DESST 2521 - History Theory II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2016

Building on History Theory I, this course will expand and deepen the frameworks of historical and theoretical understanding that necessarily underpin current knowledge and practice in the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture and urban design. The course focuses on the long history of Modernity (16th - 20th c.) as a process of globalisation, and its conceptual, formal, spatial and technological consequences for the development of the environmental design disciplines. Throughout the course disciplinary concerns will be considered within their social, cultural, political and environmental contexts. Students will enhance their research and academic writing skills and consider other modes of interpreting and understanding historical and theoretical concerns.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code DESST 2521
    Course History Theory II
    Coordinating Unit School of Architecture and Built Environment
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge DESST 1505
    Restrictions Available to B.ArchDes and B.E(Arch) students only
    Quota A quota will apply
    Course Description Building on History Theory I, this course will expand and deepen the frameworks of historical and theoretical understanding that necessarily underpin current knowledge and practice in the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture and urban design. The course focuses on the long history of Modernity (16th - 20th c.) as a process of globalisation, and its conceptual, formal, spatial and technological consequences for the development of the environmental design disciplines. Throughout the course disciplinary concerns will be considered within their social, cultural, political and environmental contexts.

    Students will enhance their research and academic writing skills and consider other modes of interpreting and understanding historical and theoretical concerns.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Katharine Bartsch

    Dr Katharine Bartsch, Course Coordinator

    Room 456a, Level 4, Barr Smith South, School of Architecture and Built Environment

    Email: (preferred mode of contact)

    Course Website:

    School Website:

    School (Unified):

    This is a School specific portal with news and events about the School.


    Contact Protocol: Course-specific queries should be raised with your tutor.

    If queries cannot be resolved in your tutorial, please contact the course coordinator via email.  

    If you have a non course-specific query refer to the Student Handbook 2015 or Student Advisor.

    I currently work part-time and I am on campus Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays.

    My drop-in time for History Theory II is 3-4 Tuesdays (Room 456a)

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    All the details for this course will be available, and updated, on MyUni.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    The course learning objectives for History Theory II are specifically aligned with the thematic content of the lecture series, the tutorials and the objectives of the assessable tasks.

    Thus, the student will gain the following knowledge:

    1. An overview of the histories of settlements prior to 1900

    2. Knowledge and understanding of key theories and design principles that underpin current knowledge and practice in the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture and urban design.

    3. Knowledge and understanding of influential designers and theorists (16th - 20th c.)

    4. Knowledge and understanding of cultural values and practices in relation to the design of architecture, landscapes and cities

    The student will gain the following skills, including the ability to:

    5. Apply independent research skills to interpret specific designs

    6. Analyse and evaluate (textually and graphically) a specific design

    7. Interpret, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources to form and express a qualified (supported by research) critique of a design

    8. Compare and contrast the opinions of different scholars

    9. Write clear and concise analytical texts and short essays which structure evidence for and against (a point of view)

    10. Critique relationships between design history and contemporary design discourse and practice

    11. Manipulate text and image in complex graphic compositions to communicate ideas

    12. Demonstrate the appropriate use of endnotes (or footnotes) and bibliographies

    The knowledge and skills acquired in this course provide a fundamental basis for your understanding of architecture, landscape and cities. This knowledge and the related skills constitute a seminal part of your design education in the Bachelor of Architectural Studies. The skills acquired are the foundation stones of your future career as a designer.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    4, 10-12
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Ching, F., Jarzombek, M., and Prakash, V. (2011). A Global History of Architecture. Wiley.

    Reference will be made to the 2011 hard-copy edition.

    This excellent resource is widely available. It is also available in the
    Barr Smith Library.


    From Publishers

    Unabashedly huge in its proportions, this book differs from the standard
    architecture survey in that it doesn't approach the topic from a Western
    perspective, but rather, as the title indicates, through a global lens. This
    bodes well for its success as a textbook, but will also please the casual
    reader. Chronologically organized, the work spans the globe within each time period,
    occasionally taking time to discuss certain styles and major historical
    periods, but devoting most of its space to specific architectural works
    [landscapes and cities are also considered]. This chronological organization
    keeps the book from feeling divided geographically, and maintains a diverse
    view without manic overextension-a look at the palace at New Delhi is followed
    by Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund, which is followed by the Hollyhock House
    in Los Angeles. Throughout, the authors make connections that have rarely been
    explored ("An important influence on European architecture in the west
    came from the direction of Armenia"). The book disseminates textbook
    amounts of need-to-know information, but it does so clearly-more like a down-to-earth
    conversation than a grad-school dissertation. A practicing architect and two
    academics, respectively, Ching, Jarzombek and Prakash aren't afraid to get into
    the meaning and emotion behind the architecture, addressing its passionate,
    intangible aspects, as in their discussion of irony's place in postmodern
    design. That personal and phenomenological angle, along with the book's giant
    scope, makes it a strong addition to the field, an example of successfully
    going macro without getting muddled. 1000 b&w photos, 50 color photos, 1500
    b & w illustrations.

