GRP118 The Contemporary Designer (8)

This subject examines what it means to be a contemporary designer. It investigates the creative practice and innovations crafted by prominent designers in image-making, graphics, environmental and multimedia design. It explores cultural and historical influences in communicating meaning including philosophies of design and how they effect contemporary design thinking. The investigation of practice and the impact of technology, production techniques and the variations in consumer/user behaviour build a platform for students to develop a preliminary understanding of their own practice.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2018.

Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Communication and Creative Industries

Enrolment Restrictions

Not available to students who have previously completed GRP117 Graphic Design Theory, Context and Practice.

Subject Relationships

GRP117 GRP117 Graphic Design Theory, Context and Practice made obsolete by this subject.

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe fundamental historical, cultural and philosophical influences on contemporary design thinking and making;
  • be able to analyse a range of design artefacts and identify principles and theories that influenced their production;
  • be able to combine image-making and type to generate contemporary design works;
  • be able to describe and apply basic visual research methods including design development and iteration in a range of contexts; and
  • be able to apply visual critique within an established framework.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Contemporary approaches to design: an overview
  • Introduction to visual critique
  • Historical and contemporary designers & design: case studies
  • Fundamental visual research skills and visual analysis of design
  • Digital reconstruction: research through practice
  • Digital reconstruction: research through materials
  • Digital reconstruction: research through context
  • The Reflexive Practitioner: agency, praxis and field in design

Special Resources

Students are required to have access to the industry standard graphic design software package - the Adobe Creative Suite.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.