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Course content

Urban challenges today are complex and multi-faceted. They need to be addressed by combining knowledge from different disciplines to ensure responses are valuable, operational and inclusive.

In this course, students aim to construct and execute a project relating to municipal strategies and urban challenges in Oslo. The projects must engage with people or a place outside of the studio and may be an experimental, critical or creative response to a local problem. Students work on this project in interdisciplinary groups (of three or four). Groups have a key contact at the City of Oslo and in-studio supervision to support project development.

The course progresses through context and skill building, project formation, project implementation and reporting. At the end of the semester, project groups present and submit a written project report to the City of Oslo. Students also submit an individual report.

The main components of the course are:

  • Urban Knowledge – including knowledge about the City of Oslo's structure, strategies and challenges by engaging with Oslo city staff, accompanied with learning and applying related theories in urban studies and planning.
  • Project Work - students experience creating a project from start to finish in a group. This is done by identifying and framing problems, creating and concretizing a response through design processes, project planning and managing various activities to implement and test the project concept.
  • Communications – including group facilitation, professional relationship development, presentations, visual communications, and non-academic writing.

The course uses multiple tools for learning, including dialogue, applied theory, reflections, design processes, workshops and learning by doing. As students combine and apply knowledge to an authentic context through project work, in-depth understanding and practical applicability develops.

This is an immersive full-time course. The course is open to students from multiple institutions.

Learning outcome

Knowledge goals

Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Recent frameworks and theories in urban planning, governance, and sustainable cities.
  • How the City of Oslo is organized in terms of leadership, departments, political goals, strategies, partnerships and key actors.
  • How to incorporate knowledge from their current field of studies to an interdisciplinary context.
  • Design concepts and processes such as the design thinking approach.
  • The problem area that their project focuses on. The students will obtain 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 the area.
  • How a student's teamwork is influenced by their own and team member’s behavior and attitudes.

Skill attainment goals

Students will learn how to:

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

General competences

After the course, students will be able to:

  • Collaborate with people from other fields, developing a combined interdisciplinary expertise.
  • Conduct oneself 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

Students are not able to register for the course directly on StudentWeb because capacity in this course is limited.

An application process is used to allocate seats. Students may also be offered a waitlist spot. In order to apply, students must be registered as an active student for the corresponding semester at UiO, OsloMet or NMBU and enter the fall semester with a minimum of 120 ECTS in their respective discipline..

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

You will find the application instructions here

Prerequisites

Recommended previous knowledge

Students from all disciplines are welcome to apply. The course is suitable for students with 120 ECTS.

Overlapping courses

30 credits overlap with HGO4240 – CityStudio Oslo (discontinued)

Teaching

The format of teaching will be:

  • Workshop style and 'hands-on'
  • Discussion based and applied
  • 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 with teachers from various faculties and participating institutions. Experts in various disciplines may be brought in to conduct teaching and 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.

Course coordination will be hosted on Canvas.

A detailed course schedule will be available for registered students. A preliminary schedule is available here

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 are expected to base their 'in-office' work at the studio.

Compulsory instruction and coursework

There will be mandatory individual assignments in the course. The mandatory assignments will focus on the key competency areas and support project development. They will include:

  • Hosting a dialogue with a city staff member (dates and guests will be pre-scheduled)
  • A written communications piece such as an opinion editorial (‘kronikk’) that students are encouraged to publish
  • Written reflections regarding self-learning and weekly studio topics and processes
  • An oral presentation related to project relevant readings
  • Project work milestones achieved as a group

Mandatory assignments must be completed and approved by course instructors. Students will receive feedback on each mandatory assignment.

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

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. The student must pass both final exam components to pass the course.

Group grade on project deliverables

The project deliverables components are a group project presentation, a project poster, and a final project report. A feedback process will occur 1-2 weeks prior to the deliverable deadlines. All components are delivered and assessed as a group (three-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.

The students must present and deliver their project reports and findings to the City of Oslo. The group must be available to make a formal presentation of their project at a pre-defined location and date, which will be known at the start of the course.

Individually grade on report

This component will be a written report based on the individual's engagement in the project work and considers broader theoretical or applied context and personal reflections not included in the group project report.

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

Bachelor

Teaching

Every autumn

Examination

Every autumn

Teaching language

English