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40 332 Vitruvius – an investigation

Full course name in English: 
Vitruvius – an investigation
40 332
Syklus 2
2024 Høst
2024 Høst
Maksimum antall studenter: 
Victor Plahte Tschudi

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

Om emnet

The course reaches back to the foundational text in architecture, Vitruvius´ De Architectura (On Architecture) written ca. 20 BCE. It aims to re-evaluate the text and unravel the messages Vitruvius carries to today, concretized in specific areas of investigation. The first part of the course centers on understanding the text and its context, including some of Vitruvius´ central notions, and the books´ translations, interpretations, and publication history. A second part traces Vitruvius´ influence on architectural history and theory from antiquity to the present. A third part explores the relevance of Vitruvius today and aims to investigate how De architectura yields new and meaningful dimensions to the practice and thinking of architecture. Areas of investigation include materials, color, notions, gender, sustainability, the role of the architect, and the idea of the classical.



• Insight into the currents of architectural history from antiquity to the present.
• Understanding of bookmaking and publication history
• A grasp of central themes and notions in architecture that range from ideas such as beauty, “the classical”, and the problematic relation between architecture and words to the secrets of materiality, color, and the climatic impact on architecture nestling within Vitruvius´ text.



• Analysis and interpretation of text
• Presentations of text
• Ability to conceptualize ideas and remanifest them as concrete projects


General competence:

• Ability to do independent research, write and present short papers, imagination and dexterity to develop projects.

Praktisk organisering og arbeidsmåter

The course is organized as combination of lectures and seminars on Tuesdays throughout the term. The lectures provide a context for the work and is held by practicing architects, as well as book- and architectural historians. The seminars take the form of workshops in which texts are discussed and themes developed. The course includes a midterm presentation of a preselected text-passage from Vitruvius and a final presentation and exhibition of relevant projects. Short daytrips are also on the agenda.

Students meet weekly (Tuesdays) for obligatory seminars and lectures and are expected to actively participate in discussions. Work includes short oral presentations of “finds” and a final project of written and visual material.

Prosjektoppgave-Bestått / ikke beståttThe assessment is based on general course work and on a final project that consist of combination of visual material and an oral presentation
Karakterskala:Bestått / ikke bestått
Kommentar:The assessment is based on general course work and on a final project that consist of combination of visual material and an oral presentation