GLA305 Analysis and design of contested landscapes

Credits (ECTS):15

Course responsible:Jörg Rekittke, Jörg Dieter Sieweke

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk

Limits of class size:No participant limit

Course frequency:Annual

Nominal workload:375 hours

Teaching and exam period:Autumn parallel

About this course

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

The students work individually or in small groups on design research projects that are linked geographically and thematically by an overarching studio theme and location. In preparation for their master's thesis, students take on greater responsibility for the entire research process compared to GLA302 and GLA304.

The analysis work as part of the student projects, and the design process takes place in the studio. Meaningful fieldwork can be encouraged and practically integrated and organized, but is not compulsory. Within this framework, students actively explore different theories, concepts, and methodologies relevant to the development of their design project and test their application and relevance in an iterative process.

Students are guided through the studio through short presentations and continuous feedback on the evolving work. The feedback is provided by the responsible employees in the form of peer reviews, a midterm and a final review. Particular attention is paid to the relevance and plausibility of each design research project and the contribution of the projects compared to the sources and references used.

Learning outcome

The course aims to provide students with academic 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 enabled to critically reflect on the integrity of their theoretical and conceptual ambitions and their methodological approaches, results, and conclusions.

General competencies:

  • Students are enabled to reflect on their own contribution compared to used sources and references.

Students are enabled to critically assess the relationship between contested reality and academic and disciplinary insights and contribute a proposal.

  • Assignments, short presentations, group discussions, reviews, and peer reviews.
  • Guidance on how to customize the framework proposal and conduct research, feedback and reviews. Guidance on relevant references, precedents, best practice literature or other elements of the professional canon.
  • GLA301, GLA302, GLA303, GLA304 or demonstration of relevant alternative background.
  • A portfolio consisting of all those project results that were developed over the course of the studio and should ultimately serve as a result.

    Grading: A-F

    All submissions and presentations must be submitted or held in English.

  • An external examiner evaluates the final project result(s) and evaluates the students' work in the final assessment (final review).
  • Assignments: All assignments must be approved in order to pass the course.

    Expected full-time attendance (80% is mandatory).

    Active and coherent participation throughout the term to create and summarize work for the portfolio (Expected in a continuous and coherent manner of individual practice throughout the semester). Students are expected to demonstrate weekly progress in developing the proposal and project development in iterations of conducting research and testing in a design application. This process is closely guided by studio teachers who set out specific expectations—usually based on weekly consultations.

    On a trial-and-error basis, with iterative testing and validation of their ideas, students take responsibility for moving their individual proposals and project forward. Teachers (aka critics) provide guidance and support. Students will use graphical tools to explore and visualize this process.

    Students actively participate in the midterm review, final review, and all other interim presentations.

  • 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)

  • Students enrolled in the Master Landscape Architecture for Global Sustainability programme.
  • Letter grades
  • Admission to the Master of Landscape Architecture for Global Sustainability program. External students can enrol based on their individual qualifications. Students of the NMBU ILA master's program are welcome.