DESST 3518 - History Theory III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2020

Complementing the breadth of the foundation courses, History Theory I & II, this course offers an opportunity to examine a selection of topics on the history and theory of the design disciplines with greater depth and critical interpretation. Topics will include Indigenous, colonial and contemporary perspectives on the history of Australian landscape, architecture and urbanism, and may explore additional areas of critical inquiry and scholarship in which academic staff and/or visiting researchers are engaged in the school. Students will enhance their foundation skills in academic research and writing, and explore additional modes to interpret and understand historical and theoretical design knowledge.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code DESST 3518
    Course History Theory III
    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 2521 or DESST 2502
    Restrictions Available to B.ArchDes students only
    Quota A quota will apply
    Course Description Complementing the breadth of the foundation courses, History Theory I & II, this course offers an opportunity to examine a selection of topics on the history and theory of the design disciplines with greater depth and critical interpretation. Topics will include Indigenous, colonial and contemporary perspectives on the history of Australian landscape, architecture and urbanism, and may explore additional areas of critical inquiry and scholarship in which academic staff and/or visiting researchers are engaged in the school.

    Students will enhance their foundation skills in academic research and writing, and explore additional modes to interpret and understand historical and theoretical design knowledge.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Peter Scriver

    Dr Peter Scriver / course coourdinator, principal lecturer and tutor / Barr-Smith S 467 /

    Michael Queale / tutor and principal guest lecturer / Heritage SA (SA Govt)

    Dr Stephen Schrapel / tutor and guest lecturer / Swanbury Penglase Architects

    Dr Carolyn Wigg / tutor and guest lecturer / Heritage consultant
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1. Outline the historical development of the architecture, urban design and cultural landscapes of South Australia since the impact of modern/European settlement in the early 19th c
    2. Synthesise theoretical and cultural relationships between built form, content, context, concept, and construction that may be revealed in the case of South Australia, with particular reference to Aboriginal Australian and other non-European peoples
    3. Articulate and interpret factors (social, economic, technological and aesthetic) that may influence the design and development of built environments
    4. Compose a critical argument and communicate this in a clear and concise analytical text employing academic writing & referencing conventions
    5. Demonstrate enhanced research skills in the use of primary sources as well as on-line resources to conduct original historical inquiry
    6. Apply discipline-specific knowledge and skills (including architectural drawing) as prospective design professionals to document and assess a building as a contribution to built heritage
    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)
    1, 2, 3, 6
    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
    3, 4, 5, 6
    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
    5, 6
    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
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There is no prescribed reader for this course, but specific readings may be assigned and/or made available through MyUni. Students will also be expected to make extensive use of the Barr-Smith library and its architectural collections, The State Library of South Australia, The City of Adelaide Archives, as well as the specialist collection and archival resources of the South Australian Architecture Museum (which is housed at the UniSA School of Architecture).
    Recommended Resources
    The BSL library, Hub-Central, as well as the Learning support team of the Faculty (ECMS) provide a variety of resources including self-help guidelines, regularly scheduled workshops, and individual consultations by appointment, to assist students with challenges in academic writing referencing. Students are encouraged to take full advantage of these resources.

    A list of recommended readings associated with South Australian history, architecture and planning/ landscape (some of which are available in BSL) will be provided at the commencement of the course. But students are also encouraged to extend their reading to Australian architecture, urban and landscape history more broadly, in consultation with their tutors.

    Please refer to MyUni for details of recommended readings and websites

    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 the architecture, landscape and and urban design disciplines. 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.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures are the key mode of content delivery and critical exposition in this course. There will normally be two distinct 50 minute lectures delivered each week in the two-hour lecture session, one by the principal course lecturers, the other by an expert guest lecturer.

    Tutorials and workshops are scheduled periodically throughout the semester (but not every week, so please check the schedule carefully). Students will usually meet with their assigned tutor for a one hour session. However ‘workshop’ sessions will entail up to two hours of contact with one or more teaching staff

    Out-of-classroom learning opportunities may also be exploited through short walking visits to nearby buildings and institutions including temporary exhibitions and the permanent collections of neighbouring public galleries and museums.

    Assignments are designed to facilitate self-guided learning. These generally reflect the sequence the lectures, and will give students opportunities to explore and develop a self-selected topic or issue introduced in the lectures.

