Course index

Session 01. Introduction:Part 1. A presentation on the structure of the course:  on individual research methods, individual research practices, multi-media production, and public communications. Course participants over the period of the academic year are encouraged to develop their individual projects through study and experiment, using multi-media strategies that can engage with the broader public. Using the facilities available at KKH, participants can acquire different skill sets (wood, metal and sculpture workshops, multi-media labs, 3D and Virtual labs etc., with the consent of the instructor to be initiated in the Spring semester) with the express purpose of advancing their project’s development. Each participant is required to set up a web blog that will be linked to the main course website, to provide peers and instructor with documentation on their progress. Besides attending course sessions and workshops, course participants should seek monthly consultations with the instructor, either during stated office hours or by appointment on Skype. This introductory session will provide an overview on the history of architectural and design educational strategies. “Pedagogies and Anti-Pedagogies: Experimental Methodologies in Research. institutional approaches to architectural and design research in the post-war period.”

Discussion and overview on the Bauhaus, the HfG Ulm, Environmental Design Studies, the Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies ( IAUS), the International Institute of Design (IID) Summer Sessions, S-Space at Space Electronic, Global Tools.

Session 02. Introduction Part 2. Discussion on different  formats for the collective workshops. There are three Workshop/Talkshops, to be held in Lund, in Stockholm, and in Rome (optional). There will be two Travel Workshops, to be held in Sarajevo and in Vilnius. Collective workshops are organized differently from individual work projects. Overall, these workshops are developed together with a principle public institution, along with partner institutions, guest experts, and academic programs and their students. The main goal of these workshops is to create compact themed projects that act in parallel with individual study, and serve to inform participants on methods and tactics running in tandem with public institutions and with professionals in related fields. Public institutions this academic year include:  the Skissernas Museum at Lund University, ARKDES museum in Stockholm, and the ISVRoma, the Swedish Institute in Rome. The travel workshops to Sarajevo and to Vilnius are organized with local public institutions, and cultural organisations, to promote the exchange of ideas and experiences. The Swedish Institute in Rome is to be developed as an open public forum for public discussion. “Why Work Together? When people join a collective.

02 Suggested Readings: on the Situationists, Fluxus, Archigram, Superarchitecture, Haus-Rucker -Co., Coop Himmelblau,  Ant-Farm, Street Farmer, 9999,  Cavart, Stalker.

Session 03. Diagramming and mapping: the techniques of graphic notation, and other forms of visual  based theory. One of the stepping stones in the study and documentation of real-world case studies is the ability to record and analyse aspects of our environment that present concrete physical forms. Diagramming and mapping are ways of organising sensible reactions to direct stimuli, whether the arrangement of a town plan or the dispersion of refugees along a specific border condition. “Draw me a sheep” and other ideas from the Little Prince.”

03 Suggested Readings: on the diagrams and maps of Joseph Minard, Ebenezer Howard, Paul Klee, Abraham Moles, Kevin Lynch, Christopher Alexander, John Coltraine, Ana and Lawrence Halprin, Ad Rheinhardt, Edward Tufte.

Session 04. Souvenirs, Monuments, Billboards, Memorials, Effigies, Graffiti, Landmarks, Symbolic Landscapes, UNESCO World Heritage sites and Nature Reserves. The Artefacts and Depositories of Collective Memory. One of the easiest ways to assess the value of an public icon is to see whether any souvenirs of the public icon exist, and if so what kind of value do these icons hold? symbolic, sentimental, kitsch or cliché? Might they be worth a lot of money? We are used to seeing souvenirs of Elvis, of Pope John Paul II, of Che Guevara, Eva Peron, but the popularity of  souvenirs depicting Joan of Arc,  Joseph Stalin, Nicolae Ceaușescu have fluctuated according to their legacies or their current political associations. “How far back can a souvenir go and other questions on resilience and irrelevance.”

04 Suggested Readings: Sigmund Freud, Civilisation and its Discontents, 1930. Adrian Forty, Objects of Desire: Design and Society Since 1750, 1986.  Keller Easterling, Subtraction, 2014. Stefan Jonsson, A Brief History of the Masses: Three Revolutions, 2008. Peter Lang, William Menking Superstudio: Life Without Objects,  2003.

