Spatial& Political Architectures of Asia

Subject ABPL90276 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

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

This subject is not offered in 2016.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1 x 2 hour lecture per week; 1 x 2 hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment:

170 Hours


Admission into a course at the Melbourne School of Design.

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:


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

Current Student :

Subject Overview:

This subject explores how architecture in Asia and other Non-Western contexts has been shaped by spatial and political histories, cultural heritage and social legacies; and the contributions made by the first generation of architects to their newly independent nations. In doing so it engages with pre-colonial and colonial periods; nationalism and the Cold War; and the late capitalist and neo-liberal stages of globalization. The objective of this subject is to gain a comprehensive view of history through the lens of the non-Western built environment, its discourses and critiques as it developed against or in parallel with Euro-American Modernism. This subject provides a body of knowledge on history, culture and politics and their relevance for architecture which will be useful for students hoping to practice in Asia. Topics include; vernacular architecture, pre-colonial and colonial cities, museum design and exhibition culture, capitol buildings and capital cities, environmental sustainability, war and commemoration, heritage conservation and the aesthetics of globalization. Readings are drawn from interdisciplinary sources including architectural and urban history, geography, cultural studies and anthropology

Learning Outcomes:
  • Understand the historical development of architecture in non-Western contexts;
  • Understand social, political, historical and cultural contexts through contextualisation of knowledge on the built environment in South and Southeast Asia, and the Middle East;
  • Develop a critical position from which to be abele to assess critique and evaluate non-western architecture based on its internsic logic and contact.
  • Weekly readings - a short one paragraph summary of readings and presentation of readings by a student at the weekly tutorial, 500 words, 10%.
  • Five page outline with bibliography due week 6 (30%), as part of a 4000 word essay (inclusive of references) (50%) due during exam period, 4000 words (total 80%).
  • Students presentations on essay topics, 500 words, 10%, due week 12.

Hurdle requirement: Minimum attendance of 80% of classes.

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
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
Melbourne School of Design multidisciplinary elective subjects

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