2011 Course description

Jan 2011 | AHO Course Updates, Studio AHO

Course description

This studio course is motivated by the fact that tomorrows designers and architects will have to face and cope with much more complicated and demanding tasks regarding globalisation and the need for sustainable development. There will also be an increasing demand for simulation, prediction and control of possible consequences caused by our design interventions. Products and buildings can no longer be seen isolated but must be understood as only symptoms or results of much larger fields of forces and interactions over time.

The course prepares the student for the design profession of tomorrow where the ability to tackle very complex problems and to produce intelligent and synergetic solutions is crucial.

A deeper understanding of relations, systems and consequences following our design interventions will produce new and innovative solutions. The central world view is based on the current new generations of soft system thinking.

There has been a majority of IDE students joining this course. We wish to encourage architecture students to join. The course is tought both by designers and architects and within architecture we find a lot of good cases for this studio.


Learning outcomes:

The students will get an introduction and training in a systems oriented design approach. They will have an intro to General Systems Theory and soft systems theories such as “System Architecting”, Performance-oriented Design, creativity theory, sustainability and industrial ecology.

The students learn to carry through more thorough investigations and to document these investigations visually. The students will get training in creative thinking when working with very complex problems.

The students will learn to investigate and analyse a complex situation much deeper and wider than what is normal.

The course is very work intensive and is not well suited for students who have substantial workload besides the studies.



Course contents and teaching methods

PART 1 Investigations: The students are doing a very detailed and thorough investigation of the chosen field of interest. This investigation should help the students to map and understand interactions and relations over time. The investigation is documented with diagrams, digital photo or video, sketching or other means.

PART 2 The students develop an innovative design project based on the investigations. The development is an iterative process that might includes extensive testing through on-site mock-ups, scenario techniques and simulations.

PART 4 The student finalise a document to a high graphical and communicative standard for publishing.

These parts are not necessarily to be regarded as phases in the design process but give a course framework of the work.


The main deliveries are the article and the end of semester exhibition, AHO works. The article describes the process and results with text and illustrations.

Participation: The students have to join 90% of the lectures, presentation, workshops and tutorials.


Reading list:

We will provide litterature later in the course.

The recommended reading list is found on