AAMAT-Architectural Technologies

Module Provider: School of Architecture, School of Built Environment
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr John Harding

Email: j.e.harding@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module is a first year compulsory postgraduate module to be provided within the Part 2 architectural programme. It provides the core principles of architectural technology and their application in practice. The module explores the environmental and socio-cultural implications of design and specification. The first part of the module revolves around four key themes: materials, structures, environmental design and comfort as well as digital design. The second part of the module allows the student to focus on one of these themes, conducting a rigorous research on a subject of their choice, culminating in a final project.  The skills gained in this module will be applied and evidenced in an integrated project developed in Architectural Design 3 (AAM AD3)/ Thesis Projects.  


Students will develop a wide knowledge and understanding of the implications of architectural technology, with an emphasis on environmental, social, economic and cultural resilience throughout this module. Students will learn to critically engage with a specific topic in architectural technology through an individually driven research project.

Assessable learning outcomes:

  1. Students will understand and be able to describe, using appropriate vocabulary, aspects of the subject areas outlined below, and will be able to demonstrate the application of this knowledge and understanding in experimental work, assignments and a final exhibition piece. GC9.1; GC9.2; GC10.1; GC10.2.

  2. They will be able to demonstrate in assignments skills that show an understanding of the wider implications of architectural technology. Such skills underpin a conce ptual and critical approach to architectural design that integrate and satisfies the aesthetic aspects of a design and the technical requirements of its construction and the needs of the user within the precepts of sustainability and ethical practice. GC5.2; GC9.1; GC9.2; GC9.3; GC10.1; GC10.2.

  3. Students will be able to demonstrate in assignments the development of their understanding of novel materials, processes and techniques that apply to architectural design and building cons truction using modern developments in digital technology. GC9.1; GC9.2; GC9.3; GC10.1; GC10.2

  4. Students will be able to demonstrate in assignments an ability to undertake investigative work, and critically evaluate suitable precedents using modelling and a range of evaluation techniques. GC9.1; GC9.2; GC9.3.

  5. There will be an understanding of the investigation, critical appraisal and selection of alternative structural, constructional, environmental and material sys tems relevant to architectural design. GC 8.2, GC 8.3

  6. They will also have developed their awareness of the needs and aspirations of building users in relation to the science and technology of architecture. And this understanding will be applied to their own individual research project and exhibition piece. GA2.3

  7. Students will have an ability to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions in order to make and present sound judgments within a structured discourse r elating to architectural culture, theory and design. GA2.4

Additional outcomes:

  1. Students will be expected to have developed an understanding of relationships between science and technology and the history, theory and practice of architectural design; and relationships between people, buildings and the environment. GC9.1; GC9.2; GC9.3.

  2. They will also have developed an understanding of the wider implications of architectural technologies, and the duties of architects and designers to clients, users and wider society. GC10.1; GC10.2

Outline content:

The module is structured around several topic areas:


  • Making responsible design and specification choices: the environmental and socio-political implications of design decisions.

  • Integrating multiple architectural technologies in individual projects, including environmental, structural and material concerns.

  • Advances in digital and computational design techniques.

  • Designing with the user for human comfort and well-being in outdoor/indoor environments

  • An individual research project/exhibition conducted following a rigorous literature review on a subject of the student’s choosing within architectural technology.


The module will include field-based work involving measurement and interaction with building users.

Global context:

The module is focused on the UK but has a global dimension, notably in relation to the wider implications of design and specification choices – in particular responsible choices with regards to sustainability, the environment and global climate change.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching within this module will be by means of lectures, workshop tutorials and field-based investigations, followed by supporting an individually guided research project. These sessions will be complemented by guided independent study and by studio-based project work within related modules.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 5
Seminars 10 5
Tutorials 5 10 5
Project Supervision 10 10
Fieldwork 5
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 5
    Advance preparation for classes 20 20 10
    Preparation for presentations 5 5 5
    Preparation of practical report 5 10
    Carry-out research project 20 20 5
    Essay preparation 5
Total hours by term 75 75 50
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Portfolio 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

There will be a series of assignments/project stages that will be assessed summatively through Portfolio (including a report of approximately 2.000 words) by the week 8 of the summer term.

Formative assessment methods:

This module will include formative assessment related to tutorial sessions through feedback provided to interim informal submission of coursework (without contributing towards the overall module mark).

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A mark of 50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment will be by coursework to be completed August/September

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

  1. Required text books Required and recommended textbooks are usually available in the University Library.

  2. Specialist equipment or materials Specialised environmental sensors tbc

  3. Computers and devices with a particular specification There is access to computers with specialist software, however, students may also wish to buy their own computers.

  4. Travel, accommodation and subsistence Travel costs of the required field trips will be covered. There might be additional costs for trips which are optional.

Last updated: 17 August 2020


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