Polemic Design in China Japan Korea

Subject ABPL90388 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3 hours per week
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


Admission into a course at the Melbourne School of Design

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Modern/Contemporary Architecture (General) or Modern History/Culture of East Asia

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: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Assoc Prof Jianfei Zhu


Email: jianfz@unimelb.edu.au

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

Current Student: http://ask.unimelb.edu.au/
Web: http://msd.unimelb.edu.au/

Subject Overview:

Fragments of design thinking in East Asia, such as those of Japan and of current China, are well known or at least accessible. Yet there is hardly a concise, critical and comprehensive study on modern and current architecture of China, Japan and Korea together, as a whole and as a challenging case in design thinking on the world stage. This subject aims to provide such a study. The teaching and the debate in this subject focus on ‘polemic’ designs in these countries from the 1950s to the 2010s – designs that are interesting or controversial in formal, urban, cultural, social or political sense. By focusing on these critical cases, a broader history of design thinking dating back to the modern and ancient pasts, and generic currents of design practice in relation to the modern political history of the countries and the region are also studied. This subject aims to explore a gap of knowledge in the current design discourse on modernism and contemporary architecture. It aims to help construct a pluralist and multi-polar knowledge of architecture of the world in which a non-western case provides a critical contribution.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completing this subject, students should have obtained:

  • A general knowledge of modern and current architecture of east Asia (China, Japan & Korea);
  • A set of focused cases of post-war and current architecture of the three countries;
  • A deeper knowledge and an insight obtained through a self-driven, self-defined mini-thesis on an architect or a design;
  • Skills of deep/close reading;
  • Skills of catalogue/bibliographic research;
  • Basic skills of critical analysis (historical, formal and spatial);
  • Skills of writing;
  • Skills of presentation.
  • Proposal of a mini-thesis topic (200 words), due week 3 (10%);
  • Annotated bibliography for the mini-thesis (700 words), due week 6 (20%);
  • Power Point Presenation presentation of the mini-thesis (10 min), due week 9 (30%);
  • Final submission of the mini-thesis (a 3600 word paper), due week 12 (40%).
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Skills of deep/close reading;
  • Skills of catalogue/bibliographic research;
  • Basic skills of critical analysis (historical, formal and spatial);
  • Skills of writing;
  • Skills of presentation.
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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