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ARCH13-131: Design Ethics and Design Detailing


This subject develops an understanding of the ethical concerns of architecture, its role in society in terms of meeting the needs and supporting the well-being of the individual and community, and in defining meaningful and lasting cultural identity.  This understanding is acquired through the critical study of and immersion with selected noted architects and design practices to investigate their underlying ethical values, design approach and practice methods.  This research will provide the foundation for the development of a personal architectural position and value set in order to define a model of future practice.

In preparation for experience in practice, students are also provided with an overview of the legislative and legal framework in which the profession operates and potential future speculations. Students also undertake a series of tasks that assist in the development of key skills and strategies for use when seeking employment in the industry, as well as a short workplace immersion to gain relevant real-world exposure prior to completing the architecture degree.

In addition to the understanding of a precedent architect’s ethical and conceptual framework, students will further develop critical thinking and decision making with regard to construction, material choice and detailing. Students will document and prototype the building envelope, skin and structure with consideration to constructability, weathering and aging, life cycle, embodied energy, material availability, use, services and wastage of a precedent project. 

Subject details

FacultyFaculty of Society & Design
Semesters offered
  • May 2023 [Standard Offering]
Study areas
  • Architecture and Built Environment
Subject fees
  • Commencing in 2022: $3,950
  • Commencing in 2023: $4,050

Learning outcomes

1. Critically evaluate and analyse architecture and design practice precedents; comparatively and in terms of progression to future practice. 2. Provide quantitative and/or qualitative evidence for architectural design and methods. 3. Develop, define and articulate an understanding of own ethical values and sense of integrity in architectural design practice. 4. Demonstrate the ability to test and refine construction assemblies, material choice, and detailing in relation to technical and conceptual objectives through 2D and 3D documentation methods. 5. Develop an awareness of statutory requirements of the architecture profession, of strategies to prepare for employment in the industry, and to critically reflect upon contemporary modes of practice. 6. Develop critical writing and visual communication skills.

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


Assumed knowledge:

Assumed knowledge is the minimum level of knowledge of a subject area that students are assumed to have acquired through previous study. It is the responsibility of students to ensure they meet the assumed knowledge expectations of the subject. Students who do not possess this prior knowledge are strongly recommended against enrolling and do so at their own risk. No concessions will be made for students’ lack of prior knowledge.

Assumed Prior Learning (or equivalent):

Assumes knowledge of architectural history, ability to draw and understand architectural construction, and equivalent design ability to that acquired through 1st year design studios (Creative Design Studios in Jan/May/Sept)

Restrictions: ?
  • Study Abroad Students

This subject is not available as a general elective. To be eligible for enrolment, the subject must be specified in the students’ program structure.

Subject outlines

Subject dates

Standard Offering
Enrolment opens20/03/2022
Semester start16/05/2022
Subject start16/05/2022
Cancellation 1?30/05/2022
Cancellation 2?06/06/2022
Last enrolment29/05/2022
Withdraw – Financial?11/06/2022
Withdraw – Academic?02/07/2022
Teaching census?10/06/2022