DCC Human Ways: 19C-21C Danish Architecture and Urban Design (S21)

Course content

This course is open to students of diverse majors, who would like to experience, study and analyse contemporary Danish architecture and urban design first-hand. In this course, the city of Copenhagen is our primary classroom; with ‘walking tour lectures’, independent field studies, seminars, and collegial debates being unfolded on-site, across a diversity of places within the metropolis. (All sites can be easily reached by foot, bicycle, scooter, and/or by public transport.) In short, place-based interpretative studies and onsite analyses, along with vital course literature, will be entwined to offer grounded ways of questioning and understanding essential qualities in diverse person-environment relationships.

Via specific case studies, this two-week intensive summer course tackles such wider themes as urban history, urban regeneration, strategies for liveability, architectural transformation, everyday life and human scales, sustainability, climate adaptation, multi-modal transport, participatory urban design, playscapes, and urban recreation. In addition to the daily on-site course contents, there will be one full day of the course allocated to an excursion and guided tour, which explores diverse contemporary urban developments. These urban projects will be comparatively analysed with, amongst other things, a concentration on the interrelationships between private, public, and ‘semi’ realms.



Primary themes: urban history and morphological developments; urban regeneration and transformation: inclusive urban places; participatory urban design; climate adaptation and resiliency; liveability; active urban places and playscapes


Day 1 (Thursday 1 July 2021):
Lecture Topic: Course Intro. & The Urban History of Copenhagen
Field Study Topics: Blue Spaces: urban transformations along & in CPH inner harbour


Day 2 (Friday 2 July 2021)
Lecture Topic: Public Space Transformations; Human scale & life between buildings
Field Study Topics: Public Space Transformations; Human scale & life between buildings


Day 3 (Saturday 3 July 2021)
Lecture Topic: Top-down & Bottom-up Urban Design
Field Study Topics: ‘Right to the city’, Place-based Tactical Urbanism, L.Q.C., Green Social Justice


Day 4 (Sunday 4 July 2021)
Lecture Topic: Landscape Urbanism & Climate Mitigation
Field Study Topics: Coupling Rainwater & Recreation


Day 5 (Monday 5 July 2021)
Lecture Topic: Playscapes
Field Study Topics: Playscapes & Health



Primary themes: people, housing, and sustainability


Day 6 (Tuesday 6 July 2021) with LG
Lecture Topic: Public Space – Public Life & Multi-modal Transportation; Transformations of Copenhagen over time
Field Study Topics: Diverse urban squares & metro stations (TBA)


Day 7 (Wednesday 7 July 2021) with LG
Lecture Topic: Housing for People
Field Study Topics: Housing and streetscapes – for the people (TBA)


Day 8 (Thursday 8 July 2021) with CDC
Group Excursion: Exploring New City Districts in Copenhagen


Day 9 (Friday 9 July 2021) with CDC
Lecture Topic: Architecture of Urban Recreation
Field Study Topics: Architecture of Urban Recreation


Day 10 (Saturday 10 July 2021) with CDCLast Class Session
Lecture Topic: Export Fairy-tale?

Field Study Topics: TBA


Day 11 (Tuesday 13 July 2021): Main Course Assignment (Logbook) is due online before 12:00 noon DK-time.  NB: There is no required physical meeting of the class on this date.  Digital hand-in only required.




Courtney D. Coyne-Jensen is an architect and urbanist, working with projects situated in the nexus of practice-teaching-research as a unity.  Working as an external Assoc. Professor at the University of Copenhagen, she also has her atelier in CPH. Phenomenology, enaction, and co-creation underpin her multi-scalar praxis. Degrees include: PhD (KADK), M.Phil. (Cambridge Univ.), B.Arch. (DAAP). CDC has been the recipient of numerous international grants, and publishes and exhibits globally. She is also appointed Ministry-appointed Examiner for all higher education artistic programs in Denmark. She always warmly welcomes collaborations with others dedicated to architecture and design as critical inquiry, social impact, and serious play. https://dk.linkedin.com/in/courtneycoynejensen


Lars Gemzøe is an architect M.A.A. who has been working in practice, teaching and research. He has been an associate partner at Gehl Architects and a Senior Lecturer of Urban Design at the School of Architecture in Copenhagen, as well as teaching at DIS, the Danish Institute for Study Abroad. He has been an external Assoc. Professor at the University of Copenhagen since 2005, and has been guest teaching and lecturing at numerous universities and at conferences around the world.  https://dk.linkedin.com/in/lars-gemzøe-20445b10






Danish Culture Courses

‘walking tour lectures’, independent field studies, group seminars, and collegial debates being unfolded on-site.

The required course literature is provided in the Course Reader. The Reader will be sold at Publi@kom in room 11A-0-02 at KUA2. The required readings (general and specific) for each day are noted in each of  the Fact Sheets for the required walking-tour lectures and field studies.

A collection of pertinent books is available in the reference library. These books are only to be studied in the library, cf. list of books, which you can find in the Absalon room. The location is Saxo Knowledge Centre 13B, 2nd floor at KUA2. 

Regarding the overall course duration, please note that as a student enrolled in this course, you will be studying full-time during the course days of 01-10 July 2021 – that is, with the weekend days being included as required lecture and field study days (09:00-16:00). The last required teaching day is Saturday 10 July 2021, whereupon 11-12 July can be used to finalise one’s logbook assignment if need be.

Not relevant
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Written take-home assignment, optional subject.
6-10 standard pages.

The primary assignment for the course is a critical and analytical logbook. It is a place-based daily learning tool and a daily learning practice that challenges students to couple emplaced and embodied ways of knowing with more traditional forms of scholarly literature citation; grounding theory in place. In brief, every walking-tour lecture and field study entails one required logbook entry/page, and each entry must combine textual and visual analyses alike. The logbook, as a whole, is due in digital format at the end of the course, before 12:00 noon on Tuesday 13 July 2021 online in Digital Exam.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

Short courses / Summer school

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 33
  • Preparation
  • 70
  • Field Work
  • 45
  • Excursions
  • 8
  • Exam
  • 50
  • English
  • 206