URBDES 710 : Urban Design Studio 1

Creative Arts and Industries

2022 Semester One (1223) (30 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An urban design project involving in-depth specialised research on the implications for urban design at the strategic scale.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Master of Urban Design

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an appropriate and strategic response to a complex urban problem and issues drawing on a range of current urban design theories, principles, policies, precedents and relevant issues (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3)
  2. Critically analyse and understand the attributes of complex urban environments and changes over time
  3. Develop urban design concepts and proposal underpinned by an understanding of urban theories, principles, policies and precedents at the larger urban scale
  4. Communicate the concepts and proposals to a range of stakeholders in graphic, oral and written forms
  5. Have some knowledge of the regulatory, social, economic and cultural context in which urban design projects are implemented (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Group Presentation on Site Analysis 10% Group Coursework
Tissue study 5% Individual Coursework
Case study culture 5% Individual Coursework
case study Sustainability 5% Individual Coursework
Draft design plan and report 15% Individual Coursework
Final Exam (presentation) 60% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Group Presentation on Site Analysis
Tissue study
Case study culture
case study Sustainability
Draft design plan and report
Final Exam (presentation)

Teaching & Learning Methods

This is the first of two studios in the urban design programme and is broken into three key teaching elements:

  • Lectures and seminars which convey key concepts that can be used throughout the course. These will be given by faulty staff and leading urban design professionals; 
  • Visual communications (Viscom) classes which set out key visual skills needed for the course, including presentation skills for your final examination; and  
  • Crits of student’s work which provide an opportunity for students to discuss their ideas and concepts with faculty staff throughout the course. This is designed to be an iterative process with students putting forward their ideas and design thinking for staff (and professional guests) to evaluate and provide verbal comments on their work in class time. While these are given individually, students are encouraged to sit through as many of these crit sessions as they can, and this will significantly improve their leaning opportunities throughout this course. Please use these sessions and do not come to a crit session without any work.  

Given that the student can come from a range of diverse backgrounds, student learning is supported in this course with either an urban planning policy stream or a visual computer software stream in Week Two of the course. Students are encouraged to attend the stream that most suits their needs.

Please note that staff are only available (unless its a emergency) doing office hours (9.00am to 5.00pm) Monday to Friday to repose to emails ect.  However, as a general principle staff contact time is during class time, please use this time appropriately.  

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 30 point course and students are expected to spend 20 hours per week involved in each 30 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 10 hours of lectures, a 88 hours of crits, 208 hours of reading and thinking about the content and working  on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including studios to complete/ components of the course. However, please note that the fist six weeks of this course will be online.  Noting this may change during the course of the semester.  

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

All course readings are available via Reading Lists on Canvas, or as set out above for each session.  Required Reading:

  • Frederick, M & Mehat, V, 2018, 101 Things I Leaned in Urban Design School, Three River Press, New York, U.S. 
  • Larice, M & MacDonald, E (Ed), 2014, The Urban Design Reader, Routledge, London, U.K. 
  • Richards, P, 2018, Design Thinking Drawing, Peter Richards Press, Brisbane, Australia 
  • Adams, D and Tisdel, S. Shaping Places: Urban Planning, Design and Development, London: Routledge, 2013 
  • Carmona, Matthew, Heath, Ted, Oc, Tanier, and Tiesdell, Steve, Public Places Urban Spaces – the Dimensions of Urban Design, Oxford: Architectural Press, 2021 3th edition. 
  • Campoli, C., Made for Walking: Density and Neighbourhood From, Lincoln Institute, Cambridge, U.S. 2007 
  • Farrelly, L. Drawing for Urban Design, Laurence King, London, U.K., 2011 
  • Gehl, J Cities for People, Washington: Island Press, 2010. 
  • Tarbatt, J. The Plot: Design Diversity in the Built Environment – a manual for architects and urban designers, London RINA Publishing, 2012 

Health & Safety

For the site visit, if it’s raining, we will still go, but please bring wet weather gear as required 

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 03/03/2022 10:17 a.m.