Course syllabus



ARK123 Matter, space, structure 1 lp1 HT19 (22.5 hp)

Course is offered by the department of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Contact details

Morten Lund (Examiner)

Naima Callenberg (Course leader)

Jens Olsson (Teacher)

Peter Christensson (Teacher)


Course Purpose;
Wet Narratives - The Autonomous Water City 

In the studio course of this year we will embark on a speculative journey where we will investigate the city and its alternative forms of development, specifically through the use of narrative as a design tool. We will base our work on the specific MSS pedagogy and, in both courses running this semester, an investigation of the relation between digital and analogue tools. This will permeate the course and your process is expected to relate to these issues.

The studio course aims to augment skills in architectural design with an understanding of the research by design approach. Emphasis is put on the iterative design process driven by physical representations such as model making and drawing, and informed by experiments in computational design. The course aims to create space for an open design exploration of an individual interest, relating to the theme of the course. We will actively use the term of Wet Narratives / Autonomous Water City as a starting point and vehicle for this individual research.

Through the course the process of shaping your architectural approach and practice deepens. You are expected to develop your own practice, methods, research and relate critical to your own progress. The project is expected to be developed through an iterative design development of prototypes and development of representation techniques for the topic at hand. The aim of the course is to strengthen the theoretical discourse with the concrete act of making, and improve the individual methodology within the research by design approach.



The schedule for the course will be available on Canvas and TimeEdit
Any changes to the schedule will be communicated via Canvas and further information will come during the duration of the course.


Course literature

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Course design

Addition: Theme for MSS 2019

This year both courses running in the MSS studio will have the overall theme of boarders, and one focus will be the critical engagement with the dichotomy of the physical and the digital. This duality will be explored in relation to three key concepts that are central to the design process. The drawing, the algorithm and the physical model. These are regarded as relevant to explore independent of the particularities of a specific project. These concepts will be investigated within the course of ARK123 through a tight collaboration with the course ARK258 lead by Jens Olsson.


Course structure and design

Your process in relation to your project during the course is expected to be performed individually. The following is a common structure for the course:

> Project idea
> Project documentation and reflection
> Critiques and seminars
> Final critique
> Collective display / exhibition
> Portfolio hand-in

The course is split into four modules. Each module is finished with a documentation hand-in and a critique session (except for the last module for which there is only a portfolio hand-in). Similarly, each module starts with a reflection of the individual work of the previous module. The tutoring is organised in group’s and individual sessions and will be concentrated primarily towards the end of each week. Lectures and workshops will be concentrated mainly to the first two module, usually placed on Tuesdays and will be shared with the other Matter space structure course ARK258. Note that there are exceptions to this main structure so do keep an eye on the schedule for the details and latest updates. Any late changes to the schedule will be communicated on email and updated on Canvas and Time Edit accordingly.


Learning objectives and syllabus

Matter Space Structure is a method driven architectural design studio that endorses an artistic experimental iterative methodology. These aims are reflected in the course syllabus, which is organised into distinct phases, each with a defined progression. The clear organisation allows the students to investigate freely, critically challenging the format and content of the assignments, yet never compromising the quality of the design proposals. 

Architects do not build, we design. Consequently our product are drawings, models, descriptions, analysis, or whatever representations we find suitable to communicate our intentions and design concepts with. We expect the students to expand the scope of architectural representations and critically augment the professional toolbox in each project from the early concepts to the final design proposal.

In the Matter Space Structure studio our objectives are reflected in the name. The project will contain material investigations through hands-on experiments. Spatial empathy is paramount in any representation. A floorplan can never be understood as a composition, only when we imagine walking the building, the qualities of plan can be fully appreciated. Structures carry the loads and define the architecture as the bones of a beast. To understand the forces in the structures and integrate the spaces within is an objective in our projects.

See further information in Course PM

Examination form

For a completion of the course the student is expected to:

>  Hand in a project description as described in Module #1.

>  Hand in course reflection in Module #3, reflecting on the workshop topics and the project.

>  Participate and present at each of the three critique sessions.

>  Participate in the joint discussions and seminars relating to the three critique sessions.

>  Compile and hand in the final project in portfolio format.

Absence from any of the mandatory critiques will be result in complementary task to be handed in online in agreement with the teachers.

Course summary:

Date Details Due