Course Title: Theories and Professional Practice 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Theories and Professional Practice 1

Credit Points: 24


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


340H Art


Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 2 2019

Course Coordinator: Fiona Hillary

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 4978

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 50 Level 2

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

To qualify for entry into this course you need an undergraduate degree in a relevant area or substantial industry experience in a relevant field.

Course Description

In this course you will examine historical, theoretical and practical aspects of art in public space. You will consider the relationship between art and public space by examining the professional practice of artists involved in visual, performance and time based media and diverse curatorial practices in the public realm. Through the practical manifestation of urban and spatial theory and critical reflection and writing about the recent history and contemporary practice of art in public space, you will refine your interest area of inquiry towards a project proposal. The course is delivered as three 2 day intensives through the semester; and through a series of weekly lectures and tutorials commencing in week 2 - Critical Frameworks. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

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

  • Identify and critically analyse the key historical, theoretical and ethical influences on art in public spaces within a given context
  • Locate your practice within a contemporary context of art in public space
  • Communicate your ideas to a diverse range of stakeholders potential partners, collaborating disciplines, competitive tender and creative competition panels and different demographic sectors of society
  • Critically reflect upon contemporary practice of art in public both in an Australian and international context
  • Manage the practical aspects of a small project to an appropriate level

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

  • Engage in self-directed learning and independent research with an emphasis on art in public space practice to develop an individual and collaborative art practice and locate practices within an appropriate conceptual and theoretical context
  • Test, experiment and explore real and conceptual issues and develop key project management skills through innovative public practice and engagement with international and local industry
  • Critically examine global, social, cultural, environmental, and historical knowledge and contexts that inform public art practice
  • Research, analyse and synthesise information and select methods and resources to develop communication and work ready skills appropriate to the public art field
  • Engage in autonomous and collaborative continuous learning concerning new developments in cultural/artistic production and associated discourses in art in public spaces
  • Create and manage a safe, sustainable and effective project environment within public space both independently and with your peers

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

  • Develop, with support, a professional project with partners and collaborators
  • Communicate your ideas in a range of contexts
  • Explain contemporary practice both in an Australian and international context
  • Work within an historical, theoretical and ethical context
  • Apply skills of analysis, reflection and critical thinking

Overview of Learning Activities

Through a combination of lectures, tutorials, site/venue visits, project work and presentations you will be introduced to the theory and professional practice of art in public space.

Group work will initially occur through discussions and presentations around the issues raised in a symposium format. Further, students will interact group work through site and context analysis and discussion on reading and reference material. Interaction will also be via peer review and feedback of proposals and presentation.

Overview of Learning Resources

Learning resources will include set readings, demonstrations and industry/professional guest speakers. You may also be required to attend field trips, guided studio workshops and site/venue visits.

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

The University Library has extensive resources for art students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies

The Library provides guides on academic referencing: and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarian.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes.

This course includes interventions in public space and analysis of site and context through reading material, case studies, demonstrations, lectures and site visits. Students are asked to reflect upon this material and these projects in a visually documented and written form.

Assessment may include:

  • Bibliography and references for propositions and proposals
  • Essay writing
  • Documentation of temporary interventions
  • Aural and visual presentations to peers and panels

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

The assessment breakdown is as follows and takes the form of the following components:

Intensive assessment is 50% of the grade for Theories and Professional Practice 1 - this could include response to brief, presentation, reflective journal.

Critical Frameworks assessment is 50% of the grade for Theories and Professional Practice 1 - this could include presentation and annotated bibliography.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

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