Twenty-first Century Architecture

Subject ABPL90117 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Semester 2, Parkville - 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: Up to 4 hours a week (48 hours total)
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours


Admission to Master of Architecture

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:


Dr Annmarie Brennan


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

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

This subject offers a broad introduction to contemporary theories and methods used in the production and critique of architecture in the context of current practice.

Architectural concepts such as program, diagram, transparency, tectonics, materiality, and ornament will be explored along with the contemporary manifestations of landscape urbanism, digital technologies, ecological sustainability, and biomimicry in design. The subject provides a perspective within which contemporary architectural polemics and strategies can be understood so that students can approach their own practice with the knowledge of existing contemporary theories of design.


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

  • Understand and articulate a broad range of contemporary architectural theories.
  • Identify the major architectural thinkers, their philosophical positions and the debates between them.
  • Develop a disciplinary vocabulary based in architectural discourse.
  • Investigate a particular architectural theory for critical debate and to develop it for their own design practice and criticism.
  • Tutorial participation (15%)
  • Weekly assignments (design and text –based) (25%)
  • Research paper (2500 words) (35%)
  • Manifesto (1500 word and design project) (25%)
Prescribed Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Critical thinking and analysis
  • Use and citation of sources
  • Written and verbal presentation of ideas
  • Essay and report writing
  • Ability to analyse social and cultural contexts
  • Application of generic theories to specific examples
Related Course(s): Master of Architecture
Master of Architecture

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