Course syllabus



3,0 credits

Course leaders: Julia Fredriksson ( and Maja Kovács (

Examiner: Julia Fredriksson


Specific Learning Goals

Architecture and urban design are contributing to the construction and re-construction of societal norms and values. The aim of this course is to understand how norms are expressed and reproduced within the field of architecture and urban design, through the theoretical model of norm-critique. With a norm-critical perspective you analyse norms, power relations and power structures, with focus on if and how norms contribute to different kinds of discrimination. Based on norm-critical analyses, you can make visible who norms include and what or who they exclude.

Within the framework of the course we will discuss the consequences of norms and work with the interplay between norms and values within the field of architecture and urban design. The course will further train the student’s ability to use source texts as a basis for formulating a research question, an individual position, and a line of argument. It will also train the student in analysing arguments laid out in other texts, and appropriately use citation, references, and bibliography.


Examination and deliverables 

The course examination is based on active participation in lectures and seminars, and the submission of an academic text on norm-critical perspectives in architecture and urban design. The text should be of minimum 2000 words, complete with references and a bibliography. Each student paper is reviewed and graded after submission at the end of the semester. The lectures and seminars are mandatory and if a seminar is missed, the student will get a supplementary task.


Zoom-link can be found on Canvas


Wednesday 24 February 2021

9.00 – 11.45 on Zoom

Session 1: Introduction to the course


Wednesday 3 March 2021

9.00- 11.45 on Zoom

Session 2: Lecture and literature seminar

Prepare by reading mandatory texts for session 2 and answer seminar questions (see Canvas session 2). Bring your answers to the seminar.


Wednesday 10 March 2021

9.00 –11.45 on Zoom

Session 3: Literature seminar and seminar on themes for essay

Prepare by reading mandatory texts for session 3 and answer seminar questions (see Canvas session 3). Bring your answers to the seminar.

18.00 Hand in synopsis of essay on Canvas


Friday 9 April

18.00 Hand in a draft of you essay on Canvas


Wednesday 21 April 2021

9.00 – 11.45 and 13.15 –16.00 on Zoom

Individual supervision of essays. Schedule for individual supervision will be published on Canvas.


Wednesday 5 May 2021

11.45 Hand in essay for final presentation on Canvas


Wednesday 12 May 2021

9.00 – 11.45, 13.15 – 15.45 on Zoom

Session 3: Final seminar for essays


Friday 14 May 2021

18.00 Final submission of essays


Mandatory Literature

Texts can be found on Canvas

Archer, J. (2005). Social Theory of Space: Architecture and the Production of Self, Culture, and Society. In: Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 64, No. 4, pp. 430-433 Published by: University of California Press on behalf of the Society of Architectural Historians.

Bonnevier, K. (2012) Dress-code: gender performance and misbehavior in the manor, Gender, Place & Culture, 19:6, 707-729, DOI: 10.1080/0966369X.2012.674925.

Frese, M. (2015). Cultural Practices, Norms, and Values. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 46(10).

Kuhlmann, D. (2013). Introduction. In Gender studies in architecture: space, power and difference.

Nilsson, Å. & Jahnke, M. (2018). Tactics for Norm-Creative Innovation. International Journal of TV Serial Narratives, ISSN 2405-8726, E-ISSN 2169-0820, Vol. 4, no 4, p. 375-391.


Works of Reference

Ahmed, S. (2006): Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others. Duke University Press.

Bonnevier; K. (2007) Behind Straight Curtains: Towards a Queer Feminist Theory of Architecture, PhD Dissertation 2007, KTH Architecture and the Built Environment School of Architecture.

Bourke, M. Hilland, Toni A and Craike, M. (2018): An exploratory analysis of the interactions between social norms and the built environment on cycling for recreation and transport. BMC Public Health (2018) 18:1162

Butler, J. (1988): Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory. In: Theatre Journal, Vol. 40, No. 4, pp. 519-531 Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Elmberger, K., Jahnke, M. & Wikberg Nilsson, Å. NOVA - Tools and methods for norm-creative innovation. Vinnova.

Ehrnberger, K., Räsänen, M., & Ilstedt, S. 2012 Dec 20. Visualising Gender Norms in Design: Meet the Mega Hurricane Mixer and the Drill Dolphia. International Journal of Design [Online] 6:3. Available:

Erson, S. (2016). Centering periphery - challenging the urban norm by reassessing the relation between urban and rural. Master thesis, Chalmers University of Technology.

Ettehad, S. Reza, A. Karimi Azeri Ghazaleh K. (2014): The Role of Culture in Promoting Architectural Identity. European Online Journal of Natural and Social Sciences 2014; Vol.3, No.4 Special Issue on Architecture, Urbanism, and Civil Engineering.

Family Planning. Selected parts of Harvard design Magazine; No. 41 / Example: Eva Diaz, Soft Architecture.

Foucault, M.; Power the essential work 3, article; Space, Knowledge and power (s349-364)

Forsberg, G., & Stenbacka, S. (n.d.). Mapping Gendered Ruralities, European Countryside, 5(1), 1-20. doi:

Fredriksson, J. (2017). Spatial Inequalities: Town Centre Development and Urban Peripheries. In Nordic Journal of Architectural Research, Vol 29 (2).

Frese, M.l: Cultural Practices, Norms, and Values, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 46(10).

Gunnarsson-Östling, U. (2011). Just Sustainable Futures: Gender and Environmental Justice Considerations in Planning. Stockholm: KTH. Diss.

Hays, KM. (1984) Critical Architecture: Between Culture and Form, in Perspecta, Vol. 21 (1984), pp. 14-29. Published by: The MIT Press on behalf of Perspecta.

Heynen, H. & Baydar, G. (2005); Negotiating Domesticity: Spatial Productions of Gender in Modern Architecture, Taylor and Francis.

Jones, P., Putting Architecture in its Social Place: A Cultural Political Economy of Architecture, Urban Studies, 46(12) 2519–2536, November 2009. 

Knox, P. (1987). The Social Production of the Built Environment Architects, Architecture and the Post-Modern City. Published September 1, 1987.

Listerborn, C. (2013). Suburban women and the ‘glocalisation’ of the everyday lives: gender and glocalities in underprivileged areas in Sweden. In Gender, Place & Culture, 20:3, 290-312, DOI: 10.1080/0966369X.2011.649351.

Massey, D., (1994). Space, Place and Gender. Oxford: Polity Press.

Rendell, J., Penner B. & Borden, I., (eds (2000); Gender Space Architecture, an interdisciplinary introduction, First published 2000 by Routledge

Schalk, M. Kristiansson, T. & Mezé, R., (ed.) (2017); Feminist Futures of Spatial practice, by AADR.

Whitson, R., (2018). “Space of culture and identity production”, in Feminist Spaces, gender and geography in a global context.

Course summary:

Date Details Due