Bachelor of Architecture and Environments

The Bachelor of Architecture and Environments (BAE), provides an architectural education that contextualises architecture within the framework of the wider built environment.

The program provides you with career pathways to a wide range of professions in the field. Whether you choose to graduate with this course, or proceed to one of our range of professional master’s courses, the BAE provides the skills and knowledge to operate successfully in today’s complex and globalised construction industries.

Design is central to the degree. You will also gain a broad understanding of urban planning and policy, architectural science and the IT systems, which underlay contemporary design and modelling.

You will learn the latest techniques through intensive practical, laboratory and studio-based classes. Your studies will also cover architectural design, best practice construction techniques, structural principles and building material properties. Importantly, you will develop a thorough understanding of the relationship between architects, urban planners, urban designers, heritage conservation, property developers, engineers, construction managers and other built environment professionals. This will provide you with a clear advantage in an industry that is becoming increasingly multidisciplinary.

Core units are complemented by electives to allow you to deepen your knowledge within the faculty, or to explore the unrivalled breadth offered across the University of Sydney. The degree culminates in a capstone design studio.

Your studies will be informed by the research of the academic staff and professional expertise of our visiting lecturers. The BAE draws on the full range of the faculty’s disciplines and its laboratories, which are the most extensive in Australia.

Expertise and Extensive Facilities

To make the most of your studies, you need the latest, best and most extensive range of tools for fabrication, prototyping and digital design. The Faculty’s Design, Modelling & Fabrication Lab (DMaF Lab ) is the home of our unrivalled fabrication facilities. Laser cutters, CNC routers, woodworking, robotics and metalworking equipment can all be found in the hive of activity that are our workshops and fabrication laboratories.

The DMaF Lab is staffed by a diverse and talented set of directors who know all aspects of their respective fabrication laboratories. Far from just technicians who know how to fix the machines, the DMaF Lab Staff are all designers in their own right, having studied design at a variety of institutions around the world. This means you get so much more than just technical help – you get co-collaborators that can assist you to make your models a physical reality.

Your access to the Lab isn’t just limited to your time with us – we offer the expertise and equipment to our alumni on an ongoing basis. It’s another way that the community in the Faculty extends far beyond your study.

Pathways to multiple careers

The BAE will prepare you for a wide range of exciting career options in the built environment, and enables direct entry into:

Indicative Course

    First Year

    Semester One

  • This unit of study provides an overview of a human (or user) centred approach to the design of interactive technologies.

    It introduces students to design thinking and how it can be productively applied to different design situations. The theoretical concepts, methods and tools for the key stages of interaction design are covered including user research, ideation, prototyping and user evaluation.

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  • Architectural History/Theory 1 introduces students to the discourse of architectural history and theory.

    It commences with a concise chronological survey of key periods of architectural history from antiquity to the mid-nineteenth century, providing an overview of the scope of the field and establishing initial points of reference.

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  • This unit aims to provide the student with the knowledge, skills and aptitude required to use a range of fundamental architectural sketching and drawing skills based on observation of the physical world, in particular the built world.

    Students will be encouraged to develop a commitment to the practice of drawing as a fundamental design skill through 13 studio classes coupled with independent study.

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  • This unit aims to teach students an understanding of the stages involved in the development of software for design; skills in the design and implementation of software for design tasks and in the development of software as design tools.

    On the successful completion of this unit of study, students will have demonstrated: skills in using software tools to build interactive, visual design applications through individual programming assignments; knowledge of object-oriented programming concepts through individual programming assignments; implementation techniques such as editing, using assets, and runtime environments through individual programming assignments;

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  • The Safety Induction and Competency Unit aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills required for safe and effective working practices in the Architectural technical Services Centre (ATSC).

    Students are introduces to safe and appropriate ways of working with materials such as timber, metals and plastics in the wood Technology Studio, Metalistics Lab and Digital Fabrication Lab. Students will operate machinery, tools and equipment under supervision and will become familiar with relevant Work Health and Safety (WH&S) processes and requirements.

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    First Year

    Semester Two

  • This unit of study introduces approaches to thinking and working in the built environment that are based on measurement, analysis and modelling.

    There are many aspects of the built environment that can be expressed quantitatively - but how do we measure them, how certain can we be of particular values, how can we develop an understanding of them from the data, how can this understanding be applied in modelling and simulation (potentially for use in design), and what are the practical uses (and limitations) of an empirical approach to architecture and design?

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  • Architectural Technologies 1 introduces students to the roles that environmental considerations, structures and construction play in architecture.

    The fundamental concepts underpinning each of these key areas are presented and students demonstrate their developing knowledge of them via project-based assignments.

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  • This unit of study reviews the challenges and issues involved in planning for the contemporary urban environment from an urban planning perspective, including urban design and heritage lens.

    The unit examines the evolution of towns and cities from the first settlements to the modern metropolis, and looks at the forces that shape the urban environment. It asks, 'why did cities evolve?', 'what purposes does the city serve?', 'who is the city for?', and 'how are decisions made about cities?'

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  • TBA

Meet Our
Program Director


Dr Dagmar Reinhardt

Research Interests

The emerging potential and challenges of digital architecture.
The interdisciplinary exchange between academic environment,
cultural productions, industrial expertise and architectural entrepreneurship.

Reinhardt’s research engages the technological and affective potentials of performative design in architecture. Performance is addressed here as the organisational, structural, material expression of an ‘unfigured’, non-final form undergoing change in operation that stimulates sensation and experience. The research approaches the intersection of digital and analog models in latent architectural environments that enable interaction, performance and response; an investigation on “form processes” through the use of physical models and digital transfers with structural perspective on architectural design to fabrication and construction.

This research interest is currently implemented in the collaboration between the University of Sydney and the Sydney Festival in the design of a temporary travelling pavilion to be constructed in 2012. A research team of leading professionals from the areas of generative design, cultural production, interactive media, and engineering will guide students of the Master of Digital Architecture through an internal competition design stage of the pavilion, and later channel design variations into construction and fabrication for the 2012 festival performances.

See Dagmar's Profile

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Bachelor of Architecture & Environments