Evolution of the Workplace

Subject 702-626 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours (equivalent of 3 contact hours per week). Estimated total time commitment: (including non-contact time): 10 -12 hours a week equivalent (120-144 hours total)
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Admission to a Masters program in the faculty, or approval of the course coordinator.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Scott Drake
Subject Overview:

This subject will explore the changes in the form and nature of work sectors over modern times with an emphasis on the Health, Office and Education sectors. The exploration will show how the form and nature of accommodation has changed in response to various economic, social, cultural and technological factors affecting work and its spatial organisation. The scope of changes in the nature of work will include the theories, models and frameworks that relate to: Changing work practices, including managerial, financial, and organisational structure; Industrial relations; Worker rights; Workplace amenity; Organisational Ecology; Impacts of technological change to workplace practices, including information management, communications, machinery and equipment; Urban development and financial aspects of workplace accommodation procurement, including development incentives and investment and leasing practices.

Assessment: A class paper on a phase of evolution in one sector, 20%, a paper comparing the differences in the workplaces of a sector in two continents, 40%, and a paper that projects the current trends into meaningful implications for the planning and design of a current project, 40%, all to the equivalent of 7,500 words.
Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:
  • Becker, F., and Steele, F., 1995, Workplace by Design,
  • Myerson, J., and Ross, P., 2003, The 21 st Century Office
  • King, Anthony, D., ed.,1980, Buildings and Society, Routledge and Kegan, P., London
  • Fitch, James M., 1999, American Building: The environmental forces that shaped it, Oxford University Press, London
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to: discuss the general forces and the social and cultural ideas that have shaped the form and design of workplaces for Health, Offices and Education over the last two Centuries; explain the differences

between functional determinism, new workplaces as vehicles for change versus responses to change; and the proposition that buildings are cultural artefacts and the workplace as a form of human ecology.

On successful completion of this subject, student should have improved the following generic skills:

  • The role of precedent analysis in planning and design;
  • Trend analysis and projection;
  • Performance based thinking;
  • Functional analysis; and
  • Critical thinking.
Related Course(s): Master of Architecture(by Coursework)
Master of Planning and Design (Coursework)

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