    The tutoring staff and the guest Lecturers are primarily professional historians and architecturally trained heritage professionals. They bring current knowledge and substantial experience to the subject area.

    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 self-guided studies.

    Based on this framework here are some figures that might assist workload management (delete as appropriate):

    For a 3 unit course:
    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

    For a 6 unit course:
    Total workload hours: 24 Hrs per week x 13 weeks = 312 Hrs
    Total contact hours: 6 Hrs per week x 12 weeks = 72 Hrs
    Total self-guided study: 312 Hrs – 72 Hrs = 240 Hrs

    For a 12 unit course:
    Total workload hours: 48 Hrs per week x 13 weeks = 624 Hrs
    Total contact hours: 12 Hrs per week x 12 weeks = 144 Hrs
    Total self-guided study: 624 Hrs – 144 Hrs = 480 Hrs

    These 120 or 240 or 480 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.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week     Topic                                                                           Lecture                     Tutorial/wrkshp
    Week 1   Introduction                                                                lecture 1                     Workshop
    Week 2   Early Adelaide                                                              lectures 2 & 3             Tutorial
    Week 3   First Contact                                                                Lectures 4 & 5            Workshop
    Week 4   The struggle for space & ’place’                                     lectures 6 & 7             Tutorial
    Week 5   Late Victorian boom years                                             lectures 8 & 9             Tutorial
    Week 6   Garden history                                                             lectures 10 &11           (no contact) 
    Week 7   Dwelling and difference on the frontier                           lectures 12 &13           Tutorial 
    Week 8   Early Modernism                                                          lectures 14 & 15           (no contact)

    (teaching brk)

    Week 9   Mid-century Modernism                                                lectures 16 & 17          Tutorial 
    Week 10 Late Modernism                                                           lectures 18 & 19          Tutorial 
    Week 11 Exporting Australian modernism                                    lecture 20 & 21            (no contact)
    Week 12                                                                                   (no lecture)                 Tutorial
    Week 13                                                                                   (no lecture)                 (no contact)
  • 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
    Tutorial Task 1
    formative & summative
    Wed/Wk 5
    CLO: 5,6

    Tutorial Task 2
    formative & summative
    Wed/Wk 9
    CLO: 1,2,3,4,5,6

    Wed/Wk 13
    CLO: 1,2,3,4,5
    Assessment Related Requirements

    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') 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.

    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.
    Assessment Detail
    NOTE: The following summaries are generic descriptions of the nature and scope of the course assignments. Please refer to any supplementary assignment details and specifications that may be issued subsequently in class, and posted (under ‘Assignments’) on MyUni.

    Tutorial Task 1 (individual) 
    Visual research exercise
    • Students are required to undertake a short exercise to acquaint themselves with basic tactics and strategies for conducting local architectural research.
    • Full references to sources (including on-line resources) are to be provided in accordance with University guidelines for academic referencing.
    • Students will prepare and submit a concise description of the releavant materials sourced, as well as a concise written account of their research process, including a list all the resources consulted. 

    Tutorial Task 2 (individual) 
    Documentation, description and analysis/assessment
    • Employing appropriate research strategies and tactics, each student will undertake a coordinated survey, graphic documentation and analysis of the historical, spatial, typological, and stylistic development of a specified building, urban loacilty, and/ot historcial place.  other primary evidence relevant to an assigned building in Adelaide.
    • This assignment will build on and extend skills and knowledge gained in the first tutorial task

    Essay (individual) 
    • Each studnet will research and develop a short original essay from a list of selected topics (to be provided), or an appropriate alternate topic suggested and/or approved by their tutor. (2500 word text, plus full references to sources in either ‘Chicago’ endnote, or ‘Harvard’ in-text reference styles.)

    • 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 and the interim grades will be made available through the My Grades system. Students are expected to inform the Course Coordinator if there are any errors with the marks entered on the system.
    • 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.
    Assessment Task Due Weighting Submission Method
    Tutorial Task 1 Wk 5 15% online (hard-copies to tute)
    Tutorial Task 2a Wk 7 (obligatory, but non-graded) online (hard-copies to tute)
    Tutorial Task 2a  Wk 9 35% online (hard-copies to tute)
    Essay  Wk 13 50% online 
    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
    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.
  • 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.