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VSA1003 Soft Architecture

Semester 2, 2016 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Arts and Communication
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 100301 - Fine Arts

Contents on this page


Examiner: Kyle Jenkins


This course looks at recent trends in visual art where artists and their practice have become hybridised disciplines expanding from traditional outcomes (such as painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, ceramics and object making and printmaking) into new and exciting areas of artistic practice. This is undertaken through investigating new contemporary art movements and the materials, artists, art works, art processes and theoretical developments within a cultural and visual art context. This course will encourage students to achieve a greater understanding and awareness of the broad spectrum of artistic practices that are inherent within visual art that cross over into a multitude of artistic areas such as design and architecture both historically and within contemporary discourse.


Soft Architecture is the art of investigations, interventions and the way in which artists construct hybridised work through colour, site, language, space, conceptual intention and context. This course discusses how new art movements have occurred based on shared artistic interests. Students in this class will be researching experimental ideas (topics) that are both historical and contemporary in context. The overall aim of this course is for students to develop an understanding of a variety of both historical and contemporary art methodologies which artists share.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. examine concepts associated with artists and their practices representing historical, contemporary and hybridised artistic outcomes
  2. research and analyse historical and contemporary practice and explore the reflexivity and criticality of ideas constructed by artists.
  3. communicate in writing by clearly and logically expressing ideas pertaining to practices and concepts inherent within traditional and hybridised artistic outcomes
  4. work independently to develop ideas that contribute to an emerging personal philosophy based on research, analysis and interpretation within all assignments.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Art and architecture: de/reconstructed practices 10.00
2. Colour 10.00
3. Appropriation 10.00
4. Participation 10.00
5. Theory in practice 1: artist interview series 10.00
6. The artist's joke 10.00
7. The everyday 10.00
8. Utopia & beauty 10.00
9. Integrated relationships and reflex activities 10.00
10. Theory in practice 2: artist interview series 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • There is no specific text book for this course. Students are required to research and utilise various sources and materials as a way of demonstrating the outcomes of their arts practice. The list of reference materials below will assist with answering all assignments as well as developing research related to studios.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Birnbaum, D, Butler, CH & Cotter, S 2011, Defining contemporary art: 25 years in 200 pivotal artworks, Phaidon Press, New York.
  • Harrison, C & Wood, P (eds) 2002, Art in theory, 1900-2000: an anthology of changing ideas, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.
  • Kalb, PR 2013, Art since 1980: charting the contemporary, Pearson, London.
  • Stiles, K & Selz P (eds) 2012, Theories and documents of contemporary art:a sourcebook of artists' writings, University of California Press, Berkeley.
  • Documents of contemporary art, Whitchapel Gallery, 20, MIT Press, Cambridge.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Lectures 20.00
Private Study 135.00
Tutorials 10.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 100 20 08 Aug 2016
ASSIGNMENT 2 100 50 12 Sep 2016
ASSIGNMENT 3 100 30 10 Oct 2016

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

    External and Online:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students? responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

    It is the students? responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Not applicable

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Other requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.