Course code GLA305

GLA305 Analysis and design of contested landscapes III

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2022 - 2023 .

Course responsible: Jörg Rekittke, Jörg Dieter Sieweke
Teachers: Jake Robinson
ECTS credits: 15
Faculty: Faculty of Landscape and Society
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
25 students
Teaching exam periods:
Autumn parallel
Course frequency: Yearly
First time: Study year 2020-2021
Preferential right:
Students enrolled in the Master Landscape Architecture for Global Sustainability programme.
Course contents:

In the course, the analysis of a landscape builds on studio courses GLA302 and GLA304. Students apply design-related problem-solving approaches, to further develop their understanding of how to apply design thinking and design research in a globalized context.

Students work either individually or in small groups on design-research projects that are linked geographically and thematically by an overall studio theme and location. As a preparation for their Master thesis, students take a greater responsibility for the whole research process compared to GLA302 and GLA304.

The analysis work the students’ projects and the design process are carried out within a studio framework. Within this framework students actively explore different theories, concepts, and methods that are relevant for the development of their design project, and test their application and relevance in an iterative process.

The students are guided through the studio by short presentations and continuous feedback to the developing work. Feedback is provided by the responsible staff, and in form of peer reviews, in a mid-term and a final review. Special focus is on the relevance and plausibility of the individual design-research projects and the contribution of the projects compared to utilized sources and references.

Learning outcome:

The course aims to provide students with practical experience in how to

  • identify a relevant research question and frame a project accordingly.
  • plan and carry out a design-research project by applying a problem-solving approach


  • Students gain insight into how to carry out a design-research project.


  • Students are able to critically reflect on the integrity of their theoretical and conceptual ambitions and their methodological approaches, results and conclusions.

General competences:

  • Students can critically reflect on their own contribution compared to used sources and references.

Students can critically assess the relation between contested reality and academic and disciplinary insights and contribute a proposal.

Learning activities:
Short presentations, reviews, peer reviews, assignments
Teaching support:
Guidance to individual development of framing proposal and conducting research, feedback and reviews. Guidance to relevant references precedents best practice literature or other elements of professional canon.

Tailored with each thematic framework.

A course description, structure and syllabus will be provided in the beginning of each studio.

GLA301, GLA302, GLA303, GLA304 or demonstration of relevant alternative background.
Recommended prerequisites:

Be prepared for a Masters level self-responsible way of learning. e.g. A critical and creative mindset / moving beyond individual academic comfort zone.

Embrace cultural diversity and difference / Openness to re-evaluate standards, definitions and paradigms and conventional wisdom.

Graphic skills to represent a site and a project in two-dimensional (ideally three-dimensional) ways.

Graphic and communicative skills to comprehend, reflect and synthesize complex concerns.

Mandatory activity:

Assignments; all assignments need to be approved to pass the course

Expected full-time attendance (80%)

Active and coherent participation throughout the term in order to produce and aggregate work for the portfolio. (expected in a continuing and coherent mode of individual practice during the term.) Students are expected to demonstrate weekly progress in the development of the proposal and project development in iterations of conducting research and testing it in design application. This process is closely guided by studio instructors laying out the specific expectations - typically on a basis of weekly consultation.

On a trial and error basis of iterative testing and vetting of their ideas students take responsibility to drive their individual proposal and project. instructor (aka. critics) provide guidance and assistance. Students will utilize graphic tools of exploration and visualization of this process.

Students will actively participate in mid-term and other interims presentations.


A portfolio consisting of final project outcome(s) to be developed through the course of the term.

All submissions have to be submitted in ENGLISH ONLY.

Nominal workload:
375 hours
Entrance requirements:
Admission to the Master Landscape Architecture for Global Sustainability programme. External students may enroll based on individual qualification.
Type of course:

375 hours

25% structured teaching: consisting of lectures, short presentations, facilitated fieldwork, consultation of assignments, reviews.

75% self-study (individual students or student group project development)

An external examiner evaluates the final project outcome(s) and reviews the students’ work in the final review.
Examination details: Portfolio: Letter grades