Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit has two objectives: (1) to reinforce a strong belief and appropriate skills in the necessary synergy between practice and theory in the field of design; and (2) to better understand the implications of globalisation on modern design practice.

Two separate units are offered, but they are taught together in order to develop important synergies between students with practical or theoretical foci. Both units develop critical research methods, but Unit A emphasises professional and technical research methodologies with products such professional reports and design precedent studies, and Unit B emphasises historiographical and theoretical research methodologies, with the outcome being longer research essays.

The unit consists of a weekly series of lectures introducing students to critical frameworks for analysing and studying design practices in the expanded field of global practice; and weekly seminars dedicated to the development of individual student projects involving the application of analytical approaches to the study of an element or elements of design and/or urban planning practices in a specific region. Particular focus is placed on emerging economies, and the effects of globalisation on design practices. Sessions discuss issues affecting the appropriateness of design and planning models adopted in these economies and develop analytical approaches which can be applied to comparative discussions of various practices. Topics covered include definitions and modes of global practice, globalisation and critical discourses of modernity, organisation of design professions, problems of rapid urban development, conflicts between traditional and modern practices, comparative conceptions of public space, ecology, sustainability and landscape, comparative aesthetics, and consumption.

6 points

Students are able to demonstrate an ability to apply the concepts and terms surrounding modernity and globalisation discourses to the critical evaluation of urban development and design practices in various non-Euro/American settings.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) major research project: an exhibition poster in the form of a problem analysis and speculative design brief; (2) problem area statement; (3) precedent/references review of 1000 to 1500 words; and (4) seminar presentations/submissions. Further information is available in the unit outline.

To pass this unit, a student must: (a) achieve an overall mark of 50 per cent or higher for the unit; and (b) achieve the requisite requirements(s) or a mark of 50 per cent or greater, whichever is higher and specified in the unit outline, for the major research project: an exhibition poster in the form of a problem analysis and speculative design brief component.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Romesh Goonewardene
Unit rules
ARCT5514 Practical and Theoretical Problems in Global Design Practice (B): History/Theory Stream
Contact hours
lectures: 1 hour per week for 12 weeks
tutorials/seminars: 2 hours per week for up to 12 weeks
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.