Architecture (ARCH) 330

Architectural Design Theory Fundamentals (Revision 1)


Revision 1 is closed for registrations, see current revision

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

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, help them to synthesize the information collected, and 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

At the completion of this course students should have:

  • An objective awareness of the natural and built environments (past and present) through critical observation.
  • An understanding of the basic nature and vocabulary of the design process.
  • An understanding of their own power of analysis and the ability to derive ideas from abstract thinking.
  • An ability to develop a critical approach to architectural thinking and the ability for students to criticize their own work.

Course Evaluation

In order to receive credit in ARCH 330 students must achieve an overall grade of C+ (67%).

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

It should be noted that students who wish to be certified by the CACB must achieve and maintain a final grade point average of 2.3 (67%) or greater.

Course Materials


Francis D. K. Ching. Architecture: Form, Space, and Order, 3rd ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2007.
(Note: Effective Oct 2nd, 2015, the 3rd edition has been replaced with the 4th edition)

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture: Analytic Diagrams, Formative Ideas, and Partis, 4th ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2012

David A. Bainbridge and Ken Haggard. Passive Solar Architecture: Heating, Cooling, Ventilation, Daylighting, and More Using Natural Flows. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2011.

Online Materials

Course Home Page (online): The course home page houses all the online components of your course.

Study Schedule (online): The study schedule on your course home page includes the Course Information, the four units of the Study Guide, links to the online readings, and links to your assignments.

Course Information (online): The Course Information provides specific information about how to proceed through the course. Read the Course Information carefully before you begin reading the Study Guide.

Study Guide (online): The Study Guide units are embedded in the Study Schedule on the course home page.

Assignments (online): The assignments are on the course home page, along with helpful instructions.

Forms: Forms you may need are available through the myAU portal.

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 1, November 25, 2013.