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Our 2-year International Master of Landscape Architecture

Exhibiting student works and publications from “Oslo Hydropolis”. Professor Sabine Müller is in charge and teaches these studio courses.

Image shows a student (Eirik Stokke) exhibiting student works and publications from “Oslo Hydropolis”. Sabine Müller is in of charge and teaches these studio courses.

Our 2-year International Master of Landscape Architecture

We are close to the application deadline for AHO’s International Master of Landscape Architecture. The team of teachers are looking forward to welcome a new and dedicated group of students in the fall. Eager to engage new applicants, the teachers discuss what is particular for the discipline of landscape architecture and more specifically, what is special about the AHO’s two-year educational master programme in landscape architecture. 

A conversation between professors and teachers Luis Callejas, Karin Helms, Janike Kampevold Larsen and Thomas Juel Clemmensen.

– In AHO’s Master of Landscape Architecture you learn how to engage in the production of the largest and most interconnected objects of design; landscapes, cities and territories, Luis Callejas points out. Since its inception, landscape architecture has been concerned with addressing the overlap between the design of open-air spaces as an artistic practice, and the environment as a living system.
–  This master's programme is dedicated to landscape architecture. To working with scales, timelines, ecosystems, live matter media and beauty – in conjunction with urbanism, architecture and ecology, Karin Helms explains.

– The studio courses are an ecosystem-based understanding of the interaction between human practices and natural processes, and therefore we offer many site-based learnings, field trips and study trips during the study, ​Janike Kampevold Larsen and Thomas Juel Clemmensen add.
– Special for AHO’s Master of Landscape Architecture, Karin explains, is also the choice between two learning sites and campuses; Tromsø and Oslo. Both places are working with landscapes processes and how to foresee future landscapes conditions through design, integrating environmental, social, economic and cultural aspects. Students are invited to search for concepts and notions that can give answers to long-term landscape changes and adaptations.

– After completing the master, our graduates operate as professional landscape architects with a platform of skills, competence and knowledge, based on design and research. Importantly, Janike says, they have the capacity to understand and act in diverse contexts, ranging from cities to extreme landscapes and territories.
What is special about AHO’s International Master, in an international context?

Educating landscape architects, we are simultaneously explicitly local and highly international. What do we mean by that, Janike asks. – We connect to the international discipline of landscape architecture in research, practice and teaching. Students and professors research specific landscapes and territories in Norway, in the Arctic and internationally addressing global issues.
– Our students are international, Karin includes, and they learn from each other; from their different creative backgrounds. They are committed to explore the future of design in this interrelated landscape. The teachers are practitioners and academics combined, some international and some from Nordic countries. This international learning and research community is a richness for our students, as cross- and transcultural. This learning and research environment has also received academic recognitions from IFLA Europe’s School Recognition habilitation.
– The master's programme is based in two locations, Oslo and Tromsø, and both are strongly design-based. Janike highlights how studio-based learning constitutes more than two-thirds of the programme. Studio courses are thematised around a differentiation between urban, landscape and territorial practices, which adds different perspectives to the spectrum of human activities that impact and form landscapes. Following up, our programme helps students to gain critical skills in a fast-growing and evolving design sector.

Students on a field trip in the north. Photo: Thomas Juel Clemmensen.
Why does AHO have the luxury of hosting landscape architecture students in two separate locations?

