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60 526 Edge landscape: Roles of parks and park systems in the contemporary city

Full course name in English: 
Edge landscape: Roles of parks and park systems in the contemporary city
60 526
Syklus 2
2024 Høst
2024 Høst
Maksimum antall studenter: 
Karin Helms

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

The course is mandatory for master students in Landscape Architecture, and open for Architecture students.

Om emnet

The studio aims to explore how to design new landscape typologies at the EDGE of the city through a classic park structure process. The studio also aims to understand the contemporary role of parks in connection to their ground, the existing urban landscapes, and the actual social demands. The studio will explore policies, such as "Park systems", "Green infrastructure", and landscape notions such as: "Edge landscape", "Landscape as a prerequisite for the urban" and "Ecologic urbanism" concept. The studio calls for active and creative modes toward design research for urban landscapes through a landscape design process.  

The site will be in Oslo's suburban area, combining a macro perspective and local area development. This Edge Park aims to provide a space for recreation, to be productive (food production for the community), and pedagogic for sharing activities with the local community, as well as an activator for more biodiversity in the suburban context.



  • On completion of this course, the student will be able to demonstrate an advanced level of design based on clear anlytical and conceptual thinking at different scales.
  • The studio presents the students with a theoretical understanding and a framework for assessing the landscape issues in an urban and suburban context.
  • Learnings of critical concepts for designing and evaluating interventions in public spaces and large-scale urban landscapes.
  • Over the semester, we engage in theoretical discussion, focusing on applying different theoretical perspectives to specific cases.
  • At a large scale, students will learn to: Understand landscape dynamics and methods to work at this scale. Learn to observe, investigate, and transcribe landscape data to mappings. Learn to use geologic and geographic maps and layers notions.
  • On a small scale, the studio will support the students in developing their landscape architecture general competencies in understanding the ground and its soil fertility, providing the practical and theoretical tools to design and specify the plantation and the initial maintenance of public spaces.


  • The coursework relies on essential tools, hand drawing and software within landscape design to represent spatial and material conditions. Examples are AutoCAD, Adobe package, 3D modelling programs (Rhino), and GIS.
  • We will apply various tools for mapping, analysing, and assessing sites, and capture insights about needs, challenges, and opportunities for design. Models will be a tool to understand contourlines and topography in landscape projects as founder of a long term project. Through the creative group process of integrating insights from mapping into feasible designs, you learn fundamental principles and tools for designing and running creative processes, 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 achieving particular development aims for an area. We strive to help the students find their vision and creative language for future landscapes.

When completing the course, students will have developed an 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, sections, and model tools, they can derive insights about the specificity of the site and review those insights from theoretical and scientific perspectives. Finally, using a conscious creative process, they can integrate theoretical and applied perspectives to devise designs that consider site-specific aspects and make meaningful interventions. 

Praktisk organisering og arbeidsmåter

The studio is organised around three phases: 

1 Group work: Large-scale analysis and diagnosis stage, mapping on landscape and urban dynamics. References and big-data research with support of methodologic lectures. Study trip: park, garden, and green infrastructure visits in town and suburban sites of Oslo. The lecture series on Mondays will be part of the theoretical support. Learnings of digital tools and large-scale mapping will be held during intensive weeks. Large-scale landscape structures and landscape surveys are part of this first stage of the studio. This stage ends with an Interim presentation.

2 Individual work: Selection of an area within the large-scale study area for scenario development. Elaborating a clear concept for a comprehensive design, operating at various scales. Design research and visualisation. Tools: Drawings, digital or hand drawing, conceptual models, ideas expressed in words. Theoretical discussions and debates on the role of parks today. This stage ends with an interim presentation with internal guests from AHO.

3 Individual work: Work through scales, the incidence of the landscape long-term project on the urban development, and proposal for future urban expansions. Small-scale design elaboration and details of planting construction. An intensive week with focus on plant use will be part of the 3rd part of the studio time. Final presentation of the results will be presented to experts from outside AHO.



Attendance and work for all three work stages are expected. Work and discuss the ongoing work with the other students, thanks to attendance at the studio, is part of the studio learning. 

Students are expected to join studio teaching days and outdoor teaching. Students are expected to be in class on Mondays and Thurdays throughout the semester.



Excursions are outdoor teachings: there will be more of them around Oslo. One outdoor teaching will take place in Sweden. We will visit the Forest Laboratory of the University of SLU Alnarp in Bus – a two-day excursion in Malmö. The course pays for the Bus to Malmö; students must arrange and pay for the accommodation and way back to Norway. In case a student cannot take part due to, for instance, Visa problems, we will give research work on “creative urban forests” thanks to a literature list.


Click here for reading list in Leganto.

ProsjektoppgaveIndividuellBestått / ikke beståttProject assignment: Each student works individually with a project in three phases during the whole semester. Deliveries from all three phases are required.
Karakterskala:Bestått / ikke bestått
Kommentar:Project assignment: Each student works individually with a project in three phases during the whole semester. Deliveries from all three phases are required.