Architecture (ARCH) 330

Architectural Design Theory Fundamentals (Revision 2)


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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook)

ARCH 330: Architectural Design Theory Fundamentals is intended for students enrolled in the BSc (Architecture) program at the RAIC Centre for Architecture at Athabasca University. For those students interested in pursuing a career as a registered architect, this course also contributes to the RAIC Syllabus Diploma.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology

Centre: RAIC Centre for Architecture

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Architecture 330 explores the creative process of design through a series of reading, investigation, and analysis of ideas in architectural form and relationships. By understanding how architects convey the ideas and values of society in built form, students will recognize the purpose of architecture as a cultural artifact. The course will introduce students to the process of critical thinking, and help them to synthesize the information collected and to base their decisions on valid premises.

Course Outline

Architecture 330 consists of the following four units:

  • Unit 1: Primary Elements in Architecture
  • Unit 2: Form and Space
  • Unit 3: Ordering Principles and Meaning in Architecture
  • Unit 4: Responsive and Responsible Architecture

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to

  • demonstrate objective awareness of the natural and built environments (past and present) through critical observation.
  • explain the basic nature of the design process.
  • use specific vocabulary related to the design process.
  • use analysis and derive ideas from abstract thinking.
  • demonstrate a critical approach to architectural thinking.
  • criticize your own work.

Course Evaluation

In order to receive credit in ARCH 330 students must achieve an overall grade of C+ (67%). It should be noted that students who wish to be certified by the CACB must achieve and maintain a final grade point average of at least 2.3 (67%).

Course Activity Weighting
Collection 1 10%
Collection 2 20%
Collection 3 20%
Collection 4 50%
Total 100%

Course Materials

Students will have access to online learning materials created by AU and to relevant external online resources linked to from those learning materials. In addition, students will use the following two eTexts throughout the course.


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. (2015). Architecture: Form, Space, & Order (4th ed.). John Wiley & Sons.

Clark, R. H., & Pause, M. (2012). Precedents in Architecture: Analytic Diagrams, Formative Ideas, and Partis (4th ed.). John Wiley & Sons.

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.

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.

Opened in Revision 2, August 14, 2019.

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