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

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2020

Course Code: GRAP5387C

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

School: 375T Vocational Design and Social Context

Campus: Brunswick Campus

Program: C4382 - Certificate IV in Design

Course Contact: Alistair Briggs

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 9988

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff


John Owe-Young

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

None required.

Course Description

In this course you will develop the skills and knowledge to source information on design history and theory and to apply that information to your own area of work.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

BSBDES305 Source and apply information on the history and theory of design


1 Collect information on design history and theory

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, facilitating easy access and cross-referencing


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


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

Details of Learning Activities

Learning activities will take place in a studio and computer laboratory using industry standard tools and resources. You will complete exercises and industry style projects. You will also be required to undertake independent study. In-class activities will include:

  • class exercises
  • tutorials
  • practical demonstrations
  • workshops
  • group discussion
  • review and revision
  • peer learning
  • peer teaching and class presentations
  • teacher directed group activities/projects
  • workshop for all student projects including peer/lecturer feedback


Out of class activities may include:

  • independent research
  • independent project based work
  • studio practice
  • online tutorials and activities
  • review and revision

Teaching Schedule

Please note: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the weekly order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources.

There will be a number of prescribed tasks and projects (see Assessment Tasks below).

This course will be delivered in the same weekly session as VART6406 - Produce drawings to communicate ideas - CUAACD301. 


Introduction to program

Topics explored:
1. Cultural and Creative movements
2. Modernist movements and their impacts on design
3. Graphic Design

Current trends discussion


Current trends discussion

 1. Cultural and creative movements
Victorian Era

3 1. Cultural and creative movements
Victorian Era

 Worksheet 1

1. Cultural and creative movements
Art Nouveau / La Belle Epoque

 Worksheet 2
5 1. Cultural and creative movements
Arts and Crafts / Art Nouveau

Worksheet 2, worksheet 3

1. Cultural and creative movements
Drawing activities- William Morris Patterns and checkin for progress on all assessments.

Worksheet 3, Assessment task review and feedback 
7 2. Modernist movements and their impacts on design
Worksheet 4, worksheet 5, worksheet 6
8 2. Modernist movements and their impacts on design
 Worksheet 4, worksheet 5, worksheet 6
9 2. Modernist movements and their impacts on design
De Stijl and Bauhaus
 Worksheet 7, all Worksheets thus far and timeline for feedback

3. Graphic Design
1930-1950, The age of Poster and Magazine Design, American Modernism World War 2 propaganda

Worksheet 8 


3. Graphic Design
1950-1965, Post WWII design, The Fused Metaphor, The New York School, Swiss Typography

Worksheet 9 
12 3. Graphic Design
1965-1975 Corporate Identity design, Protest, Fillmore, Typographic Eclecticism, Album design
 Worksheet 10

3. Graphic Design
1975-1990 Japanese design, Punk and New Wave, Low-tech Seattle, Post Modernism.

 Worksheet 11

3. Graphic Design
1990-2014 The emergence of Digital, Minimalism, Vernacular, West coast USA shift

 Worksheet 12, all Worksheets thus far
15 AT2: Complete timeline and own work - feedback in class  
16 AT2: Complete timeline and own work - feedback in class  

Submit AT1: Booklet, AT2: Timeline  and own work for initial review and discussion


Submit AT1: Booklet, AT2: Timeline  and own work for assessment

Assessment Task 1: Project 1 - Design Timeline

Assessment Task 2: Project 2 - History Booklet

  Final week for any late assessment Assessment and collection
20 Collect hard copy submissions - if applicable.



Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Prescribed Texts

There are no compulsory prescribed texts in this course. This course has recommended books listed under ‘References’

20th Century Design Movements:


Design Movements Time line


Late Modernism



You are advised to look at the Learning Hub at myRMIT site for ongoing updated information. A range of learning resources and references are provided throughout the year.

You will require a personal storage device and tools as outlined in tool kit list.

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems and access to specialised facilities and relevant software. You will also have access to the library resources.

Amongst the library’s electronic resources is the ability to access for online tutorials and lessons. You may be given these tutorials (and other resources) to supplement your classroom learning. The University Library has extensive resources for Design 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

Assessment is on-going throughout the course. Assessment tasks will require you demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills through practical projects and/or written tasks.
The assessment tasks are: Class notes, research and tasks.
An assessment charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.

Assessment Tasks

There will be feedback throughout the course may be written, verbal or a combination of both.
Class tasks work provide the basis for ongoing feedback and are essential building blocks for students own research.
This course has 2 projects, both of which must be completed/submitted. You are required to demonstrate all learning outcomes to a satisfactory standard.


In class work sheets 1-12 (due at a designated date after class delivery)


Assessment 1 - Project 1 - Design timeline
Assessment 2 - Project 2 - History Booklet - Worksheets 1-12

The submitted projects will be assessed with written feedback as well as a checklist that relates to separate components of the project and the overall outcome.

This course is assessed for competency.

Grades which apply to competency-based assessment are:
CA   Competency Achieved
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit for Assessment


Assessment Matrix

An assessment matrix demonstrating alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency is available from the course contact person (stated above).

Other Information

The major learning experience involves studio based exercises, demonstration and production. It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

Feedback - You will receive verbal and written feedback by teacher on your work. This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.
Student feedback at RMIT

Student Progress 
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential. Student progress policy

Special Consideration Policy, Late Submission & Extensions
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.
Pick the following link for details on applying for Special consideration 
Any student seeking an extension, should aim at doing so a minimum of 2 days before the deadline. Work submitted late and without an extension at any point will incur late penalties in accordance with university policy.
If you require an extension you must complete an extension form with evidence supporting your application and hand this to your instructor. Further links - Application for extension of time

On Time Submission and Impact of Late Submission 
On time submission is an important factor in your assessment. Employability skills are embedded in all courses and these include Planning & Organising and Self-management. For this reason, late work impacts on your competency assessment. 
Submissions that are assessed as Not Satisfactory can be re-submitted once and this is only permitted during the period that the competency is scheduled.

Cover Sheet for Submissions 
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications. Submission cover sheet

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism - RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity

Course Overview: Access Course Overview