Course Title: Architecture History Introduction

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Architecture History Introduction

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


315H Architecture & Design


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013


City Campus


320H Architecture & Urban Design


Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019

Course Coordinator: Brent Allpress

Course Coordinator Phone: +61417135686

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

ARCH1023 Architecture History Introduction: Modernism and Modernity introduces you to the diverse developments of western architecture from the eighteenth to the early twentieth century, examining the theoretical, historical and cultural contexts of the discipline. This course introduces you to influential architectural projects, theoretical writings and design practices from across this period. The course addresses the shifting attitudes towards historical sources, precursors to modernism and the conditions of modernity. The course also selectively addresses pre-eighteenth century periods that were the source for subsequent revival movements. A range of modern architectural debates and problematics are addressed, situating them within an historical context and exploring their contemporary design implications.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon successful completion of the this course, you will be able to:

  • undertake academic writing communication with enhanced skills.
  • undertake research into architectural precedent practices with enhanced skills.
  • engage in critical and analytical thinking with enhanced skills.
  • present verbal and visual arguments clearly and concisely with enhanced skills.

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  • Critically analyse, evaluate and make informed judgement on a wide range of architectural problems and situations
  • Comprehend key architectural works, cultural movements and ideas, their theoretical and cultural context and relevance to design
  • Communicate complex design ideas through verbal, visual and written means

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities include:

  • the attendance of a weekly lecture series
  • weekly analytical and design precedent diagramming and other interpretative architectural representations with critical written annotation
  • weekly tutorial discussion and debate
  • the presentation and subsequent submission of a class paper responding to one of the weekly lecture topics
  • the writing of two extended critical essays responding to the course topics that may include case study precedent analysis and a consideration of the relevance of past 18th-early 20th century architectural precedent to contemporary architectural practices and debates

This course offers thematic lectures introducing you to key precedent practices, theoretical frameworks and significant debates from the periods covered. Tutorials support the lecture series, and offer opportunities for you to discuss and debate the material in detail, gain skills in presenting short class papers on specific thematic questions relating to the lectures and gain feedback from tutors on the writing of essay and assignment questions, and on your draft and final essay submissions and on your weekly pin-up of analytical and design precedent diagramming and other interpretative architectural representations with critical written annotation.

Overview of Learning Resources

This course is primarily delivered face-to-face via lectures and tutorials and through the online Canvas site. RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

To access the online resources you need to connect to the RMIT Learner Hub Server at

Course materials are available online via the Canvas site, including:

  • Course assignments (assessment tasks)
  • required and recommended reading lists
  • references to key projects discussed in the lectures
  • links to relevant online websites and resources

The University library has extensive resources for architecture students. The library has produced a subject guide that quality online and print resources for your studies.

Library Architecture resources are available online at

The library provides guides on academic referenceing http:/// and subject specialist help via your Liason Librarian Tristan Badham,

 Required and recommended readings are available on Reserve in the RMIT Library.

Course Guides are available through the RMIT website, with links provided on Canvas.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the courses Learning Outcomes and on your development against the Program Capabilities.

Assessments will primarily involve written submissions of varying lengths to give you opportunities to trial and develop a range of critical and analytical writing and representational skills and gain experience at researching and discussing arguments relevant to an enhanced understanding of architectural precedent and the history of architectural ideas and debates in the periods covered by the course.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

Assessment tasks include:

  • a tutorial class paper on a weekly course topic
  • weekly diagrammatic or representational reponses to design precedent projects with critical annotation
  • two extended critical essays with case study architectural design project analysis

Tutor feedback will be given on proposed essay questions, draft and final essay submissions. Tutor feedback will be given on verbal presentations in tutorial presentations to inform the subsequent submission of a class paper. Weekly tutor feedback will be given on diagrammatic or representational reponses to design precedent projects with critical annotation, to inform a reflective edited folio submission at the end of semester.

A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available to review online: