Studio Beta

Subject coordinators: Leire Asensio Villoria and David Mah

Tutors: Kate Corke (Senior Tutor), Monty Balding, Alice Choi, Alex Choi, Philip Chang, Amy Evans, Hang Jiang, Luke Kim, Matko Matkovic, Ben Tan, Robert Ventresca, Daisy Zheng


The overall aim of the undergraduate Beta/Earth studios is to provide students with the opportunity to extend their knowledge and skills in engaging with complex and multi-dimensional design problems.

Students in the undergraduate Beta/Earth studios are tasked with developing a contemporary version of the pleasure garden. Their proposals for a contemporary pleasure garden should be one that is focused on the communal activities and public life of the twenty first century and speculates on what the future of social life may be.

The updated pleasure garden also needs to establish balance between landscape and architecture. This studio encourages students to define a communal space that is hosted by and lived in interior as well as exterior spaces.

To create a compelling and thriving environment, the interaction between buildings and landscapes is critical. Focusing on how environments can be designed to support human activities and provide immersive and pleasurable experiences will be as important in this studio as devising how it supports the cultivation of a vibrant landscape environment.

The studio project is divided into three assignments which address different concerns, allowing the students to extend and iterate their design explorations through an engagement with

  1. The development of figure ground drawings that establish the overall field arrangement or group form of the project. Together with an exercise in developing solar envelopes, this establishes a framework for planning their site intervention.
  2. The focused development of the landscape. This involves the cultivation of the ground, landforming, planting, hydrological and material approach for the project. The students are expected to articulate how their designs help to support different activities, microclimates as well as micro-ecologies on site.
  3. The focused development of the communal pavilions. This involves the development of an architectural definition of the pavilions, paying close attention to the ways in which these structures may support a range of community programs and activities.

Featured Student Works:
Timothy Clifford, Georgia Drysdale, Sam Haywood, Taryn Loughnan, Mia Clarke, Yingyue Huang, Ming To Tai, Yi Ren, Renea Moore, Yixin Chen, Stella Gorman, Yueyao Xu, Michael Rasip, Amber Zou, Dehao Kong, Lucas Osborn, Cong Duy Truong, Cara Banks, Audery Sumali, Jia Min Cheong, Claudia Colvin, Alishe Ding, Fulin Li, Jiayi Hu,Kaden Schrieber, Zoe Lau, Georgia Mentzines, Camille Neville-Smith, Rachel WOng, Yunxi Du, Georgia Drysdale, Jude Parsons, Ruby Beccia, George Coustenis, Danyu Li, Mei Hesketh, Oscar Hill, Ysobelle Lane, Siyao Liu, Lily Smith, Yueyao Xiu,

Leire is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne's School of Design. She has taught at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design from 2010 to 2017, at London’s Architectural Association School of Architecture, Graduate School Landscape Urbanism Programme from 2004 to 2007 and at Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning from 2006 till 2010.

David Mah is a senior lecturer in urban design and architecture at the University of Melbourne’s school of design. David was a lecturer at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (2010-2017). He has also taught design and theory at Cornell University’s department of architecture (2007-2010) and Landscape Urbanism at the graduate design school of the Architectural Association in London (2004-2007).

View student projects on Miro

View MSD Studio Beta & Earth on Instagram

Studio Beta - Assignment 1
Studio Beta - Assignment 2
Studio Beta - Assignment 3

Architecture 2021_winter