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Design Culture and Society (11044.1)

Level: Level 1 - Undergraduate Introductory Unit
Credit Points: 3
HECS Bands:

Band 1 2013-2020 (Expires 31 Dec 2020) Band 2 2021 (Commenced After 1 Jan 2021) Band 2 2021 (Commenced Before 1 Jan 2021)

Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Design
Discipline: School of Design and the Built Environment


Possible changes to your unit's learning activities and assessment items

For the remainder of 2020, resulting from Australian Government's directives requiring physical distancing and restrictions on movement because of the COVID-19 pandemic, any exams that are required for assessment in a unit will be online exams. Online exams may also use online proctoring to help assure the academic integrity of those exams. Please contact your unit convener with any questions.

While the University has made efforts to ensure that Unit Outlines reflect a unit’s learning activities and assessment items, any changes to Australian Government directives because of the COVID-19 pandemic may require changes to these during the semester to ensure the safety and well being of students and staff. These changes will not be updated in the published unit outline, but will be communicated to you via your unit’s UCLearn(Canvas) teaching site. Any changes made will continue to meet the unit’s learning outcomes, as described in the Unit Outline.

Unit Outlines

To view your Unit Outline, click View to log in to MyUC and access this information, or visit your unit's online teaching site.

  • Semester 2, 2020, ONLINE, BRUCE (195388) - View
  • Semester 2, 2020, ON-CAMPUS, BRUCE (195389) - View
  • Semester 2, 2019, ONLINE, BRUCE (192017) - View
  • Semester 2, 2019, ON-CAMPUS, BRUCE (184252) - View

If a link to your Unit Outline is not displayed, please check back later. Unit Outlines are generally published by Week One of the relevant teaching period.


In this unit students will recognise design as an integral part of culture and society through recent history, contemporary practice and futuristic visions. Through analysis of case studies from the most critical and cutting edge designs and technologies of different disciplines in crucial periods in time (since the industrial revolution to our days) we will discuss how design professions and practice have evolved to a contemporary multidisciplinary practice. Key examples of designs and designers in different media (including, but not limited to books, magazines, films and websites) will also be analysed and contextualised. The unit will explore past, present and futuristic roles of design in society, by understanding movements, trends and lifestyles through analysis and discussion of influences and relationships between design 'products' (including graphics, objects, environments and digital outcomes, among others) and different people within multiple cultures and contexts.

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

1. Identify key periods in the history of design;

2. Compare and contrast design works from notable designers in their field; and

3. Articulate past, present and future roles of design in society in relation to culture.

Assessment Items

Contact Hours

One 1 hour lecture and one 2 hour tutorial on-campus per week.





Assumed Knowledge


Incompatible Units


Equivalent Units

9483 Design History.

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