HGO4240 – CityStudio Oslo

Course content

In this course, students aim to construct and execute a project relating to the City of Oslo. The project concept may be experimental or theoretical and may relate to urban policy, sustainability, or planning in a critical and creative manner. To do this, students will work in interdisciplinary teams (of four) and have a key contact at the City of Oslo. The course is open to students from multiple institutions to introduce interdisciplinary prospective to the projects.

The first half of the course focuses on acquiring knowledge about the city and project work. From here, students will developing project ideas and form project groups. Next, the course shifts to a focus on project work and implementation. By the end of the semester, students will share a written report and present their projects to the City of Oslo.

The main components of the course are:

  • Project Work, including group dynamics, design processes, and project management competences.
  • Urban Knowledge, including how to facilitate a dialogue, knowledge of the City of Oslo's structure and challenges, and related theory in urban studies and planning.
  • Communications, including professional relationship development, presentations, posters or other visual representations, writing, and presenting the project to the public such as a launch event or/and media release.

This is an immersive full-time course focused on experiential learning.

Learning outcome

Knowledge goals

Students will gain knowledge in:

  • Theory related to communication and community engagement, within an urban context.
  • Design concepts and processes such as the design thinking approach.
  • Recent frameworks and theories in urban planning and sustainable cities.
  • How the City of Oslo is structured in terms of departments, goals, challenges and key actors.
  • How a student's teamwork is influenced by their own behavior patterns and attitudes, as well as those of others.
  • How to incorporate knowledge from their current field of studies to an interdisciplinary context.
  • Conflict resolution and organizational theory.
  • The problem that their project aims to solve. The students will become experts in knowledge relating to their projects which may include empirical evidence on the issue of interest, experiences of the challenge in the community, and how the City operates in this area.

Skill attainment goals

Students will learn how to:

  • Facilitate group discussions and decision-making processes.
  • Use design approaches and interdisciplinary perspectives to solve problems.
  • Frame projects in a relevant context, such as urban planning, for a target audience.
  • Manage and implement a group project.
  • Identify and involve stakeholders and external actors in projects.
  • Create a detailed project plan.
  • Measure and report project outcomes.
  • Host a productive meeting.

General competences

You will be able to:

  • Collaborate with students from other fields, developing a combined interdisciplinary expertise.
  • Conduct yourself in a professional manner as a liaison between various sectors, and engage with stakeholders.
  • Communicate ideas and concepts clearly to audiences outside of academia.
  • Contribute to creative, critical and collaborative thinking about urban development and sustainability issues.
  • Plan and implement a project.

Admission

Applications to this course opens on June 1st. Applications will be accepted on an on-going basis until the 20 seats are filled. Applications submitted prior to June 15th may be offered a seat by June 30th. Remaining seats will be allocated by August 15th.

Please fill out this brief expression of interest form to receive instructions on how to submit an application. The form can also be used to submit questions regarding the course. 

The applicants will be asked to submit a CV and letter of motivation. A committee will review applications and may invite top candidates to take part in a short interview before admission is granted.

Students are not able to register for the course directly on StudentWeb. If a placement is secured, you will be registered into the course by your home school's administration (UiO, NMBU, or AHO). Students may apply as a guest student at UiO for this course if they are not registered as a student at UiO, NMBU or AHO.  

We seek a high level of engagement in the course. Only those who can commit to the course structure should apply.

Prerequisites

Recommended previous knowledge

Students from all disciplines are welcome to apply. The course is suitable for Bachelor students with 120 ECTS or Master's students.

Teaching

The format of teaching will be:

  • Experience-based and pragmatic
  • Workshop style and 'hands-on'
  • Iterative with feedback in the process of refining project ideas, presentations and writing components
  • Supported by group meetings, supervision by teaching staff, and a key contact from the City of Oslo for each project group.
  • Self and group directed in project research and implementation

Teaching will be shared by a regular team comprised of teachers from various faculties and participating institutions. Experts in various disciplines may be brought in to conduct skill-building sessions in addition to the usual teaching staff. City staff members and community experts will visit this studio to participate in dialogues hosted by students.

A detailed course schedule will be available for registered students. The course will follow a weekly pattern. When students have time to work in the community or on their projects will be made clear.

There will be mandatory individual assignments that need to be completed by the student before moving into the project phase of the course. The mandatory assignments will focus on the key competency areas of the course and will include:

  • A written communications piece such as an opinion editorial
  • Hosting a dialogue with a city staff member (dates and guests will be pre-scheduled)
  • Written reflections regarding self-learning and weekly studio topics
  • An oral presentation related to the curriculum material

Mandatory assignments must be completed and approved by course instructors.

Compulsory instruction and coursework

There is a mandatory attendance requirement for this course. Absence is permissible under reasonable circumstances up to 10 per cent. A strong commitment and active participation are expected and required for this course.

This program is full-time and will run Monday – Friday from 9:00 to 16:00. Students may work outside of these hours when implementing projects or for hosting or attending special events. Course time is not limited to occurring at the studio location. There will be time for students to implement their projects and learn in the community. Students however will be expected to base their 'in-office' work at the studio.

Access to teaching

Only students admitted to the course can follow teaching activities.

Students who have passed the course will not have access to the course at a later time.

Examination

Two Final Examination grades will be allocated, one group grade and one individual grade. Both are pass/fail and relate to the project.

Group grade on project deliverables. This includes a group project presentation and final project report which are written and delivered together. The group must be available to make a formal presentation and showcase their project at a pre-defined location and date which will be known at the start of the course. The students must present their projects and findings to the City of Oslo. This is assessed at a group level (four students). Project criteria will be discussed at the beginning of the course.

If projects are not declared ready, or the report and presentations fail to meet standards by a defined deadline, the group will be given 10 working days to rectify the report and re-submit.

Individually grade assigned per person. This component will be a written report based on the individual's engagement in the project work and should consider a broader context or be more personalized than the group project report.

The student must pass both final exam components.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Evaluation

The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course

Credits

30

Level

Master

Teaching

Autumn 2019

Examination

Autumn 2019

Teaching language

English