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Syllabus for

Academic year
ARK128 - Architecture and urban space design
Arkitektur och stadsrum
Syllabus adopted 2019-02-04 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPARC
22,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Architecture, Architecture and Engineering

Course selection in architecture has a separate process. Please contact Director of Studies Anna Knutsson if you have questions.
Teaching language: English
Application code: 05111
Open for exchange students: Yes
Maximum participants: 26

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0117 Project 9,5 c Grading: TH   9,5 c    
0217 Project 13,0 c Grading: TH   13,0 c    

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Joaquim Tarraso

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ARK125   Urban design and development 1C ARK127   Architecture and urban space design 1


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites


The purpose of the course is to use the urban space as a tool for transformation. We focus on acquiring design tools through the development of prototypes that include both disciplines, landscape and architecture, without predetermined scales or typologies, and by defining the spatial qualities and the linkage of the proposal with the adjacent areas. We work along river areas, within the metropolitan urban area of Gothenburg. We use them as a thread to work in different locations, addressing specific issues in each one, and at the same time acquiring a global perspective on the elements that determine the urban development, and their connection to the river. The overall aim of the design studio is:
  • To train the ability to work within fields of Architecture, Landscape and Infrastructure, in large city scale as well as in a local context.
  • To describe, analyze public space within a complex urban context, interpret and work out visionary principles of spatial structures and built environment.
  • To increase knowledge and understanding of the urban development problems linked to contemporary challenges in the perspective of sustainable development and collaboration with experts and local actors.
  • Understand the different and overlapping layers defining public space, such as social, economic and cultural parameters.

    Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

    Students shall have obtained learning outcomes that enable them to:
  • Increase knowledge and understanding of urban development processes and complexity of urban environment,
  • Develop methods of analysis, synthesis,
  • Describe, analyze and evaluate urban systems by mapping, modeling from developing strategies to detail design,
  • Use critical thinking, assess and evaluate projects ideas in the local development of large and small scale.
  • Knowledge and understanding of different parameters. Defining the conflicts, distortions, needs, concerns, sensibilities, knowledge and possibilities.
  • Operate in the physical environment. Our field of operations: the urban landscape, the architecture and the infrastructures
  • The ability to understand the multidirectional interpretations
  • An architectural approach that values a transversely through a number of scales and complementary disciplines


    URBAN COMPLEXITY Urban space is complex, a result of countless overlapping layers of diverse character, depending on social, cultural and economic activities. In this complex environment different conflicts, distortions, needs, concerns, sensibilities, knowledge and possibilities are reflected in the physical space, our field of operations: the urban landscape, the architecture and the infrastructures.

    To understand the urban context there is a need of a multidisciplinary and multidirectional approach through a number of scales and complementary disciplines. A complex city does not need imposed solutions, but articulated ones. Interventions in all scales that aim to improve the physical reality in people's everyday life. Public Space is one of the key elements of the Urban System. It's a catalyst of social, cultural and economic dynamics.
    The purpose of the course is to use the urban space as a tool for transformation. In the course we interpretate Urban Layers defined by the physical environment: Landscape, Architecture and Infrastructure to form new types of urban structures: Urban Hybrids, representing new spatial prototypes that, without predetermined scales or typologies, will define new qualities and the linkage of the proposals with the adjacent areas.


    The course is divided in two parts, each where we perform a series of exercises and workshops.
    The first part will allow us to understand the specific contexts and work with spatial proposals. The second part consists on a project in depth where students develop their personal project, based on previous analysis and conclusions from part 1:
  • The course consist of a series of assignments together with lectures, visits, seminars and workshops promoting an experimental research based on a very strong knowledge of the facts and the contexts.
  • In the studio the creative process of studies holds all the working stages of space design, from preliminary analysis, understanding the site and modeling spatial structures, resulting in strategies and finally in in-depth design proposals. Every stage is carried out in parallel: the site analysis and mapping will help to define the basis for working strategy, not merely as a descriptive product.
  • During the course invited lecturers and experts provide information and knowledge in relation to specific studied locations with a broad interdisciplinary perspective. The course is developed as a cyclical process introducing three main areas of studies: 1. Local scale, 2. Urban scale and 3. Metropolitan scale. In each area the exercise include contextual analysis leading to spatial proposal, further to develop the technological and material definition, and create architectural prototypes that establish new connections at these scales. After a review of the whole process one of the areas is developed more in depth.
  • Literature

    The course literature is listed in a separate document on the course website. Reading and analysis of given text will be done during your theory colloquium in the study groups and later discussed in plenum.

    Examination including compulsory elements

    To pass the course and receive a grade you need: 

  • presence at scheduled activities is required. Some absence can be accepted if there are legitimate reasons (e.g. sickness). In other cases, supplementary assignments have to be handed in (e.g. written reviews on literature)
  • active participation at seminars and in a group work
  • course assignments of sufficient quality (i.e. that fulfils the course objectives and presentation requirements)
  • delayed submission of assignments will negatively influence the grades
  • electronic course evaluations should be filled in Criteria for grading (U,3, 4 or 5) is found in the Assessment and Grading table available in the course folder on PingPong

  • Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.