UWA Handbook 2017

Unit details

ARCT4461 Architectural Practice

Credit 6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Content This unit introduces students to the broad set of roles, activities, contexts and documents that are common to the everyday practice of architecture in Western Australia. Legal, technical, ethical and social issues are addressed alongside and as they impact upon the creative and professional enterprise of architects.
The stages through which a project progresses are presented in relation to important contractual mechanisms and key concepts of procurement, as well as the cast of contributors and stakeholders involved in a project, besides the architect: client, consultants, contractors, authorities, building users and the general public.
As a way of tangibly illustrating the fundamentals of practice, weekly sessions will be framed around a key document that plays an essential role in influencing, regulating and shaping the practice of architecture, its built outcomes, and the communication between participants.
The documents include the Project Brief, Client-Architect agreement, Metropolitan Region Scheme, Town Planning Scheme Text and Map, Development Applications and Building Contracts. As well, the National Standard of Competency for Architects will be discussed as the core mechanism underpinning the assessment of architectural competence in Australia.
Outcomes Students are able to (1) develop familiarity with the process of architectural practice as exemplified in both large and small practices in Perth handling local, national and international projects from the public and private sectors; (2) gain a basic understanding of contracts and the legal responsibilities and obligations of the architect in practice; (3) obtain an overview of planning processes and statutes applicable to Western Australia; and (4) gain experience in the formulation and management of project design teams, project research and professional oral presentation.
Assessment This comprises two major assignments undertaken throughout the course of the semester both inside and outside formal class meeting times. Typically, assignments involve a high degree of teamwork and are problem-based requiring both investigatory and propositional responses. Assignments are set to permit an evaluation of topics covered in the unit and are designed to extend and develop the formal instructional program. Each project requires a demonstration of the abilities to locate, select and organise relevant project information and to communicate that information clearly, unambiguously and in a professional manner. Particular emphasis is placed on the oral presentation of some elements of the group projects.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s) Dr Kate Hislop
Contact hours Face-to-face lectures and seminars: 2 hours per week for 12 weeks
Unit Outlinehttp://www.unitoutlines.alva.uwa.edu.au/Units/ARCT4461/SEM-1/2017
Note Enrolled students can access unit material via the LMS (Learning Management System).

'Acumen', a comprehensive set of advisory notes published by the Australian Institute of Architects, will form the primary text for the unit. This is available through the EDFAA library online.

A list of recommended texts and other resources will be available on LMS.


  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.