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The only poly diploma that offers specialisations in
Architecture and Product Innovation
Unique and diverse curriculum in Year 1 offers a rich perspective of career possibilities
Singapore Institute of Architects for exciting activities in architectural design
Curated learning journey with signature programmes - Design Playbook, Design Immersion and Design Beyond
This module provides students a deeper understanding of how design theory and history have been formulated worldwide in relation to the development of modern society. The module provides students with a historical perspective of design against the backdrop of developments in culture, art and technology.
Students will learn about design movements and iconic design works. The module also covers elements and principles of design such as points, lines, planes, textures and space and the concepts of balance, proportion, symmetry, and contrast etc. Theory of functionality of design and principles of culture, timeline, art/architecture/design movements will be covered.
In a design studio-based learning environment, this module facilitates the development of critical thinking and fundamental design principles relating to industrial/product and architectural designs. Understanding of Design provides a platform for issues to be addressed including design fundamentals, design process, scale, proportion through design exploration using drawing platform like sketching & rendering.
Students will learn to articulate design ideas and translate them into physical and material investigations through design primers, design challenges and workshops. Fundamental spatial explorations, particularly focused on general understandings of scale, proportion and composition using tools of representations in both 2D and 3D.
This module equips students with important skills in visual thinking, design visualisation, freehand design sketching and rendering for design. The emphasis on hands-on practice enhances students’ creative thinking abilities from basic lines and curves to two-dimensional (2D) sketches and thumbnails, and then to digital three-dimensional (3D) perspective sketches.
This module provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to understand and prepare two-dimensional Computer Aided Design (CAD) using AutoCAD student educational version of the software for Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) drawings. Students will be exposed to the various drawings tools using the software and understand the various drawing conventions and standard to prepare technical and construction drawings for Architectural and Product Design projects.
This module provides students with the knowledge and skills of model making as a mean of design exploration as well as design presentation for architecture or product design prototyping. Students will be exposed to various processes, techniques and materials used in model making. Students will learn to make 3D models using hands-on skills and techniques in the workshop and also learn to about advanced model making techniques such as 3D printing and laser cutting. Students are required to apply and incorporate their model making knowledge and skills to their design projects.
English Language Express aims to give you a better grounding in the English Language and to strengthen the written and oral communications skills that you will need in your academic and professional careers. You will be engaged in writing, reading, listening and speaking activities that will develop your ability to speak and write grammatically, coherently and clearly. You will also hone your reading and listening comprehension skills.
This module equips students with an experiential and spatial understanding of spatial context with respect to basic anthropometry, ergonomics and contextual response to specific programs. An understanding will be built of form, space and order that defines design. This module facilitates the development of critical thinking to formulate design ideas that cover the basic tenets of User Experience (UX) which includes spatial planning, ergonomics, customer journey map, user personas etc. Students will learn how to apply and integrate their creativity, knowledge and skills on a project from design process to design development in the context of enhancing user experience. A series of studio design studies and exercise will prepare students to address design approaches from industrial to small architectural design. Knowledge and skills learnt in Computer Aided Design and Design Communication will be applied into Design Studio 2 projects.
This module builds upon the Computer Aided Design 1 module which focuses on 2D drawings. Students will be introduced to 3D modelling in this module. Students will learn to model objects in 3D using RHINO software. Topics include toolbar layout, view ports setting, 2D & 3D curve creation and continuity, 3D solid modelling, 3D surface creation and continuity, construction plane, dimensioning, colour & layer etc. Students’ learning is enhanced through hands-on exercises.
This module equips students with a fundamental set of skills for technical presentation, visual representation and conceptual communication in the field of spatial/product design. Students will begin to cultivate a heightened sensitivity to the surrounding through design communication. It explores how design is presented through the use of various modes of design and presentation techniques using digital media, which are essential tools for designers to effectively present their ideas.
Basic Graphic Design Principles and Elements, Grid Systems and Typography will be taught to give students the foundation of a good visual presentation of their product. Software such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator will be introduced to help students acquire the essential skills in executing their visual presentation and communicating their design in an appealing and effective manner. The module culminates in projects which requires the students to hone their design presentation skills, which is also valuable in areas of spatial/product design.
This module helps to give students a foundational introduction to their three-year diploma course curriculum and how it prepares them for industry. It will help them to embark on their three-year course with the end in mind, through guided reflection of their personal characteristics, and producing an overall game plan for their future education and career goals. The module aims to deepen students’ commitment to the sector that the course prepares them for.
