Architectural History/Theory 3 (BDES3011)


Architectural History/Theory 3 surveys contemporary architectural debates through historical precedents, central texts, and present-day criticism on aesthetic design, cultural influences, mass media, and political events. Architectural discourse can be understood as a wide array of interlocking 'regimes of thought', each of which has its own multiple histories, transformations and unique effects. Students will become generally conversant in the principles of these central theories, and will understand some of their terms and references. Contemporary issues will not be taken at face value but interrogated through theoretical principles raised by the assigned readings. Paying close attention to the exchange between thought and action, students will explore the relevance of the discussed theories to the formation of current circumstances, and to the place of architecture within contemporary culture as a whole. Students take responsibility for their own learning, engaging in continuous reflection and developing skills in oral, written, and visual forms of communication to critique, create and articulate knowledge. They will be introduced to fundamental principles and skills of scholarly research, including locating and evaluating sources, and constructing arguments.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Lecture and tutorial contact, plus self-directed preparation and assignments, for a minimum total student commitment averaging 9 hours per week.


Opinion Editorial (10%), Lexicon Entry (10%), Quotation for an Installation (15%), Abstract and Bibliography (10%), Research Paper (50%), Tutorial Participation (5%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


BDES2027 or BDES2021 or DESA2111



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.