80 501 Architecture on Display


Passed foundation level - admitted to master level

Recommended prerequisite knowledge

This studio course is for all students with an interest in architectural debate, architectural history and theory, writing, reading, model building, and exhibition design.

Course content

"Architecture on Display" is a research based studio course organized in collaboration with the Oslo Centre for Critical Architectural Studies (OCCAS) and the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design. The course studies the relationship between architecture and public debate, looking particularly at the architectural competition as mass medium. From the competition for a Norwegian parliament building in 1856, to the Munch Museum competition in 2010, architectural competitions have triggered heated debates on identity, self expression, art, and modernity, and have been keys to urban and architectural development. Studying selected architectural competitions, this studio scrutinizes architectural competitions as vehicles for public negotiation and debate.

The course will result in an exhibition, built and designed by the students, as well as an anthology of essays. Through literature studies, archival research, model building, exhibition design, and academic writing, the course sets out to examine the relationship between architecture and public debate in modern Norway. The course is related to OCCAS' new research project "The Printed and the Built. Architecture and Public Debate in Modern Europe".

Learning outcomes

The students will curate an exhibition in AHO, parts of which will be shown also at the National Museum's architecture section in 2015. They will also write essays for an edited collection. Through this work, the students will gain experience with exhibition design, curatorial practice and theory, model building, and knowledge of architectural exhibitions. They will also gain experience in academic research and writing, archival practices and architectural theory. As such, the studio constitutes a research education, introducing students to the academic craft and fundamental issues related to architectural research.

Working and learning activities

Project design, lectures, reading seminars, archival research, individual research, academic writing, model building and exhibition design.

Professor in charge

Professor Mari Hvattum

Mandatory work requirements

Work requirements Number Number of approved Mandatory presence Comment


Assessment Date Duration Grade scale Oral examination
Prosjektoppgave Pass / Fail
Annen vurderingsform, definer i kommentarfelt Pass / Fail

Essay writing

Reading lists / teaching materials

Elser, Oliver and Peter Cachola Schmal (eds.) The Architectural Model: Tool, Fetish, Small UtopiaFrankfurt: Deutsches Architekturmuseum, 2012.

Habermas, Jürgen Borgerlig offentlighet: dens fremvekst og forfall (utdrag), Oslo:Gyldendal 1991.

Lending, Mari og Mari Hvattum, Vor Tids Fordringer: norske arkitekturdebatter 1818-1919, Oslo: Pax 2012.

Lipstadt, Hélène (red.), The Experimental Tradition. Essays on Competitions in Architecture, NY: Princeton Architectural Press 1989.