This module builds upon the Computer Aided Design 2 and Design Communication 1 modules which focuses on fundamental set of skills for technical presentation, visual representation and conceptual communication. Students are introduced to advanced skills in 3D Modeling for architecture using BIM software such as Autodesk Revit for Architecture. Students will gain an understanding of BIM processes as well as equip students with the relevant and fundamental 3D Modeling skills to start a project using BIM.
This module equips students with skills necessary to seek and secure work. They will also be equipped to communicate their personal brand in a positive way. As students sharpen their communication skills, they will also learn how to market themselves effectively. Students must be able to produce a resume, a digital portfolio, an elevator pitch and have gone through at least one mock interview.
This module further enhances the competency level of the skills developed in the Design Studio 2 module. Complementing knowledge scaffolding from previous design studios, this module will focus on participatory design approach to co-create architectural solutions through Service-Learning pedagogy. This module advances the learning with the inclusion of a real community and physical site in the design challenge as well as providing service to a particular community.
Students will begin by conducting participatory design research activities to discover the needs and aspirations of the community. In return of the service rendered to the community, students will learn more about the strengths and issues faced by the particular community.
Thereafter, students will craft the vision of the project based on the needs of the community by applying conceptual and critical thinking in the formulation of design meaning or narratives. Students will also learn how to apply appropriate techniques and skills to sensitively bring out the essence of their design through the use of various representational media to communicate design ideas effectively. Students will reinforce and question their personal values, beliefs and assumptions and acting upon them based on their service experience.
This module introduces students to analyse buildings and the built environment based on understanding of culture, timeline, art/architecture movements and urban context which are historically significant. The module will develop critical tools for the analysis and appreciation of architecture, for its role in the development of the environment we live in with a special focus of SE/Asian architecture. Science and art in architecture and its theories will be covered. Students will be writing and reading of texts about architecture, architects, theories and critical essays.
This module introduces students to fundamental knowledge of basic structure, natural architectural materials and simple construction techniques. Focus topics include anthropometry, accessibility, IEQ (Indoor Environmental Quality) and basic passive design strategies. Students will be required to apply their knowledge through the analysis of small scale buildings as well as their design projects, and to detail them in a meaningful manner.
This module allows students to learn various Data Analytics methodologies to conduct qualitative and quantitative research, focusing on understanding users’ needs and market trends. Blending Design Thinking and Data Analytics, it enables students to analyse projects from the initial design stage, which can lead to the right blend of design trends, technical feasibility and business viability to ensure consumer centricity.
This module aims to equip students with critical thinking, problem solving, analytical and decision making skills. Students will be introduced to fundamental knowledge and tools in data analytics in the context of design research. Students will learn about data collection, analysis and synthesis of data, uncovering data patterns and drawing hypothesis or conclusion. Students will also learn how to effectively visualise and present data to the target stakeholders. Students will apply what they have learnt in Design Studio 3 (Research).
This module introduces students to image-based communication – image as language, and visual personality. Students will explore visual literacy and design principles through graphic, illustration and photographic-based image-making. Emphasis will be placed on building a foundation for strategic thinking, exploration, experimentation and self-discovery when creating or working with images and designs for different contexts. Building the capacity to communicate information effectively through words, image and graphic compositions.
Students will learn to branding and packaging design. They will discover the structure and strategies of developing a successful brand statement and explore forms, structures, materials, colour, imagery, typography and regulatory information to make a product ready for marketing. Adobe InDesign will also be introduced to help students acquire the skills in executing their visual presentation and communicating their design in an appealing and effective manner.
This module further enhances the competency level of the skills developed in the Design Studio 3 module. The students will advance in the learning of design exploration with emphasis on modularity and pre-fabrication technology, adapted and suited for natural and urban contexts.
Students begin by exploring forms and structure and how they are further informed through contextual, physical, social and cultural considerations. They will also apply conceptual thinking in the formulation of design narratives as well as derive spatial programming based on the understanding of the client, users and design brief.
Through the studio project, students will develop critical design solutions with compliance to statutory requirements and design considerations for manufacturing & assembly of holistic architectural design for small to medium scale architectures.
This module expands students’ knowledge of architectural materials and building technology using largescale structure, more advanced construction techniques and processed architectural materials.
