Modern Architectural Theory (MARC4102)


The objective of the Modern Architectural Theory unit is to equip students with a critical understanding of key Western architectural theories from the Enlightenment to the present. Emphasis is placed on those theories which have contemporary traction. Emphasis is also placed on the specific historical situations and cultural and philosophical contexts in which those theories arose, and ultimately how they were represented within the domain of architecture. It is organized predominantly as a conceptual survey which clearly identifies particular trains of thought in their continuity and transformation. Students will become generally conversant in the principles of central theories, and will understand their terms and references. Through readings, lectures, and tutorial sessions, students will acquire the literacy required to perceive and articulate contemporary theoretical standpoints, and will refine their research and writing skills through independent research into a particular aspect of recent architectural theory and history related to their concurrent studio design project. Close attention will be paid to the exchange between practice and theory and the relevance of the discussed theories to the formation of current circumstances, and to the place of architecture within contemporary culture as a whole.

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.


Assignment 1 (30%); Essay (70%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


ARCH6104 or ARCH9048 or ARCH9049

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.