AAR4905 - URBAN LAB 1 - Urban Design Theory, Research, Practice


Lessons are not given in the academic year 2023/2024

Course content

In the Urban Lab we explore the complex manner in which various urban themes are embedded in the everyday practice of architecture, urban design and planning. Pressing questions of urban design practice, research and theory are examined both from a historic and contemporary perspective. The project course focuses on the exploration of contemporary urban design themes such as the sustainable transformation of our cities, post-industrial sites and urban landscapes. The specific theme will be defined by the topic and site chosen for the integrated Urban Design and Architecture Studio AAR4515. The overall goal of our investigations is to contribute maintaining and making our cities liveable, beautiful and open for the future.

Learning outcome

Knowledge: The students will gain a profound understanding on urban design theory and practice. They will learn to critically reflect their characteristics as an expression of contemporary trends and in a historical perspective.

Skills: The students will gain experience to research and summarize relevant materials on urbanism. By deepening their professional knowledge and extending it to the urban realm, creative potential in urban design and architecture projects is fostered.

Competence: The students will learn to critically evaluate complex urban challenges within urban design and architecture, and improve their ability to communicate professional knowledge.

Learning methods and activities

Taught together with AAR4515, the course is structured in two parallel phases. In the first phase, we will conduct case studies on exemplary master plans, urban design projects and building typologies. In the second phase, each student will read a major book on urbanism, critically reflect its impact on architecture and the city, and writes a short essay of the main findings. The lecture series, literature and case studies will provide a broad perspective on urbanism, and inform our discussions and work in the lab.

Further on evaluation

The assessment is based on the quality of the student projects. The grade is given on the presentation and documentation of the assignments. This can have the form of an essay or research report related to the specific topic, which has been investigated. Deferred examination is normally added to the next ordinary examination period.

Specific conditions

Required previous knowledge

Bachelor in architecture or equivalent. Completed three years basic studies in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, urban planning or similar.

The course should be taken in combination with AAR4515 in the same semester.

Course materials

Lecture series, assignments, instructions, literature list, handbooks, and reference examples.

Working formats: case and typology studies; readings, reflections, writings, presentations and discussions.

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level



Language of instruction: English, Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Urban Design and Planning
  • Architecture- and Design History
  • Architectural Design
  • Town and Regional Planning
  • Architectural Theory
  • Architecture
Contact information

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Architecture and Planning


  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

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