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Histories and Theories of Built Environments is part of a suite of four units in the degree core of the Bachelor of Architecture & Built Environments and the Spatial Design minor in the Bachelor of Design. These units introduce you to key ideas, principles and practices in spatial and built environment design disciplines across different contexts and scales from the object to the city.

In this unit you will explore key political, cultural and social themes and their relation to the production and inhabitation of the built environment. A series of thematic lectures introduces you to ideas and precedents in spatial design disciplines across a breadth of historical and cultural contexts. You will extend your understanding of histories and theories of the built environment through critical debate with peers and experts and focused inquiry into related and differentiated precedents along themes of personal interest. Based on your selected topic of inquiry, you will explore design implications through interpretation of ideas, objects and spatial environments in relation to your own field of disciplinary specialisation through formal, spatial and material investigations.

Summary 2020

Unit name Architecture Theory: Built Environments
Unit code KDA235
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Architecture and Design
Discipline Architecture & Design


Teaching staff

Level Intermediate
Available as student elective? Yes
Breadth Unit? No



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About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

ILO 1: Interrelate key political, cultural and social themes in relation to the production and inhabitation of the built environment.
ILO 2: Interpret historically and culturally situated ideas and objects through formal, spatial and material investigations.
ILO 3: Curate a selection of related and differentiated precedents within a focused design inquiry.

Contribution to Graduate Outcomes (Degree core knowledge)
Literacy: Students’ visual and written literacy is developed through precedent/pattern/symbol recognition and discussion (oral and textual and graphic); assessed via online discussion (AT1) and digital portfolio (AT3)




KDA143 or KDA144


Teaching Pattern

Lecture - 5 x 1-hr fortnightly, Workshop - 3-hr (3)


AT1 – Debate (25%)
AT2 – Speculations: Interim Peer Presentation (35%)
AT3 – Portfolio (40%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



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