Course Title: Asian Urbanism

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Asian Urbanism

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


320H Architecture & Urban Design


Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022,
Sem 1 2023,
Sem 1 2024

Course Coordinator: Anna Johnson

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2975

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

There are no formal prerequisite courses, but it is assumed that you have some experience in an architecture, landscape or urban design through a Bachelors degree program and work experience.

Course Description

In Asian Urbanism you will study contemporary approaches to urban design and forces of urbanisation in the Asian region. Issues of population growth and density, public space and transportation, urban form, globalisation, and historical urban developments over time are presented, and form the basis of your individual research and peer discussion. Projects uncover key socio-economic, formal and organisational attributes of a city or urban region, through drawn analysis, diagrams and text. Through this work you will develop detailed knowledge of a particular city and broader, contextualised knowledge through in-class discussions and peer presentations. Comparative understanding of cities with their counterparts and histories is a primary focus of your in-class discussions and project work.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
• Describe and discuss key spatial, social and organisational forces at work in contemporary Asian urbanisation.
• Examine and analyse a range of social, cultural political and environmental issues and their influence on urban design practice in the Asian region.
• Critically compare specific aspects of key Asian cities to others through drawing, diagrams, verbal and textual presentations.
• Critically analyse and compare important similarities and differences between contemporary western architecture and the architecture of the Asian region.
• Synthesise and translate ideas and influences acting upon or within an Asian city toward an individual approach or urban design agenda.

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:
• Communicate, present and substantiate urban design proposals to academic, public and professional audiences through a range of media•
• Identify, evaluate and communicate advanced principles and practices in urban design history and contemporary urban theory

Overview of Learning Activities

Asian Urbanism is taught in blended mode through a combination of formal lectures, guest lectures and tutorials, supported by online resources and communication. The lecture/seminar learning modes are extended with projects with regular feedback and review sessions.
You will be engaged in learning that involves a range of activities including:
• Self-directed and group work, including urban research, analyses and project presentations
• Attending lectures, tutorials and participating in class discussion
• Research through library holdings and online sources, indirect and primary sources
• Written, visual and verbal presentation of research presented in progress and through a detailed final presentation/document
• Critical and constructive feedback to peers
• Online communication

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.
More specifically, a list of key reference texts and online resources will be provided and regularly updated. Relevant material will be placed on reserve through the RMIT Swanston Library during semester in which this course is offered.

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.
The Asian Urbanism course requires you to apply content of lectures and research to simulated project based assignments.
Assessment tasks may include both group and individual work through written documents, reports, graphic folios and in-class presentations.
Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.