Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO)
PhD Fellowship in Studies on Typology and Spatial Form in the 20th century Scandinavian Architecture
Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO)
AHO is a scientific institution providing education within architecture and industrial design, awarding the titles of PhD, Master of architecture, Master of industrial design and Master of landscape architecture.
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Published: 8 days ago
Application deadline: Feb 01
Location: Oslo, Norway
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PhD Fellowship in Studies on Typology and Spatial Form in the 20th century Scandinavian Architecture

About AHO and the Institute of Architecture

The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) is a specialized university and a leading international architecture and design school that provides education within architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism and design. AHOs fields of knowledge focus on design in all scales; objects, buildings, urban areas and landscaping. AHO is organized into four institutes, and has approx. 700 students and 145 employees.

The Institute of Architecture teaches and researches architectural design through a series of focal areas including sustainability, computation, housing and local building. The Institute sees architecture in an artistic, explorative and critical sense that includes but also exceeds the technologies of design and building. Through numerous master studios and a research-based approach to teaching, the Institute provides core architectural competence. 

About the position

The Space & Technique Group within the Institute of Architecture at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design seeks doctoral research applications on the theme of typology and spatial form.

Proposed Research Topic

The notion of typology has been a recurring interest in the architectural discourse throughout modern history, especially at times of the re-evaluation of the discipline. For Enlightenment figures such as Jean-Nicolas-Louis Durand (1802) and Quatremère de Quincy (1825), the typological study of architecture was seen to provide a taxonomy of basic architectural components and their generative recombination. Modernists such as Le Corbusier (1923) employed type as a reorientation of construction to the processes of mass production, while suggesting that its development followed evolutionary selection. For post modernists such as Aldo Rossi (1966) and Christian Norberg-Schulz (1979) typology is an “essential” aspect of the architectural work, representing a “language” of architecture.

Typology has had two senses in architectural history — leading to some confusion. The first understands ‘type’ as resulting from use or program, such as churches, dwellings, slaughterhouses. The second considers the formal organizational qualities of built work, such as cross-plans, corridor apartments or production lines. It is this second definition which has a greater interest for this call. In this sense, typologies express basic diagrammatic figures, such as the ‘organically’ composed houses in the spirit of Knut Knutsen or the Selmers, courtyard houses, the Danish firlænge or the four-square cottage, to name but a few.

Typologies are the basic spatial and constructional characteristics of the built work, and represent ‘inherited’ solutions to various programs. In a Scandinavian context, the question of inherited typologies is especially interesting, as typologies arrive in many cases from elsewhere. How for example does the courtyard house respond to a Nordic climate? In addition, following on Rasmussen (1957), Scandinavian architecture is seen to adapt inherited typologies to its environment though an increased attention to experience as a fundamental modifier of clear types. As such, while inherited typologies underlie much Scandinavian architecture, it is often implicit rather than explicitly acknowledged.

Candidates should describe a research topic that addresses fundamental aspects of the design of architectural space and built form, with a focus on typology and spatial form in Scandinavian architecture of the 20th century.

Possible topics include:

  •     Fundamental typological features of 20th century Scandinavian architecture and their spatial forms
  •     Implicit spatial and tectonic forms in this architecture and their explicit potential use
  •     Individual architects of the 20th century who have advanced the state of architectural design in                       Scandinavia, especially those whose work has received little previous critical attention
  •     Experience and type in 20th century Scandinavian architecture

The list is not exhaustive, but suggestive of the areas of research which are invited. Proposals should address the role of history, technology and society in the research. Special care should be taken to specify a particular subject within these categories.

The candidate will be situated within the Space & Technique Group and contribute to the development of a forthcoming publishing project on figures in Scandinavian architecture.


  • Durand, Jean-Nicolas-Louis - “Composition en général”, in Précis des leçons d'architecture données à    l'École polytechnique, Vol. 1, Deuxième parti, p. 87 ff. Paris: Chez l'Auteur à l’Ecole Polytechnique, 1802.
  • Le Corbusier - Vers une architecture. Paris: Les Éditions G. Crès & Cie, 1923.
  • Norberg-Schulz, Christian - “Kahn, Heidegger and the Language of Architecture” in Oppositions 18, pp. 29-47. New York, 1979.
  • Quatremère de Quincy - “Type”. Dictionnaire d'architecture, in l’Encyclopédie méthodique, éd. Panckoucke, vol. 3, pt. II, Paris, 1825.
  • Rasmussen, Steen Eiler - Om at opleve arkitektur. København: Gads forlag, 1957.
  • Rossi, Aldo - The Architecture of the City. Cambridge, Mass. and London: MIT Press, 1982 (1966).

Academic requirements

Applicants must hold a masters’s degree or equivalent in a field of relevance for the call. Applicants who do not have English or Scandinavian language as their mother tongue must submit documentation of their proficiency in English by the deadline of the application (TOEFL test or similar). Students with university studies where English comprised the major component of the studies are exempted from the requirement.

Evaluation criteria

Applications will be evaluated according the following criteria:

  •     The formal academic requirements for the position
  •     The clarity and relevance of the submitted project proposal and its relevance for the call
  •     The quality of the submitted example text
  •     The strength of their CV and list of publications

The application must include:

1.       A letter of application describing why the applicant is qualified for this position (maximum two A4 pages.)

2.       A project proposal (maximum 5 A4 pages) which must include the topic, relevant theory, methods or                       practise, and a time line for the project. Applicants are expected to be able to complete the project during               the appointment period. Special needs in terms of for instance technical equipment or association with                   national or international institutions or partners should be mentioned.

3.       CV with a full summary of education, practice and academic employment, list of publications, projects and             academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee (Max 5 A4 pages).

4.       Copies of educational certificates (foreign applicants must attach an explanations of their university’s                     grading system)

5.       One example of written work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee,                     maximum 10 pages.

6.       One presentation (where relevant) of practice-based work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the           evaluation committee, maximum 5 pages

Please note that all documentation must be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

Applications who do not fulfil the formal requirements will not be considered.

Attachments beyond the required documents will not be taken into consideration.

We offer

  • The PhD scholarship is fully funded and there is no tuition fee. The salary is NOK 443 900 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.
  • An annual sum of 20 000 NOK for literature and other necessary academic activities.
  • Office space in a professionally stimulating working environment.
  • 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 preferable. Research stay at a relevant international academic institution is encouraged.

The PhD fellowship will start at latest on September 1st  2018.

More information about PhD fellowships at AHO can be found at www.aho.no/en/RD/The-PhD-program/

For information about the project and the position please contact: Head of institute, Professor Thomas McQuillan Thomas.McQuillan@aho.no

Please apply through our website or directly at www.jobbnorge.no

The application deadline is February 1st 2018.

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