University of Technology, Sydney

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86530 Design Studio: Spatial Agency

12cp; 1hpw (lecture), 2hpw (tutorial), 4hpw (studio), on campus
Requisite(s): 86529 Design Studio: Performative Spaces AND 86005 Design Studio: Inhabitations AND 86004 Design Studio: Foundations in Interior Architecture
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses.
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This design studio explores the potential of spatial design to make positive contributions to the conditions and wellbeing of people, cultural practices and environments. It is the aim of this design studio to understand, design and interrogate the agency of space as a relational condition in the making of urban and regional space. Contesting conventional interpretations of the built environment as immovable and passive, this studio advocates interior and spatial design practice as dynamic, active and performative. Focusing on socio-architectural spatial dynamics within complex political environments, the studio looks for opportunities in which interior and spatial design practice can make valued contributions to the communities and stakeholders in which your proposed architectural interventions are situated.

Proposing a dynamic relation between the social and architectural spatial formation, the studio investigates the complex relations between architectural and social space. Promoting provocative, expansive and contemporary potentials of interior and spatial design, the subject offers five 'live' studios to introduce a variety of sites, programs, and contexts including the design of an Indigenous art gallery in Redfern, urban revitalisation of the declining town of Walgett, an Indigenous community center at Culpra Station, the re-design of an art gallery that burnt down in Lightening Ridge, an Indigenous learning center at a corrections facility in Western Sydney, and the design of new housing typologies for the Indigenous communities of La Perouse. Common to all studios is a commitment to social justice with which students are asked to situate a design scheme which provides tangible benefits for a predetermined group of stakeholders.

This studio provides complex and challenging interior and spatial design briefs. Students incorporate research techniques and design methods derived from previous studios into cohesive design projects. Students learn to experiment in thinking and practice as a means toward developing an individual design approach. There is an emphasis on well-considered and crafted, finished outcomes. The design studio constitutes the primary vehicle for learning and development throughout the Interior and Spatial Design program. At the beginning of session, students choose from five design studios, each of which is pitched by the respective studio leader who outlines the design brief, architectural program, theoretical and historical framework, and site. While site, program and approach differs between studios, all projects are framed by the common theme of experimentation. This subject comprises design studio, interactive lecture, and guest lecture. Accompanying the design studio is a series of weekly lectures and tutorials unpacking contemporary and historical case studies, theoretical frameworks and diagramming techniques with which to inform the design of an aggregate inhabitation. Design projects are framed within a theoretical discourse and positioning within the studio environment. Projects within the studio build spatial intelligence and innovate environments through thoughtful and rigorous individual design processes. Projects have common objectives and framing in the studios, with students working alongside studio leaders on specific approaches and design thinking. Each studio incorporates a specified history and theory component. Studios involve a combination of design tutorials and lectures, workshops and intensive studios, and presentation and panel feedback sessions.

Detailed subject description.

Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.