– Yes, it is a luxury to have two locations for one educational programme in landscape architecture. One in Oslo, the capital of Norway, and one in Tromsø, the ‘capital’ of Northern Norway. Each of the two offering different specialisations. The specialisation in Tromsø has an arctic/sub-arctic base and relates to the entire circumpolar north.
– Ten years ago, AHO saw the need to address landscape change in the north. Thomas and Janike explains how we realized we had to educate landscape architects who can address the increasing challenges associated with rougher weather, increased geohazards, strategic land use and shrinking or expanding communities. Needless to say, landscapes are more extreme in the north while the urban environment is more permeable to the non-urban surrounding. Even the everyday landscapes are often spectacular. We have had studios in the various parts of the circumpolar north, in Greenland, Svalbard and on the mainland of Northern Norway, and we are part of different collaborations in internationally. Together with UiT The Arctic University of Norway, AHO offers a learning programme in Tromsø that works specifically towards uniquely challenging landscape situations. 
– Fieldwork constitutes an essential part of AHO’s landscape architecture programme. In Tromsø, fieldwork forms a larger part of the studio courses and design-based research. Through fieldwork, students acquire a type of knowledge that cannot be obtained from a distance but necessitates being physically present. This is particular important for students unfamiliar with artic/subarctic environments. However, we also embrace the use of remote sensing and offers a specialised course in “digital landscapes”, Thomas adds.
– The context of Oslo is fascinating and in its own it poses site specific questions, Luis explains. However, the master in Oslo is designed as a global master that prepares landscape architects to engage in global design problems, and we have worked in Asia, South America and obviously Europe and Scandinavia. The programme is also concerned with how specific sensitivities developed in Scandinavia and Norway can participate in the development of global issues mainly today in light of climate breakdown. 
– Janike inform us how the two campuses in Tromsø and Oslo supplement each other, and how students benefit from the diversity of problems raised and handled between them. Two campuses allow us to address the very wide range of landscape situations that Norway and the world harbours. The mainland of Norway alone covers more than 23 longitudes. Then there is Svalbard stretching from 74 to 81 degrees north. There are large differences in climate, degrees of urbanization and rurality in this country, differences that manifest also in the character of settlements.
What work opportunities will a graduated IMLA student get, after finishing their master’s degree?

– Alumni and graduates from AHO’s landscape architecture programme have joined some of the leading design offices in Europe, and also local landscape architecture offices and public planning units. The programme opens for a range of options. Yet, Luis accentuates, the master’s emphasis on design means that AHO students are particularly attractive to offices that have refined and sophisticated design approaches. 
– He adds how AHOs attention to incorporate research as part of design exercises has made graduated students attractive to teaching programmes in Europe and North America. A few students that taught with us from a young age have later joined part- and full-time teaching roles abroad. Also, we are not very explicit about it but we love when we see that our students start their own practices.  
Together with AHO, the professors and teachers of the teams in Oslo and Tromsø, welcome new students to apply and join. – We're looking forward to it, Janike says. And they all agree.

Meet the teachers and professors from the International Master of Landscape Architecture
Luis Callejas

Luis Callejas is a professor in landscape architecture at AHO and founder of LCLA office. Before joining AHO, he was lecturer at Harvard GSD in architecture and landscape architecture. Callejas also taught architecture at Yale where he held the 2020 Louis Khan visiting position. Completed works include the aquatic centre, an open-air complex of swimming pools and public space in Medellin. In Norway he has co-designed the guest of honour pavilion for the 2019 Frankfurt book fair. Together with Lund Hagem, Atelier Oslo and SLA he is working on the landscape for the renovation of the former US embassy designed by Eero Saarinen. Luis Callejas was awarded with the Architectural League of New York Prize for Young Architects in 2013 and selected as one of the world’s ten best young practices by the Iakov Chernikhov International Foundation in 2010. Since 2008 Luis Callejas has received recognitions in twenty-five design competitions, and his works have been exhibited at the Chicago Architecture Biennial, Lisbon triennial, Oslo Architecture Triennial, Seoul architecture biennale, and Venice Biennial.

Callejas is the author/co-author of Pamphlet Architecture 33 (Princeton Architectural Press, NY, 2013), a monograph on his work "From paisajes emergentes to LCLA office", and “Archipielago de Arquitectura".

What will be the theme of your course, and goal of your teachings?
In my next studio course, I will look into the desert as a landscape type that has fascinated landscape architects and architects in equal measure. I am interested in the persistent metaphors of emptiness, but also recognizing that deserts are indeed far from been empty. It is this duality that I think will be very prolific in the studio. Secondarily, I am also interested in how deserts have been the ideal landscape from where to study other landscapes. Examples, such as observatory complexes in the Atacama, are important references. If it is possible to travel, we will most likely go to the north of Chile with a stop in Brasilia. This studio is the closing act of a series of studios that included the mountain, the island, the ocean and the forest.

Janike Kampevold Larsen

Janike Kampevold Larsen is a landscape researcher and theorist with a background in literature and critical theory. Her research addresses contemporary landscapes – infrastructural, arctic, coastal. In her recent research on Arctic landscape has, she particular focus collaborative strategies, circularity and materialities.

