• Offered by School of Art and Design
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Design
  • Areas of interest Visual Arts, Design
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Ashley Eriksmoen
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings

This course uses strategies of design thinking and studio-based making practices to investigate the support of the human body in the near environment. The course will use furniture seating as a case study for conceptualising how we define and mediate the space between the architectural envelope and the human subject. The course will apply methodologies from iterative design, ergonomics, anthropometrics, human factors, and modelling and prototyping with conventional and digital tools in order to investigate and disrupt archetypes of domestic objects. Critical theory including Affordance Theory will be explored to determine ways in which objects provide an intermediary zone between human bodies and the architectural envelope, and how objects can shape social behaviour.

Students will work individually and collaboratively on speculative models and prototypes. The course is taught by a combination of readings, lectures, discussions, demonstrations, and supervised practice that exposes students to a combination of technology, theory, history, and design and making processes. Workplace health and safety instruction is an integral part of this course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. identify, observe, measure, analyse and critique existing and archetypal forms;
  2. conceptualise and implement design propositions that challenge archetypal forms and consider a plurality of functions (ergonomic, social, narrative, etc);
  3. experiment with a range of techniques and materials during iterative model-making and prototyping;
  4. work both independently and collaboratively to plan, develop and complete projects;
  5. identify, describe and relate relevant critical theories and contextual examples of design/art/architecture to course projects; and
  6. demonstrate critical thinking and reflection in the evaluation of their own work and that of other artists/designers.

Other Information

School of Art & Design studio courses have a limited enrolment capacity. Students are advised to enrol as early as possible to maximise the opportunity of securing a place.

This course will have a Materials Fee. At the ANU School of Art & Design, each workshop sources appropriate specialist?materials,?which are made available to students?to facilitate their working?effectively,?efficiently and safely?within our programs.? The School of Art & Design is able to supply materials that don’t compromise ANU obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS), and that have been assessed as suitable for each course.? The Materials Fee ?is payable for the School of Art & Design to supply consumables and materials that become your physical property. You can choose to pay the Materials Fee and have these materials supplied to you through the School of Art & Design, allowing you to take advantage of the GST-free bulk purchasing power of the ANU.?These materials are also WHS compliant. The exact cost of the Materials Fee will be updated in the Class Summary for each semester in which the course is offered. The full SOAD policy can be read here: https://soad.cass.anu.edu.au/required-resources-and-incidental-fees.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Discussion Forum (written, 1000 words total) (20) [LO 1,5,6]
  2. Modelmaking Exercises (portfolio based) (20) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  3. Speculative Re-Making Design Project (portfolio based) (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  4. Cardboard Prototypes (portfolio based) (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:

a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: lectures, tutorials, group collaboration, critiques and supervised studio practice; and

b) 94 hours of independent studio practice, group collaboration, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ARTV2207 or DESA2207. You must have completed 24 units towards your degree, and have completed a minimum of 6 units of from EITHER the BVART introductory studio courses OR one of the following: DESN1002; DESN1003; DESN1004; or ARTV1034 .

Prescribed Texts


Preliminary Reading

The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body, and Design by Galen Cranz


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $3780
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $5280
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9048 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 In Person N/A

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