DESST 2521 - History Theory II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2020

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)
    Researcher Profile:
    Available by appointment only.

    Website: School of Architecture and Built Environment:

    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’re a Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences (ECMS) student, our Ask ECMS team can help you with just about any study-related matter that could possibly arise.
    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, 2020.
    Thursdays 9am - 11am, MyUni, Online Class

    Weeks 1-12, Semester 2, 2020.

    Class # 22663 TU01 Thursday 11am - 12noon, Barr Smith South, 509, Madeline Nolan

    Class # 22660 TU04 Thursday 11am - 12noon, Barr Smith South, 510, Katharine Bartsch 

    Class # 22662 TU02 Thursday 12pm - 1pm, Barr Smith South, 509, Madeline Nolan

    Class # 22661 TU03 Thursday 1pm - 2pm, Barr Smith South, 509, Katharine Bartsch

    tutorial Thursday 4pm - 5pm Katharine Bartsch**

    Tutorial tasks are summarised in the Learning Activities Summary on MyUni.
    Details about each Tutorial task are provided, week-by-week, on MyUni.

    Please respect the facilities throughout the University.

    In the School of Architecture and Built Environment students are required to fabricate models, projects and other hands-on creative activities. Of course, you will make a mess in the process! No problem! Please clean up after yourself. If the materials are recyclable and you don't want to reuse them yourself, put them in the recycling bins. Don't leave paper/cardboard/offcuts on the floor or table, put them in the bin. Don't leave broken blades etc. on tables, put them in a sharps bin. Don't leave work (models, drawings etc) in a space (tutorial room, computer lab, studio) and expect to find it when you come back. The facilities are shared. The School recommends that you store your work in a locker available from ASA or in Hub Central.

    The tables in the learning and teaching spaces (tutorial rooms, computer labs, studios) are NOT cutting mats. Would you use an exacto knife or a scalpel to cut model making materials directly on your dining table at home? No? Don't do it at the University. Use a cutting mat. If you don't have one, buy one. All students should have a cutting mat in their Equipment Kit. You are expected to bring this with you if you are model-making, using glue etc.

    Students are permitted to bring food and drink into the learning and teaching spaces. Please respect your peers. When you have finished your bottle of water, coffee cup, bubble tea, Coke, juice, Boost, Red Bull etc. etc. put it in the bin. Don't leave your takeaway meal festering on a table cultivating mould. Put it in the bin.

    The importance of hygiene and cleanliness is amplified during COVID 19. Respect your peers. Respect your facilities. Please clean up after yourself at all times. This is your responsibility.

  • 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.
    A substantial bibliography is provided for each of the lecture topics and this serves as a good starting point for students' major essay.

    In addition, the required textbook for this course is:

    Ching, F., Jarzombek, M., and Prakash, V. (2017). A Global History of Architecture. Third Edition. Wiley.
    Access is available for unlimited simultaneous users via the Barr Smith Library website.

    There will be regular, online quizzes on key content as well as required readings.

    Recommended Resources
    Detailed information about further resources and required reading will be available on MyUni.
    This material will be included in the weekly modules.

    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. Consult “The Writing Centre” for on-line resources re: essay writing guides, study guides, referencing. 

    You can book a virtual meeting with writing mentors. Details are available at the 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 class, preparation before class is therefore essential so you can make full use of this time to communicate and seek advice from tutors.

    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 Recordings
    Lecture content will be made available online in Semester 2, 2020.

  • 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 (2012) 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.

    John Biggs (2012) What the student does: teaching for enhanced learning, Higher Education Research & Development, 31:1, 39-55, DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2012.642839

    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:  Mind the Gap 30% (groups of 2) 

    Assignment 2:  Illustrated Critical Essay 55% Individual 
    (Assessment Hurdle: Students must achieve minimum 50% to Pass the course)

    Online Quizzes 15% Individual
    Learning Activities Summary
    Refer to MyUni for all information about all the Learning Activities.

    The lectures will be online in 2020. The topics are below:

    • Course Overview
    • A Global Itinerary of Design
    • The Classical Language of Architecture: A Mediterranean Legacy
    • Building Faith: From Constantine to Castel del Monte
    • The Rise of Islam: West and East
    • Humanism: Ordering the Chaos. Villa / Garden / City
    • The Age of Discovery: Baroque Exports and Botanic Exchange
    • Landscapes of Power
    • Picturesque Landscapes. Or, Why is there a Pagoda at Potsdam?
    • The Enlightenment: Revolutions and Revivals
    • Landscapes of Death
    • Empire Building
    • Imperial Landscapes
    • Historicism
    • Orientalism
    • Utopian Visions / Urban Realities
    • 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.

