Course syllabus

Course PM

Architecture in the Anthropocene
LP1 HT23
10 HP
Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering


Jonas Lundberg (Examiner, Supervisor)
Kengo Skorick (Teacher, Supervisor)


The Contemporary Design Challenge is a small design project that ideally should help develop design skills and abilities related to climate change that would be applicable in subsequent studio projects.  The content cover everything from climate fundamentals, environmental impact of the built environment, adaptation to extreme environments, design for retrofit and adaptive reuse, biodiversity, ecology and passive and active design principles. The course aims for students to develop and demonstrate key technical knowledge, awareness, skills, and abilities related to the design of regenerative architecture with the potential of a positive environmental impact contribution in the age of the Anthropocene. The learning is primarily based around turning knowledge about our climatic predicament into a set of practical and technical skills and abilities, related to the design, testing and performance of architecture. The course enhances previously garnered knowledge and understanding of the paradigms of sustainable architecture to bring it a step further towards regenerative design and the potential of a positive carbon footprint. The course, being both primarily skill based and a compulsory course of the program, is relatively broad to cater to the diversity of design studios contained in the program but offering the students concepts related to the climate change, digital design skills such as design and associative modelling, 3D scanning as well as simulation.

Learning Objectives & Syllabus

Knowledge & Understanding

+ Discuss how the project work is relevant to contemporary architectural discourse and research related to climate change.
+ Demonstrate the re-iterative design process, that a project undergoes as it is informed and developed from concept to realization, through consultancy, research findings and rigorous testing.
+ Demonstrate the environmental adaptation and performance of a design project.

Skills & Abilities

+  Apply skills and abilities related to bioclimatic design
+  Situate a design project in a digital environment using digital design tools
+  Be able to use digital means of analysis and/or simulation and consultancy to inform aspects of the environmental adaptation and performance of a design.
+  Implementing technical research findings in a design project and the public communication and dissemination thereof.
+  Be able to systematically apply knowledge and understanding of environmental, technical and process principles in design.

Formulation of Judgements & Attitudes

+  Formulate early assessments of peer design projects related to the performance and the environmental impact of the proposal and its relation to contemporary architectural discourse and best practice.
+  Interpret, question, and develop given prerequisites based on achieved knowledge and experience and excel by creating unexpected new knowledge and design outcomes.


+  See Studieportalen (Link)


Course Design

The course is primarily a skill-based course implementing Studio Based Learning (SBL) around two design project assignments devised to transform general knowledge about sustainability and climatic adaptation to specific design skills and digital abilities.  The course is divided into 3 distinct phases:

1. Technology, Research, and Experiments

Technology demonstrations, precedent and material studies and text seminars, design research that targets environmental adaptation and performance to be used in project 1 and 2.

2. Building & Performance

Project 1
Building Study
2.5 ECTS

The purpose is to make a comprehensive building analysis and inventory of medium scale building. The project is supposed to deploy the digital modelling, simulation, drawing and diagramming techniques techniques introduced in the first part of the course.

3. Context, Environment & Materialization

Project 2
Design Project
5 + 2.5 ECTS

A. Swedish Consulate for the Climate Emergency (5 ECTS)

The brief is based around the team based design, materialization, assemblage, and performance of a small prototypical building complex with the capacity  to be adapted to 2 of the 5 climate zones – cool, temperate, sub-tropic, tropics and desert.

B. Technical Report + Design Performance Analysis (2.5 ECTS)

Adapting and integrating a design project into two different climates and the assessment of its performance and environmental impact including a reflection on the designed outcome that can be used as a source of inspiration in later design projects



1. Technology, Research, & Experiments

+  Introduction / Demonstrations (Weeks 35~36)

2. Building & Performance

+  Building Case Study (Week 37~38)

3. Context, Environment & Materialization

+  Design, Materialization, Development (Swedish Consulate for the Climate Emergency, Weeks 39~42)
+  Analysis, Reporting, Reflecting, Assessment (Technical Report, Weeks 42~43)

Integrated Learning

The course aims to harness the learning in ACE 380: Sustainable Development and the Design Professions and transform knowledge into design and technical skills and abilities. The aim is also to find a way of integrate some of the requests of the lp 2 design studios in the development of digital skills and the in the design project supervision. To ensure continuity in the learning, each design studio is also asked to provide a number of building projects for the building study. The final report and reflection should include a critical reflection on the design, its adaption to two different climates as well as an environmental impact assessment and be a useful document to bring forward to the following design studio course.

Communication & Resources 

The primary communication channel for the course is Canvas. Please use the Canvas platform to communicate with your tutors and the main course communication are made as Canvas announcements. The course is divided into six different studios (ritsalar) and each studio has its own subgroup on Canvas. The course are using the studio spaces on the top floor, level 5 in the SB1 building. Each studio (ritsal) will be getting dedicated studio space at the beginning of the year. We are also using the computers on level 5 and in the basement labs at SB1. All the software are also available for remote access.

Examination Form

Student work during project 1 & 2 are presented and evaluated in reviews with invited guests according to the submission requirements specified in the project assignments made available on Canvas. The final marking is based on a combination of the design reviews of team related design work in combination with an individual illustrated design diary and technical report submitted at the end of the course. A minimum of 80% attendance or participation in lectures, pin-ups, demos, and visits is required to pass the course.


In addition to the literature below, each project assignment introduced at the beginning of each phase may include additional project specific readings.

+  Sofie Pelsmakers, Elizabeth Donovan, Aidan Hoggard, Urszula Kozminska 2022: Designing for the climate emergency : a guide for architecture students 
+  Kate Franklin, Caroline Till 2018, Radical Matter: Rethinking Materials for a Sustainable Future, Thames and Hudson Ltd
+  IPCC WorkGroup2 (55th Session) 2022, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, Cambridge University Press
+  Liedl, Hausladen, Saldanha 2012,  Building to Suit the Climate: A Handbook


Course summary:

Date Details Due