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Programme Overview Modules Entry Requirements Fees How to Apply
Course Overview Modules Entry Requirements Fees How to Apply
Duration: 3 Years
Mode: Full-time

Biophilic design celebrates the unique opportunity to harmonise urban living with the natural world. Climate change and the pandemic have accelerated the adoption of biophilic design in major cities globally, going beyond aesthetics to reduce carbon emissions, regulate environmental temperature and improve air quality.

First of its kind in Asia, the three-year Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Biophilic Design programme will nurture your skills in spatial design disciplines anchored on the principles of organic and nature-inspired design for human well-being.

You will engage with an interdisciplinary and practice-led curriculum developed in partnership with CPG Corporation, one of Asia’s leading infrastructure design and development firms. Through mastering the theory and practice of biophilic design methodologies, you will explore innovative design solutions which will improve human psychological, physiological, and cognitive well-being.

You will also take part in meaningful capstone projects and undergo an enriching learning journey rooted in the best practices of the industry.

At the end of this programme, students should be able to:
  • Produce a project informed by critical appreciation of a particular topic, including recognition of the nature of the evidence, scholarly debate, and current interpretative frameworks.
  • Demonstrate ability to deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and enquiry within a discipline and association with related disciplines.
  • Develop strong synthesis in integrating underlying research and diverse design ideation.
  • Work effectively as an individual and as part of a collaborative team, exercise of initiative personal responsibility to decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts.
  • Apply the methods and techniques to review, consolidate, extend and apply knowledge & understanding, to initiate and carry out projects.
  • Demonstrate the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.
  • Synthesise and evaluate project work and research outcomes professionally in verbal, visual and in written form.

More Information
UAS Common Curriculum & Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate from the bachelor’s degree programmes, you are required to attain a total of 360 credits and fulfil the non-credit-bearing graduating requirements comprising the UAS Common Curriculum:

  • IN-depth Programme (36 hours)
  • Career Skills (10 hours)
  • Internship (10 weeks / 400 hours)

If you have been admitted via direct entry into your second year, you are required to attain a total of 240 credits and fulfil the non-credit-bearing graduating requirements comprising the UAS Common Curriculum:

  • IN-depth Programme (36 hours)
  • Career Skills (10 hours)
  • Internship (10 weeks / 400 hours)

 

Mode of Instruction

Various learning and teaching methods include technical inductions and workshops, individual or group tutorials and critiques, formative and summative critique sessions by industry experts, group and collaborative projects, interdisciplinary projects, Co-Design Project with industry and institution partners, internship, field trips and visits, masterclasses, independent study, one-to-one tutorial support, online learning, student discussions and presentations, lectures and seminars, studio practice, overseas immersion, professional development, and self and peer assessments.

Assessment Methods

Formative and summative assessments across a range of written and practical work are used to monitor and evaluate students' learning through individual and group presentations, research and evaluative reports, design portfolio, skills and technical exercises, journals, research and process development portfolio, written assignments and proposals, projects, peer assessment and degree show.

Career Pathways

Upon the completion of this programme, dynamic careers in the creative industries await:

  • Biophilic design specialist (Spatial design related)
  • Educational services
  • Government organisation (Research and Design Practice)
  • Healthcare services
  • Horticulture
  • Interior design
  • Landscape architecture
  • Researchers in healthcare-related industry
  • Sustainable design strategist
  • Spatial design practice
  • Urban Design

 



Future-Focused Perspectives in Spatial Design Practice

You will acquire skills in holistic design solutions that address imminent societal and environmental challenges through biophilic design approaches and future-focused perspectives. Engage in spatial explorations across related disciplines and explore the extended benefits of spatial design through the integration of indoor and outdoor environments.

Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Learning

You will work with other students from a wide range of disciplines within the spatial design realm and grow in a vibrant, collaborative and interdisciplinary environment.

Practice-Led and Industry-Focused Curriculum

You will gain comprehensive professional training by engaging with industry experts through masterclasses and collaborations. These diverse opportunities ensure a comprehensive understanding and exposure to the industry's realities. Co-design projects, capstone projects and work-integrated learning programmes are carefully crafted to sharpen practical skills as you apply your research in real-world scenarios.