    Small Group Discovery Experience
    There will not be a small group task for the 2020 offering of History Theory II.


  • 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: Mind the Gap 30% (groups of 2)
    Due Thursday, Week 5. Tutorial activities will assist with the development of this assignment.
    Refer Learning Activities Summary.

    Assignment 2:  Critical Essay 55% Individual (Formative Due Week 8)
    Assessment Hurdle. Students must achieve minimum 50% to Pass the course.
    Due Thursday, Week 11. Tutorial activities will assist with the development of this assignment.
    Refer Learning Activities Summary.

    Online Quizzes. Total 15% 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.

    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.

    Please note the following general points about Submissions:

    All submissions must include Student Name and Student ID Number. Submissions without Student Name or ID Number will not be considered for marking, and will receive zero marks in accordance with the guidelines.

    Please adhere to submission deadlines and follow instructions provided.

    Students must not submit work for an assignment that has previously been submitted for this course or any other course without prior approval from the Course Coordinator.

    On occasion, the lecturer/tutor may wish to retain students’ work for future reference and the relevant student will be informed at such a time.

    Early Submission:
    There is an early submission box located on Level 4 which is cleared out daily at 10am. Please mark your submission clearly before placing in box. Online submissions can be made prior to the due date.

    Models for in-class presentation cannot be handed in early.

    Late Submission:
    The school will NOT accept late submissions and any such assignment will receive zero marks. This also applies to electronic submissions.

    Printing delays & hard disk crashes will not be entertained as legitimate causes for delay, so please ensure that the work is finished in advance. Online submissions can also take time when file sizes are large and this can result in delayed submissions. The School recommends submissions < 50MB.

    The school has a resubmission policy whereby students can redeem failed work by submitting additional work for a maximum of 50%.

    Good practice:
    Students should ensure that they regularly backup their work on multiple locations as hard-disk crashes are an unfortunate reality. When relying on community printing facilities, students should attempt to finish their work in advance to avoid unnecessary delays. Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted (digital or hardcopy), as originals may be lost during the submission process.

    For modified arrangements of submission and assessment due to special circumstances see the following Assessment Task Extension(s) & Additional Assessment guidelines.

    Modified Arrangements (General)
    Students can apply for extensions or modified arrangements based on Medical conditions or other Extenuating circumstances. However, students need to submit their application along with supporting documents within 5 business days of the condition becoming applicable.

    The application form (the 'Blue Form' - Application for Assessment Extension) is available from the Front Office and needs to be submitted at the Front Office along with any supporting documentation. It is not sufficient, for example, just to submit a medical certificate. If you are sick a medical certificate needs to be appended to the Blue Form.

    Here is the link to the 'Blue Form':;field=data;id=7446;m=view

    Please note that submitting an application does not guarantee acceptance and the Course Coordinator will inform the applicant if the application is accepted. Please DO NOT contact the Course Coordinator directly.

    Medical Reasons:
    In case of an extended medical condition which makes it impossible for the student to submit the work on time, an Application for Assessment Task Extension due to Medical Circumstances (Blue Form) may be lodged with the Front Office along with a doctor’s certificate within 5 business days.

    Extenuating Circumstances:
    If the student is unable to submit the work on time due to extenuating circumstances an Application for Assessment Task Extension due to Extenuating Circumstances (Blue Form) may be lodged with the Front Office. Please note that this is only available for certain military, religious, or legal obligations and does not extend to minor personal problems.

    Compassionate Grounds:
    In case of certain extraordinary personal problems students can apply for extensions based on compassionate grounds (Blue Form). However, these must first be discussed with the Course Coordinator in person through appointment during the assigned office hours.

    Student Support:
    For a full range of student support services visit

    Additional Assessment:
    If a student receives a Fail grade for the course with an overall mark between 45 and 49, they may be eligible for an Offer of Additional Assessment which would allow them to get a maximum of 50 Pass for the Course.

    Additional Assessment offers are made by the School and the student will be informed directly once these are made available.

    Students who have a disability and wish to seek modified submission or assessment arrangements can contact the
    University Disability Services at and then communicate this to the Course Coordinator in person by appointment.

    Elite Athlete:
    Students who have national/international sporting commitments and wish to seek modified submission or assessment
    arrangements need to register with the University Elite Athlete Support Scheme at and then communicate this to the Course Coordinator in person by appointment.

    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 2019 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.