Course Title: Architecture Professional Practice 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Architecture Professional Practice 1

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code

Campus

Career

School

Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)

ARCH1037

City Campus

Undergraduate

315H Architecture & Design

Face-to-Face

Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007

ARCH1331

City Campus

Postgraduate

315H Architecture & Design

Face-to-Face

Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013

ARCH1331

City Campus

Postgraduate

320H Architecture & Design

Face-to-Face

Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017

Course Coordinator: Jan van Schaik

Course Coordinator Phone: Via email

Course Coordinator Email: Jan.vanschaik@rmit.edu.au

Course Coordinator Availability: Appointment via email


Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

None.

It is assumed that you have some experience working in an architectural practice and a basic understanding of building construction and the stages involved in the delivery of a residential project to completion.

This course includes a work integrated learning experience in which your knowledge and skills will be applied and assessed in a real or simulated workplace context and where input from industry and/ or community is integral to your experience.


Course Description

The Professional Practice stream of courses is a core subject area within the architecture program and forms a key study stream supporting design studio learning and the School of Architecture and Design’s integrated practice research model.

Together, the three compulsory courses develop competencies and skills outlined in the ACCA competency standards for accreditation as well as the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) Education policy, and will enable students to enter practice under the supervision of an architect and to apply for registration following completion of required practical experience. The professional practice stream also prepares students for working more broadly within an expanded field of practice and in shaping the built environment by developing an understanding of the complex systems within which the built environment is shaped, funded and procured.

The Professional Practice subject area is underpinned by the idea that professional practice and project management are tools which enable architects to turn design ideas into built outcomes. Each of the three compulsory courses is presented with case study projects and invited lectures from industry and practice with intention of highlighting the context within which architecture is practiced and innovative design projects are realised.

The first of these courses, Architecture Professional Practice 1, introduces students to the fundamental principles of working as an architect by offering an overview of the profession and practice of architecture as it currently exists in an Australian context. With a focus on project delivery, in a traditional architectural service and the functioning of a small to medium size practice context, the course aims to provide a knowledge base to prepare you for working in a professional setting, for registration as an architect and for further study and research. The course covers issues ranging from procuring commissions to insurance and time management, business planning and project delivery, with a focus on residential projects and standard form construction contracts.

The course has been designed to encourage you to explore this area of study as widely as possible, to share your explorations with each other and to create opportunities to debate and interrogate the various dimensions of design practice with peers, teaching staff and guests.
 


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

 

This course specifically addresses the following Program Learning Outlines of the Master of Architecture, contributing to developing your ability to:

  • Critically analyse, evaluate and make informed arguments on a complex range of architectural problems and situations
  • Master an advanced body of knowledge and specific research and technical skills, demonstrating judgement by challenging and extending this knowledge in architecture through your design work
  • Professionally communicate, transmit and defend complex design ideas through verbal, visual and written media to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Reflect upon your learning achievements in design, taking responsibility for an articulated position toward the discipline of architecture and theorise about its contribution to the profession
  • Demonstrate and apply an advanced awareness of complex environmental, ethical and social factors affecting the built environment
  • Demonstrate and apply an advanced awareness of the legal, economic and political context for professional practice in architecture.


 

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe and analyse the professional framework in which architecture is practiced;
  • Demonstrate and apply an awareness of the legal, regulatory frameworks and the economic context of architectural practice;
  • Assist in the planning, management and operation of a design practice with respect to professional responsibility, awareness of risk and sound business principles and practices, applying basic knowledge of commercial and tax laws and regulations;
  • Work within a design project team under the supervision of a qualified architect and in this context assist in the full range of tasks associated with the delivery of a traditional design project at single residential scale from project procurement through to completion;
  • Summarise, compare and advise on the appropriate selection of a range of typical construction contracts used in Australia;
  • Locate and apply advice from the Acumen Practice Notes, and respond to requirements of the National Construction Code (Building Code of Australia), local and state planning regulations and other key sources when required.


Overview of Learning Activities

 

Professional Practice is taught in face to face mode through a combination of lectures and guest lectures with an extensive backup of online resources. The lecture/seminar learning modes are extended with group projects and regular feedback and review sessions.

Learning activities will include weekly teaching sessions consisting of lecture on a weekly topic relating to a key area of practice and project delivery and supporting lectures by guests drawn from architectural practice or a related field. In addition, tutorial and review sessions will review ongoing and completed assessment tasks These lectures offer the opportunity for discussion and questions. You will spend additional time each week working in organised groups on project work.

You will be engaged in learning that involves a range of activities including:

  • Self-directed research and presentation of findings
  • Attending lectures, tutorials and participating in class discussion
  • Interviews with key participants in the development of the project
  • Research through library holdings and online sources, indirect and primary sources
  • Written, visual and verbal presentation of research presented in progress and through a detailed final report
  • Critical and constructive feedback to peers
  • Online communication
     

Professional Practice courses incorporate high levels of work integration through assessment tasks and learning activities. Students simulate the resolution of practice and professional issues in design projects with assistance from industry tools and documents. The course includes external lectures from professional architects and consultants. In addition, the core staff and sessional tutors are predominately practicing architects. Professional activities such as brief and letter writing; budgeting and business planning; project management and contract administration are simulated with respect to an architectural practice.


Overview of Learning Resources

 

The Professional Practice subject area has an extensive backup of online resources with a dedicated library web portal including an interface with the AIA’s Acumen, the BCA and other related professional links. The course has a dedicated Blackboard site where you can access lecture notes, handouts, assignments and additional resources.

 

The prescribed text for the course is the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) Acumen practice guides, published online and available for enrolled students through the RMIT library database.


Overview of Assessment

 

Professional practice courses require you to apply content of lectures and research to simulated project based assignments.

 

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course learning outcomes and on your development against the program capabilities.

Assessment will include a series of connected collaborative group projects simulating practice and project management problems, as well as individual tests corresponding to the approach of the Architectural Practice Exam, which forms part of the process of registration as an architect in all states across Australia.