    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All
    rights reserved.

    Recommended Resources
    Detailed information about further resources will be available on MyUni.
    Online Learning
    Academic Support
    Consult “The Writing Centre” for on-line resources re: essay writing guides, study guides, referencing.

    Face-to-Face writing support is also available from Hub Central, Level 3. The Writing Centre provides academic learning and language support and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide. The Writing Centre offers practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, and referencing techniques for success at university. Please note, the drop-in service is not an editing or grammar checking service but the Centre can help you develop your written English. No appointment is necessary. For greater assistance, please bring your course guide, assignment question, comments from your lecturers/tutors, and drafts of your writing.

    Speaker Series: The School has a fortnightly lecture series where respected practitioners and academics from the field deliver a public lecture on contemporary architectural practice. In order to expand your knowledge of contemporary directions in design it is recommended that you attend these sessions. The exact detail of dates and speakers is available from the School website and the Front Office.

    MyUni is an essential online tool which will be used to communicate
    information regarding the course including details of assignments and interim
    grades. There are many other learning resources and assessment pieces that rely
    on the MyUni system for delivery. Therefore it is recommended that you
    familiarise yourself with the various functions of MyUni and employ it to its
    fullest extent.

    Students are expected to familiarise themselves with all the available content on MyUni.

    University Email:
    The school uses the University email system to get in touch with the students. So it is imperative that you check your email regularly and keep up to date with any new announcements.

    Noticeboard / Handbook:
    General information about the activities at the School is available online from the
    Student Noticeboard which can be accessed at the online portal for the School:
    All students should familiarise themselves with this valuable portal.

    Students can access a copy of the Student Handbook at the following link:
    Lecture Recording:
    An audio recording of the lectures is made available in electronic format through the MyUni system
    for students to listen to in their own time and make notes. Please note that
    while these audio recordings are a useful resource for revision they should not
    be considered as replacement for lecture attendance. The lecture sessions may
    include activities and discussions on visual material that cannot be captured
    properly in the recording. Furthermore, technical issues cause delays in the
    availability of recordings which might affect your ability to complete ongoing
    tasks, not to mention technical failures which might result in certain
    recordings being unavailable.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    In 1999 Sibel Bozdoğan offered a postcolonial critique of professional education in Journal of Architectural
    Education. She identified the “widening gap between an architectural history that is increasingly more interested in culture, context, and politics and an architectural design culture (and an architectural design criticism) that privileges form-making and creativity” (1999: 207). More than a decade later, this gap frequently compromises an integrated approach to the delivery of academic and professional training. The intent of this course is to bridge this gap.

    History Theory II focuses on student-centred learning and teaching. In “What the Student Does: Teaching for Enhanced Learning” Biggs (1999) advocates a systemic approach which takes into account all aspects of the teaching context—course objectives, teaching and learning activities and the assessment tasks—as a strategy to move away from passive, uni-directional, teacher-to student transmission of knowledge. This is the aim of the teaching and learning mode of History Theory II. Importantly, Biggs stresses the need to embed the course objectives in the assignment tasks. Thus, formative and summative assessment tasks are designed to engage students in activities which will develop their knowledge and skills which are aligned with the course objectives (most significantly, knowledge of histories and theories of landscape architecture and the ability to the ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources to prepare clear and concise analytical texts).

    The knowledge base begins with the lectures and the required reading material. However, these are intended as a point of inspiration and a starting point for students’ independent learning which is demonstrated in the assessable work. They are not intended as a comprehensive, finite review of the content.

     Skills in written expression and critical writing are introduced in the tutorial program and further demonstrated in the assignments. Knowledge, skills, and assessable work are, thus, carefully integrated to achieve the intended holistic approach to learning and teaching. Moreover, according to Biggs, assessment must generate higher level cognitive learning activities, specifically, theorising, applying, relating, understanding or explaining distinguished from describing, note-taking or memorising. Student-focused learning strategies, embedded in the assessable work, are essential to bring about higher level cognitive learning.

