AY 2020 Course Overview



Course lead: Professor Erwin Viray

Studio operation advisor: Asst. Prof F. Peter Ortner

Moderators: Asst. Prof Hong Jooyoung & Immanuel Koh, Prof. of Practise Eva Castro

Studio Instructors: Carlos Banon, Tamotsu Ito, F. Peter Ortner, Rene Tan

1. Introduction

1.1 Course description

The Sustainable Design Studio Option builds upon and continues the Architectural Core Studio sequence, and explores the multi-dimensional issues of sustainable design through a variety of lenses and at diverse temporal and spatial scales. Issues of resource efficiency, resilience, material and typological innovation, micro-climatic and site affordances, life-cycles and metabolism, and many other critical issues will serve as the projective context in which students will develop critical design solutions for small, medium and large scale architectures and urban interventions.

The precise operational directives, precise briefs and specific sites, will be defined by the individual design critics in separate yet interconnected studio options, conducted in parallel under the umbrella of sustainable design. Each of these individual studio options, will be led by ASD faculty and visiting professors from around the world, and culminate in a speculative final project that will articulate architecturally specific positions regarding sustainable design in real world projects.

1.2 Design Projects

The precise operational directives, briefs and specific sites, will be defined by the individual design critics in separate yet interconnected studio options. Each of these individual studio options will be led by ASD faculty and/or visiting professors, and culminate in a speculative final project that will articulate architecturally specific positions regarding sustainable design in real world projects.  The descriptions of the individual studio options for Fall 2020 are listed in section 5.

1.3 Learning Objectives

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Identify issues of sustainable design in relation to socioeconomic, demographic and cultural trends, through the analysis of literature and review of architectural precedents
  • Perform rigorous site analysis and map the site conditions
  • Critique a project brief and develop strong, generative sustainable design concepts
  • Translate design concepts into meaningful architectural and/or urban propositions at appropriate scales and levels of granularity
  • Create convincing arguments for the design propositions and persuasive visual and tangible evidence
  1. Measurable Outcomes
  2. Interpret the sustainable parameters and other issues of relevance to the project using drawings and diagrams
  3. Respond to a specific project brief and a specific context with a meaningful design concept
  4. Produce coherent architectural representations and models at sufficient levels of detail
  5. Communicate convincingly sustainable design propositions in the form of renderings, drawings, simulations, models

2. Course Schedule

Studio is based on a 14-week schedule, from 14 September 2020 to 19 December 2020. Lessons are held weekly except week 7, Recess from 25 October 2020 to 1 November 2020. Each project identifies its particular meeting schedule and work requirements. Ordinarily there will be at least 2 formal reviews that cut across all studio options: an intermediate (mid-term) design review, and a final review. The final week will be reserved for grading, exhibition preparation, and individual instructor-student exit talks.

Weekly Lessons
Monday 1-6pm, Architecture Studio 3 and 4
Thursday 1-6pm, Architecture Studio 3 and 4

Mid-Term Review
Thursday, 22 October 2020, 9-6pm

Final Review
Thursday, 17 December 2020, 9-6pm

3. Assessment

Online reports15%Assessed on the timely submission and quality of reports
Class Participation10%Assessed on attendance and contributions in class & review
Mid-term review + submission20%Assessed on timely submission and project assessment criteria. Refer to notes below
Final term review + submission55%Assessed on timely submission and project assessment criteria. Refer to notes below

Projects will be reviewed and assessed based on 4 criteria:

  • their conceptual strength,
  • the coherence of their architectural translation,
  • their representative clarity and expressive power,
  • and the persuasiveness of their communication, both orally, and through the physical and digital artefacts

Moderation will be held to ensure parity in grading across studios. 2% incentive for course survey completion is added to final raw score.

Letter grading is used for assessment:

Letter GradeGrade PointExplanation
A+5.3Exceptional performance
A5.0Excellent performance
A-4.5Excellent performance in most aspects
B+4.0Very good performance
B3.5Very good performance in most aspects
B-3.0Good performance
C+2.5Fairly good performance
C2.0Satisfactory Performance
D+1.5Improvement Needed
D1.0Minimally acceptable performance with much improvement needed

4. Submission requirements

Digital submission is expected as well as a physical presentation. Online submission will be via e-Dimension unless stated otherwise.

4.1 Online submission specifications
• Original plans and boards in *.pdf file format; settings printing quality, but not larger than 50MB per file
• Slides in *.pdf file format where applicable
• Other files such as movies, animations where applicable

4.2 Physical model submission
• Details on model submission will be shared nearer review dates. Ordinarily, students are expected to make a submission the day before actual review. Submissions will be tagged for assessment purpose
• Where applicable, selected models will be kept by pillar after review for accreditation purpose. Students will be informed if their models are selected.

4.3 Online report on Sustainable Design Option Studio 1 course page
• Weekly report is expected on weeks 3 – 5 and weeks 8 – 12. Total 8 reports are due on Sunday, 2359h of each aforementioned week
• Each post should consist at least a 200-word project progress update, supplemented by drawings, images etc. Exact deliverables will be specified by studio instructors

5. Option studios
There are 4 studio options for Fall 2020.

InstructorStudio Title
Carlos BanonArticulated Landscape
Tamotsu ItoCaring The Modern
F. Peter OrtnerRevisiting Tanjong Pagar Railway Station
Rene TanThe Bernini & Borromini Rome Studio  -“Re-interpreting Masterworks IV”

Refer to Annex for studio briefs and instructors’ profiles.

6. Important notices

6.1 Plagiarism

Students are reminded that plagiarism is not acceptable at SUTD, all works should be original with proper credits given where applicable.

6.2 Originality of work

The work must represent the student’s own effort. Work cannot be substantively done by another including outsourcing.

6.3 Submissions and presentations

All submissions and presentations are compulsory for all students; unless prior excuse with valid reason has been sought and approved by studio lead. Failure to meet any required items will result in grade penalty.

6.4 Warning Letters

In the case where someone is underperforming, students will be issued with a formal warning letter. These are taken seriously with the intent not to be overly punitive but to give students timely warning, so they may seek support and resolve the issues and graduate successfully.

6.5 Selected works

Selected models and other materials may be retained by the school for use in accreditation and moderation, and also for display as representations of option studio’s work.

6.6 Studio use

Students are responsible for the orderly and tidy use of the studio spaces. This includes dedicated times at the end for cleaning up which must be attended by all. Any infringement or disturbance to the space of others may be subject to punitive action.

6.7 Guidelines for COVID-19

Students are reminded to adhere to the measures put in place to minimise spread of COVID-19:

  • Social distancing of at least 1m should be kept at all times
  • There should be no sharing of workstations in studio. Students must use only their assigned desks and studio. Students must not enter non-assigned studios unless prior permission is sought
  • Students must only use the studio at assigned timeslots and days. Anyone found in violation will be barred from studio use for the term
  • Masks should be worn at all times
  • Students must download and turn on the “TraceTogether” apps during their time at campus