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80 413 Portfolios and Political Compasses

Emnenavn på Norwegian Bokmål: 
Portfolios and Political Compasses
Course code: 
80 413
Level of study: 
Teaching semester: 
2019 Spring
Assessment semester: 
2019 Spring
Language of instruction: 
Norwegian / English
Maximum number of students: 
Person in charge
Joao Doria de Souza
Required prerequisite knowledge

Admission to AHO and successful completion of three years bachelor level studies (180 ECTS).

Course participants must be able to keep a steady workflow, iterating in every week in order to build complexity over time. The course methodology will facilitate for that but it is each student's own responsibility to assure continuity in their participation.

Course content

Portfolios and Political Compasses is a part-seminar part-workshop elective course dedicated to discussing the dynamic relationship between a student's own set of intentions and the multiple ways in which their portfolio-object/thing can enable, enhance, expand and create an actual experience of said intentions.

Inspired by Alejandro Zaera Polo's "Well Into the 21st Century: Architectures of Post-Capitalism?" reflections already initiated in 1998 and revisited in an article published in El Croquis in 2015, the course will equip its participants with a modest cross-media publishing toolkit through a series of exercises to speculate an own political compass for their Design and Architecture practices.

In short: what's involved in showing your work in public, and how to make it personal while at the same time relevant to others?

Some practitioners have an online presence, some don’t. Some write for newspapers, some don’t. Some make collages, other make photoshoots, other make 3D renderings. Some film videos, some do livestreams. Some write articles, some use memes. Some do all of it together and more. Some say nothing should be done. Great things have been done through sketching on napkins in bar conversations (we won’t drink in class).

Guest faculty in Art History, Graphic Design, Architecture, Journalism, Curatorial Studies and Public Programming will join us over Skype, enhancing our collective investigation.

Learning outcome

Our collective speculation on Portfolios and Political Compasses will be articulated through prototyping portfolio formats in different media (print, film, web and performance) together with discussions about dissemination strategies that can establish one's set of ideas as a thing in the world.

Working and learning activities

Course participants will exercise short writing, documentation methods, collective critique and intensive editing of their own body of work, iterating presentations to their colleagues with increasing complexity towards a final prototype to be critiqued by an expert panel by the end of the semester. 

Short software tutorials will be offered in class regarding methods for image collection and catalogging, together with simple techniques for harnessing AHO's own print lab infrastructure with a particular focus on rethinking objects such as boards, post-it walls, and xerox printing.

The course will also present current / pre-existing tools for online publishing and problematize public presentation formats such as Pecha Kucha and Keynote/Powerpoint/TED-talks, discussing the match between intentions with presentation situations.

Students are encouraged to bringing their own/previous portfolios (if existent) as an initial body of content.


Zaera-Polo, Alejandro. Well Into the 21st Century: Architectures of Post-Capitalism? El Croquis 187: Sergison Bates Architects 2004–16, 2016.

Manovich, Lev. “Database as Symbolic Form.” Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 1 June 1999, doi:

Wall, Jeff. Pictures of Architecture - Architecture of Pictures: a Conversation between Jacques Herzog .. Walter De Gruyter & Co, 2004.

Mandatory courseworkCourseworks requiredPresence requiredComment
Presence required Required80 % presence required
Obligatoriske arbeidskrav:
Mandatory coursework:Presence required
Courseworks required:
Presence required:Required
Comment:80 % presence required
Form of assessmentGroupingGrading scaleComment
Portfolio assessment (Vurderingsmappe)-Pass / fail— 30% presence
— 50% iterative exercises
— 20% final delivery
Form of assessment:Portfolio assessment (Vurderingsmappe)
Grading scale:Pass / fail
Comment:— 30% presence
— 50% iterative exercises
— 20% final delivery