fbpx 80 416 Re-Store: Values | The Oslo School of Architecture and Design


80 416 Re-Store: Values

Full course name in Norwegian Bokmål: 
Re-Store: Values
Course code: 
80 416
Level of study: 
Teaching semester: 
2020 Spring
Assessment semester: 
2020 Spring
Language of instruction: 
Maximum number of students: 
Person in charge
Erik Fenstad Langdalen
Course content

In a time when architects have to reorient towards the reuse of existing buildings, there is a pressing need to discuss the premises upon which the discipline operates. We need to rethink our methods, working techniques and terminology, and raise the question of how we evaluate our cultural heritage. This elective course on experimental preservation aims to interrogate the theoretical and conceptual frameworks used (historically and contemporarily) to approach the preservation and reuse of buildings, cities, and landscapes.


Different categories of value permeate our culture, and are prescriptive for the ways in which society perceives its material framework. A heritage object’s importance, worth,or usefulness is subject to fluctuating opinions and practices, as is its mere status as a ‘preservation-worthy’ object. But what, exactly, are the values that prompt the preservation of a monument, regulate its reuse, and allows for its continued existence? Where are these values grounded, and by whom are they defined? 


Value is an abstract term with a myriad of denominations. This seminar examines the multiple aspects of “value” that each, in its way, condition the preservation, use, longevity and estimation of monuments and material heritage. 


Examples of categories for valuation:

  1. Age value 

  2. Authenticity (and its subcategories; processual, material, etc)

  3. Useability

  4. Occurrence and uniqueness 

  5. Pedagogical value

  6. Symbolic value

  7. Representative value (memory, identity, ideology)

  8. Anecdotal value

  9. Exchange value, market value, material value

  10. Labor cost

  11. Newness-value, zeitgeist and fashion

  12. Imposed values (herein colonialism and postcolonial critique)

  13. Contested values, permanence and flux 

  14. Zoom -- the scalar sensitivity of values, and the perceptions of value at different scales (urban, architectural, material)

Learning outcome

The course will familiarize students with the history of preservation and its current discourse. Students will develop analytical, interpretive, critical, and creative skills essential to work with preservation projects. Through individual studies and group discussions, participants will be encouraged to examine their own disciplinary position, and be equipped with the critical and communicative abilities necessary to participate in the public discourse on the field.

Working and learning activities

Drawing from a diverse pool of canonical, experimental, academic, poetic, speculative, contemporary, and historical texts, the students will be assigned readings relating to the week’s topic for discussion. Each session will begin with a contextualizing introduction by the instructors, including a relevant case study. This will form the basis for a student-led discussion, informed by the predefined topic, the assigned readings, and the set case study.

In addition to the readings, the course will have weekly deliverables in the form of a word/image diptych (a short text coupled with visual media). These will, by the end of the semester, form a collective “catalog of values”.

Students are expected to attend all course days and be active participants in the seminar activities. 


Evaluation of "catalogue" with written and visual material 

Form of assessmentGroupingGrading scaleComment
Portfolio assessment (Vurderingsmappe)IndividualPass / failThe portfolio contents both written and graphical material.
Form of assessment:Portfolio assessment (Vurderingsmappe)
Grading scale:Pass / fail
Comment:The portfolio contents both written and graphical material.