Twenty-first Century Architecture

Subject ABPL90117 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Contact hours: 2 x 1.5 hour lecture per week and 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week. Total contact hours: 48 hours
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


Admission into one of the following courses:

MC-ARCH Landscape Master of Architecture
MC-ARCH2Y Landscape Master of Architecture (200 points)
MC-ARCH3Y Landscape Master of Architecture (300 points)

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:


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.

Learning Outcomes:

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.

Weekly lecture and tutorial attendance and participation (15%)

8 weekly summaries (25%)

Book review due in week 6 (25%)

Manifesto outline due in week 7 (7%)

Manifesto draft due in week 10 (14%)

Manifesto final due at the end of semester (14%)

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
Master of Urban and Cultural Heritage
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 200 point Master of Architecture
300 point Master of Architecture

Download PDF version.