HIST06014 2019 Visual and Material Culture 1 (Introduction & Historical Survey)

General Details

Full Title
Visual and Material Culture 1 (Introduction & Historical Survey)
Transcript Title
Visual and Material Culture 1
80 %
Subject Area
HIST - History / Theory of Art
YADA - Yeats Academy Art Dsgn & Arch
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Angela Mehegan, Louis McManus
Programme Membership
SG_DINTE_B07 201900 Bachelor of Arts in Design in Interior Architecture and Design SG_DINTE_B07 201900 Bachelor of Arts in Interior Architecture and Design SG_VARCH_H08 201900 Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) SG_DCRDS_B07 201900 Bachelor of Arts in Creative Design SG_APERF_H08 201900 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Performing Arts SG_DCRDS_H08 201900 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Creative Design SG_AARTT_B07 201900 Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art SG_AARTT_H08 201900 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Fine Art SG_APERA_B07 201900 Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts (Acting) SG_APERT_B07 201900 Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts (Theatre Design) SG_VINTE_B07 201900 Bachelor of Arts in Interior Architecture and Design SG_VARCH_H08 202100 Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) SG_VARCH_H08 201800 Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) SG_VARDE_H08 202100 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Architectural Design SG_VARCH_H08 202200 Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) SG_VINTE_B07 202200 Bachelor of Arts in Interior Architecture and Design SG_AARTT_H08 202200 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Fine Art SG_VARCI_H08 202100 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Architectural Design SG_VARCI_H08 202200 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Architectural Design SG_DCREA_B07 202300 Bachelor of Arts in Creative Design SG_DCRDS_B07 202400 Bachelor of Arts in Creative Design SG_DCRDS_H08 202400 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Creative Design SG_DCREA_H08 202300 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Creative Design SG_DINAD_H08 202300 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Interior Architecture and Design

VMC1 comprises an introductory survey to varying aspects of Western Art, Architecture & Design and visual/material culture from Classical times to the advent of Modernism in the early 20th Century. The course is thematic in nature but the broader contexts of production, consumption and reception are major considerations in the evaluation and analysis of images, artefacts, architectural structures, Interior Design and performance/media-based work.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Recognise the importance of historical, social and cultural conditions that relate to an exploration of visual and material culture in general and the fields of  art, design, media and architecture in particular.


Understand how art/design/media & architectural culture changes with context.


Explore the use and application of relevant critical and theoretical terms and vocabularies relevant to the discipline-specific field and/or area.


Apply basic research processes and strategies and identify suitable research sources for the analysis of discipline-specific artefacts, pieces, media and/or structures.


Identify relevant historical periods, styles and cultural, scientific and technological timelines when engaging in visual interpretations and use this material in their own project/studio work.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The Teaching and Learning strategies  for VMC1 comprises a series of 12 thematic common lectures and weekly 2-hour discipline-specific  seminar and/or workshop-based activities.  Lectures supported by images and texts, provide the themes concepts and  general context. Seminars offer opportunities for more detailed thematic, media process-based analyses, textual analyses and  discipline-specific group discussion. Workshops allow for focused interaction, research methodologies and oral communication strategies.

Module Assessment Strategies

Required elements are outlined in the module handbook with opportunities to demonstrate learning across a range of activities based on both written assignment(s) and presentation(s). Through the module assessments, students familiarise themselves with research and visual methodologies and discover ways in which basic information literacy skills are used in the field of History/Theory of Art and Design,Visual and Material Culture and Architectural Design.

The assessment strategy focuses on the students introduction to :

  • Interpretative/historical research
  • Visual analyses and academic writing
  • Oral and visual Presentation
  • Discipline-specific research

Repeat Assessments

Repeat projects based on failed CA components from assignments issued during course of semester.

