LNAK10082U Urbanism Studio

Volume 2013/2014
MSc in Landscape Architecture

The aim of the course is to enhance the individual student ability to practice urbanism in a context of an unexpected future. The course encourages students to investigate and develop landscape architecture as a multiple gaze on urbanism through design interventions.

The course is to provide the student with the abilities to approach, identify, analyse, prioritise, argue and (re)design an urban situation, e.g. the contemporary city can be understood as a landscape entity. Focus is on how to analyse, conceptualise, question, design and intervene on different scales. Special interest is paid to training how students are able to frame, argue, design and discuss a challenge and their ability to relate this to a site-specific Danish context and the city formerly known as suburbia.

The course does not restrict the students work to specific theoretical positions or themes. Instead students are asked to position and engage their proposals to theoretical positions. Designs are to be presented, discussed and evaluated in plenum. Through the design intervention the individual student is to learn to take part in the professional debates within urbanism. How can urbanism be studied and investigated as a design solution with roots in the past, an understanding of the present and as an expectation to meet the challenge of the future?

Special focus is paid to discussions of how potential transformation of a site towards new use, new aesthetics and new meaning of the urban can be conceptualized, argued and contested in an landscape architectural design. Students are continually trained in exploring arguments for and against their design intervention. 

Learning Outcome
The main aims of the course are to provide academic, professional, artistic, and scientific competence understanding the different aspects and challenges of urban design and the different scales of which these design challenges play out.

The aim of the project work itself is to gain insight into (1) understanding and framing key aspects of urbanism (2) structuring of complicated urbanism challenges into (3) new possible spatial programming and designs which can hold the complexity and contradictions of the urban, (4) describing, and reflecting on related and relevant biological regulating aspects, design interventions and social empowerment and thereby (5) communicate, present and argue urban designs that show a new modernity in the relationship between nature and human.
Litterature to be acquired: 

Koolhaas, Rem and Mau, Bruce (1995) Small, Medium, Large, Exstra-large. Monacelli Press. For sale in the Campus book store.

Litterature recommended, key readings:

Hauxner, Malene (2003) Open to the Sky - the second phase of the modern breakthrough 1950-1970. Building and landscape, spaces and works, city landscapes.

Andersson, Sven-Ingvar (1990) Havekunsten i Danmark/Garden art in Denmark. In Arkitektur DK, nr. 4, year 1990, pp 133-170
Urbanism Studio is graduate design project. By course start the student is expected to have passed as least Byplanstrategi og -projekt or similar courses. Visiting students can enter the course, if they can document for the course responsible that they have passed courses with similar curriculum.

Theories of Urban Design is recommended.
The urban design studio focuses on project work, urban analysis and urban design, mainly done in groups. Priority is given to sketch, design and debate by means of reading, modelling, architectural studies, student presentation and plenum critics. The course lectures are supplemented with guest lectures/critiques.

The studio is seen as a test bed, workshop and a working office in which the role of course responsible are to facilitate a debate on urban design and arguments of interventions among the students – rather than dictate answers on how and on how not to design in urbanism. Nobody will know the final outcome of the studio, of urbanism.

The teaching methods applied include scientific and artistic methods as well as techniques for sketching and presentation. Special emphasis is put on sketching by doing film experiments, diagrams, models, as well as sketching done on tracing paper, in debates and in texts. The theory of education is that the learning and designing is done in combination of individual and group work. Central in the learning proces is the dialog with tutors and fellow students around the drawing board and presentations, where fellow students and tutors comment and give constructive criticism.

Reading of selected chapters and essays in the literature will form the basis for informal debate sessions and is to provide different perspectices on the studio production. In addition there will be held lectures and introductions by guests and supervisors. Throughout the course a plenum session of presentation, debate and evaluation is scheduled, ideally, once a week.

A study trip is offered as an option to explore urbanism in a different context and configuration.
Students will work with different medias. Why familiarity with modelmaking, the adobe photoshop, illustrator and indesign plus CAD, Rhino or similar programmes will be of strategic advance for the student.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 20
  • Excursions
  • 20
  • Guidance
  • 40
  • Lectures
  • 20
  • Preparation
  • 20
  • Project work
  • 292
  • Total
  • 412
Type of assessment
Oral examination
Oral examination of port folios
Exam registration requirements
Hand in of port folios prior to deadline provided in the course plan
All aids allowed
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assesment
Skills and competencies: 

- To frame, analyse, formulate, develop and debate arguments, strategies, design solutions and spatial programmes and their potential to create change in urbanism and urban environments. 

- To describe, conceptualise, apply and operationalise theoretical knowledge in relation to urban transformation through films, drawings, illustrations, diagrams, text, and models.

- To apply scientific, technological, aesthetic and ethical skills in relation to discussion a problem professionally through a design solution.

- To show, empower and communicate a critical and reflective view on problems, arguments and solutions of own- and others work in the field of urbanism.