Architectural Space as a Personal Message


Architects typically respond to requests from others; they solve problems and fulfill the wishes addressed to them. In this studio we want to change the perspective; we want to start with our own visions and goals or problems. Participants are invited to find out what they would like to see realized or changed in their personal or societal world. The aim of the semester is to produce an authentic personal concept of space that is nevertheless readable by others and has a certain universal relevance. To achieve this we would go through three phases. I ask the students to develop a strong personal position in order to stimulate their intrinsic motivation and authentic architectural development.

A. Analysis

The first phase is purely analytical and self-reflective. The external form or the architectural product is not considered yet. Each student is invited to identify and to describe a personal focus of interest, to try to find out what fascinates them, and what open or hidden motives support their concerns. The more explicit and inclusive the distilled result of this analysis becomes, the more effectively it serves as a guiding principle for the second phase; the emergence of form. Social discourse helps them to clarify their visions. (F.e. Anna wants to collect things and find methods for doing so. Arthur wants to reduce the size of an apartment to its minimum in order to win space for undefined purposes. Eva thinks her life is ‘summer’ or ‘winter’, not as a climatic phenomenon, but understood as a relational condition. Florian wants to build the cheapest possible space for housing. Rubens wants to redefine the roles, attributes and behaviours in a restaurant. Alexander proposes to build a house according to his instinctive spatial and material enjoyment, rather than objective coherence).

B. Emergence of Form

Starting from the analysis in phase A, we try to gain a mental and consequently a physical form. The participants formulate and/or sketch out possible principles and elements of site, space, materials, colours, possibly written statements etc.; the full gamut of architectural tools can be employed. Social discourse may often be of valuable help in concretizing what in phase A has been subjectively identified. Clearly, in this phase we often return to phase A and re-clarify our concerns and wishes (feed-back and feed-forward). We also allow phase B to be the longest of all three. It really should carry us from ideas to more and more mature architectural forms.

C. Inventing a coherent visible and tangible form

The product of phase B does not have to meet all conditions of successful social communication; this is the goal of phase C. Each student chooses the medium through which they want to communicate the final result their efforts. Media can be two- or three-dimensional, hand-made or machine-supported, or whatever best serves the communicative goal. We try to stress this communicative aspect more than usual in order to reach people outside the specialized field of architecture. The topics the students choose and their results should be universally understood. Communication is key if we want to achieve this. The end product should visibly be rooted in a personal concern but represent a publicly readable and understandable piece of architecture.






Neven Fuchs

Pascal Flammer

Aleksandra Ognjanov

Chris Engh

Giacomo Pelizzari






Aleksandra Bašic

Amalie Nævisdal Tønnesen

Anna Maria Elisabet Forslöw

Emilie Swanstrøm

Jens Henrik Johnsen

Marte Kramer Riseng

Oreste Gustave Kamanzi

Silje Charlotte Damhaug

Silje Mari Skarheim

Siri Merete Birkeland

Stine Mari Olsen Gallefoss

Ted Wikborg Wiese