Construction History

Subject coordinator: Dr Giorgio Marfella
Tutor: Dr Yvette Putra


Construction History is a multidisciplinary elective open to all students of the MSD. Students engage with the physical and cultural facets of the built environment from a technological perspective, re-discovering building history under a new light, and analysing built outcomes, not only from the technical point of view of the designers, but also from that of builders, engineers and tradespeople.

Learning activities include the acquisition of new knowledge with four modules and a semester-long research task with optional methods of delivery designed around the needs of different post-graduate cohorts.

In 2020, the topics of research revolved around the common theme: Learning from Austerica. The term Austerica is, of course, a blending of the words Australia and America, a portmanteau coined by Robin Boyd to infer that Australia tends to follow, quite blindly, American influence. The overarching purpose of the research project was to explore this middle ground, fact-checking affinities, differences and technology transfer in commercial building systems and projects built, or imagined, in North America and Australia from the 1800s to the late 1900s.

The following gallery showcases student projects from a class of 47 students with contributions selected to represent students of three different Masters (Architecture, Construction Managment and Urban and Cultural Heritage).

Banner image credits: LOF Headquarters under construction, Toledo, Ohio, 1959; Architect: Skidmore Owings Merrill; Builder: George A. Fuller Company; Libbey Owens Ford Archives, University of Toledo, Ohio