The NAFA – Industry Partnership

Developed in collaboration with CPG Corporation, you will learn from its extensive professional practice in multi-disciplinary design consultancy and notable biophilic projects. The programme is aligned with the current and future needs of the job market and insights into the latest trends and advancements within the field will be provided.

Modules

The BA (Hons) Biophilic Design programme explores the relationship between human wellness and the built environment, focusing on spatial design disciplines such as interior design, landscape architecture, urban design, and planning. The course engages biophilic design theory and methods to examine diverse built environments, allowing you to understand the benefits of spatial design practice and the psychological, physiological, and cognitive benefits of biophilia.

Biophilic design is critical in spatial design, especially in light of current and forecasted challenges in the physical environment and social communities. The course aims to develop young professionals from diverse spatial disciplines in shaping new perspectives and contributing towards a more holistic design outcome.

Code Title Semester Credits

Spatial Design Studio 1

Spatial Design Studio 1 intends to build attributes and the foundation required for spatial designers. It offers students a comprehensive exploration of the fundamental principles of spatial design, equipping them with essential skills for crafting dynamic and impactful environments. Students will engage in a deep dive into the art of designing spaces, both interior and exterior, with a strong emphasis on creating functional, aesthetically pleasing, and sustainable environments.

Through exploring the integration of nature-inspired elements within built environments. Students will gain a deep understanding of human perception in spaces and learn to express design concepts creatively with an emphasis on sustainability.
1 30

Urban Ecosystem

This module is an introduction to urban ecology and our natural environment, with a focus on the local tropical environment. It realigns the human approach to the natural environment by asking students to view and sense the natural environment as a complex living, dynamic and sublime system. The forms, hierarchies and processes of the natural environment are explored through fieldwork in various nature areas in Singapore. Lastly, in this green city-state, students are directed to re-assess and critique their views of “urban ecology and urban greenery” and challenge their understanding of the natural environment.

The module guides students to heighten their sensitivity to the intrinsic human connection to nature and serves as the starting point for students to approach their practice – with nature at the forefront.
1 20

Design Tools and Representation

This module introduces students to the fundamental skills required for effective design communication.

It covers a diverse range of design visualisation mediums, combining manual drawing methods and computer-aided design tools. The goal is to equip students with the foundational abilities needed for ideation and to enable them to convey design ideas with clarity. This module serves as a bridge between creative concepts and professional practice, ensuring that students articulate and document their design ideas.
1 10

Spatial Design Studio 2

Building on the foundations established in Spatial Design Studio 1, this module delves into spatial design with a focus on more complex and functional interior spaces and exterior spaces. It expands students' grasp of spatial design language and introduces them to terminologies essential for advanced design exploration within the built environment.

The module's core objective is to study human perception and behaviors within diverse spatial forms, particularly in relation to urban environments. By understanding the evolution of human habitation and how people interact with their surroundings, students will gain profound insights into shaping behaviors within expansive interior or exterior spaces.
2 30

Urban Ecology and Design

This module introduces the relationship between nature and human society in the urban environment – how are they interconnected? How do they adapt to one another?

Students take on ecology in an urban setting at several scales: basic plant and animal requirements, the other abiotic environmental components of the urban ecosystem and how urban systems adapt to continuous environmental change. Concepts such as species, populations, communities, energy flow, and cycles will be contextualised to the tropical urban environment. In addition, a human-centric approach to the environment and its processes are discussed through the topic of ecosystem services.
2 20

Spatial Representation

This module builds on design communication skills with computer-aided 3D modelling software techniques. It equips students with the ability to seamlessly integrate software tools into their design processes and enhances efficiency in delivering design proposals.

By integrating the module outcome into spatial design studio 2 design simulations, students will refine their proficiency in utilizing 3D modelling software as a powerful means of design communication.
2 10

Biophilic Design Studio 1

This module discusses how biophilic design principles are applied as a strategic tool for generating design interventions with the goal of enhancing physical and emotional needs of users in the built environment. The main focus is placed on understading the complex behavioral and cognitive interactions occupants have with their surroundings and use of biophilic elements to elevate spatial productivity.

