Forms and Structure - ARCH5490

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 5 15 (7.5) Ronald Yee checkmark-circle


This design module integrates concerns for structure, construction and form in the process of architectural design. The objective is to help and to encourage students to design with each of these subject areas simultaneously informing the others.
A series of lectures and seminar group exercises will introduce students to the principles of structural design including structural typologies; loads and forces; simple beam bending theory; mechanics of materials; and structural geometry. Students will be presented with strategies and qualitative methods of structural analysis which will support the activities of the module. Basic structural theory and the study of form and construction will be consistently related to real buildings, structures and materials.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 23 hours
Private Study Hours: 127 hours
Total Hours: 150 hours

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Technology (Structural Case Study) (40%)
Design (Structural Design Project Report (60%)
Both of the above assessed components must be passed

Reassessment methods
Like for like

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Gordon, J. E. 1. (1978). Structures, or Why things don't fall down. London: Penguin
Gupta, R. S. (2010). Principles of Structural Design: Wood, Steel, and Concrete. London: Taylor & Francis.
Silver, Pete and McLean, Will. (2008). Introduction to Architectural Technology. London: Laurence King.
Williams, A. (2009). Structural Analysis - In Theory and Practice. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to demonstrate:

1 A reasonable understanding of the need to critically review precedents relevant to the function, organisation and technological strategy of design proposals
2 A reasonably developed understanding of the investigation, critical appraisal and selection of alternative structural, constructional and material systems relevant to
architectural design
3 A reasonably developed understanding of the strategies for building construction, and ability to integrate knowledge of structural principles and construction techniques
4 A reasonably developed understanding of the physical properties and characteristics of building materials, components and systems, and the environmental impact of
specification choices
5 An awareness of the aesthetic possibilities of natural light
6 A basic knowledge of iterative and evidence-based approaches to design

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to demonstrate:

1 An ability to apply a reasonably developed range of communication methods and media to present design proposals clearly and effectively
2 An ability to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions at a reasonably developed level in order to make and present sound judgments within a structured
discourse relating to architectural culture, theory and design
3 A reasonably developed understanding of the alternative material processes and techniques that apply to architectural design and building construction.
4 An ability to work in teams
5 Research skills and analytical skills
6 An ability to produce reports which are clear, analytical and logical covering a range of technical issues and include appropriate illustrations
7 An awareness of the role of research in overcoming knowledge gaps


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.