Course Title: Theory and Research for Design

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Theory and Research for Design

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


315H Architecture & Design


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013


City Campus


320H Architecture & Design


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

Course Coordinator: Philippa Murray

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 0475

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 8.11.17

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You should have satisfactorily completed the prerequisite course History/Theory 2 ARCH1104 before you commence this course.

You may be able to demonstrate the required skills and knowledge before you start this course. Contact your course coordinator if you think you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning. For further information go to Recognition of prior learning (RPL) in Higher Education.

Course Description

This course will explore how theory and research can be used to inform and extend design practice in Interior Design. You will be introduced to diverse theoretical frameworks and approaches to design research.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

• Conceptualize and engage in research through design as part of the creative process to open the potential for new understandings, experimentation and innovation.

• Communicate your ideas and designs verbally, visually and textually through a range of media to your peers as well as professional, academic and public audiences.

• Reflect, analyze, synthesize, critique and evaluate your own work as well that of your peers and apply your knowledge and skills with initiative and insight in professional practice and/or scholarship.

• Engage in research with an enhanced appreciation and understanding of theoretical, environmental, social, historical, cultural and technical contexts in relation to the activity of interior design and be able to engage and extend this knowledge through the practice of design.

• Understand and value your individual abilities and way of working as an interior designer; to initiate independent strategies together with the ability to plan and time manage projects; to develop a personal work ethic based on initiative and self-motivation.

• Enter professional practice and/or postgraduate study with the ability and confidence to execute a project and/or piece of research with some independence, to collaborate with others, to contribute new understandings, to listen and continue to learn.

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

• Identify, analyze and critique different ideas and theoretical positions relevant to design practice and research.

• Propose an interior design research problem and critically evaluate possible theoretical frameworks to underpin an investigation.

• Design and undertake a sustained and self-directed enquiry.

• Select and apply a range of diverse communication strategies to effectively communicate ideas to different audiences.

Overview of Learning Activities

The course is taught through the following learning activities: Lectures, seminars, site visits, group work, one-on-one consultations with the tutor, and individual project work.      

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning and research.

It is advisable that you have a personal computer of an appropriate specification.

The University Library has extensive resources for Interior Design students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies

The Library provides guides on academic referencing ( and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarian (Tristan Badham –

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment is through class presentations, discussions with the seminar group, site visits, project work, essay writing, and other visual- and text-based work.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: