NIGK15030U Transformation Studio

Volume 2015/2016

MSc Programme in Landscape Architecture


The aim of the course is to enhance the individual student’s ability to practice landscape/urban design. And to provide the student with generic project development skills by training the student in developing a transformation project from scratch.

The course aims to provide the student with the abilities to identify problems in a complex context and transform them into a program that can provide the basis for a well argued and design intervention based answer.

The course will focus on how to analyse, program, conceptualise and design on a multiscaler basis. Sites are considered as relational constructs pointing with at least three areas of interest, the area of transformation, the area of effect and the area of influence. This approach will steer the analyses and consequently the design/transformation.

Design is considered within the framework of transformation, i.e. working within an already built context with the purpose of transferring something existing into something it can become. This emphasizes not only our preconceptions and pre-evaluations of what is already there; it also challenges our ‘reading’ tools.

Design will be used as a means for examining possible futures and hence constitutes an integrated tool for setting the brief. The point of departure will be a specific site and an overarching theme. The choice of site and theme may change from year to year. Within a site-specific framework the students will analyse and identify various subthemes that may constitute the building blocks in the project.

Focus will be on the spatial interactions between how we organize material aspects (structure, material, flows of material), how we integrate practices (what will be going on) and how we think of space (discourses) in a diachronic perspective, i.e. how we think of the above mentioned aspects through time, yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Working with transformation projects stimulates discussions of new interpretations, new uses, new aesthetics and new understandings, which will be an integrated part of the course.

The theoretical framework of the course is open, but will touch upon site-specificity, new heritage and current transformation theories as indicated above.

Learning Outcome

The aim of the project work itself is to gain insight into (1) understanding and analysing a complex, existing context and (2) formulating initial landscape related problems, that may lead to (3) spatial programming by means of design, reflecting social as well as biological aspects and thereby (4) develop and communicate argued and design intervention based answers to the identified problems.

The main aims of the course are to provide academic, professional, artistic, and scientific competence in problem formulating and solving related to landscape architecture/urban design through project work in a multiscale perspective.

After completing the course, the students will have the following:


-         theories of the relationship between design and transformation


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

-         ability to describe, conceptualise, apply and operationalise theoretical knowledge in relation to spatial transformation through drawings, illustrations, diagrams, and text.

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


-          ability to show and communicate a critical and reflective view of problems, arguments and solutions of own – and others – work in the field of design as transformation.

Literature will be handed out at the beginning of the course.

The teaching methods applied include scientific and artistic methods as well as techniques for sketching and presentation. Special emphasis is put on onsite observations in combination with representation studies, diagrams, conversation and texts.
The theory of education is that the learning is best done in independent group work and through dialogue with tutors and fellow students around the drawing board, through presentations where fellow students and tutors comment and give constructive critique. In addition there are lectures and introductions by guests and supervisors.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 10
  • Excursions
  • 20
  • Guidance
  • 10
  • Lectures
  • 20
  • Preparation
  • 152
  • Project work
  • 200
  • Total
  • 412
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 15 min
Written assignment
Oral examination based on group project work.
Exam registration requirements

Participation in field work during the course is mandatory.

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, 15 minuttes.

If the exam registration requirements have not been fulfilled students must retake the course.

Criteria for exam assesment

Please see the description of course aims.