Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Undergraduate Course: On Detail (in Architecture) (ARCH10043)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThrough case studies and a variety of lenses (such as historical, material, feminist, environmental, etc.), the course investigates the architectural detail as a locus for design intelligence, rigour and imagination. Instead of focusing on problem-solving and project-wide strategies, the course endorses the detail or architectural fragment as a generator and instigator of insights, exchanges and design propositions.
Course description This undergraduate course considers the architectural detail at the interface of aesthetics, technology, performance and environment. It inverts standard design paradigms that move from the conceptual and generic to the specific and embodied, endowing the architectural detail with a measure of design intelligence. The course will investigate the detail (and the act of detailing) as a catalyst for theoretical, conceptual, poetic, political and environmental agency. Firstly, local buildings are studied through direct observation and archival documents, and used to familiarize students with key construction workflows, material assemblies, tectonic expressions, and graphical standards. Secondly, a series of lectures introduce a wide range of perspectives (such as architectural practice and building construction to feminism and material circularity), which are subsequently used to analyse, redraw and re-interpret the case studies. Finally, these investigations are used by students to formulate inventive three-dimensional reconfigurations of the fragments, components and materials studied. There will be two critical reviews of the work where work will be presented. The majority of student learning will be spent in individual research and investigation.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Typical costs, as per ESALA studio courses to be anticipated. Students should budget to incur costs for drawing / model-making tools and materials.
Use of ESALA labs and workshops, together with use of their equipment, is expected.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must demonstrate an equivalent level of competency with Architectural Design 3: Explorations or Landscape Architecture Design 2B.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  12
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 5, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 23, Fieldwork Hours 3, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 163 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT

The submission is 100% coursework, provided in portfolio format and assessed according to all Learning Outcomes.
The portfolio will comprise two distinct components: one analytical, and one propositional. The former will consist of a case study developed through specific research perspectives; the latter will consist of a design proposal, which will develop a small architectural intervention on the basis of case study insights, articulated through drawings, models, installations and mixed-media outputs.

Formative verbal feedback provided on all learning outcomes during midterm term and final reviews.
Formative written feedback on all learning outcomes will be offered within 15 days of the midterm reviews.
Summative written feedback provided on all learning outcomes within 15 days of the final reviews.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding, and ability to work with, the ways in which construction details are developed and can be identified, defined, conceptualised and analysed.
  2. Demonstrate the capacity to develop a creative work of research that consolidates knowledge, thinking and skills in architectural detailing.
  3. Communicate the aims, methods, findings and conclusions through a coherent, carefully considered and crafted portfolio of work.
Reading List
Schor, N., & Rooney, E. (2007). Reading in detail : Aesthetics and the feminine. New York ; London: Methuen.

Deplazes, A. (2013). Constructing architecture : Materials, processes, structures : A handbook (Third, extended ed.). Basel: Birkhäuser.

McDonough, W., & Braungart, M (2002) Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the way we make things. New York: North Point.

Benjamin, D., ed. (2017) Embodied Energy and Design, New York: Lars Muller & Columbia University GSAPP.

Hillebrandt, A., Riegler-Floors, P., & Rosen, A. (2019) Manual of Recycling: Buildings as sources of materials (DETAIL Construction Manuals). Edition Detail.

Sontag, S. (2001). Against interpretation. London: Vintage.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills In Line with The University of Edinburgh's Graduate Attribute Framework, This course aims:
1. To provide opportunities to approach the task of architectural detailing with a flexible set of attitudes and approaches, engaging in how to approach learning and knowledge in this area through foregrounding your own interactions with the world around you
2. To understand the skills, abilities and attributes related to particular architectural detailing considerations mean different things in different contexts and disciplines
3. To underline a conviction in the skill of detailing which is not simply taught but developed through meaningful experiences and the processes of learning and reflection
4. To provide starting points, progress and experiences in the area of engaging with architectural details which will be unique to each student
Professional accreditation may be mapped against the following ARB / RIBA General criteria:
GC1 Ability to create architectural designs that satisfy both aesthetic and technical requirements
GA3 Understanding of the alternative materials, processes and techniques that apply
to architectural design and building construction;
GA4 Ability to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions in order to make and
present sound judgments within a structured discourse relating to architectural
culture, theory and design.
Course organiserMs Laura Harty
Tel: (0131 6)58 2319
Course secretaryMiss Laura Varga
Tel: (0131 6)50 2430
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information