20th Century Design

DDD10001 12.5 Credit Points Hawthorn Available to incoming Study Abroad and Exchange students


  • One Semester or equivalent

Contact hours

  • 36 hours

On-campus unit delivery combines face-to-face and digital learning.

2021 teaching periods


Higher Ed. Semester 2

2 Aug 21 - 31 Oct 21

7 Dec 21

Last self enrolment:
15 Aug 21

31 Aug 21

Last withdraw without fail:
17 Sep 21

More teaching periods

Swinburne Online

Teaching Period 3

8 Nov 21 - 13 Feb 22

8 Mar 22

Last self enrolment:
21 Nov 21

3 Dec 21

Last withdraw without fail:
31 Dec 21


Alternative Tertiary Entry Program: Students who have passed DDD00001 are exempted from taking this unit and must select another unit in its place with advice from a Course Advice Specialist. 

Aims and objectives

This unit engages students in the examination of 20th Century design history, focusing on a range of key designers, innovations and movements such as Modernism, International Modernism, and Post-Modernism within global and local frameworks, with the aim being to stimulate students’ self-driven exploration of design in the past, present and future. It explores aspects of the historical development of design as a creative, cultural and professional practice, while referencing the visual, material and spatial languages of design graphics, products, interiors, environments and multi-media. The unit investigates how design has been historically practised, theorised and discussed, and how this informs design today. The economic and cultural role of design is explored, together with the interface of design with the arts, and more significantly with modern technology, materials, production and consumerism. A contemporary lens will be used to explore the relevance of the past to the present.

Unit Learning Outcomes: Students who successfully complete this Unit should be able to:
1. Discuss ideas about design and society in large and small group situations.
2. Identify historically significant designers, design movements, objects, theories, practices; their social, cultural, economic importance, and their implications for the 21st century.
3. Critically analyse a range of historical issues and present responses through a range of discursive modes.
4. Critique key design concepts and developments, both historical and contemporary using a body of primary and secondary resources including online resources, objects and environments.
5. Integrate theoretical and historical concepts in a manner that is relevant and applicable to design studio practice.
6. Analyse critically and visually design objects, places and environments at local, national, and international levels.