    Biggs, J. (1999). “What the Student Does: Teaching for Enhanced Learning.” Higher Education Research and Development Journal, 18 (1): 57-78.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements. The University expects full-time students (ie. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote at least 48 hours per week to their studies.
    Accordingly, students undertaking this 3 unit course are expected to devote 12 hours per week to contact activities and/or self-guided studies.

    Based on this framework here are some figures that might assist workload management:

    Total workload hours:12 hrs per week x 13 weeks = 156 hrs

    Total contact hours: *3 hrs per week x 12 weeks = 36 hrs

    Total self-guided study:156 hrs– 36 hrs = 120 hrs

    These 120 hours should be used towards preparation of weekly tasks and for completion of the various assignments associated with the course, including development of various skills required to complete the same. Please organise your time wisely.

    Assignment 1: Research and Analysis, 30%, 44hours

    Assignment 2: Illustrated Critical Essay (PPT), 40%, 60hours

    Assignment 3: Class Test, 30%, 16+36hours**

    ** The Class Test assesses your knowledge and understanding of the lecture content and the required readings. Hence, the number of hours (16 hours or 2 days) assigned for preparation for the Class Test is additional to the contact hours.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Refer to MyUni for all information about the Learning Activities.
    Specific Course Requirements
    There are no specific course-specific requirements relating to a placement, a field trip, police checks for placements in schools, after-hours access, work experience, or ancillary fees and charges.

     If you choose to visit specific sites (buildings and landscapes) on campus or around Adelaide, ensure that you exercise respect for the owners and patrons, obtain permission to enter the building if required, and observe an appropriate duty of care during your visit.

    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Both assignments require the student to undertake research. However, Tutorials in Weeks 6, 7 and
    8 will be broken into smaller groups to enable a small group discovery
    experience which is actively promoted by the University of Adelaide. This
    experience is mentored by Course Coordinator and Senior Lecturer, Dr Katharine
    Bartsch and focuses on a recent journal article as a case study as a model to
    develop research skills .

    The union of teaching and research, combined in a search for impartial
    truth, was fundamental to the modern research university ideal. A small group
    of students, meeting to work at the discovery of new knowledge under expert
    guidance, was the centrepiece of the university experience. Yet in Australian
    and UK universities from the 1980s, with the massive growth of university
    enrolments and the addition of many applied disciplines, research became
    increasingly detached from teaching, and a division was created that has
    widened ever since. Today despite oppressive research pressures on staff,
    research is almost wholly absent from Australian undergraduate teaching.

    The University of Adelaide promotes small group discovery and aims to become a
    model of the teaching/research union, to show how universities can recapture
    what was once the defining characteristic of the research university. This does
    not mean merely inviting students to study an individual topic in depth, with
    initiative and creativity. In a true research university, the study of existing
    knowledge is secondary to the making of new knowledge. Moving away from
    knowledge delivery, now increasingly eroded by the universal availability of
    free online content, a university should focus on the essence of what research
    offers: the rigour of the scientific method, the search for empirical evidence,
    the beauty of logic and of patterns, the value of innovation, the creativity of
    problem solving and the intrinsic worth of knowledge. The University of
    Adelaide will return research to undergraduate teaching, so that every student
    in every program comes to experience the scholarship of discovery as the
    highlight of their learning experience.

    For many undergraduate students, this will take the form of an individual research
    project in their final year, for which the preparatory research skills and
    experience necessary will be built through smaller exercises in the earlier
    years of their course. As a key format for delivering undergraduate research,
    the university will commit to increasing the centrality of small-group
    learning, in which students address the scholarship of discovery with other
    students and a staff mentor. While content will increasingly be delivered in
    other formats, every student in every program should experience such
    small-group discovery as a key part of their learning experience.


  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assignment 1: Research and Analysis
    Week 6, Tue 30th Aug,  10am, 30%, Summative

    Assignment 2: Illustrated Critical Essay
    Week 10, Tue 11th, Oct, 9pm, 40%, Summative

    Assignment 3: Class Test
    Week 12, Tue 25th Oct, In Lecture, 1-3pm, 30%


    Assessment Related Requirements
    All assessment details will be availablew on MyUni.
    Assessment Detail
    All assessment details will be available on MyUni.
    All submission details will be communicated on MyUni.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.