NIGK15032U Urban Intervention Studio

Volume 2015/2016

MSc Programme in Landscape Architecture


Site specificty - local transformations through temporary projects

At the Urban Intervention Studio we explore methods of creating new public domains through making and building temporary small scale spaces in 1:1 in close collaboration with local site and community. The drafting table is replaced by a strong presence on site developing projects in an almost hand crafted process that allows for adaptions and alterations to be made in the moment. The method has some interesting implications for the design process, for the interpretation of the site context and particularly for learning about space through the act of making it by hand.

We set up studio course away from the university and into sites in transformation that will provide us with interestng and relevant contexts to explore and respond to. The focus is urban areas in transition such as former industrial sites, challenged public domains and landscapes that has potentials of new conent.

Throug carerfull site readings we will explore the physical, social and processual conditions of a place. This proces of going from one stage towards something else can be detected and then further explored through small acupunctual interventions that can set transformations in motion reprogramming and redirecting the discourse of a place. In full scale we construct urban interventions that somehow respond to the current conditions of the site while simultaneously setting out a potential trajectory for the future.

Learning Outcome

The aim of the course is to give students insight into and experience of how temporary interventions can act as agents of change in urban transitions, and how art, architecture and landscape can provide a site-specific response to place and program.

We simultaniously work form two directions and from two scales. On one hand we examin and reflect on curent conditions in urban planning through theories of urban transformation. On the other hand we work praticebased prototyping urban interventions into existing conditions of places in trasition. Thus a broad strategic planning level is responded to thrugh small specific interventions.

Supported by different tools and methods students learn to highten their awarness towards detecting the qualities of a site.

Students explore how an iterative design process of prototyping can be an effectice method for testing potential design solutions.

Students will be in contact with citizents, municipalities, sponsors etc. and thus train skills of communicating and interacting with local stakeholders.

The students do not only develop strategic and technical skills but more importantly a sensitivity to the environments they engage in. The making itself seemed to embed spatial knowledge into the students on a much deeper level than had we worked in a more classical representational mode through drawings and models. It requires them to become specific about their project idea and they are able to experience how their interventions integrate in the local setting immediately.

Students will gain knowledge of the potentials and conflicts that exists around integrating temporary projects as part of long term planning strategies. Students will get insights into how ripening of brown field areas towards a site transformation can take place through the use of cultural innovation and temporary interventions.

Students will
- identify potentials and qualities in transforming urban landscapes through morphological site analysis and stakeholder mappings.
- translate findings into tactical and strategic concepts for short term and long term interventions.
- work independently with concept development, stakeholder interaction, and the execution of own small scale architectural installation.
- work collaboratively with student colleagues as well as local actors.   

Translate empirical experiences into theoretical reflections – and reverse
Work conceptually with artistically founded temporary interventions
Build design installations in full scale
Interact and collaborate in a complex setting of students, teachers and sometimes a wide range of external stakeholders

Examination will be an assessment of project report and assignments produced and handed in throughout the course and the oral presentation of these. Evaluation is based on the the analytical and aestetic quaities of the students collected work which includes assessment of the coherency in both the process andt the final project. Criterias are based on the content and the overall aim of the course.

Minimum one year from a design oriented education such as landscape architecture, urban design, etc. Students from art history, geography or similar are welcome, but must expect to explore themes specific to landscape architecture and urban design meaning working with design oriented problems and communicating through graphic representations.
The course usually takes place at a location outside the University Campus and every year we move the studio to a new location. We set up class workspace within the actual environment that we will use as testing ground.
Students will do on site research and site analysis, innovation exercises, concept and design development, interaction with local stakeholders and creation of 1:1 interventions.
The course content is a mix of day to day assignments, lectures, discussions, workshops, presentations and production of actual designs.
Students are expected to be present and participating in course activities during all class hours.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Colloquia
  • 20
  • Excursions
  • 20
  • Guidance
  • 40
  • Lectures
  • 20
  • Project work
  • 106
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 min
Oral exam based on project report and assignments produced throughout the course.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners.

A written assignment handed in prior to an oral exam, 20 minuttes.

Criteria for exam assesment

Please see learning outcome.