Modern Architectural History (MARC4201)


This unit presents foundational knowledge concerning modern movements in global architecture and urbanism, from the early-20th century to the present. It explores the relationships between developments in architectural practice and broader dynamics of 20th century history. Organised as a chronological survey focused on case studies of individual buildings, the course uses architectural exemplars to explore the social, political, technological, economic, and aesthetic guises of modernity. In addition to developing student analytical skills, the unit seeks to introduce students to formal and conceptual approaches to architectural modernity, provide a critical overview of the architectural profession and its historical context over the last century, and impart knowledge of the major periods and developments of modern movements in architecture and their relationship to the multiple guises of modernity in which they were embedded.
Through readings and lectures, students will acquire the architectural literacy required to perceive the contemporary built environment as an artefact of modernity's varied legacies. In addition, students will be expected to refine their research and writing skills through their individual investigations of a particular aspect of modern architecture.

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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.


Illustrated Research Essay (50%), Critical Summaries (20%), and Seminar Presentation (30%)

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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.