fbpx 60 527 The Forest | Arkitektur- og designhøgskolen i Oslo


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60 527 The Forest

Full course name in English: 
The Forest
60 527
Syklus 2
2020 Høst
2020 Høst
Maksimum antall studenter: 
Luis Callejas
Gro Bonesmo
Mattias Fredrik Josefsson


Landscape architecture students will learn how subtractive techniques can be powerful design tools for acting on large scale projects.

Architecture students will learn about the difference between designing the landscape and being inspired by the landscape. Architecture students will learn landscape specific design techniques that empower them to design beyond the perceived limits of buildings. 

Students from both fields will discover how the way we model a site has direct implications for the way we design.

Praktisk organisering og arbeidsmåter

Discussions around models and drawings.


After the mountain, the island, and the ocean, we will look into the forest.

As in previous studios, the course will focus on the intersection of architecture and landscape architecture by looking at their shared geographic tropes.

This course is in collaboration with the Yale school of architecture. Some activities, research and reviews are planed to be completed with a group of architecture students at Yale as part of the 2020 Louis Kahn chair.

As illustrated by Franz Heske's writings during the 1930s, practices as mundane as forest management can reflect, if not embody, prevailing religious beliefs and practices. The boreal forest is a cultural landscape that has triggered the imagination of Nordic designers across fields, however, there is still a general lack of attention among designers to the fact that most forests are intensively managed spaces, and as such, objects of design.

This is not a studio about wood, nor about buildings made of wood. It is about the invention of the forest as a cultural landscape, the need for an updated set of representations, and the spatial potential that emerges from more intense wood harvesting in the forests around Oslo. The studio will also question the prevailing urgency to use wood as a dominant material in Scandinavia, not in terms of sustainability, but rather to investigate the cultural significance of future forests if we are indeed moving towards a world built out of wood. As in previous studios the projects can be buildings or landscapes, however the methodology privileges ambiguous  projects that don’t fit clearly within disciplinary boundaries.

The forest as project

We will intentionally focus on two polarized scales, skipping everything in the middle. On one hand the persistent spatial metaphors originated in the studies of forests across different design cultures, while on the other hand, projects of afforestation at territorial scale with with clear nation building agendas, as for example, the afforestation of Israel, or the dark history behind some forestry projects in Germany in the late 1930's under the nationalist call for a religion of nature.

The specific metrics, techniques and efficient principles of forest management will be used as design principles to produce novel spaces around Oslo.


The projects will be located in the privately owned forests of Normarka, and will be about the edition of the forest to produce space. An architecture of subtraction and edition, to create spaces in what is one of the world's most sophisticatedly managed forests.

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