Applied Studies (APST) 215

Introduction to Graphic Representation (Revision 2)

APST 215

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eText)

APST 215: Introduction to Graphic Representation is intended for students enrolled in the BSc (Architecture) program at the RAIC Centre for Architecture at Athabasca University.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: None

Centre: RAIC Centre for Architecture

Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology

APST 215 is not available for challenge. Credit may be transferred for previous work considered equivalent.

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APST 215 is the first of three courses that will prepare you for the ADST virtual design studio courses and for work in an architect's office. This course introduces principles and techniques of visual thinking and of communicating ideas graphically. You will learn the fundamentals of freehand drawing, sketching, and 3D physical modeling.

Through readings, online video demonstrations, and assignments, you will develop skill in freehand drawing and an understanding of drawing as a vital means to see, analyze, and represent essential aspects of the environment. Topics include how to see; visual concepts, such as proportion, scale, light effect, value, and texture; and perspective techniques.

Mastery comes only with practice. To encourage mastery of observation and sketching skills, you will be required to develop and maintain a sketchbook as a graphic record of ideas, objects, and environments of interest or importance in your daily life. (The sketchbook is similar in nature to the Design Journal required in the Design Studio sequence.) You will maintain your sketchbook as a learning tool until you have completed the final unit of the course, and you will scan and submit your sketches to your Academic Expert (which you will begin in Unit 2).

Course Outline

  • Unit 1: Self-Description and Freehand Sketching
  • Unit 2: Design and Drawing Technique Development
  • Unit 3: Representation of a Public Sculpture
  • Unit 4: Drawing an Interior Space
  • Unit 5: Landscape Drawing with Architectural Elements
  • Unit 6: Architecture in the Urban Context

Learning Outcomes

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to

  1. use graphic systems, including the plan, section, axonometric, and perspective, and drawing techniques to represent outline, tone, texture, shade, and shadow. (Know)
  2. explore and examine topics, including the self, object, landscape, interior, and urban space, through graphic representation. (Analyze)
  3. combine graphic systems and drawing techniques to develop renderings that graphically express your understanding of the subject matter. (Apply)


Course work will be evaluated based on six assignments. A final course grade of 67% or higher is required to pass the course.

The table below summarizes weighting:

Assignment Due Weight
Assignment 1 Unit 1 10%
Assignment 2 End of Course 10%
Assignment 3 Unit 3 30%
Assignment 4 Unit 4 15%
Assignment 5 Unit 5 15%
Assignment 6 Unit 6 20%
Total   100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Ching, F. D. K., & Juroszek, S. P. (2019.) Design drawing (3rd ed.). Wiley.

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.


Delgado, Y. M., & Dominguez, E. R. (2005). Freehand drawing for architects and interior designers (M. F. Alvarez, Trans.). W. W. Norton.

Other Materials

The course package contains a number of materials that you will use to perform sketching exercises and assignments.

Sketchbook and Drawing Instruments:

  • sketchbook
  • drawing paper
  • pencil
  • pencil crayons
  • conté crayons
  • charcoal

The course package contains one set of materials. No replacement materials will be provided.


You will need convenient access to a web browser.

The course is delivered online by Athabasca University for study at home. You will be in regular contact with the Academic Expert, who will provide guidance and feedback on your sketches. You are expected to spend about three hours of online classroom time each week and an additional six hours each week reading, drawing, and completing assignments.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

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Opened in Revision 2, February 7, 2020.