Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Art, Design and Architecture
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Leonie Cooper and Professor Anne Marsh


This unit is about visual language and its relationship to a larger world of ideas and modes of construction. Visual language is analysed in relation to technical, aesthetic and ideological frameworks. The reasons behind stylistic developments are sought within the framework of the history of ideas, from the political and cultural to the economic. Diverse forms of art, architecture and design are analysed and evaluated to offer and appreciation for the connections between creative practise and larger processes of change. In tutorials students are given opportunities to develop visual and verbal skills for engaging in contemporary discourse on design.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to

  1. recognise key works of design and art and place them in the appropriate social and cultural climate,
  2. consider the relationships between the design, fine art and applied arts disciplines as mutually important partners in the development of visual language,
  3. cultivate theoretical curiosity for the changing cultural functions of design, fine art and applied arts in the industrial period,
  4. describe visual language perceptively and comment on works with critical discernment, attempting to evoke the expressive and/or ideological content of objects of design and
  5. present a combination of factual and subjective arguments in an articulate and critical manner, whether spoken or written.


Essay (1500 words): 25%
Essay (2000 words): 50%
Visual test (1 hour): 25%

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Anne Marsh

Contact hours

Two 1 hour lectures and one 1 hour tutorial and 9 independent study hours per week


Admisison to a Design degree course