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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
ACE135 - Dare to build, architects
Mod att bygga, arkitekt
Syllabus adopted 2021-02-02 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPDSD
7,5 Credits
Grading: UG - Pass, Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Main field of study: Architecture

Teaching language: English
Application code: 17122
Open for exchange students: No
Maximum participants: 15
Only students with the course round in the programme plan

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0119 Project 7,5 c Grading: UG   7,5 c    

In programs



Emilio da Cruz Brandao

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Architectural design project 7,5 hec


General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

Fulfilling the entry qualifications for one of the following master's programmes:
MPDSD - Architecture and planning beyond sustainability,
MPARC - Architecture and urban design


Sustainable development is inherently cross-disciplinary and urgent. Thus, there is a need for integrated and transformative solutions fostering collaborations and shared learning between disciplines such as architecture and civil engineering.

The aim of this course is to provide students with a multi-disciplinary practice-based learning environment, where students are involved in the CDIO methodology (conceive, design, implement, operate) to realize a project into built results. This provides students relevant skills to enter their working life, such as effective communication across disciplinary borders, putting one's knowledge and abilities into a real context, and having the capacity to handle complex problems both in a technical design process as well as in a building process.

The course aims therefore also at developing the necessary skills to engage with local community members to create a built environment that fosters social inclusion and addresses the most important local needs as well as the larger issues we face today. It is important to lift these issues out of theory and into practiced based examples, showing that real change can be simultaneously made and learned.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

Knowledge and understanding
  1. Describe and refer to different methods and approaches to integrated sustainable architectural design solutions;
  2. Identify and explain the different practical implications of applied architectural design for a sustainable built environment;
  3. Identify and explain the structure of a project life cycle and the characteristics of each phase.
Abilities and skills
  1. Be able to use the co-creative methodology to solve practice-based problems within the built environment;
  2. Be able to conduct an explorative project to design and assess concrete proposals and solutions in a multi-disciplinary team of building-designers;
  3. Be able to design and assess concrete architectural design proposals and solutions for the local sustainable development;
  4. Be able to apply architectural design tools and methods from previous coursework into a real-world project;
  5. Be able to visualize and communicate different proposals in a professional way to classmates, clients, stakeholders and experts from different backgrounds and in different stages of the design-build processes.
Ability of assessment and attitude
  1. To critically motivate different proposals with reference to scientific, or experience-based, knowledge and value-based arguments;
  2. To combine knowledge from different disciplines and sectors in proposals for actions and measures in architectural design for sustainable development,
  3. To consider and review the conditions for effective teamwork in order to deliver projects successfully;
  4. To further develop a critical thinking and reflections on the professional role, the professional ethics and the needs for life-long learning.


Every year, the projects are to be previously started on the Autumn within the design studio Design and Planning for Social Inclusion (MPDSD) with a preparatory co-creative and co-design process together with involved stakeholders and the local communities; then the projects are carried on into a working group composed of students and teaching staff which, in a collaborative way and during the consequent Spring, develop further the design, preparations and pedagogics for the building phase; Finally, this DARE2build course provides the moment when the students from different disciplines implement and build the designs and concepts in a specific local context and together with the respective local community.

This course is integrated in the CDIO framework, focusing most heavily on the Implementation phase. The different phases are structured as follows:
Conceive - Developed through a participatory process within the design studio Design and Planning for Social Inclusion (MPDSD), in the Autumn;
Design - During the Spring, participants further develop the details and redesign some elements of the project, and all necessary preparations for the construction phase, such as necessary material for the building permits, scheduling schematics, building site logistical plans, etc. In this phase all partners are involved in order to guarantee the exact feasibility of the implementation phase;
Implement - During the summer course DARE2build, the actual construction of the building is planned, executed and finished. All necessary building documentation is produced in order to sustain an informed and competent building process;
Operate - The completed built project gets handed over to the stakeholders and local community, in a guided presentation and exhibition of the result. All necessary final documentation for the operability of the project is produced and completed.


The assignments will be described by the course brief, introduced at the first day of the course and further carried out in groups with different working tasks. Analysis, synthesis and application of knowledge and skills from previous courses is converged and achieved here through professional and staff led co-creational, interdisciplinary and practice-based workshops, tutorials, seminars, study visits, design work and practical construction work in the project.


Lists of (compulsory and) reference literature will be included in the course description.

Examination including compulsory elements

The project is reviewed and evaluated on the basis of final oral presentations prepared by each group of students regarding their accomplished project task and including a reflective statement regarding the learning experience. The groups review and critique the work of each other (in a reflective and multi-disciplinary way). A final written individual reflection and conclusions is handed-in for individual examination.

To pass the studio the following is required:
  • Attendance and active participation at lectures/seminars
  • Active participation in group work, presentations and cross critics
  • Delivery of course assignments of sufficient quality (fulfilling the requirements regarding content and presentation of the assignments)
  • Attendance and active participation in construction of the building

The course examiner may assess individual students in other ways than what is stated above if there are special reasons for doing so, for example if a student has a decision from Chalmers on educational support due to disability.

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.