PhD position: Norwegian Urbanism

Deadline: 27.02.2022

Oslo School of Architecture and Design

The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) is an internationally leading, specialized university within the disciplines design, architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism. AHO offers a unique research-based education of international standing. Established in 1945, today it has built a solid national funding base and is prominently ranked internationally. AHO offers Master’s degree programmes that are designed to best equip the student to enter directly into professional practice or academia. Within the Master’s programmes, students may specialise in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism, industrial design, interaction design, service and systems-oriented design. The school has approx. 800 students and 155 employees.

The Institute of Urbanism and Landscape has a multi-disciplinary approach to education and research within the fields of urbanism and landscape architecture. Particular attention is paid to understanding change and transformation of cities and territories and to developing knowledge in order to enable strategy development and support design interventions in urban situations and landscapes. The institute has a strong international profile, with a well-established network of partner institutions within practice, teaching and research. Education activities comprise the MA in Architecture, MA in Landscape Architecture, MA in Urbanism as well as AHO’s PhD programme.

Annual PhD Call 2022

About the position

The Institute of Urbanism and Landscape, AHO offers a PhD position on Norwegian Urbanism. This research program studies urban development through the optics of urban form, based on a selection of case studies. The program specifically investigates how architectural and spatial approaches can constitute a common platform for different interests and actors, and support strategic planning processes and decisions. This research is based on European traditions of strategic planning as well as research built around architectural and landscape analysis and design understood as critical tools for understanding, exploring and solving complex planning challenges in cities and urban territories.

This PhD project is part of the Norwegian Urbanism research project and is grounded in investigations of specific cases of municipal planning. Based on examination of existing strategic planning approaches, it should develop and discuss new methods for providing architectural quality and sustainable urban development. The project should build on, and contribute to, theoretical knowledge about international and Norwegian strategic planning practices and research, including more specific morphological perspectives on urban form and landscape.

The research should address several of the following themes:

  • Surveys of existing analytical approaches and planning tools, and evaluation of their performance, in the selected case studies.
  • Investigations into the use of morphological analysis and cartography in projects and planning processes.
  • Explorations of how morphological approaches to the built environment can become the basis for new tools and methods within municipal planning.
  • Discussions of how international strategic urbanistic projects can inform Norwegian planning practice and theory.

The PhD candidate will be part of a research and teaching team in urbanism and landscape urbanism operating in a Norwegian context, performing research on practice and research by practice. The fellowship will be connected to the combined studio course in urbanism for both landscape architecture and architecture students in their fifth semester (GK5), operating in small and medium-sized municipalities across the Oslo region. These studio courses will provide the PhD project with empirical input, collaboration with municipal stakeholders, methodological explorations, and scenario-based research by design projects through the studio’s student assignments.

For more information on this research program, please visit www.ahophdlive.com.

About the candidate

Formal requirements

  • The candidate must have a master’s degree in architecture, landscape architecture or their equivalent.
  • Experience from spatial planning or urban design is an advantage.
  • Experience from public planning is an advantage.
  • Fluency in a Scandinavian language is required.
  • Familiarity with digital urban analysis tools (CAD and GIS) is an advantage.
  • The candidate should document past experience in academic writing.

Personal characteristics

  • Ambitious, curious and highly motivated.
  • The ability to understand urbanism from a practice perspective.
  • The ability to work systematically and complete tasks within given deadlines.
  • The ability to work independently as well as in teams.
  • A motivation to contributing to a good working and social environment.

The Application must include

  • An application letter describing relevant background, motivation, research experience and network. (Two A4 pages maximum).
  • A tentative project outline of maximum 5 pages, formulating and discussing research tasks, types of problems and methodology.
  • CV
  • A list of publications and/or academic work, if available.
  • Examples of work written by the applicant, if available. (Three works maximum).
  • Examples of relevant types of plans and projects developed/designed by the applicant, if available. (Two works maximum).
  • Certified copies of educational certificates, transcript of records, diplomas and letters of recommendation.
  • 2 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail address and telephone number).

Please note that all documentation must be in English or a Scandinavian language. Applications that do not comply with the formal requirements will not be considered. Attachments beyond the required documents will not be taken into consideration.

The material for the PhD application will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • The quality of the project description (outline)
  • The applicant's suitability for the research tasks
  • The academic competence of the applicant

We offer

  • The PhD scholarship is fully funded and there is no tuition fee.
  • The position (SKO1017) has a pay grade of 54 with salary NOK 491 200 per year for a full position; extensive relevant experience can give a higher start salary. From the salary, there will be a mandatory deduction of 2 % as a contribution to the State Pension fund (SPK). Standard employment conditions for state employees in Norway apply for the position.
  • The PhD is a full-time 3-year position, with the possibility for negotiating a 4-year position with 25% teaching.
  • An annual sum of 20 000 NOK for literature and other necessary academic activities.
  • Attractive welfare benefits and generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities.

Formal regulations

The educational component in the AHO PhD Programme is mandatory and requires fulltime attendance. Residency in Oslo for the employment period is mandatory. Research stay at a relevant international academic institution is encouraged. The PhD fellowship will start September 1st 2022.

Information meeting

The PhD Programme at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) will arrange an online information meeting about the AHO PhD Programme on Friday, February 4th 2022 at 14:00 CET. See this more information.

Contact Information:

Questions about this PhD position can be directed to the main supervisors:

For more information about the PhD Programme, please visit our website.

Apply for position

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