Course Title: Research Studio

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Research Studio

Credit Points: 24.00


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,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 2 2017


City Campus


370H Design


Sem 1 2018,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021

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


Course Description

Research Studio introduces you to design research. It is part of the sequence of studios comprising the Design Innovation and Technology (DIT) program, including Technology Studio and Innovation Studio, and  Major Project A and B. The studio is central to the education and practice of a designer, and the core manner by which to develop technical, creative and communication skills. The Studio sequence cumulatively develops your approach and position to innovation and harnessing technology in design practice, and develops a keen understanding of the spatial, material, performative and economic dynamics of design, including performance feedback and novel approaches to materiality and digital fabrication. This studio will include the completion of a research strategies module.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

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

  • Apply design skills to generate and evaluate design objectives, questions and sub-systems, working from an open-ended design challenge.
  • Apply design skills to produce design solutions addressing questions of performance and materiality.
  • Synthesise design issues, information, programmatic and technical requirements leading to design speculations.
  • Present, argue, critique and speculate on individual and collaborative design system proposals haptically, visually, verbally and textually, to peers, academics and professional audiences.
  • Apply a number of research strategies and evaluate the quantitative and qualitative of sustainable design practice..
  • Work collaboratively and across disciplines to produce applicable design research.

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

  • Master a body of knowledge of recent developments in design innovation and technologies, as well as in your area of professional practice.
  • Select and apply a range of digital and analogue techniques to modelling, analysis and representation in design, demonstrating expert judgment, independence and awareness of sustainability issues.
  • Work independently and in teams to originate design proposals and approaches in response to complex or wicked design challenges and hypotheses, rigorously theorizing both process and outcomes.
  • Construct an independent idiom integrating design and technology.
  • Articulate complex design ideas to diverse audiences through an advanced and adaptable repertoire of communication strategies and technologies.
  • Generate innovative approaches to design problems and solutions, with a criticality and openness to unfamiliar and novel concepts and methodologies.

Overview of Learning Activities

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

  • Independent and collaborative design
  • Producing visual and verbal presentations of design work
  • Fabrication of physical, digital and combined models or other representative materials
  • Interaction with partners from practice and industry
  • Attendance at lectures and public events as related to the project

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

To effectively participate in coursework it is advisable that you have an appropriate personal computer or laptop computer capable of running such educational modelling software as Rhino 3D, Digital Project, etc. this will include running Bootcamp on an Apple macbook.

You are also recommended to have drawing supplies and basic prototyping equipment such as protective eye-ware, ear plugs, dust jacket, closed toe or safety shoes, steel ruler, craft knife etc.

You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

You will have access to and will utilize workshop facilities and computer labs with specialist software and printing facilities.

RMIT Swanston Library has extensive resources for design students.

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 tasks may include design project presentations, research reports, visualisations, design prototypes, design system prototypes, design project documentation and conduct.

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

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 academic staff 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:

Student Charter: The Student Charter provides an overview of key responsibilities of RMIT Staff and Students to ensure a successful experience of university life.