Session 05.  Volkswagen has an ad campaign out featuring their “Multivan” that continues the legacy of its very popular post-war “mini-bus” often known under the nickname of “Kombi,” “VW Bus,” or “hippie wagon.”  In the ads appearing today, their updated multi-vans are presented with very colorful flower power graphics, with lots of peace signs and paisleys everywhere. Like so many corporations, the aggressive advertising campaigns  have subsumed counter-cultural artefacts, slogans, and even images of social protest as part of their standard marketing practices. We often associate hippy culture with utopia, but the relationship is far more complex, something auto manufacturers should be the first to recognise. So much of today’s society, suffering from a sort of negative global gloom,  has its roots in the counter-revolutionary, counter-cultural movements beginning in the late 50s and early 60s.   Utopia, Anti-Utopia, Heterotopia: where do we go from here?

05 Suggested Readings:David Grahame Shane, Recombinant Urbanism, Kevin Lynch, The Image of the City, 1960, Venuturi, Brown, Izenour, Learning from Las Vegas, 1972. Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space, 1974 Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish, 1975,   Donna Haraway, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature, 1991.Frederick Jameson, Archaeologies of the Future: the Desire called Utopia and other Science Fictions, 2007. Giorgio Agamben, State of Exception,  2005. Felicity Scott, Architecture or Techno-Utopia: Politics After Modernism, 2007, Andrew Blauvelt, ed., Hippie Modernism: the Struggle for Utopia,  2016.


Session 07 Models, Film, Comic Books, Performance Art, Installations, Documentaries etc.


Session 08 Collective Memory, Collective Representations, E. Durkheim, M. Halbwachs, R. Sennett, D. Haraway


Session 09, Semiotics-Semiology. Panofsky, R. Barthes, G. Dorfles, U. Eco


Session 10, Globalisation (Akcan…)


Session 11, Current Critical Practices, Commoning, and acts of Participation. Stalker Rome. Stealth.unlimited, S. Starvrides, M. Miessen, Raumlabor, Urban Flashes, Multiplicity. K. Park, T. Cruz, Urban Ecology,



You can find the re-encoded video at and use the username

visitor and the password AkEcUvLess.


Scope of the Course

30 credits, part time


Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for the course is a BA in art or architecture, a BA in another relevant field or the equivalent knowledge.



A selection is made based on the applicant’s work samples, CV and motivating letter as part of the on-line application form.



The course is on an advanced level, fristående kurs  (“fristående kurs” means it is not part of a program leading to a degree)


Research-Lab: Architecture, Urban Artefacts and Collective Representation (R-Lab) encourages the development of in-depth individual research projects using critical interdisciplinary methods spanning architecture, urban studies, design and visual culture. Course participants will be introduced to several research methods and critical practices as well as a diversity of techniques in multi-media communications intended to engage a broader public audience. A combination of course lessons, public seminars and collective travel workshops will take place over the academic year.



Architecture at the Royal Institute of Art offers a one-year supplementary education in architectural theory and history. The course is equivalent to 30 ECTS and can in part be used for credits toward a research degree. The course is aimed for post-graduate students with backgrounds in architecture, design, the arts, and urban related disciplines. Students enrolled in Graduate programs may also qualify. The course is given in English.

Mejan Arc erbjuder en ettårig utbildning på avancerad nivå i arkitekturteori och arkitekturhistoria. Kursen läses på halvfart och omfattar 30 högskolepoäng. Poängen är delvis möjliga att tillgodogöra sig i en forskarutbildning. Undervisningen sker på engelska.


Expected Learning Outcomes

After the completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  1. Master skills for developing a research based expository project directed towards a broad audience, in a public setting.
  2. Knowledgeable with diagramming, mapping, and or otherwise organizing critical concepts into visual displays of information.
  3. Transforming critical research into publications essays and illustrations and public exhibitions. Creating Web based blogs for communicating research processes.
  4. Knowledge of working within the public sphere, develop critical interventions within these public spheres, integrate feedback, as well as work in teams with related experts, local administrators, and the local communities.


There are 4 basic components to R-Lab.

