University of Technology Sydney

86008 Communication and Construction: Representation

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2022 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building: Architecture
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.

Recommended studies:

An active participation in Orientation Weeks is recommended.


This subject is a comprehensive introduction to spatial and architectural representation. It is divided into two main exercises intended to familiarise students with 2D and 3D languages of representation. Graphic standards is organically explained and historically contextualised through interactive lecture sessions.

Students learn by practice and refinement the principles of orthographic, axonometric and oblique projections, perspective, scales of representation, composition, hierarchies and narrative construction. Students examine these principles by actively deploying processes that combine analogue and digital techniques.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1. Survey, measure, collect and sketch information.
2. Understand and deploy principles of orthographic projection.
3. Understand and manage tools, codes and systems for the accurate representation of space in 3 dimensional projections.
4. Understand and adequately employ the different scales of representation relevant to the discipline.
5. Understand, compose and make use of different reproduction formats for the development of an effective communication strategy.
6. Observe and accurately represent hierarchies between material and immaterial spatial entities.
7. Observe, survey, and depict time-based dynamics and immaterial features.
8. Understand the relevance of the construction of narratives, establishing relations between physical entities and events.
9. Orchestrate and manage team and individual contributions for the delivery of cooperative projects.
10. Observe, interrogate, develop and express critical positions using exploratory languages of representation.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes to the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • Ability to take autonomous responsibility for actions and decisions (A.1)
  • Ability to develop and establish an informed and ethical understanding and/or position toward social, technical and environmental practices (A.2)
  • Ability to work cooperatively as part of a team, initiate partnerships with others, take a leadership role when required and constructively contribute to peer learning and critique (C.1)
  • Ability to communicate ideas effectively, including oral, written, visual, analogue and digital presentations (2D and 3D) (C.2)
  • Ability to apply experimentation in thinking and practice as a means toward developing an individual design approach (I.1)
  • Ability to initiate and execute meaningful self-directed iterative processes (I.3)
  • Ability to apply and utilise appropriate communication techniques, knowledge and understanding to enable practical applications in spatial design (P.1)
  • Ability to rigorously explore, apply and extend multiple representational techniques (P.2)
  • Ability to apply and deploy disciplinary learning, with a continuing commitment to professional development (P.3)
  • Ability to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of interior and spatial design precedent and to contextualise one's work within the extended discipline (R.3)
  • Ability to reflect on, challenge and interrogate theoretical speculation (R.4)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The term CAPRI is used for the five Design, Architecture and Building faculty graduate attribute categories where:

C = communication and groupwork

A = attitudes and values

P = practical and professional

R = research and critique

I = innovation and creativity.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs) are linked to these categories using codes (e.g. C-1, A-3, P-4, etc.).

Teaching and learning strategies

86008 “Communication and Construction: Representation” runs in two complementary scenarios:

1. Interactive lecture sessions: where students will engage with essential theoretical and historical foundations of architectural and spatial representation. Students will practice the presented techniques and re-examine the lecture contents both during studio sessions and outside them.

2. Studio sessions: students receive feedback and reflection from design professionals, tutors and peers while continuing to work on their projects. The studio is an active space where students will be either working on their projects or participating in debates, conversations, presentations and quick exercises. Weekly reviews will require all students to upload work every week for review, mark-up and improvement. On submission days, students must upload in the required format and prior to presentation time.

Both during studio time and outside of it, students should research and develop their own/group understanding of the brief.

An A5 notebook will assist students to keep a record of all the learnt principles and to translate space into drawings accurately. Specific requirements (amount of hand-drawings per week, assessment criteria, techniques and due dates of presentation) will be further detailed in assessment handouts and lectures.

86008 “Communication and Construction: Representation” is not a computer lab subject.

Whilst basic training is provided, students must further explore the use of the software in their own time. Software video-tutorials (explicitly developed for this subject) will be available to students through CANVAS. For further training, students must access the video-tutorials from (available through UTS Library).

The subject uses design professionals as tutors and guests to ensure that all content and tasks are relevant to current professional practice in a global context.

All subject documents and messages about activities and exercises will occur through UTSOnline and UTS email.

UTS staff believe that collaborative peer learning enhances learning. You are encouraged to work in clusters throughout the teaching session. To facilitate this, assessments include group work and individual expectations. Students will form groups to develop the final assessment tasks.

There is a range of online resources to support the learning objectives of this subject, which include: multimedia documentation, essential and recommended readings, videos, information about the precedents. These documents will be accessible from UTS Online.


1. Assessments will be graded in ReView in relation to the criteria set. Students will receive verbal feedback during presentations and ongoing feedback during studio time.
2. The subject is designed around the progressive development of the final documents. In this sense, every weekly session helps students to progressively improve their work. Students are expected to actively participate in the group discussions, to present a draft version of their work and to develop the work week-by-week in order to receive feedback during the tutorials.

