Transformation Studio

Course content

This course is a design studio concerned with the strategic transformation of existing built environments and landscapes.

In the Transformation Studio we design strategic physical and programmatic interventions the aim of which is to steer the spatial development in a positive and sustainable direction. This means that we are interested in what design does – how it affects users and usages, and the ways it transforms existing territorial conditions across multiple scales.

The studio focuses on the transformation of rural areas in relation to current, real-life transformation themes. Project work is carried out in cooperation with a Danish municipality and in dialogue with municipal planners, knowledge experts, local communities and local project makers. At the end of the course, we pass on the results of the students' project work to our cooperation partners as an inspiration for future spatial development.

We work with an ethos of sustainable spatial development that requires two things: 1) transformations of the built environment must be based on existing qualities and potential and preserve and reuse existing resources; 2) the local people must be involved in the development process of these transformations.

Through fieldwork – usually a week on site – the students first investigate current challenges, local qualities, resources and development potentials in a larger study area. On this basis, they identify relevant sites for design interventions and formulate design problems and visions, which they then translate into a design brief that serves as the basis for designing strategic physical and programmatic interventions at selected locations.

Education

MSc Programme in Landscape Architecture

Learning outcome

After completing the course, the students will have gained theoretical and methodological insight and practical experience in designing strategic transformations of existing built environments and landscapes, specifically in a rural context. They will be able to use this theoretical and methodological knowledge and their practical experience critically and reflectively for the analysis of strategic transformation projects and in their own design work.

 

Knowledge:

The students gain an understanding of theoretical concepts and methodological approaches for the design of strategic transformations and their possible effects on contemporary rural built environments and landscapes. They also acquire empirical knowledge about rural transformation in Denmark and current transformation issues in rural areas.

 

Skills:

Students are trained in basic skills for the design of strategic transformations. At the end of the course, they will be able to demonstrate these skills verbally and visually. Specifically, they will be trained in:

  • Methods to explore and evaluate current challenges, local qualities, resources and development potentials in a larger study area including field research techniques, mapping of observations and collaborative design workshops
  • Identification of relevant sites for design interventions and formulation of design problems and visions through creative, iterative alternation between initial design ideas and thematic site analysis (fieldwork and desk research)
  • Translation of identified design problems and visions into a design brief
  • Designing strategic physical and programmatic interventions at selected locations based on the developed design brief
  • Articulating and communicating strategic transformation projects and their possible effects on future spatial development verbally and visually through drawings, film, maps and models.
  • Discussion and feedback on fellow students’ strategic transformation projects

 

Competences:

At the end of the course, students will have developed and improved competences that are relevant for the design of strategic transformations and for the practice of landscape architecture and urban design in the broader sense:

  • Site analysis and evaluation
  • (Design) problem formulation
  • Transdisciplinary collaboration with experts from different fields
  • Verbal and visual articulation and communication of design projects
  • Critical reflection on the agency and politics of design

The teaching and learning methods include field research and project work in small groups of 3-4 students, guidance from teachers in drawing board discussions, alternating with collaborative design workshops and project pin-ups in plenary sessions with cooperation partners and invited guest critics. Project work is complemented by lectures from teachers, invited knowledge experts, and design professionals working with strategic transformation projects, as well as a few reading seminars dealing with literature relevant to the transformation themes and design interventions proposed by the students.

Basic literature and information on the study area will be handed out at the beginning of the course. Depending on the transformation themes and design interventions proposed by the students, specific literature will be added throughout the course.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Written
Oral
Individual
Collective
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
ECTS
15 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 15 min
Written assignment, during course
Oral examination based on group project work. Written assignment to be handed in prior to the exam week. A combined grade is given after the oral exam.

The assignment must be submitted in physical form and in Digital Exam (3d-models, sketchbooks and logbooks are exempted). The format of the physical submission must follow the instructions of the teacher.

The assignment will not be graded if not submitted on time in Digital Exam.
Aid
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners
Criteria for exam assessment

Please see learning outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 20
  • Preparation
  • 266
  • Excursions
  • 84
  • Guidance
  • 42
  • English
  • 412