  1. Course Lessons and Discussions on Theory, Methodology and Practice (average 4 course meetings per month evenings: 17:30-19:45)
  2. Individual Advising (average 1 meeting per month during office hours or on Skype)
  3. Individual enrolment in Material workshops (Wood, Sculpture, Metal, Glass, Styrofoam, Graphics…) and Media Laboratories (Audio, Video, 3D, Photography, Mixed Media…). Enrolment in Material and Media workshops require the permission of the Professor and workshop or lab coordinator.
  4. Collective Travel Workshops and Public Seminars Travel Workshops are organized around a travel destination and average one per semester, duration 3 to 4 days (This Fall’s suggested destinations are the Venice Art Biennale and Sarajevo, and in the Spring Vilnius, Lithuania). Seminars are programmed together with a Swedish public institution (Skissernas Museum).

The intent of the course is to develop alternative multi-media platforms for presenting advanced critical research through the integration of history, critical theory and media studies, conceived, structured and synthesized over the academic year. The outcome of the course is practice based.


The first Fall semester covers historiographical and theoretical methods examining working methods in architecture, design and media.  The course will also survey methods in visual and graphical analyses including mapping, diagramming, and diverse multi- forms of media documentation.


The second Spring semester is dedicated to advancing individual research projects, as well as developing innovative research practices, including digital media, audio and visual media, event based performances, print and internet, and material based projects.


This coming academic year, 2017-2018, a public seminar will be coordinated with the Skissernas Museum in Lund.

See Link:



Two scheduled Collective Travel and Workshop Trips:

Fall 2017:

Art Biennale Venice:


Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina. (Details to be announced, and possibly subject to late changes)


Spring 2018:

Vilnius Lithuania (Details to be announced, and possibly subject to late changes)


NOTE: Students enrolled in R-Lab who live part-time or full-time in Italy may be granted permission to fulfill partial course requirements at the Swedish Institute in Rome. Please consult with course Professor for further details. Those students will nonetheless be required to attend specified classes, travel workshops and complete their final exams and exhibition at the RIA in Stockholm.

Link to the Swedish Institute, Rome:



Course Content


This coming year’s R-Lab: Architecture, Urban Artefacts and Collective Representation is primarily committed to the development of individual advanced research projects: course participants are encouraged to explore ideas and concepts that can be transformed through critical studies and experimental practices. Each course participant will maintain a personal blog documenting step by step their project’s process, with the final exam consisting of a specific production intended for exhibition, in a choice of materials, or multi-media expressions.


This year’s overarching strategy, and that will guide the work developed during the collective travel workshops, focuses on the role of architecture, monuments, and artefacts in determining collective forms of representation. In the case of cities like Sarajevo or Vilnius, social and ideological conflicts frequently find their most forceful expressions directed towards public symbols that are identified with the legacy of these cities’ historical landscapes. This coming year’s association with the Skissernas Museum in Lund presents a strategic opportunity to investigate the museum’s very significant collection of public art in public space. Through a series of case studies, we hope to add an important layer of historical documentation around this question of social conflict. Through field work and archival studies, the ultimate goal would be to find creative and experimental forms of public oriented interventions that could help requalify, if not reshape, these spaces in contention.


While individual research projects are not necessarily linked to the travel workshops, many tactics that will emerge from these experiences in Sarajevo and Vilnius could help determine the kind of observations, discussions and proposals used to inform each individual’s working procedures. R-Lab’s core methodology is otherwise derived from a theoretically informed, research based hands-on practice, that can best take advantage of the unique facilities that are available at the Royal Institute of Art.


The main pedagogical structure of R-lab is informed by several significant institutional and non-institutional precedents existing mostly outside mainstream educational programs. R-Lab references the experimental programs conducted at the Hochschule für Gestaltung  (HfG 1953-1968) in Ulm, more specifically when the school was under the tutelage of Tommaso Maldonado, but also references the critical positions of the Situationists International (1957-1972) that emerged following the founding International Movement for an Imaginist Bauhaus (IMIB 1954-1957), itself created in direct reaction to the rise of the Ulm School.