Content (topics)

Topics include:

1. Spatial Surveys and Depiction

2. Orthographic Projection

3. Axonometric and Oblique Projections

4. Three-Dimensional Representations of Space

5. Scales of Representation

6. Graphic Post-production

7. Layout and Composition

8. Construction of Spatial Narratives

9. The Domestic Space

10. Urban Interiorities


Assessment task 1: Orthographic Representations of Domestic Space


Assessment A01 runs along the first half of the Autumn Session and is delivered in two consecutive submissions: A01A & A01B.

Students will survey, measure, sketch and photograph interior elements of different sizes, ranging from objects and bodies to architectural elements (walls, partitions, windows, doors, ceilings, stairs and rooms). Students will use the collected information to draw and depict their domestic spaces using CAD (computer-aided drafting) software.

By the end of the exercise, students will have produced a multi-scalar set of documents that demonstrate their understanding of:

1. Spatial Survey and Depiction

2. Orthographic Projection

3. Axonometric and Oblique Projections

4. Three-Dimensional Representations of Space

5. Scales of Representation

6. Line Types (section and projection lines, as well as hidden lines and annotations)

7. Line-Weights management

8. Hierarchies

9. Composition and layout


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

A.1, I.3, P.1, P.2, P.3 and R.4

Type: Design/drawing/plan/sketch
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 50%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Ability to observe, survey, analyse and sketch. 15 1 A.1
Ability to draw space in Orthographic Projection: Plan and Section/Elevation. 40 2 P.2
Ability to compose a layout with appropriate line weights. 10 5 P.3
Ability to represent spatial constituents with appropriate hierarchies. 10 6 P.1
Ability to model and visualize spatial constituents and objects in 3D: the Axonometric Projection. 15 3 I.3
Ability to draw at different scales with appropriate definition. 10 4 R.4
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Postproduction Techniques and Multi-format Narratives


Assessment A02 runs along the second half of the Autumn Session, and it is also delivered in two consecutive submissions: A02A & A02B.

If Assessment A01 explored the technical depiction of space, Assessment A02 delves into the cinematic and performative qualities of architectural communication.

Students will investigate post-production techniques using image editing software, such as pixel-based software (Adobe Photoshop) or vector-based software (Adobe Illustrator). Students might also create animated GIFs or quick videos to convey their critical observations.


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

10, 3, 5, 7, 8 and 9

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

A.2, C.1, C.2, I.1, I.3 and R.3

Type: Design/drawing/plan/sketch
Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 50%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Ability to observe, survey, analyse and sketch. 10 7 I.1
Ability to utilize appropriate representation tools (technical drawings, models, etc.) to accurately represent spaces, bodies, objects and ideas. 30 3 C.2
Ability to post-produce and visualize ideas. 15 5 I.3
Ability to construct Spatial Narratives combining different layers of information with appropriate proportions and scales of representation. 15 8 R.3
Ability to have a critical and analytical response to the brief. 15 10 A.2
Ability to cooperatively work and respectfully develop team dynamics. 15 9 C.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

The DAB attendance policy requires students to attend no less than 80% of formal teaching sessions (lectures and tutorials) for each class they are enrolled in to remain eligible for assessment.

The course is designed as a continuous, intense and participatory exercise. Assessment components function as an additive process in which it is expected that students work in the progressive improvement of the different deliverables. Students must present the work in progress to receive feedback during the tutorials.

Students must be aware of UTS University rules:

Required texts

  • Scolari, M. 2012, Oblique Drawing: A History of Anti-Perspective (Writing Architecture), The MIT Press.
  • Steyerl, H. 2012, In Free Fall: A Thought Experiment on Vertical Perspective (from the book “The Wretched of the Screen”), Sternberg Press.
  • Evans, R. 1997, Translations from drawing to building, Architectural Association Press, London.
  • Cook, P. 2014, Drawing: the motive force of architecture, Chichester, West Sussex.
  • Lus Arena, K. & Klaus. 2013. ‘Narrative’, Mas Context Magazine, Issue 20, Chicago
    (free available online:
  • Delaney, M. & Gorman, A. 2015, Studio Craft and Technique for Architects, Laurence King, London.

Recommended texts

  • Abalos, I. 2001, The Good Life: a Guided Visit to the Houses of Modernity, Gustavo Gili, Barcelona.
  • Colomina, B. 2007, Domesticity at War, Actar, Barcelona.
  • Jaque, A. 2016, ‘The Home as Political Arena’, Domestic Urbanism. Monu Magazine, Issue 24, Rotterdam


  • Atlier Bow-Wow, 2007, Graphic Anatomy, Toto Shuppan, Tokyo.
  • Atlier Bow-Wow, 2014, Graphic Anatomy 2, Toto, Tokyo.
  • Atlier Bow-Wow, 2001, Made in Tokyo: Guide Book, Tokio.
  • Lai, J. 2012, Citizens of No Place: An Architectural Graphic Novel, Princeton Architectural Press, Chicago.
  • Tschumi, B. 1994, Manhattan Transcripts, Academy Editions, London.
  • Ware, C. 2012, Building stories, Pantheon Books, New York.