This project (2020-1-SE01-KA203-077872) has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Design/Build Studio

Admission Requirements
Students from all disciplines are welcome to follow the course. Diversity in the student's skills and competencies often benefits the program. Students from design disciplines (landscape architecture, architecture, etc.) can bring their knowledge about the design process and the tools used for representation. Students with engineering and construction backgrounds can provide insights and guidance for other students during the preparation of construction documents and the implementation phase. Students with agricultural, horticultural, and botanical backgrounds can lead the plant design phase. Those with knowledge of sociology, participatory process, and human interactions can play a pivotal role during the participatory stage.

Learning Outcomes


  • Understand the complexity of community service, design, and implementation
  • Gain a foundational understanding of garden design and its relevance to those living in the study area
  • Understand the construction process and material properties


  • Strengthening site design skills
  • Determine the community needs
  • Develop and refine skills in participatory design
  • Refine skills in design representation (drawings, models, etc.)


  • Understand the relationship between design and building
  • Decision-making within a collaborative effort
  • Autonomy in the workspace
  • Approach a complex issue with a systems thinking approach


Articulation of the course:

  1. Identification of the community needs
  2. Developing design alternatives
  3. Presentation of the alternatives to the community
  4. Developing the design synthesis
  5. Preparing the site and organization of tools and materials
  6. Implementation of the project

  • Winterbottom, D. 2020. Design-Build Studio. Routledge
  • Hester, R. 2010. Design for Ecological Democracy. The MIT press
  • De la Pena, D., Allen, D.J., Hester, R., Hou, J., Lawson, L.J., McNally, M. 2017. Design as Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity. Island Press

Teaching Methodology

The course provides students with:

  • Lectures (design principles, materials, representation)
  • Participatory community meetings
  • Design studio activities
  • Sketching exercises
  • Construction documents drafting
  • Fieldwork on construction site

ECTS Credits
7,5 ECTS Credits

III semester

Examination methodology

The students will be examined through an evaluation grid assessing:

  • Attendance and Engagement
  • Quality of performance
  • Progression
  • Leadership and responsibility

Service learning and Problem- based learning are crucial for letting the students experience the various dimension of real-life complexity. This course allows the students to acquire this precious knowledge helping them exploit all the skills acquired in the other classes of the program, putting them into a system in a project that also has a physical dimension and a direct relationship with the community of stakeholders. This forces students to finalize their efforts into a project implemented with beneficial outcomes for the community.

New Course
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