Undergraduate Degree




DV3003 Spatial Design

[Studio Contact Hours: 39 hours; Pre-requisites: NIL; Academic Unit: 3.0]




Academic Unit


3 AU

Course Description


Learning Objective

To deliver to students a practice-based overview of environment design and of the aesthetic and semantic principles that inform its making.


As the realm of visual communications continues to expand in scope, sculptural and physical solutions for built environments have become increasingly common. This course explores the application of visual design principles in three-dimensional space. It will expose students to a broad range of works related to environmental graphic practice today. Students will investigate and create designed communication solutions in a built environment for a variety of purposes e.g. cultural, social, commercial etc. Building on fundamental graphic design principles, topics associated to place-making and way-finding such as semantic, semiotics, psychology will be introduced.

Course Outline




• Intro to course

2 - 6

• Environmental Graphics: Context and practice

• Graphic communication principles for built environment: 

- Image, text, colour, light, form etc

• Tools and processes for environmental graphic

• Creating the conceptual proposal 

• Contextualizing Environmental Graphics I: 

- Issues and message for social/ cultural purpose

• Research methodologies for environmental graphics 

• Issues on Media, Technology and Environmental graphic


• Mid Sem review of assignments

8 - 12

• Contextualizing Environmental Graphics II: 

- Issues and message for commercial purpose 

• Graphic communication system for the built environment


• Final review of assignments

Learning Outcome

The students will have learned how to conceive, construct and read a designed environment.

Student Assessment

  1. Final Assessment: 40%

  2. Continuous Assessment: 60% (of which at least 15% is participation)

Continuous assessment components may include:

  • Studio-based exercises and projects

  • Individual, group and team-based assignments


  1. Wayne Hunt, Environmental Graphics: Projects & Process, Collins Design

  2. Gail Deibler Finke, You Are Here: G​raphics That Direct, Explain & Entertain, Watson Guptill Publications

  3. Per Mollerup, Wayshowing: A Guide to Environmental Signage Principles and Practices, Lars Muller Publishers

  4. Bryan Lawson, Language of Space, Architectural Press

  5. Ernest J McCormick, Human Factors In Engineering and Design, McGraw Hill Inc

  6. David Kopec, Environmental Psychology for Design, Fairchild Publications

  7. Alvin R Tilley, Henry Dreyfuss Associates, The Measure of Man and Woman: Human Factors in Design, Wiley