MADA: Architecture assignment

What is the purpose of an architecture, theory and design analysis?

Architecture theory and design assignments give you an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of the history and theory of urbanism. This includes applying visual analysis techniques to urban settings and their associated architecture, and demonstrating knowledge of the socioeconomic, political and cultural contexts of architecture may also be relevant.

Three keys to successfully writing your architecture theory and design analysis

  1. Identify, describe and analyse the visual form of the architecture that is the focus of the assignment. Consider materials, construction techniques and design.
  2. Situate the architecture in its context, that is, contexts that are most relevant, such as historical, geographical or cultural.
  3. Analyse and interpret the architecture's meaning. For example, what was the architect’s goal, how was the work received and what story does it tell?


The Visual analysis resource provides further information on theory and design analysis.

The following samples demonstrate how some of these expectations may be addressed in written assignments.

Both samples are sections of longer architecture assignments. For each you'll see a number of drafts, including a final draft. Note how each of the drafts received feedback from the lecturer, and are subsequently improved and refined. In addition to providing examples of how Architecture written tasks integrate theory and design analysis, these annotated drafts highlight the iterative processes of writing and the importance of responding to feedback.