R- Lab also builds on the pioneering organization of the International Institute of Design (IID), the London based summer sessions developed by Alvin Boyarsky between 1970 and 1972, and whose experiments in international education over the three summers resulted in one of the most creative periods in the history of the AA when Boyarsky rose to its directorship. The lesser known Italian Radical school, Separate School for Expanded Conceptual Architecture (S-Space-1970-1971) held in the discotheque Space Electronic in Florence, and organized by the groups Superstudio and 9999, though short lived, funneled a generation’s worth of experimentation. Other influential programs include Emilio Ambasz’s Universitas Project organized in 1971 and held at the Museum of Modern Art, MoMA, in New York, and Peter Eisenman’s Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies (IAUS – 1967-1984) also in New York. These largely ephemeral programs were nonetheless incredibly influential, not so much for the positions they purportedly held, but for the breadth of subjects confronted, the brilliance of their debates, and the kind of future that they presented.



Collective Travel Workshops and Seminars, 2017-2018

The upcoming R-Lab collective travel workshops and seminars for 2017-2018 will be coordinated through an innovative and renewable platform, Re-Sign focusing on civil life in public space. Re-Sign Architecture (RA) investigates, documents and analyses social fragmentation within the context of the city, its monuments, landmarks, parks, squares while also encouraging experimental forms of cooperative designs in these public spaces.  The two principle goals of RA are to develop a research archive and spatially based public practice, that seeks to overcome local prejudices and national biases, through the understanding and development of new forms of public landmarks, urban signs and novel communal rituals that can serve to bring communities together. The RA platform, has been developed together as a joint effort between Peter Lang and Daniel Urey, who works as an independent Cultural Planning Strategist.


Course Schedule

Classes will be scheduled for evening hours, appr. 17.30-19.30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays the first two weeks of every month. The Fall collective workshop (in coordination this coming year with Skissernas Museum, Lund), will feature a day and a half public seminar session in October and 3 day travel workshop to the Venice Biennale and to Sarajevo at the end of October.  At the beginning of the Spring semester 2018 course participants are encouraged to sign up for a specific art workshop or media lab. Due to limited enrolment, students need to apply and be accepted and attend training sessions as required. Access to these workshops are generally limited to daytime hours. A second travel workshop will be scheduled for the end of March to Vilnius, Lithuania. Final Exams and Exhibition takes place at the end of May.


Course Structure


R-Lab is conceived primarily to facilitate the individual’s pursuit of an advanced post-graduate research project, bringing critical studies on historical precedents, mapping and analysis with experimental forms of contemporary practice. The course is neither a history of theory, nor a theory of history, but instead presents a theory on alternative practices. R-lab introduces course participants to a set of theory based strategies to help critically structure the parameters of the individual’s research project. These strategies include developing critical research skills drawn from multi-disciplinary sources: visual analytical methods encompassing mapping and diagramming, digital graphics and multi-media documentation, as well as tactics for public engagement and discourse. Up to two short-term collective workshops are integrated into the course program, combining local public institutional partnerships with invited experts to identify, develop and produce institutionally relevant projects. These collective workshops act to explore, test and reinforce critical skills acquired over the duration of the course.


Architectural Theory and History is an advanced level part-time course over one year and gives 30 ECTS that can be credited towards a PhD course. The course consists of a Lecture component, a seminar component and a collective workshop component. These run concurrently throughout the Fall and Spring Semesters. The Fall semester is dedicated to launching individual research projects.


Lectures are given by the Professor and by special invited guests. Public seminars are organized together with a public institution. Course Participants are also active in a series of collectively run travel workshops, in parallel with course lectures and seminars, in order to gain first hand experience in developing, organizing, documenting and communicating a complex project from start to finish. Experts from different related disciplines are invited to contribute to these workshops and share their experiences with the class. Each academic year, the two workshops will focus on a specific project, and operate in close affiliation with public institutions and local organizations.


The course is given in English and is run by Peter Lang, professor in Architectural Theory and History.


Students are responsible for signing up and attending the Royal Institute of Art´s Lab introductory courses and training weeks. Students can make full use of the Mejan laboratories (wood, metals, multi-media, printmaking, 3D lab, mechanical) in the development of their final projects.