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.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This studio will actively engage with the recognition that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' connection to Country is fundamental within architectural design and practice in Australia. The unit proposes that in our roles and interventions within the built environment we have a responsibility to understand Traditional Owners' aspirations to care for Country, and to understand how to act respectfully on Country and contribute to its ongoing care. Country is broadly described as a holistic worldview embracing complex systems, and relating to Traditional Owners' cultural groups and places. Caring for Country recognises the obligation that we all have to support ecosystems, enable sustainable living, and minimise harm to environments that provide deep senses of belonging, purpose and identity for Aboriginal people.

Students will develop and demonstrate a design position grounded in respect for Country and the environment, underpinned by narratives of place in projects that might be based in rural, regional or urban contexts. Students will learn about modes of seeking and integrating Indigenous perspectives and reciprocal relationships with community, applying critical awareness to ground their speculative work. They will demonstrate how learning around Country and community can be implemented in propositions and projects. They will produce drawings and documents and engage in discussions and presentations that communicate their work effectively and meaningfully with respect to Country and people.

Through involvement of Noongar Elders and Aboriginal practitioners, and incorporation of walking tours as well as published resources, the unit will be grounded in engagement with Noongar knowledge and perspectives, broadening out more widely across the many and diverse nations and environments of Western Australia. The pedagogical approach and content in this unit will be significantly informed through reference to a suite of publications provided by Indigenous Australian academics and practitioners to the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA), as well as engagement with local Noongar Elders and practitioners who work in the built environment within Western Australia.

12 points
AvailabilityLocationModeFirst year of offer
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) understand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' aspirations to care for Country and appraise how this informs all factors of a coherent design project; (2) develop and evaluate design options in terms of the heritage, cultural and community values associated with place and embodied in the site, and in relation to project requirements; (3) assess and differentiate processes for selecting materials, finishes, fittings, components and systems, based on consideration of quality and performance standards, the impact on Country and the environment, and the whole life carbon impact of the project; and (4) demonstrate competency in architectural visual and verbal communication skills.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) interim folio and report and (2) folio and report. 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 folio and report component.

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

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Philip Goldswain
Unit rules
Enrolment in
25520 Master of Architecture
Incidental fees
Incidental student fees and charges are costs incurred by students as part of their studies at UWA that are in addition to their tuition fees (further information is available here).
Participation in this unit will incur the following incidental fee(s):
(1) Field trips within the metropolitan area, travel and food only (estimated cost - $10-$50)
(2) Field trips outside the metropolitan area (estimated cost - $50-$250)
(3) Interstate field trips (estimated cost - $500-$900)
(4) Overseas field trips (estimated cost - $2000-$5000).
Contact hours
studio: up to 4 hours per week
  • 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.