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40 533 Body & Space Morphologies : LISTA - Field Studio III

Full course name in English: 
Body & Space Morphologies : LISTA - Field Studio III
40 533
Syklus 2
2020 Høst
2020 Høst
Maksimum antall studenter: 
Rolf Gerstlauer
  • The course is open for students of all the study-fields at AHO (architecture, landscape architecture and design).
  • Returning Body & Space Morphologies students are prioritized.
  • Ops! Due to Norway's health-related travel restrictions during the covid-19 pandemic, the course is planned to be taught online. However, if travel restrictions are made obsolete, the course will also be taught in situ and students can choose to conduct their studies in parts, or for the whole semester, in Lista, Southern Norway.*
  • Ops! If signing up to this master-course, students are advised to also sign up to the supporting elective course Body & Space Morphologies : Architecture & Film – ANY Boarded Stories.
Om emnet


Body & Space Morphologies: Content, Overall Aims and Methods

Body and Space Morphologies is a research-based teaching program placed in the field of Architecture & Culture studies. Dedicated to Phenomenology in Architecture, the program offers Trans-Disciplinary master studios and elective courses in explorative architectural and pre-architectural making, sensing and thinking.

From The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Phenomenology (2012, Dan Zahavi, ed.):
“Phenomenology shares the conviction that the critical stance proper to philosophy requires a move away from a straightforward metaphysical or empirical investigation of objects to an investigation of the very framework of meaning and intelligibility that makes any such straightforward investigation possible in the first place. It precisely asks how something like objectivity is possible in the first place.”

Our attempt is to partake in the discourse on the Phenomenology of Architecture by working and studying Architectural Phenomenology outside of the Conventions of Architecture. In theory, this can mean a free-thinking, and to some degree also a “free-making” and/or “free-looking”, yet in the realm of our studios it means the making of a dedicated Artistic Research which is looking for the Creation of a Material Practice in which the student can gain a certain expertise in and through which the discourse on the Phenomenology of Architecture can be tried on – if it not already is embodied by the material itself.

We aim at preparing and enabling students to conduct their own investigation into Architectural Phenomenology understood as a Research Creation; a working mode creating an inspired Material Practice “attuned to process rather than the communication of outputs or products” (https://thepedagogicalimpulse.com/research-methodologies/). We consider this to be the Artistic Parallel to both Traditional Scholarly Research and Common Architectural Design Practice.

The Body & Space Morphologies Master Studios for autumn 2020:

  • LISTA - Field-Studio #III (24 ects)
  • CATHARSIS – Acting and The Collective #X (24 ects) - see separate course description

The Body & Space Morphologies Elective Course for autumn 2020 (advised for LISTA - Field-Studio students):

  • ARCHITECTURE & FILM - any Boarded Stories #V (6 ects) - see separate course description



The LISTA Field-Studio #III (24ect):

In collaboration with Farsund Commune, private business and landowners, the Body and Space Morphologies teaching and research unit established the LISTA Field-Studio as a separate course module for students who want to explore and study the affordance (or issues) residing in this particular cultural landscape. Through the works of the students, the LISTA Field-Studio collects and shows a growing body of artistic research that reflects on issues of - or that makes new subjects relative to – the Lista peninsula.

Based on performativity and affordance theories, performance and performance studies, disability and neurodiversity studies as well as phenomenology and perception theories, the LISTA Field-Studio works and investigates concrete environments/material/processes/phenomena/conditions and develops or performs a series of experienced distinct objects/installations/movements that are/behave relational, that inspire imagination, that provide fresh knowledge, architectural/environmental interests and/or architectural/cultural identities.