Indicative Syllabus

The syllabus and assessments are designed to support the development of academic skills, including inductions to using libraries and archives, critical reading skills, writing skills, working with feedback, avoiding plagiarism, referencing, as well as note taking, planning and time management skills. Indicative VMC1 Syllabus

  • The ABC of Seeing. Introduction to Visual / Material Culture. Discipline-specific seminars
  • Classicism 1 (Greek & Roman Antiquity)  &  Classicism 2 (Renaissance &  19th C Revivalism)  
  • Media 1 Bayeux Tapestry:  (Then and Now)   Propaganda, Art & Politics.   Formal Analysis /Contextual Analysis /  Referencing; Harvard / MLA Styles
  • Expressionism 1: Age of Illusion  & Expressionism 2: The Grid & Abstraction: Early Christianity and the Spiritual Dimension Christianity Idea of the Secular: Humanism, Capitalism and Subjectivity
  • Industrial Revolution: Modernism & Functionalism & The Bauhaus Manifesto. Science, Technology and the World of Ideas. The Built Environment, Space and Interior Design
  • Fair, Exhibition, Expo: Immersion & Storytelling, The Digital Self
  • Land, Landscape & The Environment: Concept of Nature. Wilderness Sustainability
  • Body, Portrait, Figuration:  3D, Installation Theatre, Performance & the Visual Arts
  • The Manifesto: The student Artist Designer Architect Director!

The discipline-specific seminar areas introduce the students to the interdisciplinary potential of the above as contextual knowledge:

  • History of Art/Design/Media/Architecture History: language, themes and concepts
  • Formal and Contextual analysis strategies
  • Information Literacy Skills
  • Approaches to Visual Research: Processes, Methodologies & Strategies
  • VMC Research Sources

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Assignment VMC Timeline Coursework Assessment Essay 35 % Week 6 2,4,5
2 Essay Thematic Essay Coursework Assessment Essay 55 % Week 12 1,3,4
3 Image Quiz Coursework Assessment Multiple Choice/Short Answer Test 10 % Week 13 1

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Lecture Theatre Core Lectures 1 Weekly 1.00
Workshop / Seminar Flat Classroom Discipline-Specific Seminar 2 Weekly 2.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2014 Biennale 2014. Elements. Ediz. americana Marsilio Editori
ISBN 8831720198 ISBN-13 9788831720199

Architecture is a strange mixture of persistence and flux, an amalgamation of elements -- some that have been around for over 5,000 years and others that were (re)invented yesterday. The fact that these elements change independently of each other, according to different cycles and economies, and for different reasons, turns each building into a complex collage of the archaic and the current, the site-specific and the standard, mechanical smoothness and the spontaneous. Only by looking at the elements under a wide lens can we recognize the cultural preferences, forgotten symbolism, technological advances, mutations triggered by intensifying global exchange, climatic adaptions, political calculations, regulatory requirements, new digital regimes, and, somewhere in the mix -- the ideas of the architect that constitute the practice of architecture today. A collection of these essential elements into 15 books in a package launched at the 2014 Venice Biennale that allows us to look through a microscope at the real fundamentals of our buildings and see again the essential design techniques used by any architect, anywhere, anytime.

Required Reading
2006 Ideas Weidenfeld and Nicholson
ISBN 0753820897 ISBN-13 9780753820896

In this hugely ambitious and exciting book Peter Watson tells the history of ideas from prehistory to the present day, leading to a new way of telling the history of the world. The book begins over a million years ago with a discussion of how the earliest ideas might have originated. Looking at animal behaviour that appears to require some thought: tool-making, territoriality, counting, language (or at least sounds), pairbonding. Peter Watson moves on to the apeman and the development of simple ideas such as cooking, the earliest language, the emergence of family life. All the obvious areas are tackled: the Ancient Greeks, Christian theology, the ideas of Jesus, astrological thought, the soul, the self, beliefs about the heavens, the ideas of Islam, the Crusades, humanism, the Renaissance, Gutenberg and the book, the scientific revolution, the age of discovery, Shakespeare, the idea of Revolution, the Romantic imagination, Darwin, imperialism, modernism, Freud right up to the present day and the internet.

Required Reading
2013 Images Bloomsbury Academic
ISBN UCSD:31822038920211

No Marketing Blurb

Required Reading
2010 Mirror of the World
ISBN 0500287546 ISBN-13 9780500287545

Traces the evolution of art throughout numerous cultures to offer insight into how regional and historical factors shaped aesthetic development, in a global survey that draws connections between different locations and cultures while citing famous and lesser-known landmarks.

Required Reading
2006-04-13 Phaidon Design Classics Phaidon Press
ISBN 0714843997 ISBN-13 9780714843995

V.1 Pioneers. -- v.2 Mass production. -- v.3 New technologies.

