40 301 Architecture and Film; Morphology of Body and Space


No prerequisites, except for passed foundation level (bachelor in architecture).

Recommended prerequisite knowledge

The handling of (own) video and photo equipment and the respective software.

Course content

An investigation towards a discursive space in video/film.
- Architectural body and space in film have since the early days of film inspired and influenced architectural practice. New production and representation techniques in 3D-tools, games, film, and video continue to challenge our understanding for, and development of the architectural space.
- The intensive course Architecture & Film will focus on the morphology of body and space through investigations in photographic and moving images. The aim with the course is to further understand, influence and critically develop the architectural space through a phenomenological and perceptual approach.
- The course uses the video camera and editing software as creative tools to individually observe, register, and interpret different situations and phenomena – and with the aim to anew reflect upon and inform architectures spatial properties.
- In the final workshop that focuses on editing, every student should use the experience to argue for how an architectural space is created in the video montage – a space that cannot exist outside of the video.

Learning outcomes

The student will receive an introduction to theories of architecture, film, and video connected to the topic of the course. Practical exercises will provide a basic knowledge of the use of digital video camera and editing software (Adobe Premiere) as the tools for registration, observation and creative interpretation. Exercises, lectures, and discussions contribute to give the student the opportunity to develop a critical stance on the use of camera/editing software as architectural tools in order to further facilitate an advanced, experimental design based on a current, critical architectural discourse.

Working and learning activities

The course starts with a brief historical, theoretical and philosophical discussion on film in general, and on kinetic representation of architectural space in particular. Students will be introduced to the field of investigation through lectures, literature and a series of films and video art.
Exercises in video sketching* and video editing will train the students’ practical skills and insight in the relation between space and the image, and space in the image.
A typical course day consists of a lecture, the screening of a film/video and the production and discussion of the video sketches. The students work individually with the tasks and deliver at the end of the day. The material produced is discussed in plenum. Two days are reserved for the teaching and training the video editing software.
The final workshop-week has its own outline. This year's focus will be on the human body in motion and in the meeting with spatial infrastructures and/or obstacles. The course collaborates for this week together with the French/Swiss Butoh dancer Julie Dind. The results of that collaboration will be published.

*Video sketching: to draw – to doodle – to paint with video.

Professor in charge

Rolf Gerstlauer

Mandatory work requirements

Work requirements Number Number of approved Mandatory presence Comment
Attendance 15 course days 13 Ja

8 course days w/ lectures, exercises and reviews. 2 course days with seminars and software introduction. Mandatory final workshop week. A course day lasts from 09:30 to 17:00.

Project 7 films w/ text 7 Ja

6 video sketches plus 1 final edited film with poster (inclusive all text work) produced and reviewed.


Assessment Date Duration Grade scale Oral examination
Prosjektoppgave 10 days

Individuell oppgaveløsning 10 dager On each of the ten course days, a new challenge is presented and will be worked on individually and then discussed in plenum at the end of the day. The material handed in consists of a video and a short consise text.
Forelesninger 1,5 timer Each course day starts with an hour long talk on the challenge of the day (mandatory lecture).
Individuell veiledning 30 minutter The plenum discussion on each individual work handed in.
Workshops 1 uke(r) The final workshop runs from Monday to Friday. Each student works on her/his own film and installation and is meant to produce a final written critical reflection on the basis of her/his own produced visual material.
Eksamen 1 dager Extern sensors discuss the individual course days and assess the material of the final workshop week (final film + final text).

Annen vurderingsform, definer i kommentarfelt Pass / Fail

Extern sensors discuss the individual course days and assess the material of the final workshop week (final film + final text).

Reading lists / teaching materials

Recommended reading (not mandatory)



Aumont, J. (1997). The image. London: British Film Institute.

Barthes, R., & Heath, S. (1977). Image, music, text. London: Fontana Press.

Barthes, Roland (1984) Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography, London, Fontana Paperbacks.

Berger, John (1992). About Looking. [London]: Vintage.

Berger, John (1972). Why Look at Animals? [London]: Penguin Books.

Berger, John; with Dibb, Mike; Blomberg, Sven; Fox, Chris and Hollis, Richard (1972). Ways of Seeing. [London]: Penguin Books.

Derrida, J. (1987). The truth in painting. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Godard, J.-L., & Ishaghpour, Y. (2005). How video made the history of cinema possible. In: Cinema: the archeology of film and the memory of a century. Oxford: Berg.

Kracauer, Siegfried & Levin, Thomas Y. (1993) Photography. Critical Inquiry, 19, 421- 436.

Kracauer, Siegfried (1997) Theory of Film: the Redemption of Physical Reality, Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press.

Merleau-Ponty, M. (2012). Phenomenology of Perception. New York, NY: Routledge.

Sontag, Susan (2003). Regarding the Pain of Others, New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Sontag, Susan (1979). On Photography, London, Penguin.

Vilém (2000) Towards a Philosophy of Photography, London, Reaktion.

Viola, B., & Violette, R. (1995). Reasons for knocking at an empty house: writings 1973- 1994. Cambridge, Mass.: Anthony d'Offay gallery.


Film/Cinema – history/theory

Arnheim, R. (1957). Film as art. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press.

Arnheim, Rudolf (1999) Fra Film als Kunst. In Fossheim, H. J. (Ed.) Filmteori: en antologi. Oslo, Pax.

Faure, E. (1923). The art of cineplastics. Boston: The Four Seas Company.

Tarkovskij, A. (1987). Sculpting in time: reflections on the cinema. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Taylor, R., & Ėjzenštejn, S. M. (1998). The Eisenstein reader. London: BFI Publishing.


Cinema & Architecture

Keiller, P. (2007). Film as spatial critique. In: Rendell, J. (2007). Critical architecture . London: Routledge.

Neumann, D., & Albrecht, D. (1996). Film architecture: set designs from Metropolis to Blade runner. Munich: Prestel.

Penz, F., & Thomas, M. (1997). Cinema & architecture: Méliès, Mallet-Stevens, multimedia. London: BFI Publ.

Schöning, P. (2006). Manifesto for a cinematic architecture. London: Architectural Association.

Schöning, P., Löffler, J., & Azevedo, R. (2009). Cinematic architecture. London: AA Publications.

Toy, M. (1994). Architecture & film. London: Academy Editions.


Architecture and animation

Fear, B. (2001). Architecture + animation. London: Wiley-Academy.


To be extended / modified during the semester. Hand-outs (articles not included in this list) given on each course day are mandatory reading.