40 407 Architecture: Where From?


This course is ONLY for students who are enrolled in the SCS Studio Public Events Space: Ecuador 428, Valparaiso, because the schedule for this course and the studio are synchronized to allow for the 5 weeks the studio will spend away from Oslo.

Maximum number of students 12

Course content

This lecture series departs from the assumption that architects hold belief systems, or sets of convictions, which are at the origin of the way they conceive and produce architecture. Using the work of architects who represent different departure points, the lecture series will be the vehicle by which to speculate around the issue of belief systems and convictions that sustain particular forms of architecture.

The proposed list of lectures is:

Lecture 1 Where does architecture emerge from? Introduction, C Hermansen
Lecture 2 What is architecture? Mari Hvattum
Lecture 3 Title to come Mari Lending
Lecture 4 Space and the social Jonny Aspen
Lecture 5 Architecture and Experimentation Marcin Wojcik
Lecture 6 Urban Design example: Title to come Peter Hemmersam
Lecture 7 Architecture as formal act, Frank Gehry C Hermansen
Lecture 8 Activist Architecture Lisbet Harboe
Lecture 9 Progress vs Architecture, the work of Rintala Eggertsson, C Hermansen
Lecture 10 Le Corbusier: Title to come Thomas McQuillan
Lecture 11 The poetics of architecture, Kahn and Fehn Per Olaf Fjeld
*** Lecturers, lecture titles and dates have to be confirmed.

In parallel to this lecture series each student will be asked to write an essay of 3000 to 5000 words, in English, about an architect in whose work he/she is particularly interested and in which the relation between the architect’s principles/belief system and the architectural work are explored.

Learning outcomes

On completing the course, the student:
• will be given the opportunity to think and discuss the issue of the fundamental relationship between belief systems and the architectural work that results from them.
• will be taught how to research the issue of the relationship between belief systems and the architectural work that results from them.
• will be taught and guided in library and internet research.
• will be guided on how to do interviews, if the chosen architect is available.
• will be guided on how to construct and argument in an essay which aims to shed light on the relationship between belief systems and the architectural work that results from them.

Working and learning activities

The course will be based on:
o Symposia: lectures followed by discussions.
o Individual research work: the thought and output of one architect, chosen by the student. This work will be mostly conducted in libraries and the internet. This work will be individually supervised.
o Presentations of the work in progress open to discussion by the members of the course.

The assessment will be based on:
Attendance and participation in course lectures (40%)
Participation in the work in progress sessions and delivery of the final essay (60%).


Forty, Adrian, Words and Buildings: A vocabulary of Modern Architecture, N.Y.: Thames and Hudson, 2000.
Architectural Theory, from the Renaissance to the Present, London: Taschen, 2003.
Mallgrave, Harry Francis, Architectural Theory: An Anthology from 1871 to 2005 (vol.2), London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2008
Craig, C., Cairns, S., Heynen, H. (eds), The SAGE Handbook of Architectural Theory, London: SAGE, 2012.
Smith, K. (ed), Introducing Architectural Theory, N.Y.: Routledge, 2012.
Mallgrave, Harry Francis, David J. Goodman, An Introduction to Architectural Theory: 1968 to the Present, London: Wiley, 2011.
Borgmann, Albert. The destitution of space: from cosmic order to cyber disorientation,Harvard design magazine, 2000 Winter-Spring, p.12-17

Pollard, Joshua, The Materialization of Religious Structures in the Time of Stonehenge, Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art and Belief, Volume 5, Number 3, November 2009, pp. 332-353.
Hendrix, John, Architecture as Cosmology: Lincoln Cathedral and English Gothic Architecture, N.Y.: Peter Lang, 2011.
Hart, Vaughan. Erich Mendelsohn and the fourth dimension, Arq: architectural research quarterly, 1995 Winter, v.1, n.2, p.50-59.

Borden, Iain, Katerina Rüedi Ray, The Dissertation: A Guide for Architecture Students, Oxford: Blackwell, 2008.
Turabian, Kate L. , A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, Chicago: U of Chicago Press, The seventh edition, published in 2007.
Wiseman, Carter , Writing Architecture: A Practical Guide to Clear Communication About the Built Environment, San Antonio, Texas: Trinity Univ. Press, 2014.

Professor in charge

Christian Hermansen