1. Handbook
  2. Subjects
  3. Design Activism

Design Activism (ABPL90371)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5Not available in 2019

You’re viewing the 2019 Handbook:
Or view archived Handbooks


Year of offerNot available in 2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeABPL90371
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This elective subject will explore the dynamics and effectiveness of architecture in relation to the politics of protest. It will link together concepts from critical theory, community development, and urban futures with architectural design. To do this the subject will use contemporary case studies to explore the relationship of architectural design to different forms of activism and protest. These case studies will include perspectives from both international and local case studies, and students will be encouraged to develop their own international perspectives. Case studies will include the Occupy movement, Anonymous and other modes of civil disobedience, as well as local case studies including the East-West link and anti Coal Seam Gas protests.

Through this subject students will research how architectural propositions can change the way we protest and the way we respond to protests and protestors. The subject will bring together various ABP academics and practitioners involved in the interfaces between alternative architecture, protest and the contradictions of power in relation to urban infrastructures.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject the student is expected to:

  • Understand and articulate different theories and histories of political protest in relation to contemporary urbanism.
  • Articulate the potential of architectural design as a way to propose alternative futures in situations, where power, community interests and civil disobedience engender both potential and actual conflict.
  • Understand the lifecycle of protests and campaigning including: cultural preparation, organisation building, non-violent confrontation, mass non-cooperation and the development of parallel institutions.
  • Propose strategies, plans, designs and tactics that incorporate architectural design into contemporary protest movements.

Generic skills

  • The ability to think strategically at different environmental and urban scales.

  • The ability to establish and evaluate requirements and priorities in new project situations and contexts.

  • The ability to work individually and collaboratively to prepare and deliver a design project.

  • The ability to prepare, structure, schedule, evaluate and deliver a substantial research or design-research project.

Last updated: 21 August 2019