This module consists of two components; Research methodology and Design Studio, aim to establish a research informed design development and practice. These components work harmoniously to establish a holistic approach, incorporating research informed principles into design development and practice. By combining theoretical insights with hands-on design exploration, students gain a comprehensive understanding of how biophilic design can significantly impact the built environment.
1 30

Design for Health and Wellness

In recent years, there has been increasing use of nature-based interventions (NBI), particularly those that encourage people-plant connections to improve the wellbeing of people with diverse backgrounds and conditions. This module will introduce the practice of various NBIs, including its history, current state, and relevant literature and theories.

Centre to these are the environments in which they are practised. Termed healing landscapes, they include natural landscapes and purpose-built therapeutic gardens. Students will be introduced to some of these examples according to the benefitted users and their roles in various NBIs.
1 20

Green Building Strategy

This module develops an understanding of green building standards in relation to professional practice. It focuses on evaluating biophilic design applications within the framework of various professional standards.

Through comparative analysis of prominent green rating systems, students will gain insights into the current industry practices while critically examining both the merits and limitations of each system. It empowers students to challenge conventional practices and explore innovative approaches in their design practices.
1 10

Biophilic Design Studio 2

Building on the foundational skills and knowledge gained in Biophilic Studio 1, this advanced module expands the discourse to encompass the broader urban landscape. It delves into how connections with nature and nature-based design interventions develops multifaceted benefits for both human and the environment.

The studio's focus extends to in-depth exploration of critical topics within the context of urban life. Research and design will delve into the realms of an ageing society, future healthcare, liveable neighborhoods, and therapeutic landscapes. These areas of study provide a rich foundation for students to deeply engage with the multifaceted interactions between human well-being, the built environment, and the natural world.
2 30

Regenerative Urban System 1

Urban ecosystems are functioning groups of built environments such as cities and the surrounding socio-ecological systems where people inhabit. Students will be introduced to the complexities and challenges in contemporary cities and urbanising landscapes. In view of global issues such as climate change, rising sea levels, food security, and mental well-being, topics such as sustainable development, regenerative design and environmental accounting are discussed. By analysing contemporary pressures and solutions, this module aims to understand how human and ecological processes can coexist in human-dominated systems and help societies in their efforts to become more sustainable.

The range of green solutions and strategies will be discussed to understand various disciplinary contexts associated with planning and enhancing urban ecological conditions such as architecture, urban planning, economics, public health, and ecology.
2 20

Experiential Design Representation

This module introduces students to cutting-edge tools for spatial design communication, fostering innovative representation of design outcomes. By immersing students in a diverse range of experiential technologies, digital tools, and infographics, students will discover effective methods to illustrate both the quantitative and qualitative outcomes of design interventions.

This module also encourages students to test the experiential quality of their designs rigorously to understand the potential real-world impact of their ideas.
2 10

Co-Creation Studio

This module introduces the future urban challenges in the Southeast Asian context with a global perspective through co-design approach. Students will be engaged in overseas immersion programme to extend their research and practice to real world seeing.

This module prepares students to play a vital role in shaping the livable cities of tomorrow. It encourages the students with the skills and perspectives needed to tackle complex urban issues with a global mindset, while fostering tangible improvements in local communities.
1 40

Regenerative Urban System 2

This module complements the capstone project by researching and documenting natural elements working as elements, processes, and systems in the urban landscape. The approach will be through gaining scientific knowledge, understanding of the tropical urban context and cultural awareness. Previously overlooked factors and agents of biophilic design should arise through the synthesis of the abovementioned.
1 20

Capstone Project

This module provides the student with a platform to demonstrate their acquired skills and knowledge through the development of a student-led project proposal as a form of capstone project. This capstone project not only allows students to apply their expertise but also offers the chance to delve deeper into their areas of interest, expanding their research capabilities.

Leading the project development process, students will refine their professionalism and strengthen their collaborative skills by working closely with peers and external advisors.
2 60
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entry requirements

Find out about the entry requirements that apply to you.