Required Reading
2007 Rethinking Technology
ISBN 0415346541 ISBN-13 9780415346542

This book is an essential reference for all students of architecture, design and the built environment providing a convenient single source for all the key texts in the fast developing discipline of the philosophy of technology. The authors focus on the interplay between technology and society and consider the impact of technology on fields as diverse as: art and visual culture; politics, the environment, gender and the hottest topic of all in today's digitally mediated world the promise of a virtual future inside the fluid 'space' of the computer.

Required Reading
2012-01-10 Visual Culture Polity
ISBN 9780745650715 ISBN-13 0745650716

"The first part of the book is concerned with differing theoretical approaches to visual analysis, and includes chapters on iconology, form, art history, ideology, semiotics and hermeneutics. The second part shifts from a theoretical to a medium-based approach and comprises chapters on fine art, photography, film, television and new media. These investigate the complex relationship between reality and visual representation." -- Book Jacket.

Required Reading
2016-03-10 Visual Methodologies Sage Publications Limited
ISBN 1473948908 ISBN-13 9781473948907

A new edition of Gillian Rose's bestselling guide to researching the visual. With over 28,000 copies sold worldwide, it is the go-to book for students and researchers across the social sciences and humanities.

Recommended Reading
2004 Words and Buildings
ISBN 0500284709 ISBN-13 9780500284704

Available again, a wholly original study of the complex relationship between architecture and language that has changed and enriched the way we think and talk about architecture.The words we use when we talk and write about architecture describe more than just bricks and mortar they direct the ways we think of and live with buildings. This groundbreaking book is the first thorough examination of the complex relationship between architecture and language as intricate social practices. Six rigorously argued chapters investigate the language of modernism, language and drawing, masculine and feminine architecture, language metaphors, science in architecture, and the social properties of architecture. There follows a vocabulary of key words such as Character, Form, History and Space, locating each words modern meaning within an historical and theoretical framework, and setting out clearly its development and relevance for architects, historians, philosophers, critics and the users of the buildings themselves. Architects should be made to read Words and Buildings Architecture Today Unusually clear and accessible Students of all kinds will love this book The Architectural Review A forceful, clear and sophisticated exposition of the role of conceptual thought in architectural discourse The Architects Journal

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Adamson G. (2013) The Invention of Craft Berg

Berger A & A (2009) What Objects Mean: An Introduction to Material Culture, Left Coast Press

Berger, J. (1977) Ways of Seeing Penguin,

Busch A. (2004) The Uncommon Life of Common Objects, Metropolis Books

Ching FM (2006) Global History of Architecture, Wiley

Curtis W. (1996) Modern Architecture Since 1900, 3rd Edition Phaidon

Edwards J. (1999) Art and its Histories Yale Uni. Press,

Evans, J. and S Hall, eds.(2001) Visual Culture: The Reader. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

Evans C. & S. Garner ed. (2012) Design and Designing: A Critical Introduction Berg

Hann M (2013) Symbol, Pattern and Symmetry: The Cultural Significance of Structure Bloomsbury Academic

Kingery D. ed. (1996) Learning from Things: Method & Theory of Material Culture Studies Smithsonian Inst. Press

Lang J (2005) Urban Design: A Typology of procedures & Products, Architectural Press

Mirzoeff N. (1999) An Introduction to Visual Culture. New York: Routledge

NIAH (2007) An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of Counties of Ireland, Dept. of Environment, Heritage & Local Government

Sparke P. (2004) An Introduction to Design and Culture: 1900 to the Present 2nd edition Routledge

Staniszewski M-A, (1995) Believing is Seeing, Penguin

Taylor M. ed. (2013)Interior Design and Architecture:Critical and Primary Sources Bloomsbury Academic

Journal Resources

See IT Sligo Yeats Library Faculty and Department resources.

URL Resources

IT Sligo Yeats Library library.itsligo.ie/my-course/engineering-design/  Fine ArtDesign, Architecture, Interior Architecture & Design, Performing Arts.

Example Fine Art, https://libguides.itsligo.ie/c.php?g=547305&p=4613726

Irish Architectural Archive: https://iarc.ie/about-the-iaa/



Other Resources


Additional Information