Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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.

FacultyFaculty of Art, Design and Architecture
OfferedGippsland First semester 2015 (Off-campus)
Gippsland Second semester 2015 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr Julie Cotter


Philosophical issues concerned with the ritual and ideological values of objects and the design ethos 'proper' to them. The difference in habit between tensile members and compressive members in architecture compared to the respective ornamental expressions. Ornament and the modes of construction in timber, textile, clay and glass. Textual recommendations of theorists from antiquity to the twentieth century are judged for their internal logic, cultural implications and acceptability in the context of contemporary theory.


On completion of this unit, students will:

  1. have a critical appreciation of the historical development of ornamental design from pre-classical times to Art Deco
  2. appreciate the diversity of the origins of ornamental motifs, whether derived from engineering or ritual, as in tattooing or body-piercing and be able to speculate about their historical sustainability
  3. be able freely to obtain access to resources of ornamental traditions and information concerning their aptness with respect to historical and cultural background
  4. be able to speculate critically on the meaning of pattern-making, repetition, abstraction and figuration in the context of a variety of practical objects and biological interventions
  5. possess an informed opinion concerning the fortunes of ornament during modernism and the likely place of decorative design in contemporary discourses and practices


Two essays:2000 words 40%
3000 words 60%

Workload requirements

3 hours lecture/tutorial and 9 independent study hours per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


A first year sequence in TAD units for faculty course students or permission for all other students.