Studio Theory Object Art and Design C (THAP2641)


Modernism and its Discontents: Old Stories, New Tales. This Unit of Study is split into three areas: Ceramics; Glass; Jewellery and Object. The unit of study investigates the development of contemporary Object Art and Design within the context of historical precedents and developments in the last hundred years. The focus is on developing an understanding of the link between craft/design practices and movements in the visual arts as a whole. Please note due to changes in class sizes course content may be modified.

In this studio we will work our way forward, focusing on the effect of the Historical Avant-garde and the emergence of design cultures and the studio glass movement. The course provides a broad exploration and interrogation of discipline specific glass in these movements/genres and cultures through to contemporary practice.

The focus in this studio will be to examine ceramics praxis and craft and design theories in relation to mainstream Modernism with a specific focus on the parallels and dichotomies found between craft and the Historical Avantgarde. The influence of early twentieth century practitioners and the theories and philosophies pertaining to their work on contemporary ceramics practice will be established. A range of issues will be discussed including: what is non-art? what is non-craft? - modernist definitions and paradoxes; definitions of craft - materiality, process and aesthetics; craft as foundation of modernism; craft as subversion in contemporary art practice.

Jewellery and Object
In this studio we will look at the complex relationship between the various art practices, and will investigate and expand on existing understandings of historical developments, connections and precedents of contemporary practice. A link will also be provided to core art theory, which this semester investigates avant-garde art and culture.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Lecturer and directed contact over 12 weeks, plus self-directed study; total student effort of 60 hrs


Assessment is based on successful completion of written and or/seminar assignments (100%)


Adamson, Glenn Thinking Through Craft Berg, UK, 2007.
Greenhalgh, Paul (ed). The Persistence of Craft: the applied arts today, A & C Black, London, 2003.

Adamson, Glenn Thinking Through Craft Berg, UK, 2007.
Risatti, Howard A Theory of Craft: function and aesthetic expression The University of North Carolina Press, USA, 2007.

Jewellery and Object
Greenhalgh, Paul The Modern Ideal: The Rise and Collapse of Idealism in the Visual Arts, From the Enlightenment to Postmodernism, V&A, London, 2005.
John Thackara. Design after modernism : beyond the object. New York, N.Y: Thames and Hudson, 1988.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

THAP1211 and THAP1212



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.