Architecture and Subjectivity

Subject ABPL90145 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

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

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Up to 4 hours a week (48 hours total)
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours


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 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:


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.

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
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Melbourne School of Design multidisciplinary elective subjects (without prerequisites)

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