Introduction to History of Art and Design - 2018

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Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 1
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP1 , SP2 , SP3 , SP4
  • Availability for 2018: SP1 , SP2 , SP3
  • Assessment: Assignment - Investigation (25%) , Essay 1 - Draft (10%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2018 Fees
Domestic 820.00
HECS 820.00
International 1,070.00

This unit was previously known as VIS18 Historical Issues in Art and Design.

This unit provides students will an introduction to some of the key ideas and events in the history of art and design from 1900 to the present. It is intended as a basic introduction to the history of ideas and the effects such ideas have had on the recent evolution of art and design. While this unit has a Euro-centric bias, ideas from other cultural histories are introduced. Students are taught the visual literacy and analysis needed to be able to understand historical and contemporary design and art.

Please Note: If it’s your first time studying a Curtin University unit you’ll need to complete their compulsory ‘Academic Integrity Program’. It only takes two hours to complete online, and provides you with vital information about studying with Curtin University. The Academic Integrity Program is compulsory, so if it’s not completed your unit grades will be withheld.

Find out more about the Academic Integrity module.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. research the major developments in Western art and design history and explain how they were related to the cultural context in which they occurred
  2. demonstrate and present clear articulation of research-based analysis using appropriate technologies
  3. demonstrate the ability to synthesise new knowledge in the analysis of any art and design work
  4. demonstrate the ability to research for the analysis of an art and design work.
  • Assignment — Investigation (25%)
  • Essay 1 — Draft (10%)
  • Essay 2 — Final (35%)
  • Test — Analysis Test (30%)

You must have a high level of proficiency in the English language and competent essay writing skills.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Modernity and Modernism
2Abstract Visual Language
3Disjuncture and Fragmentation
4Reductive Modernism
5Manifestos and Ideology
6Consumerism and High Art
7Questioning Authority in Art and Design
91990s Democratisation and a Return to the Body
10Post - 9/11
11Contemporary Design and Contemporary Art

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media
  • Web links

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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