fbpx 80 417 Reversing Thresholds | Arkitektur- og designhøgskolen i Oslo


Start semester

80 417 Reversing Thresholds

Full course name in English: 
Reversing Thresholds
80 417
Syklus 2
2021 Vår
2021 Vår
Maksimum antall studenter: 
Lina Elisabeth Broström
Sareh Saeidi
Om emnet

The architectural  threshold is a (physical/ mental) space encapsulating a change; it initiates movement or a change in a state of mind to another; affecting the experience of architectural space. The idea of threshold has been an operative metaphor across disciplines among which are architectural, urban, social, and artistic studies. Historically, thresholds, in their various forms and definitions, played a significant role in both function and integral experience of architecture.


A threshold is a space of transition from one state to another that could imply a sense of contingency. It is indeterminate and carries a sense of temporality. Its domain of presence spans over the experience of the sequence of movement through built spaces, to leftover spaces or voids, or to the natural environment. A threshold is the vestibule of experience.


Instant connections and rapid movement are the intellect of the era and for many, slowness and contemplation that transitive spaces provide is considered a time sink. As a result, transitional spaces are losing their value and meaning by the over-emphasis on spaces that accommodate main functions in cities and buildings, or by being treated as service areas. Evidently, this also minimizes their scope of spatial experience.


The course attempts to redraw attention to thresholds that derive from relations and interrelations between built space and its natural surrounding environment. The course  consists of comprehensive reverse readings of  selected thresholds together with the reinterpretation and reconstruction through the learnings gained from the reverse readings. We will be working on various techniques from photography and drawing to model making and a well-crafted short descriptive text, as complementary to the scaled model, for the final review.


The elective is organized around a set of analytical and critical readings. The readings consist of a selective number of texts from literature and theory of architecture that successfully capture the significance of the notion of threshold and transition. The analytical works include investigations on selected thresholds that span from critical analysis of an integral experience of the threshold to studies on the spatial and structural elements which constitute  it (i.e. materials’ properties, positions, and relations). Through the understanding gained, students will  investigate  the tectonics and atmosphere of that threshold through collage visualization and scaled models.



  • Understanding the notion of threshold in architecture through their observations, and the reflective and analytical studies of those observations. These studies allow them to learn building a critical and explorative approach through a comprehensive reverse reading of their “selected” threshold

  • Gaining knowledge of the existing key perspectives on the notion of threshold in (contemporary) theories of architecture followed by extended reflective knowledge built in the class through roundtable discussions

  • Learning how to visually and poetically communicate analytical explorations through a collage visualization

  • Learning how to reinterpret and reconstruct spatial qualities of a threshold through model making and explorations of that threshold’s materials and tectonics

Praktisk organisering og arbeidsmåter

We will conduct critical and analytical studies on selected thresholds between the built and the natural environment. These will be reinterpreted  and reconstructed through abstract collage drawings and a 1:20 scale model by selecting moments of interest with spatial and structural logic.


We recommend the students to incorporate a part of their studio design project in the course.


The syllabus will be distributed at the start of the course.


Relevant literature:

Leatherbarrow, D. (2009). Architecture Oriented Otherwise.

Leatherbarrow, D. (2015). Building In and Out of Place. Architectural Design, 85(2).

Leatherbarrow, D. (2002). Uncommon Ground: Architecture, Technology, and Topography.

Eyck, A. van. (2008). Writings. Collected articles and other writings 1947-1998

Fjeld, P. O., Chan, E. A., Vistica, S., & Zingmark, U. (1987). Analysis and re-designof the interstitial spaces considered as acual links in the structure, on which it is necessary to act with priority when re-structuring the built complex. International Laboratory of Architecture and Urban Design.

Kurokawa, K. (1997). Each One a Hero: The Philosophy of Symbiosis.

Mukherji, S. (2013). Thinking on Thresholds: The Poetics of Transitive Spaces.

Tschumi, B. (1996). The pleasure of architecture.

Tanizaki, J. (2001). In praise of shadows.

Basho’s Haiku: Selected Poems of Matsuo Basho (D. L. Barnhill, Trans.).

Ingold, T. (2020). Correspondences.

Ingold, T. (2000). The perception of the environment: Essays on livelihood, dwelling & skill. Routledge.

Morton, T. (2019). Being ecological.

Haraway, D. (2016). Staying with the trouble

Guattari, F. (2014). The three ecologies (I. Pindar & P. Sutton, Trans.).

Latour, B. (2019). Down to earth (Catherine Porter, Trans.).

Evans, R. (1996). Translations from Drawing to Building and Other Essays.

Pallasmaa, J. (2013). Encounters 2—Architectural Essays.


ProsjektoppgaveIndividuellBestått / ikke bestått
Karakterskala:Bestått / ikke bestått