  1. A Statement of Intent (250 - 300 words) which communicate your purpose in pursuing the BA (Hons) in Biophilic Design.

  2. A Portfolio which consists of 10-15 pieces of your best works. These works should demonstrate creativity, passion, and curiosity and reflect your skills and study on spatial design.

  3. You are to attend a group interview session where you expected to communicate your motivations in applying for the BA (Hons) Biophilic Design course and share your views on specific topics given.
Interview Date
3 November 2023
8 December 2023
15 January 2024
16 February 2024
1 March 2024
5 April 2024
19 April 2024

Note: You will be notified of the outcome of your application 4 to 6 weeks after your portfolio interview or audition. Some application outcomes may take longer than expected.

 

Entry into first year (either one of the following):

  • Singapore-Cambridge 'A' Level (Minimum 2 A- Level/ H2 subjects and a pass in General Paper)
  • Local Polytechnic / Arts Institution Diploma
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
  • ITE Work-Study Diploma (WSDip)
  • Equivalent of Year 12 qualification

Entry into second year:
  • A relevant diploma in Design from NAFA or a recognised institution

  • Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
    • Diploma in Design (Landscape and Architecture)
    • Diploma in Design (Interior and Exhibition)

  • Ngee Ann Polytechnic
    • Diploma in Design
    • Diploma in Landscape Design and Horticulture

  • Building and Construction Authority Academy (BCA)
    • Specialist Diploma in Interior & Landscape Design

  • Nanyang Polytechnic
    • Diploma in Experiential in Product & Interior Design
    • Diploma in Architecture

  • Singapore Polytechnic
    • Diploma in Architecture
    • Diploma in Landscape Architecture

  • Temasek Polytechnic
    • Diploma in Interior Architecture & Design

  • Lasalle College of the Arts
    • Diploma in Interior Design

  • Diploma transcript must indicate passing grades in equivalent NAFA diploma modules

 

 

If English was not your primary medium of instruction throughout your school education, you must provide evidence at enrolment of the following:

Entry Into IELTS TOEFL - iBT PTE ACADEMIC DUOLINGO
BA (Honours) 6.0 80 50 105

 

 

You may be eligible for Accreditation for Prior Learning (APL), through the demonstration of prior certification, exempting you for 120 credits or one level of study. APL does not apply to modules. You must be first eligible to enter the programme before APL can be considered.


How to Apply

Get started on your quest to become an art & design professional today! 

Apply online
Apply online here from 2 October 2023 to 31 March 2024. 

Keep the Application Acknowledgement for your reference and submit the required documents

Keep the Application Acknowledgement for your reference and submit the required documents for verification within five working days from the application date at:

Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
Campus 1 (Admissions counter at level 1)
80 Bencoolen Street
Singapore 189655

Operating Hours
Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm
Closed on Saturday, Sunday, and Public Holidays

Alternatively, you can email a copy of the required documents to [email protected].

Required documents for verification:
  1. NRIC for Singapore Citizens (SC) or Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR), passport and valid Student’s Pass card (if applicable) for international students
  2. English qualifications (e.g. IELTS/TOEFL iBT), if applicable
  3. Academic certificates and transcripts:
    • For NAFA Diploma students
      • If you are currently in your final semester, you are not required to submit any transcript.
      • If you have graduated, please submit your Diploma certificate and full academic transcripts.
    • For Local Polytechnic Diploma students
      • If you are currently in your final semester, please submit your academic transcripts of your first 5 semesters. Subsequently, please submit your Diploma certificate and full academic transcript (all semesters) within 5 working days after the official release date
    • For other international qualifications
      • Please submit your most recent school examination or preliminary examination results, which must be certified by your school if you have not received your final results. Subsequently, please submit your final results and certificate within 5 working days from the official release date

Make payment of the Application Fee at the cashier counter in NAFA or online

Make a payment of the Application Fee at the cashier counter in NAFA or online at https://payment.nafa.edu.sg/Students.

Upload portfolio

Upload your Statement of Intent and Portfolio here

Receive an email with the portfolio interview details

You will receive an email from the Student Admissions Office with the details of your portfolio interview upon receipt of all required documents and portfolio.

Application outcome

Receive the outcome of your application via email within 4 – 6 weeks after your Portfolio Submission/Interview/Audition or Admission Test.