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Doctoral thesis defence: Guttorm Ruud

Guttorm Ruud will defend his PhD thesis "SITES OF CRISIS - Histories of the satellite town" at AHO on 3 February 2021. The defence will be in english. 

Title of the trial lecture: Schools and the welfare state: Outline the interplay between economy, society and design ideals – through an architectural and urban design analysis of schools in Oslo’s post-war satellite towns.

Defence: 14.30.
Defence will be held digitally over zoom. 
Or you can stream it here

Register for the disputation
The disputation will take place in zoom webinar. To be able to participate as audience you need to register. After registration you will receive a link. This link will be active 15 minutes before the disputation is scheduled. 
Register here

PhD thesis
Read the online thesis here


This thesis is a history of the relationship between the satellite town and the welfare state analysed through the prism of crisis. Extending the architectural historian Manfredo Tafuri’s concept of history as a project of crisis, the thesis is a critique of historical perspectives that legitimise present development by constructing modernity in terms of ‘progress’. The thesis examines the discourse of satellite town development and crisis by analysing the critique of Oslo’s satellite towns and the Norwegian welfare state as it emerged in reports and mass media between 1969 and 1976. Employing three analytical devices – which combine the welfare state actors of state, capital and civil society with the satellite town functions of housing, centre and neighbourhood – the study refracts the history of the satellite town and the welfare state to reveal how it is the product of disparate conflicts and struggles. The thesis contributes to the theoretical understandings of the welfare state and welfare capitalism. It adds to the existing literature on the relationship between architecture and the welfare state and the literature on satellite towns and new towns, as well as national and Nordic literature on the history of city planning.

About the candidate: Guttorm Ruud (1972) holds a master’s degree in architecture (AHO 2001) and a master’s degree in urbanism (AHO 2013). He has more than ten years of experience from architectural practice and is a former member of the national board of the Norwegian Housing and City Planning Association (Norsk bolig- og byplanforening). During his doctoral research he has been a PhD Research Fellow at the Institute of Form, Theory and History at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design.

Supervisor: Thordis Arrhenius (KTH)
Co-supervisor: Espen Johnsen (UiO)

Adjudication committee:
  • First opponent: Reinhold Martin, Professor, Columbia University 
  • Second opponent: Dr. Janina Gosseye, Associate Professor, TU Delft
  • Third member and coordinator: Peter Hemmersam, Professor, AHO

Dato: 3 februar, 2021
Tid: 14:30

Sted: Zoom