Focus topics consist of basic DfMA (design for manufacturing and assembly), prefabrication construction technique, Green Building Design and the related Green Mark schemes. Students are required to apply their knowledge through the analysis of medium to large scale buildings as well as their design projects, and to detail them in a meaningful manner.
This module introduces students to basic building services and their impact on architecture and the environment.
Students learn the local codes and practices on mechanical services, electrical supply, air-conditioning, fire-fighting provision, drainage, waste management and sewerage. Students will also be introduced to renewable energy, building services used in Green Building Design and the related Green Mark schemes.
Supplemented with green building performance analysis software, site visits and case studies of exemplary Green Mark buildings, students are required to apply their knowledge and incorporate the relevant building services to their carbon-neutral architectural design project.
This module builds upon the Computer Aided Design 3 module which focuses on 3D Modeling and starting a project using BIM, the students are introduced to advance BIM Modeling tools and processes.
Students will explore advance 3D Modeling for family creation, building simulation and analysis and parametric design. Software such as advance 3D rendering and Adobe Creative Suite will also be introduced to the students to harness the techniques of 3D visualisation and visual storytelling in one’s creative design process, and seamlessly integrate these outputs into compelling presentations and portfolio of works.
This module prepares students to undertake individual projects with the aim to design, make and market a range of objects, which they will be required to batch produce and market their designs. Students are required to apply what they have learnt, craft a design brief that includes cost analysis and cost plan.
Students are required to plan the use of materials, part drawings, production methods, sequence of finishing, graphics and packaging. There will be lectures and assignments on design, materials and processes, guest lectures, discussions and exercises on product creation process.
This module aims for students to learn the processes, considerations and methods of designing parts / components in a product, and how the part / component design affects the form, function and cost of the whole product. The module prepares the students with the knowledge and skills in detail design phase of the product design process. It covers the analysis and selection of standard components including motor, gear and gearbox, chain drive, bearings, fasteners, and electrical switches. It also covers design of nonstandard components made of materials such as plastics, metals, rubber etc. The methodology of Design for Manufacturing (DFM) is emphasized in this module. Topics such as Concurrent Engineering and DFM guidelines will be covered. Lectures, tutorials, assignments and case studies are used in the module.
This module gives students exposure to entrepreneurship and marketing in the context of product design and development. Through case studies, students will learn about the general processes, best practices and factors in starting a design business and develop it into a successful enterprise. Students will learn the important connection between product design & development with other functions in a business organization, marketing in particular. Topics include types of business environment, general management functions and characteristics, design management, project/product manager role, marketing process, business plan and project management etc.
This module aims for students to learn about the relationships between form and function, basic principles of ergonomics, and the aesthetic and semantic aspects of products. In addition to basic principles and analysis, topics are learned in context to applications in product design, the influence of these design factors in consumers' preference for a particular product or system. The module tutorials/assessments require students to apply the principles learned onto basic product mock-ups as well as models. Lectures, tutorials and workshops are used in the module.
This module enhances the level of the design skills with the considerations for spatial adaptability and sustainability considerations in an urban context. Students are to explore different aspects of the architectural design considerations from the contextual, physical, social and cultural perspectives.
Students will develop interpretive analysis, conceptual and critical thinking to formulate the design narratives and to orchestrate spatial and experiential sequence through creative exploration and creation of form, space, and program. Students will develop critical design solutions with compliance to statutory requirements and design considerations for manufacturing & assembly of holistic architectural design.
This module expands students’ knowledge of architectural materials and building technology using largescale structure, more advanced construction techniques and processed architectural materials. Focus topics include more advanced study of DfMA (design for manufacturing and assembly), PPVC (Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction) and DfM (design for Maintainability) consideration for design and detailing.
Students are required to apply their knowledge through the analysis of large scale and high rise buildings as well as their design projects, to produce a set of construction drawings.
Introduction of principles of contract administration and project management at various stages of a building and construction project will be taught.
This module applies architectural design in the context of a professional practice. Students are introduced to architectural practice organisation, the roles and responsibilities of architects, and their relationships with the other consultants and professionals of a building project team.
Students learn about the the regulatory and discretionary building codes and standards that architectural design in Singapore must conform to and correspondingly, the standard procedures for project application to the relevant authorities. Students are to apply relevant guidelines to their design projects.
