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Architecture as Spectacle (ABPL90369)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Overview

Year of offer2018
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeABPL90369
Campus
Parkville
Availability
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject considers the production of architecture in the age of commodification. It considers the place of architecture in a world that is growingly preoccupied with the visual and the culture of consumerism. It reflects on how such a world conceives, experiences and consumes architectural design as spectacle, placing striking visuality and iconography above other design intentions. Colonial imagining of otherness, nation building, heritage conservation, tourism industry, popular culture and media, as well as the branding practice of the 21st century will be considered as the broader political and social contexts in which the conception of architecture as spectacle arises.

Through a variety of case studies — ranging from the architecture of national pavilions at the world exposition series, the signatory works of 21st century’s star architects and their shaping of the image of the global cities, the strategic use of architecture in promoting place identity, arts, and heritage, to the commercial architecture of shopping malls, entertainment centres, and international franchise brands — we will reflect on, not only the commodification of architecture, but also how architectural design operates as a medium of commodification of culture, heritage, memory, and otherness. The subject will also explore the extent to which the notion of architecture as spectacle has infiltrated the space of everyday life, the house and the perception of urban life in general. We will then ponder on the effects of the commodification of architecture in the way we experience and shape our built environments.

Intended learning outcomes

On the completion of the subject, students should be able to:

  • Interpret architecture as a form of cultural production in which design ideas are shaped by, and subsequently giving shape to, broader cultural conceptions such as identity, otherness, memory, authenticity and difference;
  • Analyse the effects of commodification and consumerism on the production and reception of architectural design in the 21st century;
  • Critique contemporary architecture while drawing from broader social theories and interdisciplinary criticism of the popular culture of the 21st century;
  • Develop a critical view on the commodification of 21st century built environment and apply it in design work.

Generic skills

Critical reading skills, oral and visual presentation skills, research skills, essay writings, engagement with interdisciplinary works.

Eligibility and requirements

Prerequisites

None

Corequisites

None

Non-allowed subjects

None

Recommended background knowledge

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
ABPL90117 Twenty-first Century Architecture
Semester 2
12.5

Core participation requirements

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability

Assessment

Description

  • Tutorial presentations (based on visual and written materials to the total equivalent of 1000 words), due weeks 4-7, 20%
  • Annotated bibliography and essay outline (1000 words) due week 8, 20%
  • Research essay (3000 words), due week 12, 60%

Hurdle requirement: Attendance and participation in 75% of tutorial classes (weeks 1-12), is a hurdle requirement.

Dates & times

  • Semester 2
    Principal coordinatorAmanda Achmadi
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours4 hours per week.
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period23 July 2018 to 21 October 2018
    Last self-enrol date 3 August 2018
    Census date31 August 2018
    Last date to withdraw without fail21 September 2018
    Assessment period ends16 November 2018

    Semester 2 contact information

Time commitment details

170 Hours

Further information

Prescribed texts

Subject reader

Related courses

Related majors/minors/specialisations

Last updated: 23 October 2017