University of Technology Sydney

11400 Digital Theory

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building: Architecture
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject consists of an intensive study of the relationship between architectural theory and the realm of digital creation. It involves a group-based intensive study within a session and examines specific topics within the theory of digital design. The subject investigates issues including the relationship between the history of drawing and the development of computer-based design schemes, and the question of the relationship between the diagram as a computer generated series of lines and its subsequent connection to forms of material realisation. It also covers a theoretical account of central elements of the design course, namely the relationship between geometry and materials; the relationship between the digital and analogue models; and the conceptualisation of objects and artefacts as a surface condition. The digital has necessitated a rethinking of the terminology central to architecture, e.g. line, plane, surface.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1. Acquire a detailed knowledge of the historical antecedents to the theory of digital architecture.
2. Be able to locate the theoretical aspect of digital architecture within the larger context of the history of architectural theory.
3. Understand, from a theoretical perspective, the relations between generative computational and organizational processes and strategies and their material realization.
4. Use theoretical terminology accurately and consistently in a description of design projects.

Teaching and learning strategies

Autumn 2007 Weekly Schedule: The schedule for digital theory will develop in conjunction with Architectural project A/B. Typically the Digital Theory course will meet as a group at 2pm on Wednesdays in the MDA lab. We will typically discuss readings after a presentation of the issues for the week by a student. There will be occasional lectures in conjunction with digital project A/B, the thesis design course as well as special events where attendance will be required throughout the semester. As much notice of these events will be given as possible. Andrew Benjamin will present three lectures in the second half of the semester which will form the basis for our second project in Digital Project A/B.

Content (topics)

The subject is divided into three components: lectures, seminars and presentation/essay. Lectures: The students will be provided with a detailed presentation of the key topics and as well as an identification of the central contributors to area of architectural theory as it pertains to the digital. Seminars: The work done principally through readings but including lectures and conferences will be built on through a series of seminars each one orientated around a specific text or body of work. Presentation/Essay: Students will study a topic or text through the semester. That study will form the basis of presentation which, after discussion, be rewritten as an essay.

Required texts

Coursework Assessment Policy and Procedures Manual. Bibliography to be provided as separate doc. See attached.


UTS references UTS Library UTS-Online The BELL (Becoming an Effective Lifelong Learner) The ELSSA (English Language and Study Skills Assistance) Centre