Credit points


Campus offering

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ARTS239 Object Design

Unit rationale, description and aim

Making sculpture for public spaces promotes awareness, interpretation and negotiation of the complexities and diversity of a society. The purpose of this unit is to contextualise and communicate sculptural practice within the public domain and articulate how designing and creating sculpture for sites and spaces outside the University is informed by research.

Students will work on various studio-based projects to learn new skills and techniques and work with a variety of materials which will inform their individual sculptural practice. The unit will also require students to critically evaluate how their sculptural works expand on contemporary Australian and international three-dimensional art practice designed for civic and exhibition spaces.

The aim is for students to understand how their concept, materials and technical approaches are influenced by the site whether it be an outdoor civic location or indoor public exhibition space.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

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

LO1 -  Create project-based objects using a variety of skills, methods, techniques and materials (GA4, GA5, GA9)

LO2 - Analyse and research contemporary 3D forms and sculpture, in the context of your own practice (GA4, GA5, GA9)

LO3 - Evaluate the way in which individual ideas and concepts are informed by historical, theoretical and ethical contexts of sculptural practice (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10)

Graduate attributes

GA3 - Apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - Think critically and reflectively

GA5 - Demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession

GA8 - Locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information

GA9 - Demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media

GA10 - Utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively


Topics will include:

This unit will introduce students to the concepts, processes and techniques of sculptural practice. Project based exercises will enable students to relate processes and techniques to the analysis and interpretation of contemporary sculpture. It is expected that the students will work towards developing a personal sculptural practice, reflecting sensitivity to, and appreciation of the use of media and materials, and the interpretation of subject matter in an aesthetic and conceptual context.

Workplace Health & Safety concerns related to this unit will be emphasised throughout the classes.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The learning and teaching strategy for this unit focuses on fostering studio-led research and developing assessments that have real-world applications. This strategy is implemented by combining professional practice approaches that respond to relevant, contemporary object design briefs like National Sculpture Prizes, with designing sculptures for the public domain. This rationale empowers students to not only demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession but apply ethical perspectives to their design concepts. Hence, this unit introduces students to a variety of art mediums and their artistic skills are applied to a variety of creative platforms.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The rationale for this unit is based in developing both a core conceptual and a technical understanding of creating a variety of three-dimensional forms. The assessment tasks are designed as creative responses to briefs. These briefs will emphasise both the technical and conceptual aspects of working in sculptural practice. The research documentation demonstrates process, reflective thinking and contextualises the relationship between the creative outcome and relevant contemporary practices.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Studio project: create a sculpture using a variety of materials and techniques to test out forms.


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA9

Sculpture project: create a self-directed, small sculpture experimenting with a variety of materials and techniques and articulate how the selected material and process inform the conceptual underpinning.


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA9

Site responsive sculpture project and research documentation: design a public sculpture accompanied by a statement of intent that evaluates how it is informed by historical, theoretical and ethical contexts.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Adler, D. (2020). Contemporary sculpture and the critique of display cultures. Taylor and Francis Ltd.

Alesina, I. & Lupton, E., (2010). Exploring materials: Creative design for everyday objects. Princeton Architectural Press.

Australian Council for the Arts. (2008). Visual arts: protocols for producing Indigenous Australian visual arts. Australian Council for the Arts.

Beers, K., & Cork, R. (2019). 100 Sculptors of Tomorrow. Thames and Hudson Ltd.

Cochrane, G., (2007). Smart works, design and the handmade. Powerhouse Publishing.

Klanten, R., Ehmann, S., & Hübner, M. (2008). Tangible: High touch visuals. Die Gestalten Verlag.

Foreshew, N., & Parkes, B. (2009). Menagerie: Contemporary indigenous sculpture. Australian Centre for Craft and Design.

McCulloch, S. (2010). McCulloch's contemporary Aboriginal art: The complete guide. McCulloch & McCulloch Australian Art Books.

Schmidt, P., & Stattmann, N. (2009). Un/folded paper in design, art, architecture and industry. Birkhauser.

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