Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


Through studies of the relationship between technology and design, this unit presents various construction systems and building materials. By using a methodological analysis based on analytical drawings/diagrams, the unit teaches the act of drawing by hand as a way of thinking as well as a mode of representation. The analytical drawings aim to reveal the underlying patterns of organisation that exist within buildings (e.g. structure, services, envelope) in order to highlight the relationship between architectural design and construction systems. Through highly selective drawings and written analysis, students break down and clarify the different constructional, services and cladding systems which define a building.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1OnlineOnline timetabled
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Architecture B major sequence
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) analyse building constructional systems, components and construction sequences; (2) identify and examine a range of materials and technologies; (3) demonstrate a developing understanding of structural characteristics and limitations of building materials, and thus be able to critically apply general structural and servicing principles to specific architectural case studies; and (4) demonstrate developing skills in graphical and written analysis of building assemblies.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) A4 Booklet (2/4): steel and concrete construction case study and (2) A4 Booklet (4/4): Masonry and Timber case studies (steel and concrete have to be added from the previous submission in order to submit a complete booklet). Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Emiliano Roia
Unit rules
ARLA1030 Structures and Natural Systems (formerly ARCT1030 Structures and Natural Systems)
and ARLA1040 Techniques of Visualisation (formerly IDES1040 Techniques of Visualisation).
Contact hours
lectures and tutorials: 34 hours for 10 weeks
  • 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.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.