DESST 2521 - History Theory II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2019

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

    Room 456a, Level 4, Barr Smith South, School of Architecture and Built Environment
    Email: (preferred mode of contact)
    Course Website:
    School Website:
    School Website (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 2019.

    My drop-in time for History Theory II is 12.30-1.30pm Thursdays (Room 456a) from Week 2 onwards.
    I am not available at other times, except by appointment, due to other teaching and research commitments.
    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.

    Weeks 1-12, Semester 2, 2019.
    Thursdays 9am - 11am, Engineering South 112 Lecture Theatre

    Weeks 1-12, Semester 2, 2019 Full details for tasks and tutorials will be available in the Learning Activities Summary on MyUni.

    Class # 22149 TU01 Thursday 11am - 12pm, Barr Smith South, 509, Katharine Bartsch

    Class # 22148 TU02 Thursday 12pm - 1pm, Barr Smith South, 509, Jade Riddle

    Class # 22147 TU03 Thursday 1pm - 2pm, Barr Smith South, 509, Jade Riddle

    Class # 22146 TU04 Thursday 11am - 12pm, Barr Smith South, 510, Paul Bartsch

    Class # 22145 TU05 Thursday 12pm - 1pm, Barr Smith South, 510, Armin Mehdipour

    Class # 22150 TU06 Thursday 1pm - 2pm, Barr Smith South, 510, Armin Mehdipour

  • 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.

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1 Identify key sites, ideas and designers in the disciplines of architecture and landscape architecture (emphasis 1500–1900CE).

    2 Recognise key theories and design principles that underpin current knowledge and practice in the built environment disciplines.

    3 Apply independent research skills to interpret specific designs.

    4 Interpret, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources to form and express a qualified critique of a design in text and image.

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

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

    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 Design. 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
    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
    1-2, 4, 6
    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
    4, 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Required readings will be posted on MyUni.

    The required textbook for this course is A Global History of Architecture. You must have access to this resource.
    There will be regular, online quizzes on key content.

    Ching, F., Jarzombek, M., and Prakash, V. (2013). A Global History of Architecture. Third Edition. Wiley.
    Reference will be made to the 2013 hard-copy edition.

    Wiley Direct is one of the options for where students can purchase the required textbook for the course, selling not only the print options but also the digital options of the resource.

    The required resource is available in multiple formats and options:

    - E-Texts and printed texts can be purchased at <>

    - Printed texts can also be purchased at your campus bookstore or via online retailers. This excellent resource is also available from the co-op bookshop in Hub Central. Earlier editions are available in the Barr Smith Library. The textbook can be purchased from a number of other online bookstores, including: Zookal, Booktopia, The Book Depository and Amazon.

    Students may be able to purchase second hand copies of the textbook.

    From Publishers Weekly

    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 and required reading will be available on MyUni.
    This material will be included in the weekly modules.

    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 practice in architecture and landscape architecture. 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.
    Online Learning
    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. It is expected students check University email account regularly as this is the primary means of individual contact. Also, check Canvas for regular updates, announcements and online material.

    Based on such communication, it will be assumed you are aware and prepared before each studio, lecture or scheduled meeting time in regards to any prior communication. Tutors will NOT respond to individual email correspondence. Be prepared to ask your questions in studio, preparation before class is therefore essential so you can make full use of this time to communicate and seek advice from studio leaders.

    MyUni / Canvas
    In addition to the above resources, further assignment resources are available on MyUni / Canvas. These may include further reading material for the lectures and studios, reading material that will assist with the preparation of assignments and appropriate links to assist students with academic writing including essay writing as required.

    MyUni / Canvas 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.

    Discussion Board
    The Canvas Discussion Board can be used to interact with other students and is an essential tool to discuss information and increase your understanding of issues.

    Lecture Recording
    In certain cases the recording of the lectures is made available in electronic format for students to listen through on their own time and make notes, and is provided through Canvas. However, this service may not include guest lectures. Furthermore, where the presentation content is subject to copyright or the guest speaker is uncomfortable with the recording of the content, the lecture recording will not be made available online. So students should not rely solely on this mode of learning and arrange to attend or get lecture content from peers.

    Noticeboard / Handbook
    General information about the activities at the School is available online from the Student Noticeboard which can be accessed

    Students can also access a copy of the 2019 Student Handbook at the following link:

    It is assumed that all students will have read the School’s 2019 Student Handbook, available on the School’s website - – and to be aware of all the policies and procedures it describes. Students are also expected to read and be familiar with all the course materials on Canvas.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    In 1999 Sibel Bozdogan 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 12 weeks = 144 hrs + 24 hours (non-teaching period, mid-semester break) = 168hrs

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

    Total self-guided study: 168hrs – 36 hrs = 132 hrs

    These 132 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: Building Faith 30% Group (Week 6)

    Assignment 2:  Illustrated Critical Essay 50% Individual (Week 13) 
    (Assessment Hurdle: Students must achieve minimum 50% to Pass the course)

    Regular Online Quizzes 20% Individual
    Learning Activities Summary
    Refer to MyUni for all information about all the Learning Activities.

