40 618 Småbruk: a design for a pocket farm


Students who register for this course MUST ALSO ENROLL IN THE ELECTIVE COURSE “Where from: Architecture", because the schedule for the studio and this course are synchronized to allow for the 5 weeks the studio will spend away from Oslo.

Exceptions are made for students who are doing their diploma program or who would like to take a self-programmed (selvprogrammering) elective course.

Maximum number of students: 12

We do not encourage students to take SCS studios for more than one semester.

Course content

SCS has developed a long term strategic partnership with Nes Kommune. Nes’ main objective for this cooperation is to develop and make manifest its concern for an environment which is sustainable and embodies the potential for a good life for its residents. More specifically Nes would like to develop a well planned, designed and managed strategy for the preservation of its rural and wilderness areas as well as its predominantly agricultural character so that they can provide an environment which sustains a way of life which is attractive, functional and sustainable.

Nes is located in a very special situation, although it is rural and its economy is agricultural, it is (almost) at commuting distance from Oslo, a distance which 'shortens' as Oslo grows. With its beautiful pastoral landscapes it is bound to become a commuting target in the near future. The urban migration to Nes will be further fuelled by a rural perspective and rural values which have had a deep cultural meaning in the building of the Norwegian national identity and play a significant role on how Norwegians want to live their lives. In the near future Nes will be exposed to significant socio-spatial changes, something which makes it a particularly interesting, and at the same time sensitive, object of study.

To accommodate the increasing population Nes has already tried alternative settlement patters, such as densifying areas around commuting terminals: bus and rail stations. Although these patterns contribute to absorb some of the increasing population, they also contribute to the creation of an environment which local residents do not identify with. With these considerations in mind Nes Municipality would like to try out different settlement patterns, ones which are closer to the current nature of Nes. One of these patterns is the smallholding (småbruk), a ‘pocket farm’ which would allow a family to live in a rural agricultural setting, grow much of what they consume, have animals, etc. and yet live at an easy commuting distance from Oslo.

The objectives of AHO are primarily didactic; to provide students with the experience of reflecting on, designing for, and building for real, contemporary sensibilities and needs. AHO has been, and intends to remain, engaged in the development of the environment within which it is located. It aims to be an active agent in contributing to determine the nature of its local environment. Being an academic institution it is free to adopt critical and innovative attitudes to both current and expected environmental conditions, at the same time being keenly aware that responsible innovation comes out of serious research. AHO is also conscious that innovation carries risks which are inherent in experimentation. Risks which are part of proposing innovative views and alternatives which other agents would find difficult to put forth.
The combination of a Kommune who is deeply committed to creating an environment which is both sustainable and embodies the potential for a good way of life, and AHO, who is committed both to a critical view of the present and innovation for a better environmental future, should produce a cooperation which is highly beneficial and enriching for both institutions.
Wikipedia defines Småbruk, smallholding in English, as
“… a small farm. In third world countries, smallholdings are usually farms supporting a single family with a mixture of cash crops and subsistence farming. As a country becomes more affluent and farming practices become more efficient, smallholdings may persist as a legacy of historical land ownership practices. In more affluent societies, smallholdings may be valued primarily for the rural lifestyle that they provide for the owners, who often do not earn their livelihood from the farm.”
Småbruk: a design for three pocket farms.
Dystlandhaugen Farm, the owners and clients for the project, is located in Skogvigda, Nes. The main farm buildings consist of three houses, a large barn and ancillary buildings. The barn has been converted into a music recording studio and is used by the son of the current farm owner, a blues musician called Amund Maarud, for his musical activities.

Amund Maarud from Wikipedia:
Amund Maarud (født 7. april 1981) er en norsk blues/rockemusiker (gitar og vokal) og låtskriver fra Nes i Akershus. Han er kjent som soloartist og som frontfigur i rockebandet The Grand (2005–2010) og duoen Morudes (2010–) med broren Henrik.
Amund Maarud er kjent for mange som en av Norges beste bluesgitarister. Han har turnert innland og utland med ulike band, til stor begeistring fra såvel publikum som pressen. Konsertene blir uten unntak beskrevet som forrykende live-show som kombinerer ulike elementer fra blues til psykedelisk rock.
Sammen med Henrik Maarud på slagverk startet han som seksåring MaarudKara. Bandet kom på andre plass i Talentiaden på NRK i 1997 og ga året etter ut albumet First Blues påTylden & Co.. I 2000 startet han solokarriere backet opp av bandet Amund Maarud Band, fortsatt med broren Henrik som trommeslager og med blues på repertoaret. Bandet ga ut to album (Ripped, Stripped & Southern Fried (2003) og Commotion (2004)), og ble nominert til Spellemannprisen 2003 i klassen blues/country for debutalbumet Ripped, Stripped & Southern Fried. I 2006 startet han bandet The Grand. Bandet hadde samme besetning som Amund Maarud Band, men hadde et mer rockete og psykedelisk uttrykk. Bandet ga ut EP`en The Grand EP (2007) og albumet The Grand (2007). Bandet har for tiden pause på ubestemt tid.
Sammen med broren Henrik startet han i 2010 duoen Morudes og startet rundt årsskiftet 2010/2011 et nytt soloprosjekt under eget navn. Soloprosjektet har et musikalsk uttrykk som ligger nærmere tradisjonell gitarblues. Med han på scenen er Henrik på trommer, Simen Aanerud på piano, og Bendik Brænne på barytonsax. Han figurerer dermed i to band som har mange likheter i opprinnelse, men som skiller i tolkning og fremføring. For soloalbumet Electric fikk han Spellemannprisen 2011 i klassen blues.
Albumet Dirt kom oktober 2012 og høstet flere meget gode kritikker og ble nominert til Spellemannprisen 2012 i klassen blues.
Amund Maarud debuterte som skuespiller i filmen Kommandør Treholt og Ninjatroppen som hadde premiere i august 2010. Han er medeier i Snaxville Studio.

