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.


Session 1 (30)
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: GRP118. 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

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of GRP118 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Digital reconstructions: design history workshops
It's a postmodern world: breaking type
Braving the elements: contemporary inspiration

Special Resources

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

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.