This module prepares students to undertake a major individual project with the aim of designing an innovative, avant-garde product, with revolutionary and future trend features. Students are required to apply what they have learnt thus far, and complete the entire product design process from the identification of user and market needs, conceptualization of the design ideas, etc., to the presentation of a proof-of-concept prototype or model and design project portfolio. There will be lectures and assignments on design and innovation, case studies, guest lectures, discussions and exercises on product innovation and emerging design trends.
This module introduces students to the latest smart technology such as Internet of Things (IOT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation etc. and its applications in product design. Students will be exposed to programming boards such as Ardruino, Raspberry Pi etc. This module also covers the essentials and principles of engineering sciences in design such as Magnetism, Electrical and Electronics, Mechanics and Optics etc. Topics are learnt in context to the applications in product design and development. In addition, the topic on Reverse Engineering and 3D Scanning will also be covered. Lectures, tutorials, workshops and case studies are conducted with an emphasis on practice-oriented learning.
This module introduces students to the knowledge and techniques that are essential in User Interface (UI) design, topics that will be covered are storyboard, user journey, wireframe etc. Students will also learn to present their design visually via digital tools such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) etc., and making digital prototyping via software application development.
This module covers the final year project where students will develop architecture design projects from inception to completion in a succinct manner. Through the study of architectural precedents and site analysis, students' design proposals should demonstrate a keen understanding of context, environment and spatial programming as well as sensitivity to materials techniques and skills to bring out the essence of their design through the use of various representational media to communicate design ideas effective.
The meaning of a space in relation to its function and human activities is also demonstrated against social and cultural aspects from small to large scale architectures and place-making perspective within an urban interventions. This module covers various Architectural exploration on identity, public space, community and sustainability.
This module provides students with the opportunity to gain experiences and apply the knowledge and skills learnt in a working environment relevant to the course. Students will enhance their abilities in problem solving, communication and interpersonal skills in the module.
The internship may be local or overseas, depending on the availability of internship companies. Students are required to submit weekly reports, interim and final reports, and present the internship experiences in an oral presentation at the end of the internship.
This module provides students with the opportunity to gain experiences and apply the knowledge and skills learnt in a working environment. Students will enhance their abilities in problem solving, communication and interpersonal skills in the module. This 12-week industry attachment may be held in local or overseas. In order that the students can complete this module in the academic year for graduation purposes, this module begins earlier than the normal semester commencement date.
This module provides students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills learnt during the first 2 years and part of the third year to complete a major project. Students will enhance their abilities in problem solving, communication and interpersonal skills in the module. In this 12-weeks full-time project module, students will undertake a major individual task, completing the life-cycle product design and development process that involves the phases from the conceptualization of product idea to the product design phase, prototype making, and testing, and finally preparation of drawings and documentation for production purposes. In order that the students can complete this module in the academic year for graduation purposes, this module begins earlier than the normal semester commencement date.
This module provides students with the opportunity to gain experience and apply the knowledge and skills learnt in a working environment. Students will enhance their abilities in problem solving, communication and interpersonal skills in the module. This 22-week industry attachment may be held locally or overseas. In order that the students can complete this module in the academic year for graduation purposes, this module begins earlier than the normal semester commencement date.
DES graduates can look forward to good employment prospects in both design and non-design sectors in roles such as architectural coordinator, 3D visualizer, BIM manager, facilities management coordinator and many more. If you have a flair for business you can even start your own design consultancy or launch your own product range!
You may enjoy advanced standing from related courses in local universities.
The principles that are taught in PDI enable me to build a powerful foundation in design thinking and allows me to formulate innovative solutions for real-world problems. The methodologies taught in the curriculum impart new perspectives, which help me keep an open mind when crafting solutions to problems.
During my time at DE, I was exposed to various aspects of architecture from architectural history and material technology to project management, which helped me to better understand the built environment. I learnt about the importance of human-centred design through methodologies such as placemaking and participatory design. This approach, combined with the support given by my caring lecturers, helped me to clinch the bronze award at Asia’s Young Designer Awards Singapore in 2020.
Candidates must have the following GCE 'O' Level examination (or equivalent) results.
You must also sat for one subject listed in the 2nd group of relevant subjects for the ELR2B2-D Aggregate Type.
Candidates with severe vision deficiency should not apply for the course.
Find out more on entry requirements and admissions exercise periods for qualifications such as N(A)-Level, A-Level, ITE, IP, IB and more.