Her research and teaching have for the last decade included infrastructural landscapes based in the research project Routes, Roads and Landscapes. The research projects Landscape Journeys and Future North performed collaborative and investigative travels on Iceland, the Kola Peninsula, the Canadian north, Svalbard and the arctic cost of Norway. Recent publications include: Future North, The Changing Arctic Landscape, Larsen, Janike Kampevold and Hemmersam, Peter (eds), (London: Routledge 2018), Future North – Kola, Future North – Vardø, Future North – Svalbard (AHO, 2019), “Imagining the Geologic”, in Making a Geologic Now, Ellsworth/Kruse (eds), (New York: Punctum Book, 2013), and “Geologic Presence in the 21centry wilderness garden,” in Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, John D Hunt (editor), 2014. She is currently working on a book on Arctic Landscapes. 

Janike teaches theory courses and studio courses specific to her research interests. The studio course Svalbard – Fluid Territory had a great team of teachers and researching students, and won the award of Excellence in Research from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) in 2017.  2021 – 2023 she is involved with a series of studios that are developing strategic and analytical tools for circular economies and architecture in the Arctic through the project Circular, Balanced and Shared. Her theory courses will be complementary to the studios, focusing on the assembly of landscape resources and their role and agencies in future circular systems.  

Sabine Müller

Sabine Müller is Professor of Urbanism at AHO. She is an architect and urban designer, and principal of SMAQ Architecture Urbanism and Research in Berlin. With SMAQ Sabine Müller has conducted research in Latin America and Africa, and won numerous competitions in Germany and Europe. SMAQ’s master plans for Grorud Senter (Oslo), Wolfsburg’s new residential area (Germany), as well as a harbour conversion in Bremen (Germany), are in development. The residential complex at Alte Döhrener Straße in Hannover received the 2020 State Prize for Architecture of Lower Saxony.

Sabine Müller’s research focuses on urban design at the I,ntersection of urbanism, landscape, and of architecture while acknowledging infrastructure, ecology and processes of inhabitation as drivers of the urban environment. Together with Andreas Quednau she has published Charter of Dubai (Jovis, 2012) and Giraffes, Telegraphs and Hero of Alexandria - Urban Design by Narration (Ruby Press, 2017)

What will be the theme of your course, and goal of your teachings?
The studios I run are all conceived under the umbrella of “Oslo Hydropolis”. Climate change and continuing urbanisation challenge us to construct and design urban narratives of the Oslo Region starting from the landscape structure with an emphasis on water flow and cycles. Previously we have looked at how storm water management could be relieving a culture of swimming, how the territory “tastes" better with rehydration, how microclimates can be modified to facilitate for social action, and we have looke at the past and future of the many ice production lakes. Our aim is to always include humans in the idea of nature.

An important component of the studios is the phrase "Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There” in which we look at historical examples of how people have applied ecological intelligence to landscape and where we travel to learn from outstanding practices in other cultural contexts.

Thomas Juel Clemmensen

Thomas Juel Clemmensen is professor of landscape architecture and head of the landscape architecture programme at the Academy of Arts in Tromsø. Thomas is trained as an architect from the Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark where he also got his PhD. Thomas is member of the Association of Danish Landscape Architects. Parallel to his academic career, Thomas has worked as a landscape architecture and urban planning consultant. His primary research interest includes questions related to the transformation of cultural landscapes, particularly the entanglement of cultural and natural heritage, and how landscape architecture can help mediate in landscape transformation. Additional research interests are, geology and ecology in landscape architecture, the relationship between infrastructure and landscape, urban-rural dynamics, and new public domains in urban landscapes. Thomas teaches landscape transformation on master level and supervises PhD-students.

Karin Helms

Karin Helms is a landscape architect. She was appointed Professor in 2020 at AHO. Before she was Associate Professor at ENSP Versailles. She set up a European Master EMiLA www.emila.eu with five leading schools/universities in Europe.  She was State landscape architect advisor for 20 years, last for the region of Upper Normandy where she worked on large-scale projects of urban expansion, thematically including renewable energy and infrastructure integrations. Karin studied biology in Milan, landscape architecture at Gembloux’ school and ENSP Versailles. In 2019, she gained her PhD by practice at the School of Architecture and Design RMIT. She has received many prizes and grants such as the EU Marie Sklodowska-Curie research grant through the ADAPT-r programme. Her research includes topics such as landscape urbanism, and large-scale landscapes and transformations. She is for long been engaged in associations for the promotion of the profession and education in landscape architecture, and since 2019, she is the President of IFLA Europe. 

