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60 526 Edge Landscape– the role of Park Systems in the contemporary city

Full course name in English: 
Edge Landscape– the role of Park Systems in the contemporary city
60 526
Syklus 2
2022 Høst
2022 Høst
Maksimum antall studenter: 
Karin Helms

Admission to AHO’s Master programme in Architecture or Landscape Architecture. The course is mandatory for Master’s students in Landscape Architecture. Basic knowledges in architecture, urban planning and landscape architecture are is required.  

Om emnet

The aim of the studio course is to explore how to design new landscape typologies at the edge of the city through a quite classic park structure process. The course works to understand the contemporary role of parks in connection to their ground, to the existing urban landscapes and linked to the actual social demand. The studio will explore policies, such as Park systems of the past, green and blue infrastructurn and notions of Edge landscape ( K.Helms 2019) and Landscape as a Prerequisite for the urban (M.Desvigne 2015),

The site will be in the nearby suburban area of Oslo combining a macro perspective and local area development. The purpose of this edge park is to provide a space for recreation, to be productive and pedagogic for shared activities in the local community. The overall objective is to enable the park at large scale to answer to the long-term demand for biodiversity in towns and participate to new mobility axes.



Knowledges/ Competences:

Competences in the field of knowledge and understanding, design, analysis and methods, social competences. On completion of this course the student will be able to demonstrate an advanced level of design, based on clear analytical and conceptual thinking at different scales.

The studio presents the students with a theoretical understanding and a framework for assessing and understanding the landscape issues in an urban and suburban context. Learnings of key concepts for designing and evaluating interventions in public spaces and large–scale urban landscapes.

Over the course of the semester we engage in theoretical discussion, focusing on the application of different theoretical perspectives to specific cases.

At a large scale students will learn to:

Understand large scale landscape dynamics.  Learn to observe, investigate  and transcribe landscape data over to mappings. Learn to use geologic and geographic maps and layer notions. Use landscape notions such as Edge Landscape (K.Helms 2019) and Landscape as a Prerequisite for the urban (M.Desvigne 2015).

At a small scale the studio will support the students in developing their landscape architecture general competences in: Understanding the grounding, and soil fertility in towns; Providing the practical and theoretical tools to design and specify the plantation and the initial maintenance of a public space. Simulate over a period the development of a community of plants and understanding the notion of landscape structure.  


The coursework relies on basic tools, hand drawing and software within landscape design to represent spatial and material conditions. Examples of these are AutoCAD, Adobe package, 3D modelling programs (Rhino), and others. There will be student support to learn these tools if not already acquired.

We will apply various tools for mapping, analysing, and assessing sites, and capture insights about needs, challenges, and opportunities for design. Through the creative group process of integrating insights from mapping into feasible designs, you learn key principles and tools for designing and running creative processes: Both individually and in groups. 

General competence

The course aims to develop the students’ ability to combine and integrate insight about the landscape in a creative process, leading to a specific design, that can convincingly contribute to achieve specific development aims for the area. We do aim to help the students to find their own vision, to be creative.

Graduating from the course, students will have developed awareness of how various aspects and factors affects a specific site, and will be able to describe these factors from a theoretically informed perspective. Using mapping tools, they can derive insights about the specificity of the site, and review those insights in both a theoretical and an applied perspective. Finally, using a conscious creative process, they can integrate theoretical and applied perspectives to device designs that take site specific aspects into account, and make meaningful interventions. 

Praktisk organisering og arbeidsmåter

The studio is organised around three phases: 


  • Group work: Large scale Analyse and diagnosis stage, mapping.  References and big data research with support of methodologic lectures. Study trip: park and garden as well as green infrastructure visits in town and suburban sites of Oslo. Draw while walking!  Evaluation of precedents. Guest lectures. Learnings of digital tools and mapping at large scale. This stage ends with an Interim presentation.    



  • Individual work: Selection on an area within the large-scale study area for scenario development. Elaboration of a clear concept for a comprehensive special design operating at variety of scales base. Design research and visualisation. Tools: Drawings, digital or hand drawing, conceptual models, idea expressed in words.  Theoretical discussions and debate on the role of parks today. This stage ends with an interim presentation.                                                


  • Individual work: Work through scales. Small scale design elaboration and details until planting construction. Incidence of the design over to the large scale and back to group work.

Final presentation of the results to experts or target group.

Evaluering og kvalitetssikring

Assessment:   Continuous assessment of practical work throughout the studio time, exercises, intermediate presentations and attendance to the studio will be important for the assessment. 


Click here for reading list in Leganto.

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