The LISTA Field-Studio provides students with the possibility to spend shorter or longer periods on the LISTA peninsula OR/AND to view it on a digital platform like an alien Oumuamua. Students can do/act out larger physical structures, individually or in groups, based on their initiative to meet the landscape with its inhabitants:

Lived life/burial sites/wood/stones/flora/hollings/dancers and hunters from long ago - sounds/conspiracies/salamanders/bacteria and meteor fragments - a smiling moon/skies/arrow heads and the red rock - accidents/dreams/lies/myths/wind/light/friends/foes/ghosts and black suns… exploding/imploding. The Lista peninsula as a test site for equal habitation, where “We don’t dwell in nature; we live amongst each other.” (https://archinect.com/features/article/150038500/social-soup)


For the LISTA Field-Studio:

The LISTA Field-Studio students learn how to develop strong initiatives for an explorative working process that acts on impulse and that creates visual/haptic experience that again stimulates, or re-states/re-news, architectural content. As a student in the LISTA Field-Studio one is asked to submit to performativity as the instance in which to act a material, environment, movement or event - hence the individual act, or the acting and making, makes also the discursive space of the social(ly) employed collective phenomenology in architecture: the three forms of creativity that in Norwegian language are skaperglede, skapertrang and skaperkraft, make in sum again that what could be named as “skaperkunnskap” – the Creative Knowledge about this which is created.

After completing the course, the student should have:

Knowledge of

  • the basics in phenomenology of architecture and the various practices that exist within (and that can become part of) architectural phenomenology

  • the basics in affordance theory and the theories concerning objecthood and/or object relations as means to fuel and reflect upon a material practice and/or artistic research in the field of architecture

  • the basics in performance and performance studies that make body & space morphologies: ways of making, looking at, discussing and seeing/understanding qualia and perception in the working of architecture

  • the basics in disability studies and neurodiversity studies as the necessary activist movements working and re-defining the human condition from “all the world’s a stage” (Shakespeare) towards for all of the human spectrum with its diverse behavior

  • the basics of performativity, language and speech acts as the tools that can add value to the making and a work – but that not necessarily must seek to replace the issues at stake in a work or a thing

  • the foundational preparations for an advanced haptic visual and experimental artistic research leading to a material practice and/or architectural phenomenology

Skills in

  • finding, developing and/or embracing initiatives for the making of an inspired, explorative and imaginative artistic research

  • manufacturing physical and/or visual (or otherwise sensible/perceptible) works and gaining a unique expertise in the craft(s) deployed in the making of these artifacts

  • conducting this artistic research with the desire to make or pursue a material practice containing, or inviting for, reflections in phenomenology of architecture / architectural phenomenology

  • deploying complementary ways of working and means of creative investigations that make, demonstrate or narrate a dialogue between the works inherent qualities and how this connects to (or can become) issues, phenomena and/or subjects in the world

  • maintaining a personal diary of the making that can be worked into documents of the making aiming at a third-party readability

  • approaching environments, situations and discussions phenomenological and applying and recognizing performativity in speech and action as productive means from which to provoke and receive social employed knowing in trans-disciplinary teams

Competence in

  • developing distinct initiatives and choosing the craft in which to act or work them so as to partake in the discourse on the phenomenology of architecture

  • approaching and acting on impulse with all sorts of material, objects, environments and/or events and gaining valuable experience, artefacts and/or documents from this

  • conceiving of and presenting/communicating unique architectural content/research through a haptic visual material and the phenomena or conditions contained and experienced in it

  • understanding the mechanisms and rhetoric of systems of oppression, learned behavior, eugenics and stigma that are un-productive and unsustainable (in the field of architecture as well as in the systems we call architecture)

  • developing and/or pursuing life-long initiatives for a material practice in architectural phenomenology that is independent of, and/or adaptable to, any kind of professional commission

  • not knowing a thing, but having the passion, dedication, endurance and imagination to wanting to get to know it


Gerstlauer, Dind, Pilskog, Skjeldsøy, Xu - AHO, April 2020



Praktisk organisering og arbeidsmåter

Online tutoring and/or possible in situ Lista studies:

The LISTA Field-Studio is run by the architects Jan Gunnar Skjeldsøy and Anders Eik Pilskog, Stiv Kuling AS, Farsund. Their atelier will serve as common place for discussions and all supervising either through online tutoring or/and - if the situation allows for it - also in 1:1 class meetings.

Due to the extraordinary situation of the covid-19 pandemic we plan to facilitate this semester as an online course with weekly online meetings. This allows for the students to be free about their whereabouts. However, if the situation allows for it and Norway's current travel restrictions are made obsolete, we encourage the students to be at Lista as much as possible.

Students interested in working for periods of their semester in Lista should contact the course leaders as soon as possible in order to accommodate for their needs such as lodging and work space - again, this applies only if Norway's travel restrictions are made obsolete. There will be free accommodation in place if this possibility opens up.


