Architecture and Subjectivity

Subject ABPL90145 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2011.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Up to 4 hours a week (48 hours total)
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours
Prerequisites: Entry into the Melbourne School of Design, or approval from the subject coordinator.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.
The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Environments and Design Student Centre
Ground Floor, Baldwin Spencer (building 113)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

This seminar investigates the reception in architecture of modern and contemporary theories of culture, especially in how these have addressed the issue of subjectivity. Theories considered range from Walter Benjamin’s ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ (1936) to contemporary conceptions of technology. These theories are examined in relationship to design practices, architectural historiography, and the reception of architecture by its audiences. Topics include cultural production and reproduction; subjectivity and agency in architectural production and consumption; subject identity and the body; the end of modernity and current architectural apprehensions of the virtual and the new.

On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • Understand modern and contemporary conceptions of technology and their implications for how architecture is apprehended
  • Reflect critically on the agency of the architect as cultural producer
  • Discuss the implications for architecture of the multiple subject positions that have emerged in the wake of modernity.
Objectives: None specified
  • Project proposal of up to 1000 words due in week 4 (20%).
  • Written and/or graphic project of at least 4000 words due at the end of semester (80%).
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Critical thinking and analytical ability.
  • Ability to comprehend architectural concepts and express them lucidly, orally and textually.
  • Information gathering and critical synthesis.
Related Course(s): Master of Architecture
Master of Architecture

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