Course Title: Source and apply information on the history and theory of design

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2014

Course Code: GRAP5334C

Course Title: Source and apply information on the history and theory of design

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4312 - Certificate IV in Photo Imaging

Course Contact : Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teacher: Sessional

Contact: Naomi Herzog
Phone: 9925 4170

Nominal Hours: 65

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

In this course you will be able to source, understand and apply information on design history and theory with particular emphasis on design in photography. This course will cover current and more traditional trends in design and examine photographic design history and theory.
You will be identifying and producing images that demonstrate the critical elements and principles of design that contribute to a final image or work.

This is also reflected in the training and assessment of this unit.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

BSBDES305A Source and apply information on the history and theory of design


Element 1. Collect information on history and theory of design

Performance Criteria:

1.1. Identify and access relevant sources of information on design history and theory
1.2. Organise research material and findings for current or future use in design practice, in a manner which facilitates easy access and cross-referencing



Element 2. Apply information to own area of work

Performance Criteria:

2.1. Evaluate information in the context of current design practice
2.2. Assess ways in which aspects of information on design history and theory could be used or adapted to inform current practice
2.3. Use relevant information in a culturally appropriate way to develop an understanding of own area of work


Element 3. Update and maintain knowledge of design trends

Performance Criteria:

3.1. Identify and use opportunities to update and expand knowledge of design trends and developments
3.2. Incorporate and integrate knowledge into design activities

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to source, understand and apply information on design history and theory with particular focus on design in photography. You will be able to identify and produce images that demonstrate the critical elements and principles of design that contribute to a final image or work.

Details of Learning Activities

Learning activities will consist of

In class leanring activities include, but are not limited to:

lectures & tutrials

class exercises

class presentations

group discussion

online reserach

workshopping of students’ own images


Out of class activities include, but are not limited to:

  • reserach (online/library/public displays/galleries)
  • independent project based work

Teaching Schedule


<thead> <th scope="col"> </th> <th scope="col">Class content </th> <th scope="col">Assessment Due </th> <th scope="col">Elements  </th> </thead>
Week 1

Lecture - intro to Design Elements and Principles

Assignment briefing// Sem Overview & Planning timeline

  1, 2,
Week 2

Lecture - Deisgn Elements Lecture - The Frame and other such dissections.

Prac Exercise - Local shoot, The Frame

 1, 2,  
Week 3

Design Elements Lecture - Composition and the Rule of Thirds

Prac exercise - Local Shoot: Composition

 1, 2,  
Week 4

Design Elements Lecture - Line, focus and directing your scene

Practical exercise - Local Shoot - Line

  1, 2,
Week 5

Design Elements Lecture - Contrast

Exercise - Analysis of 3 photographers - Class Critique

  1, 3
Week 6

Design Elements Lecure - Colour, Impact and persuasion

Practical exercise - local shoot - colour

 Formative Item 1 due 1, 2,
Week 7

Design Elelemtns Lecture - Space, Perspective, Shape, Form & Balance.

Practical exercise - local shoot - Space, Perspective Or Shape/Form

  1, 2,
Week 8

Design Principles Lecture - Texture, Rhythm, Repetition and Unity

Practical Exercise - Local Shoot - Repetition

 Formative Item 2 due 1, 2,
Week 9

Lecture - Photography & the Masters

Class review of a selection of local shoot reports

 Formative Item 3 due 1, 2, 3
Week 10

Lecture - The Sleeping Dragon has Woken - Contemporary Chinese Photography

Assignment submissions

 Summative Item 1a & 1b due 1, 3

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


 Freeman M., The Photographer’s Eye - Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos. Focal Press, 2007 Szarkowski J., The Photographer’s Eye, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2007 You are advised to look at the course Blackboard site for ongoing updated information and to make use of RMIT’s library database facilities.

Other Resources

RMIT can provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online system.
RMIT has a range of equipment available for students to use to complete their assignments including access to RMIT labs with computers, server storage space and required software to complete exercises and assignments. Many students prefer to also have their own personal computer with current Photoshop, Acrobat, Bridge and editing software as well as personal data storage devices (generally a minimum of two)

Overview of Assessment

Assessment in this class requires you to:
• Integrate a specific Design element into your images
• Research & analyse work by well known photographers
• Arrange typographical elements within an image utilising the principles and elements of design and photography


Assessment Tasks

You are required to complete a series of class shooting exercises that relate directly to the lecture on that topic. These will then be reviewed, analysed and evaluated in relationship to the history and theory of design.

You will also research & analyse work by well-known photographers and present these for discussion.

Assessment tasks in this course are either formative or summative. Formative tasks provide the basis for ongoing feedback and can be considered essential building blocks for the more substantial summative assessment tasks. Summative assessment tasks in this unit are graded.
For further information on the assessment and grading criteria, please refer to the course Blackboard site.

To demonstrate competency in this course, you need to complete each one of the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard.

Assessment items include:
1.Class exercise – Select and discuss three works by a Photographer
Select 3 works by a photographer and analyse these in respect to application of design theory and principles
Due – week 6
2.Local Shoots
Series of 6 class exercises.
Students are required to apply the key elements discussed in the lecture and incorporate these into images photographed locally which are then uploaded to the server as proof sheets.
Due week 8
3.Local Shoots Report
Report reviewing the top images selected from the local shoots
Due – Week 9


1a Digital Folio – Local Shoot images
Select your top 4 jpegs from the images you’ve shot during the class exercises for the local shoots that best represent the selected subject and incorporating the key design elements.

1b Analysis of a Photographer’s three works
Refine the class exercise from week 5 – “3 works by a Photographer” and analyse these in respect to the photographer’s style and key application of design theory and principles
Images and Analysis Due – week 10

Grades used in this unit are as follows:

CHD- Competent with High Distinction
CDI   - Competent with Distinction
CC    - Competent with Credit
CAG - Competency Achieved - Graded
NYC - Not Yet Competent
DNS  - Did Not Submit for Assessment

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are available through the course contact in Program administration.

Other Information

Special consideration Policy (Late Submission)
All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension.
Please refer to the following URL for extensions and special consideration:;ID=qkssnx1c5r0y;STATUS=A;PAGE_AUTHOR=Andrea%20Syers;SECTION=1;

Course Overview: Access Course Overview