In case AHO is no more in Lockdown:

The Lista Field-Studio is part of the Body & Space Morphologies semester, hence students - when in Oslo and not in Lista - have a workplace in the Catharsis studio (S 12) where also the Body & Space Morphologies candidates do their diploma thesis works.  We allow for joint workshops and excursion weeks amongst our studios - but wish to emphasize that each of the Body & Space Morphologies courses runs their own program and fascilitates their own reviews.


Excursion / Study trip:

As a joint venture between all the Body & Space Morphologies studios, we aim for a collaborative work-week together with the French artists Magali Daniaux and Cedric Pigot (www.daniauxpigot.com). Together we explore and travel text and poetry in the speculative of a bodily archeology… ending in a pamphlet… making a cocktail. This either will take place online or - if possible - as a real physical & digital journey involving travels to the Lista peninsula.


The Body and Space Morphologies studios collaborate with capacities in other fields of the Humanities (and the Science) providing us with the Trans-Disciplinary syllabus (lectures, readings and field-studies / excursions) necessary to individually and collectively ponder and reflect on Phenomenology in Architecture; the Human Condition and the Creative Act it is to make and conceive of Relational Objects or Architectural Phenomenology.


Rolf Gerstlauer, professor, architect and multimedia artist/researcher at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, AHO. Head of the Body and Space Morphologies research and teaching program. Maintains an artistic practice together with Dind and collaborates with her in implementing aspects of Disability and Neurodiversity Studies into the teachings of the Body and Space Morphologies studios. Teaches the Catharsis studio autumn 2020 (see separate course description).

Julie Valentine Dind, performer/artist/phd-student, Theatre Arts and Performance Studies, Brown University, Providence/USA. Dind’s scholarly work provides all the Body and Space Morphologies studios with an updated syllabus on Performance and Performance Studies, Disability Studies and the Neurodiversity Movement. The Body and Space Morphologies studios serve as laboratory in which this work is sought to be implemented into architectural education – and architecture per se.

Jan Gunar Skjeldsøy & Anders Eik Pilskog, architects, Stiv Kuling AS, Farsund/Norway. Skjeldsøy and Pilskog, both former AHO students, are long-term collaborators to the Body and Space Morphologies studios and since 2019 also our teaching assistants. Together they sign responsible to run and teach the LISTA Field-Studio for autumn 2020.

Wenkai Xu, did her Catharsis studio diploma thesis "A House for me and my animals" in January 2019. She is the Catharsis studio teaching assistant for autumn 2020 and works as alumnus with the continuation of her project, inspires the studio and together with Gerstlauer co-supervises the diploma works.

Recommended Literature and Mandatory Readings

At the start of the semester, a detailed "recommended reading list" is handed out. Most of those readings are for the semester made available in the course book-shelf in the AHO library. Additional readings, most of Dind's papers and other relevant texts that make the course syllabus / mandatory curriculum, are handed out as pdf's in the Moodle platform of the course.

ProsjektoppgaveIndividuellBestått / ikke beståttAttendance & participation – individual studio / or field work:
20 weeks full-time study. The work has to be conducted and performed in-situ in LISTA or in the Studio at AHO (or in case of an AHO lockdown; at home but made available on the moodle-platform) - the working material is present at any time.

Presence & participation - collective studio discussion:
Weekly talks, field-trips, lectures and studio discussions (in-situ in LISTA or in the AHO Studio - or in case of an AHO lockdown; online in video meetings). Frequent work reviews. Workshops. Book making. Film making. Final exhibition. Final review with invited guests-critics.
Karakterskala:Bestått / ikke bestått
Kommentar:Attendance & participation – individual studio / or field work:
20 weeks full-time study. The work has to be conducted and performed in-situ in LISTA or in the Studio at AHO (or in case of an AHO lockdown; at home but made available on the moodle-platform) - the working material is present at any time.

Presence & participation - collective studio discussion:
Weekly talks, field-trips, lectures and studio discussions (in-situ in LISTA or in the AHO Studio - or in case of an AHO lockdown; online in video meetings). Frequent work reviews. Workshops. Book making. Film making. Final exhibition. Final review with invited guests-critics.