbek
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 7 FHEQ Second Semester 40


• Aiming to prepare students for entry to the profession as a provocative and powerful design practitioner, this module provides the student with the opportunity to demonstrate a clear architectural ambition, realised through a critically rigorous design proposition.

• Students are supported to develop the tools and methodologies to hold on to the integrity of their architectural intent, reconciling the strategic skills of envisioning with the core competencies of delivery, integrating aesthetic and technical concerns, and balancing speculation with plausibility.

• In particular, the module aims to enhance a student’s ability to articulate and discuss their approach to design and to develop a design language, represented and communicated through a personal graphic signature.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Create a design proposal of an appropriate scale, complexity and type in the context of an identified London borough, using a range of media, and in response to a brief

(LO2) Synthesise complex requirements into a design proposal, demonstrating a conceptual and critical approach that reconciles the aesthetic aspects of a building, the technical requirements of its construction and the needs of the user

(LO3) Apply appropriate theoretical concepts to the reflective and iterative development of a design proposal

(LO4) Design sophisticated spatial proposals demonstrating understanding of current architectural issues, originality in the application of subject knowledge and, ideally, testing new hypotheses and speculations

(LO5) Evaluate and apply a comprehensive range of appropriate visual, oral and written media to test, analyse, critically appraise and communicate design proposals

(LO6) Solve problems, form professional judgements and make practical and appropriate decisions in complex and unpredictable circumstances

(S1) Creativity & problem solving skills: analyse, evaluate and synthesise information, and present creative solutions.

(S2) Research & information literacy skills: source, critically evaluate and attribute information with clarity and rigour.

(S3) Communication skills: express ideas clearly, as well as listen to, present, challenge and defend ideas effectively both orally and in writing to meet the expectations of a professional.working environment

(S4) Team work & in.erpersonal skills: work well in groups, be adaptable, able to discuss and debate and respond to constructive feedback, show respect for diverse values and beliefs

(S5) Entrepreneurial skills: planning and organisation, recognition of strengths and weaknesses, track own personal development .

(S6) Critical thinking skills: open-mindedness, critical awareness, ability to question, reflect, propose.



Students devise their own direction for this project in discussion and negotiation with their tutor, and in the context of a community of peers engaged in corresponding project development. This module is taught in parallel with Design Tectonic and provides for the mutual testing of conception and realisation.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Students will learn through the following range of teaching and events –

• Regular group tutorials with their tutor and peer group;
• Feedback from tutors, peers, visiting critics and experts at crits.

Scheduled learning and teaching –

Description – Group tutorials, individual tutorials, crits
Learning hours – 13.5% – 54 hours

Guided independent study –

Description – Directed activities and self-managed learning
Learning hours – 86.5% – 346 hours

Total Learning Hours for the Module – 400 hours

Attendance – 100%

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours     54

Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 346


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Portfolio Resit available – Yes, capped at the pass mark of 50% Coursework – Students produce a portfolio to explore and test their brief and to produce an original design thesis with a clear desig    80       
Viva Voce Resit available – Yes, capped at the pass mark of 50% Presentation – Students discuss and debate their design methodology and thesis with an expert panel.  20    20       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.