Course Title: Atelier

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Atelier

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


320H Architecture & Urban Design


Sem 1 2014,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


370H Design


Sem 2 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 1 2020

Course Coordinator: Malte Wagenfeld

Course Coordinator Phone: Please email

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Please email

Course Coordinator Availability: Please email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

GRAP 1031 User Centered Design Studio

GRAP 1032 Design for Sustainability Studio

GRAP 1052 Design Prototyping: Materials, Processes and Experimentation

To participate in this course it is expected that you can undertake self-directed design studio projects and associated technical knowledge and skills. Additionally you are to be confident in workshop environments and demonstrate some proficiency in using manual and automated fabrication equipment in order to undertake work safely and productively.

Course Description

Atelier provides you an opportunity to learn through undertaking multiple practical and theoretical design projects that deal with aesthetics, materiality and the design process as a mode of cultural critique and proposition.

Directed toward the trans-disciplinary intersections between design practice, art making, contemporary craft and social systems this course places significant emphasis on the development and combination of traditional form development and fabrication techniques with emerging and digitally enabled technologies and design methods. Each semester an expert in a particular field of design practice will offer an immersion into their modes of design activity, within which you will develop your own process of design exploration, refinement and prototyping.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

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

  • Apply specialist technical knowledge and skills.
  • Approach unfamiliar design processes with confidence, creativity and a willingness to connect theory to practice and vice versa.
  • Articulate your design ideas in a range of mediums.
  • Reflect on your learning to inform future actions.

You will be assessed on your development of the following program learning outcomes:

  • Apply analytical, critical, creative and strategic thinking to industrial design problems and research within complex and unfamiliar contexts and concerns.
  • Articulate complex design ideas to diverse audiences through an advanced and adaptable repertoire of communication strategies and technologies.
  • Reflect on own learning and the efficacy of design decisions made, adapting to needs and issues as they arise, and continuously seeking improvement.

Overview of Learning Activities

Delivered in a design studio format you will be actively engaged in learning that involves a range of face-to-face, self-directed and online activities. This course engages you in learning about design via an immersion into specific aspects of the discipline, its methods and practices through design projects. These projects involve a range of planned learning experiences including: individual and group problem solving; sketch ideation and the iterative development of design concepts; making and prototyping for the purpose of further refining propositions, and presenting and reflecting on individual and collective learning processes.

Learning activities include studio sessions where ideas are developed and documented through a variety of methods: prototyping ideas into material design artifacts within workshop environments; developing a practice of journaling design ideas; lectures and studio tutorials; peer review processes; and, independent design inquiry and critique.

The design studio format gives you the opportunity to explore and apply social, contextual and theoretical design issues in depth and through a variety of approaches, technical principles, real and simulated situations and practical constraints.

Overview of Learning Resources

To effectively participate in coursework you are advised to procure (as a minimum) the following:

  • Drawing Supplies including visual diaries, pens, pencils, markers and ancillary products and consumables.
  • Prototyping Supplies including protective eye-ware, ear plugs, a dust jacket, closed toe or safety shoes a 150mm steel ruler, a high quality craft knife and ancillary products and consumables.
  • Documentation Equipment including a digital camera and an audio recording device such as a mobile phone.

Additionally, it is advisable that you have a personal computer of an appropriate specification.

Design project briefs, lecture notes and other study materials will be available online through the MyRMIT portal. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

You will have access to and will utilise the School of Architecture and Design Workshop facilities and access to computer labs with specialist software and printing facilities.

RMIT Swanston Library has extensive resources for Industrial Design Students.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment in this course is concerned with your ability to confidently and appropriately develop, apply and demonstrate a synthesis of theoretical and practical learning through design activities undertaken.

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment may include reports, visualisations, design prototypes, design project documentation and conduct, and presentations. Assessment tasks may be undertaken either individually or in teams.

Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning. You will be able to develop your work in relation to your own specific areas of interest in your professional practice.

Summative feedback will be given on all assessment tasks and may be delivered in a variety of forms including critique panels, audio or video recordings and written reports. Additionally you will receive ongoing formative feedback as you progress through the course from your lecturer and from your peers in view of continuous improvement and greater degrees of reflectivity on your own learning.

Equitable Learning Services

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 Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.

Assessment Policy

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures: