Course syllabus

Course PM spring 2023


3,0 credits



Course leaders: Julia Fredriksson ( and Bri Gauger (

Examiner: Julia Fredriksson



Architecture and urban design are contributing to the construction and re-construction of societal norms and values. The aim of this course is to train the students ability to understand and analyse 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.

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.



Wednesday 15 March 2023

9.00 – 11.45, room ES52

Session 1: Introduction to the course


Wednesday 22 March 2023

9.00- 11.45, room SB-L516

Session 2: Literature seminar and seminar on themes for essay

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


Wednesday 29 March 2023

9.00 –11.45, room SB-L208

Session 3: Literature seminar

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


Wednesday 12 April 2023

18.00 Hand in a draft of your essay on Canvas


Wednesday 19 April 2023

9.00 – 11.45 and 13.15 –17.00 in SB-H 328 and SB-H 346

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


Wednesday 10 May 2023

11.45 Hand in essay for final presentation on Canvas


Wednesday 17 May 2023

9.00 – 11.45, 13.15 – 15.45 in SB-L 227 and SB-L 285

Session 3: Final seminar for essays


Friday 19 May 2023

18.00 Final submission of essays



Texts for session 2

Texts can be found on Canvas

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.


Texts for session 3

Texts can be found on Canvas

Molina, I. (2018). “Planning for Patriarchy? Gender Equality in the Swedish Modern Built Environment.” In The Routledge Companion to Modernity, Space and Gender, edited by Alexandra Staub, 26–40. New York: Routledge.

Listerborn, C. (2016). Feminist struggle over urban safety and the politics of space. European Journal of Women’s Studies, 23(3), 251–264.

One article you choose yourself, related to your essay topic and to norm-critical perspectives


Works of reference

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

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

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.

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.

de Fine Licht, K. P. (2017). Hostile urban architecture: A critical discussion of the seemingly offensive art of keeping people away. Etikk I Praksis - Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics, 11(2), 27-44.

de Fine Licht, K. P. (2021). "Hostile architecture" and its confederates: A conceptual framework for how we should perceive our cities and the objects in them. Canadian Journal of Urban Research. Vol. 29 No. 2 (2020): Canadian Journal of Urban Research - Winter 2020 Issue.

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:

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.

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

Hayden, D. (1980). What would a non-sexist city be like? Speculations on housing, urban design, and human work. Signs, 5(3), S170–S187.

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.

Krasny, E. (2019). Architecture and care. In Fritz, A. et al. Critical care. Architecture and Urbanism for a Broken Planet. Architekturzentrum Wien, Vienna.

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.

Molina, I. (2018). “Planning for Patriarchy? Gender Equality in the Swedish Modern Built Environment.” In The Routledge Companion to Modernity, Space and Gender, edited by Alexandra Staub, 26–40. New York: Routledge.

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

Rosenberger, R. (2020). On hostile design: Theoretical and empirical prospects. Urban Studies. Volume 57, Issue 4.

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

Thörn, C. (2011) Soft Policies of Exclusion: Entrepreneurial Strategies of Ambience and Control of Public Space in Gothenburg, Sweden, Urban Geography, 32:7, 989-1008, DOI: 10.2747/0272-3638.32.7.989

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



The course starts with an introductory session presenting the organisation and the content of, as well as the subject of norm-critique. The two sessions after the introduction are focused on seminars and literature studies. After that, the course focuses on the students’ essays, with individual work, as well as supervision and final seminar for essays.



Some of the literature has been changed and Bri Gauger is a new teacher in the course.



Link to syllabus in the student portal:



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 2000 – 2500 works, including references and a bibliography. Each student’s 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 out, the student will get a supplementary task. Each student paper is reviewed and graded after submission at the end of the semester (3,4,5). The grade will be based on your final hand-in of the essay. The evaluation will focus on the following criteria:

  • Your ability to grasp the subject of norm-critical perspectives and apply it within the field of architecture and/or urban design
  • Your ability to formulate and follow through on a research question
  • Your ability to use relevant literature
  • Your ability to find a line of argument and individual position within that context
  • Your ability to find a methodology of working and show how you developed the work in a systematic way
  • Your ability to appropriately use citation, references and bibliography, using the APA system.
  • Your ability to present your material in written and oral form

Course summary:

Date Details Due