Architecture in the Islamic World

Subject ABPL30062 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2016.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1X2 hour of lecture and 1X1 hour of tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
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:



The Eastern Precinct (building 138)
(between Doug McDonell building and Eastern Resource Centre)

Current Student:

Subject Overview:

This subject will offer an overview of the cosmopolitan origin and modern development of architecture in the Islamic world. Case studies from different regional contexts and historical periods will be examined to highlight the broad spectrum of political, cultural, social and environmental aspects related to the shaping of architecture in the Islamic world. A variety of building types, ranging from classical religious and monumental structures, vernacular forms and settlements, to urban and contemporary civic projects, as well as important architectural figures and discourses emerging from the Islamic world will be studied. In order to recognise how architecture continues to manifest the Islamic world’s transforming socio-cultural milieu, a particular focus will be given to the architectural outcomes of the long-standing encounters between the spread of Islam and other social and political formations. These include cross cultural encounters between Islamic and European courts in the Mediterranean region, the syncretism between the teaching of Islam and older indigenous traditions in Southeast Asia, and the shaping of Islamic identity in the context of colonialism and nation building politics in North Africa and Asia, including specifically South and Southeast Asia. The rise of popular culture and youth identity in contemporary cities in the Islamic world, their interactions with Islamic expressions and representations in public space and architectural forms will also be explored.

Learning Outcomes:

On the completion of the subject students will demonstrate:

  • a broad understanding of the historical dynamic and diversity of architectural forms developed in different parts of the Islamic world;
  • an ability to analyse buildings and places in terms of their forms, spatial organisation, and functions in relation to religious traditions and broader socio-cultural practices;
  • an ability to identify and analyse geometric composition, decorative treatment of surfaces, hybridity and cosmopolitanism as important attributes of architecture in the Islamic world;
  • an awareness of modern architectural discourses, seminal projects, and key architectural figures emerging from, and through interactions with, the Islamic world


  • Tutorial attendance and class participation (minimum 75% attendance from week 1- 12), 10%;
  • Tutorial presentations (based on drawn and written materials to the total equivalent of 1000 words), due week 4-7 (10%);
  • Building/book review (1000 words) due week 8 (30%);
  • Research essay (2000 words) due Week 12 (50%).
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

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

Critical readings, oral presentation skills, research skills, essay writings


This subject might be offered in 2017

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Environments Discipline subjects

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