Diploma Project: Architectural Design Studio

Athabasca University
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ADST 690: Diploma Project is the final project of your educational experience in the ADST architectural design studios, leading to the Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Architecture. This project can be either a building design or a research project. The Diploma Project connects architectural theory and practice through the advanced study of professional and cultural issues that give purpose and meaning to design.

A building design project, for example, may resolve an existing problem through a new and innovative project or design solution, while a research project may involve academic research and critical analysis of a theoretical problem, with the goal of developing a solution with application beyond a single project and which is of use to other practitioners in the field. For ADST 690, either kind of project must involve a critical analysis of the problem, which is an essential skill for architects.

Course Outline

As noted above, the Diploma Project may be one of the following:

  • a building design with a thoroughly analyzed complex functional program that you have developed; or
  • a research project that you have initiated.

You have a choice which of these two projects to undertake but the specific topic must be approved by your academic expert.

A research project may or may not involve a design component involving a building or space in the traditional sense. It may include research into building science, building technology or building materials, the development of a new building typology, a prototype, a set of guidelines, a set of policies, or another architectural topic. You must find a suitable project that will provide an effective solution to a problem.

Course Description

During the first 13 weeks, you will be asked to share your work in progress with your academic expert and the other students in the studio. This weekly session is the equivalent of a desk critique (a session during which the architecture student sits down with their instructor to review their designs) given in a face-to-face studio.

These interactive meetings will be held in an online environment that includes video conferencing, audio conferencing, and social media, and will allow the academic expert to provide feedback in the form of sketches, beside or as a layer over your work. This is intended to be a productive working session much like you would experience in an architect’s office. You will receive a full set of instructions for connecting to the virtual studio.

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Athabasca , Canada