Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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


Art, Design and Architecture

Organisational Unit

Department of Design


Ms Natasha Carrington



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


Discussions are thematically structured by topics in contemporary theory. Designs are considered in relation to social issues; and students are expected to outline the place that their designs occupy in the continuum of design evolution and social critique. Critical attention is given to the methodological factors that might influence how the project is steered, and an evaluation of the social values and interests associated with the intentions behind the project.


On successful completion of this unit, students will:

  1. have a secure grasp of certain key concepts in contemporary theory which have particular bearing on their field of design
  2. be keen to relate the terms of their practice to broader discourses
  3. be able candidly to identify the values in their projects, especially related to gender, class and ethnicity and consider the possible case against the assumptions of their practice
  4. be keen to practice criticism in small forums, considering and conjecturing how aesthetic standards (such as style and taste) are the expression of non-absolute cultural values, and identifying critical questions of other people's practice
  5. be equipped to sustain an exegetical defence of their work and its placement in current visual production
  6. be equipped to outline the investigative and creative steps taken in the design process and have a critical understanding of how the chosen method fits alongside other paradigms of art, design and social inquiry.


Class paper (2000 words): 30% Class paper (4000 words): 70%

Workload requirements

2 hours a week of lectures and seminars, plus 10 hours per week of class preparation, library research and independent study

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)