Course syllabus

link to course Syllabus

Course Overview

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ACE450 Emergency Architecture and Resilient Design

lp3 VT24 (10 hp). Course is offered by the department of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Contact details

Contact location

Room R-245, 2nd Floor of the Architecture Building, will be used for most of the course, however, for the few days the room is not available, we will use these other rooms for the following dates: 

  • March 8th: L-308, SB-2 (Please note: this is in SB-2, not in SB-1)
  • March 12th and 13th : L-285, SB-1

Course purpose

The unprecedented emergencies e.g. climate change, natural and man-made disasters, war and conflicts, ecological damage, socio-economic inequity, public health crisis - the world faces today, and will face in the future, urge for a more radical and responsive approach in architecture and urban design that moves beyond sustainability. Through critical and future oriented design including scenario making techniques, students will investigate design strategies that consider the built and the natural environment, as well as their inter-relationships, in emergency situations. The course aims to train students for pre-emptive and resilient design approaches that provide cities, communities, and individuals to effectively prepare for, cope with, and anticipate rapid change in emergency-prone or emergency affected contexts

Course design 

The unprecedented emergencies the world faces today, and will face in the future, urge for a more radical and responsive approach in architecture and urban design.  Usually, these problems are addressed by only technocratic solutions. Applying carte blanche technological solutions, “obsessed with attempting to control and predict every event and every aspect of our lives” in dealing with emergencies, “is the ‘great mistake’ of today’s society and of its educational institutions” (Dominici, 2023).

This course serves as a site for experimentation of different approaches to emergency architecture and resilient design aiming to transcend the limitations imposed by conventional, routine-based design education and encourage the envisioning of alternative futures.

To achieve its aim, the course will:

  • set the stage and position emergency architecture and resilient design beyond technocracy
  • layout and test, through workshops and design exercises, existing approaches including: technical design; more-than-human rights; human rights and community resilience.
  • Design for the future through radical futurism and speculative design projects, highlighting the importance of societal and ecological justice towards a shift from a condition of emergency to a situation of emergence.

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Learning objective

This course builds up an innovative professional profile for architects, planners and designers providing students with skills and tools in the field of recovery, adaptation and transformation of spaces in consequence or in anticipation of ecological, social and economic crises. See specific Learning Outcomes in the course syllabus on the student portal (link at top of this page).

Examination form

Student projects will be presented verbally according to requirements outlined in the course PM, which will also include information on grading.  A minimum of 80% active attendance / participation is required in order to pass the course.

The course examiner may assess individual students in other ways than what is stated above if there are special reasons for doing so, for example if a student has a decision from Chalmers on educational support due to special personal circumstances.

Grading: TH - Fail, 3, 4 or 5

As a minimum, to pass the course and receive a grade, you need:

  • Presence at 80% of scheduled activities is required.
  • Active participation at seminars, workshops and in group work;
  • Hand-in the results of workshops on the different approaches to emergency architecture and resilience
  • Course participation and exercises of sufficient quality (i.e. that fulfills the course objectives and presentation requirements);
  • Delayed submission of hand-ins without any approved motivation will negatively influence the grades;
  • Electronic course evaluations should be filled in.

The grading will be based on the workshops hand-ins and final presentation. The criteria for grading (3, 4 or 5) are: analysis and understanding, presentation and communication, critical reflection.


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Course summary:

Date Details Due