To the north of Dystlandhaugen Farm there is a wooded area divided into four sites. One of the sites is occupied by a house built in the 1980s and currently rented out. The three empty sites will be the location of the houses of the pocket farms which we will design. The wooded area on which these sites are located is very rocky and not suitable for agriculture, for this reason each pocket farm will get an adjacent site within the currently ploughed fields which they can use for their agricultural activities.

The intention is to lease or sell the sites to families who want to live in a totally rural setting, having the possibility to do a limited amount of agricultural activities, and yet be close enough to Oslo to be able to commute. A kindergarten, a school, and a small shop are within a couple of kilometres of the site.

It is envisioned that this group of four pocket farms (which includes the existing 1980s house) will form a group which will share some common facilities. It has not yet been determined what the nature of these common facilities will be but they may include parking, storage for agricultural machinery, a greenhouse, playground, etc. The SCS studio is asked to design a site plan for the whole group, design each of the three houses, and design and build the common facilities.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge, skills and competences:
On completing the course, the student:

• will know about, and develop skills and competences related to a group of four houses with associated agricultural activities.
• will know about, and develop skills and competences about detailing and specifications of small houses with common shared spaces.
• will know about, and develop skills and competences about building regulations regarding housing
• will know about, and develop skills and competences about building costs and budget management during construction
• will have acquired the skill for using manual tools for building
• will have acquired the skill for using mechanical tools for building
• will know about, and develop skills and competences about designing and building in conditions of scarcity and for specific climatic conditions

Working and learning activities

The development of the work during the semester will follow a pre-determined path which has been thought out in order to provide the pace and logistics which the studio needs to follow if it is to fulfill its aims.
We will work as if we were one architectural studio fulfilling a commission, some of the work will be individual, mostly architectural design, but most of the work will be done in groups. Everyone is expected to contribute to this joint effort performing those tasks which are for the benefit of the whole studio. Except for the start of the semester the studio will focus on joint production rather than individual expression. In the end the chosen project which is built will be the product of all of the members of the studio, regardless of the individual roles each may have played. This set-up very much reflects the way in which contemporary architecture is produced.
Step one: Each student will develop individual proposals for the project.
Review one: review of the individual projects and choice of projects which continue. Individual contributions must meet minimum design development standards that one would expect for an AHO graduate student.
Step two: Students will form teams of two or three. The composition of the teams will be based on similar/compatible/complementary characteristics of the individual projects delivered in Step One. Each of these teams will develop one joint design initiated by others, which will bring together characteristics of the individual designs.
Review 2: Review of the team projects and choice of projects which continue.
Step three: The Studio will choose one project to build for which it will develop a complete set of architectural drawings, a detailed list of all materials required for the construction, assembly instructions, and costs.
Review 3: Review of the mock-ups, lists of materials, cutting schedules, assemblies, and construction phasing with a view to discussing construction difficulties which may arise during the construction period.
Step Four: Construction, period of four or five weeks.
Step Five: Preparing the work for the AHO WORKS exhibition.
Final Review: Final examination/review to assess the work of the semester will occur during the last week of the semester. The exact date will be determined further on, but please do not plan to leave Oslo prior to the end of the semester.
Teaching Methods:
The studio will be based mainly on one-to-one and group discussion of student work supplemented by discussions, demonstrations, and lectures.
Students who join this studio will have to also enroll in the Architecture: Where from? Course because its contents and scheduling are linked to the studio program development.
It is a requirement of the course that students spend the time needed to construct the building in Nes. Although it is difficult at this stage to determine the length of the period of construction our estimation is four to five weeks. During this time students will have to pay for their own food. It is likely that our client will provide accommodation in the large barn. Students must also pay for all travel to and from the site and take out insurance that covers them during the construction period.

The assessment will be on the basis of submissions, performance and participation in the studio.
Students will be asked for specific submissions during the semester. These submissions are part of the development of the project for Småbruk: a design for a pocket farm. As much of the work is done in groups, participation is of the utmost importance.
The final assessment will be made by the sensor and will be based on:
1. The individual submission for stage one of the project.
2. The level of participation and contribution to the collective work.
3. The assessment of the work achieved by the studio as a whole.
The minimum attendance to the studio activities is 80% of organised events.
The final decision as to the performance of each student will be taken by the external examiner (sensor) on the basis of both group performance, the report on individual participation done by the teachers, and a portfolio showing the extent of individual and collective contributions to the studio. The assessment of participation and contribution of each student to the studio will count for 60% of the final mark while the submission of the group and individual work will count for 40%.

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Professor in charge

Christian Hermansen


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

The participation and contribution of each student to the studio will count for 60% of the final mark.
The submission of the group and individual work will count for 40%.