University of Technology Sydney

11328 Australian Modernism

Requisite(s): 144 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C10413 Bachelor of Design Architecture Master of Architecture
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses.
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


Today, the “in” aesthetic for every building type is ‘modern.’ Between 1918 and the mid-1920s successful Australian architects like Robert Haddon (1866-1929), Walter Butler (1864-1949), and Harold Desbrowe-Annear (1865-1933) favoured a British-inspired Arts and Crafts style, or an Empire style. Australia’s first licensed woman architect, Florence Taylor (1879-1969), epitomized Australian sentiment in the 1920s when she denounced what she termed “freak architecture” warning her countrymen against modernism.

Yet now, Australian residential architects like Peter Stutchbury (1954-present); and commercial firms like Denton, Corker, Marshall are world renowned for their elegant neo-modernism, while developers of every size construct highly sought-after open plan flats and houses in a streamlined, unadorned style clearly influenced by early modernism. How did this transformation occur?

The subject focuses on Sydney and New South Wales, but with some forays into other regions, featuring guest presentations from various scholars around Australia, several walking tours and a final symposia event, exploring the evolution of modernism in Australia, its origins and influence, tracing its beginnings in the 1930s to the 1980s.

Detailed subject description.

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