We see architecture as both diverse and complex, and believe that its practice requires both a holistic overview as well as a host of specialized competencies. AHO approaches the study of the discipline through research-based teaching and teaching-informed research.
The student/teacher interaction and instruction takes place the studio, where an understanding of architecture is studied through project design and developed through dialogue at the work table and public reviews. The program emphasizes originality, craftsmanship and the ability to communicate ideas.
Research at the school covers a range of fields, from basic studies in architectural history, materiality and ecology, performance and computation, and urbanism and landscape studies. Research work is tightly integrated with teaching, both at the Bachelor and Master's level.
The architecture program is organized in three institutes: Architecture, Urbanism and Landscape, and Form, Theory and History.
The Institute of Architecture focuses on building through a studio-based method of architectural design instruction, with focus areas in Space & Technique, Ecology, Materiality & Structure, Performance & Computation, Architecture & Culture, and Design in Practice.
The Institute of Urbanism and Landscape has focus areas that follow its current research in five themes: The European City with Greater Oslo as a Laboratory, Arctic Cities and Landscapes, Landscape Urbanism with a special focus on hydrology, Medium Scale African and Asian Cities and their Regions.
The Institute of Form, Theory and History operates in the intersection of architectural history and practice. It consists of four groups: Building Heritage, Architectural History, Form and Practice.