Course Syllabus

Urban Design Studio - JM

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Semester & Location:

Summer - DIS Copenhagen

Type & Credits:

Core Course 6 credits

Major Disciplines:

Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design


Joshua Morrison,    

Laura Parsons,

Program Director:

Henning Thomsen,

Time & Place:

V7-31 + V5-31 - see Canvas calendar below for dates and times

Visual Journal:

For the Visual Journal 1-credit component refer to Visual Journal course on Canvas.

Find it under Courses to the left and on your Dashboard.

Description of course:

The Design Studio is the core course of the summer program, and required for all AD students. Design projects are the basis for learning in the studio and will be the basis for discussions, presentations, and the development of individual design skills. The studios at DIS emphasize the awareness and knowledge of designing for a context outside your own and use Copenhagen as an ‘urban laboratory’ for exploration and precedent study. Project work will be done both individually and in teams.                                                          

Learning objectives across DIS design studio courses:

To enhance the individual student’s

Design Knowledge:

Building an understanding of the Danish and Scandinavian architecture and design tradition - historic as well as contemporary - through the work on assignments, and the study of precedents and case studies in studio

Design Experiences:

Exploring Danish, Scandinavian and Northern European architecture and design on field studies and study tours as well as through the exposure to Danish, Scandinavian and European faculty in studio

Design Skills:

Studying and working with Danish and Scandinavian architecture and design methods and philosophies shaped by democratichumanistic, and contextual aspirations

  • Democratic: We believe design matters to society, its well-being and progress, and our common sanity
  • Humanistic: We believe design must care for people, at all levels, in their common and individual everyday, and for the environment as the habitat for human activity
  • Contextual: We believe design connects us to what we share – the common ground, history, identity, and each other.


Joshua Morrison: MCP Urban Design (Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT) Msc. Landscape Architecture (University of Copenhagen, ongoing). B.A., Environmental Design (Brown University + Rhode Island School of Design). He has worked at Gehl Architects, the Taubman College of Urban Planning, and is currently managing director and urban designer at Fundament Design. He has worked  on projects in South Africa, Scandinavia, China, and Australia for clients including the World Bank, the Energy Foundation, and the US Department of Transportation. He been With DIS since 2016.

Laura Kate Parsons: Laura graduated from the master program at the University of Copenhagen, Msc in Landscape Architecture and Urban Design, and BA in Landscape Architecture from Manchester School of Architecture. She has worked at a number of landscape architecture studios in Copenhagen, including SLA, BOGL and Marianne Levinsen. Laura founded her own studio in 2017, among other projects, working as a consultant for the County Administrative Board of Sweden, and urban designer for Fundament Design.

Required texts:

Reading material for studio will be distributed by the studio faculty on Canvas.


Enrollment at a professional school or department of architecture or design at the junior, senior, or graduate level, and completion of a minimum of two spatial design studios prior to arrival at DIS.

Approach to Teaching

Studio instruction is a combination of one-on-one tutoring, discussions, and occasional lectures. The studios are organized as vertical studios, meaning that students of different levels will be taught within the same studio. Expectations will therefore relate to each individual student and their respective level of experience.  Studio work will include individual as well as team assignments, both of which are considered important as preparation for later work in the profession. 

Expectations of the students

You are expected to be fully engaged in the studio discourse, be prepared for each individual desk critique, be present in studio during all sessions, be present throughout the presentation sessions, and to invest time outside of studio hours developing projects.

Students are expected to check DIS Canvas daily. The most current schedule including last-minute changes will be maintained here. Readings and other relevant course material will be posted here for downloading.

Design Community

On Design Community on Canvas, which you have also been given access to, you can find department-wide resources, links and communication. Remember to check resources and announcements issued on Design Community throughout your time at DIS.

Evaluation & Grading

Evaluation is based on daily work in studio and on final presentations. Assignments are generally presented to a panel of jurors including the student’s own instructor. Grades are given by the instructor in accordance with other jurors.

To be eligible for a passing grade, you must complete all of the assigned work.

The final grade is determined as follows:



Assignment 1 - Process


Assignment 1 - Presentation
Analysis + Final Design


Evaluation Criteria for Assignments

Assignment 1.pdf

Studio Process - Evaluation in studio is based on the following:

  • Approach: Student is motivated, positive, engaged in the project and in all studio activities, attending and prepared for every session in studio, inquisitive, self-critical, receptive to input from both faculty and fellow students.
  • Production: Student is diligent, productive, continuously engaged in sketching, prototyping, model making, and other forms of physical/digital design development, to support the progress of the project and the dialogue with faculty.
  • Innovation: Student is creative and experimenting, continuously willing to push the project forward, exploring different design opportunities, oriented towards generating unique design solutions.

Presentation of Analysis and Final Design - Evaluation is based on completion of design goals agreed upon by student and studio faculty, and the criteria presented below:

  • Completeness: Student presents the required deliverables - well-crafted drawings, models and other visual presentation material - to convincingly communicate the scope and content of the project in a meaningful and creative manner.
  • Delivery: Student orally presents the project in a well-prepared and organized way, communicating the project intentions in a professional manner and engaging in a receptive and reflective dialogue with critics.
  • Design: Student presents a final product of high artistic quality that convincingly shows a conceptually clear and well-motivated design solution where the elements of the brief have been explored thoroughly and creatively.

Academic Regulations  

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on:


DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia -


Course Summary:

Date Details