What will be the theme of your course, and goal of your teachings?
What will be the theme of their course / What is the goal of their teachings?
Our master studio in the first semester takes into account that students have different backgrounds -culturally and in their disciplinary approaches to landscape architecture. Therefore, the studio integrates the grounding of landscape architect notions. The aim of the studio is to explore how to design a park in various scales. This involves understanding the contemporary role of parks in connection to the surrounding space and urban landscapes, and then linking these to current social demands and urban development. The studio will explore notions such as park systems of the past, green and water infrastructure, ground and soil fertility. Moreover, the studio sets out to link these landscape notions to the idea of Landscape Edges – transitional linear places where one space or landscape becomes part of another – and explore how these landscape edges can influence future urban “tissues”.

The site for the studio will be in the  suburban area of Oslo, at the edge of the forest; it combines a macro perspective and local area development. The purpose of the park is to provide a space for recreation and shared activities in the local community. The overall perspective is to enable the park on a grand scale to meet the long-term demand for biodiversity in cities and participate in new mobility axes.

Miguel Hernandez

Miguel Hernandez

Miguel holds a Master in Landscape Architecture from AHO and a Master in Architecture from the Barcelona School of Architecture, where he was teaching assistant in the Department of Urbanism and Regional Planning. He has previously worked in the landscape office Mosbach Paysagistes in Paris, the architecture practice MiAS Architects in Barcelona, and the urban planning department of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB). He currently works as combined landscape architect and architect at Edit, in Oslo. Miguel has a keen interest in landscape archaeology, climate design and experimental preservation, which is the main focus of his research and personal projects. In addition to his academic and professional careers, Miguel is a member of the French Archaeological Mission of Qasr Shemamok, Iraq, and part of a team envisioning the future of mobility infrastructures in the metropolitan region of Barcelona.

What will be the theme of your course, and goal of your teachings?
Miguel is Assistant Professor for the first and second semester studio courses of the International Master of Landscape Architecture. At Master 1, first semester, he will mainly assist the students to articulate the learnings trough scale and with the contemporary digital tools which are needed for a designer working with other disciplines in the field. 

Kjerstin Uhre

Kjerstin Uhre is senior lecturer in landscape architecture at the landscape architecture programme at the Academy of Arts in Tromsø. She holds a PhD at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design where she also have been teaching urbanism and landscape architecture. She graduated as an architect from the Bergen School of Architecture in 1994. She is partner in Dahl and Uhre architects in Tromsø. The Practice have been awarded for their urban and built projects.
Kjerstin Uhre’s research interest centers around exploring how the prospective capacities of the art of landscape architecture can enter into dialogue with traditional ecological knowledge. Her PhD-thesis, Perforated Landscapes, introduces the term Counter Prospecting. Counter Prospecting is a practice-based, experimental, and creative spatial method that resists dominant, extractive prospects and reaches beyond these in a pro-spective exchange with local and indigenous peoples towards an alternative prospecting of landscape values.

Mari A. Aston Bergset

Mari A. Aston Bergset is a landscape architect, educated at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), cand agric./master in landscape architecture. Bergset has been associated with the master's degree in landscape architecture in Tromsø since 2013. She teaches studio and prediploma courses for master program – see also the article "The possibilities of the snow", Arkitektur N referring some of the studio teaching. She has previously been engaged as a guest critic / examiner for diploma theses at the School of Architecture and Design in Oslo and the Norwegian University of Environmental and Life Sciences. Bergset is currently appointed by the Ministry of Local Government and Modernization as a member of the jury for the Government Award for Building Quality in the period 2018-2021. Bergset's professional special interest is related to design for seasonal variation / winter use, climate adaptation and ecological strategies in landscape architecture. Bergset also runs Lo:Le landskap AS – a landscape architecture office based in Tromsø.