    Week 1: A Global Itinerary of Design / Course Overview 
    Week 2: The Classical Language of Architecture: A Mediterranean Legacy
    Week 3: Building Faith: From Constantine to Castel del Monte
    Week 4: The Rise of Islam: West and East
    Week 5: Humanism: Ordering the Chaos. Villa / Garden / City
    Week 6: The Age of Discovery: Baroque Exports and Botanic Exchange
    Week 7: Picturesque Landscapes. Or, Why is there a Pagoda at Potsdam?
    Week 8: The Enlightenment: Revolutions and Revivals + Analytical WRiting Techniques


    Week 9: Empire Building
    Week 10: Orientalism / Historicism
    Week 11: Utopian Visions / Urban Realities + The Parks Movement
    Week 12: Technological Experiments

    Specific Course Requirements
    The Illustrated Critical Essay represents an Assessment Hurdle.
    Students must achieve a minimum of 50% for this assessment task to Pass the course.

    There are no other 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
    Assignment 1 involves small group discovery experience which is actively promoted by the University of Adelaide. 

    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: Building Faith 30% Group
    Due 11.59pm, Thursday 5th September. Week 6. Note the tutorial submissions to assist with the development of this assignment.
    Refer Learning Activities Summary.

    Assignment 2:  Critical Essay 50% Individual
    Assessment Hurdle. Students must achieve minimum 50% to Pass the course.
    Due 11.59pm, Thursday 7th November. Week 13. Note the tutorial submissions to assist with the development of this assignment.
    Refer Learning Activities Summary.

    Regular Weekly Online Quizzes. Total 20% Individual

    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students are expected to attend all lectures and studios. Class rolls will be maintained to monitor attendance. It is not possible to swap between tutorials because the classes are full. 

    There are well publicised School policies for registering non-attendance for legitimate reasons, and you are strongly encouraged to formally acknowledge non-attendance reasons as soon as is practicable prior to planned absences or after your non-planned absence. The Medical and Counselling services, as well as the Education and Welfare Office of the University, are available to assist you free of charge in regard to medical or counselling matters.

    Students are required to attend all scheduled teaching; and lectures, tutorials and other classes will proceed on the assumption that students have done so. Attendance at tutorials, seminars, practical work and studio sessions is taken into account in decisions about offering Replacement/Additional Assessment and/or examinations. Students who regularly do not attend sessions and do not carry out the associated work may be precluded from and regarded as having failed the course. Students should take advantage of the educational opportunities offered by all classes, including the opportunity for interaction, and learning from each other. Compulsory attendance is necessary at all practical work sessions for a number of reasons: to achieve this interaction, in particular in group work;
    because of the sequential nature of work in some courses; because of the need for students to provide an audience and feedback for other students presenting work; and to ensure the authorship of project work on which assessment is based.

    When the assignments are to be presented during a studio, students must arrive and submit their work at the beginning of the studio (as directed). Students who arrive later than 10 minutes after the studio commences will not be allowed to
    present and will receive 0 mark. It is expected that all students will remain to listen to the presentations by their peers during studio presentations.

    Full details about the School's Assessment and Submission Policy are provided in the 2019 Student Handbook. It is assumed that students are familiar with the rules relating to submission.
    Assessment and Submission details ate provided on pages 13-17.
    Assessment Detail
    All details about the individual assignments including an overview of each assessment task, the task type (e.g. summative, formative), due date, weighting, and identification of the learning objectives addressed by the assessment task are provided on MyUni / Canvas.

    Final results for the course will only be available through Access Adelaide and students SHOULD NOT contact the course coordinator or the tutors for the same.

    Most assignments will be marked within 3 weeks of the submission. Students are expected to inform the Course Coordinator if there are any errors or issues arising in relation to their assessment. The best examples of students’ work will be included in the All-In Exhibition to be held at the end of term alongside the best works from other courses and year levels.
    All details about the individual assignment submissions and online participation tasks will be provided on MyUni / Canvas.

    Full details about the School's Submission Policy are provided in the 2019 Student Handbook. It is assumed that students are familiar with the rules relating to submission.
    Assessment and Submission details ate provided on pages 13-17.
    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.

    Students provide valuable feedback each year.

    In 2018 students requested more opportunities to discuss their work in class, in the eSELT and in informal discussions with students. The revised weekly tutorial tasks provide further scaffolding to assist students with the preparation of their assignments in response to this feedback.

    In addition, the class test has been replaced with a series of weekly quizzes to pace students' engagement with the lecture content and required reading material across the semester.
  • 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.