Urban Intervention Studio

Course content

At the core of the Urban Intervention Studio is the interaction with collective spaces in the city, their role as publics and meeting places, but also their transitional state. We explore methods of creating new public domains through designing and constructing small scale architectural interventions in 1:1 in close collaboration with a local site and communities. We set up studio away from the university and into sites in transformation that provide us with interesting and relevant contexts to explore and respond to. The focus is on urban areas in transition such as former industrial sites, challenged public or semi-public domains or landscapes that holds potentials for new content. The course builds on the notion that developing cities from within the context of the existing rather than tearing down and starting from scratch creates a more sustainable city in terms of preserving resources, supporting re-use and cultivating heritage. 

We simultaneously work from multiple directions and scales. On one hand, we examine and reflect on overall urban issues around the case area that can be investigated from a theoretical and strategic perspective. On the other hand, we explore place from a phenomenological and perceptual position, prototyping site-specific urban interventions into an existing spatial situation. Thus, a strategic design approach is supplemented by small acupunctural interventions that respond to a specific condition or initiate a transformation process.

The locations provide us with site-specific context to work into – in terms of both spatial and social challenges and potentials. Through careful site readings, we explore the physical, social and processual conditions of a place, analyze site conditions, explore scenarios through prototyping and urban interventions that respond to the current spatial situations, while simultaneously setting out a potential trajectory for the future. We investigate through speculative action where critical reflection and activation of potentialities go hand in hand.

The drafting table is complemented by a strong presence on site developing projects in hand-crafted and local customized processes. This approach has important implications for the design process, for the interpretation of the site context and particularly for learning about space through the interaction of analysis and making by hand.


MSc Programme in Landscape Architecture

Learning outcome

The course gives the students insight into and experience of how small scale interventions can act as agents of change in areas in transition, and how art, architecture and landscape can provide a site-specific response to place and program.

Students will explore various tools and media - both digital and analogue - for engaging with a local context, identifying spatial qualities and deepening site understanding.

Students will apply a variety of design tools and methods developing their strategic design approach and their design interventions from mapping, drawing, model making and building.

Students will engage in group work exploring how different competencies and skills combined can strengthen collaborative project work.

Students will develop their abilities to translate and conceptualize spatial insights into designs interventions focusing on aesthetic qualities and how interventions can affect site.  

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

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

Through field trips, students will be exposed to relevant projects and cases that can fuel course discussions and provide context and references for their own design interventions.

Students will practice communicating concepts, ideas and designs through graphic representations, 1:1 mock-ups, text and oral presentations to fellow students, supervisors and local stakeholders.

Students will engage in peer to peer feedback, theoretical discussions and ongoing group reflections around course themes.

Students will apply a strategic design approach to the case area, synthesizing, mapping and drawing future development scenarios.

Students will explore 1:1 design solutions and engage in building activities strengthening capacity for planning, designing and executing a full-scale design intervention.  

Students will read and discuss literature on e.g. urban transformation and design approaches with the aim to actively use theory to discuss and reflect on site and project.   


Students will get insights into various ways of approaching and intervening in sites in transformation through design strategies, cultural innovation and temporary interventions.

Students will gain knowledge of the potentials and conflicts that exist around integrating temporary projects as part of long term planning strategies.

Students will gain insight into the interrelation between spatial appearances and the underlying site policies and agendas.

Identify potentials and qualities in transforming urban landscapes through spatial site analysis and stakeholder interaction.
Translate findings into architectural and strategic concepts for short term and long term interventions.
Work independently with concept development, material and design exploration and construction of small scale architectural installations
Develop and draw wider design strategies for areas in transition
Collaborate with student colleagues as well as local actors
Modulate building materials through both handheld and digital building tools (such as CNC cutters) and work with mixed media approaches.

Translate empirical experiences into theoretical reflections – and reverse
Work conceptually with artistically founded site-specific architectural interventions and prototypes in combination with other representational modes of the discipline

Draw and map design interventions into the context of wider area  development strategies on multiple scales
Design and build installations in full scale incorporating design decisions and process management
Interact and collaborate in a complex setting of students, teachers and often a wide range of external stakeholders

The 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 analytical, conceptual and aesthetic qualities of the students’ collective work, including assessment of the coherency in both the process and the final project and proposal. Criteria are based on the specific content and annual theme of the course as well as the overall aim of the course.


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 a 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.

Maps,  literature, fieldtrips, lectures, case study site, organised group collaborations, exercises, construction tools and space, project presentations, student feed back sessions, desk crit and supervision etc.

Minimum one year from a design oriented education such as landscape architecture, urban design, etc. Students from art history, geography, anthropology 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 and 1:1 prototyping.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

The course is identical to NIGK15032U Urban Intervention Studio.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

The course contains ongoing weekly supervision of student groups with oral feed back on their design project and process, weekly collective presentations by students on both design projects and theoretical texts with peer feed back and group discussions, three presentations with feed back from guest crits and local stakeholders, as well as fellow students and supervisors.

Type of assessment
Written assignment, Ongoing preparation throughout the course
Oral examination, 20 min
Type of assessment details
Oral exam based on projects and assignments produced throughout the course. An overall assessment 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.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners.

Oral exam based on projects and assignments produced throughout the course. 20 minutes. An overall assessment 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.



Criteria for exam assessment

Please see learning outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 32
  • Preparation
  • 280
  • Exercises
  • 80
  • Excursions
  • 20
  • English
  • 412


Course number
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 4
A And C
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board of Geosciences and Management
Contracting department
  • Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinators
  • Bettina Lamm   (4-6a6d746948716f7636737d366c73)
  • Anne Margrethe Wagner   (3-68747e47706e7535727c356b72)

During the course, guests will contribute with lectures and supervision on both theoretical and practical topics that could include "art in public space", "graphic design", "tools and construction", "theories on publicness", "site knowledge and planning agendas" coordinated and adjusted to the specific theme of that years UIS course.

Saved on the 28-02-2023

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