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 Form, Theory and History (FTH) teaches and researches architecture, architectural history and building heritage. The FTH faculty —counting approximately 30 architects, architectural historians, artists, and philosophers — engages on all academic levels: Undergraduate and graduate levels, and has a particular responsibility for the PhD program. FTH offers an executive Master in Building Heritage, as well as a Nordic executive Master in Architectural Heritage (NORMAK), a collaboration of Architecture School in the Nordic countries. The Oslo Centre for Critical Architectural Studies(OCCAS) is part of FTH.
PhD Fellowship in Building Heritage
The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) announces the vacancy of one PhD fellowship for a period of three years, from the autumn of 2017, at the Institute of Form, Theory and History.
Background and research field
The Institute of Form, Theory and History is searching for a doctoral candidate who can strengthen and develop the institute’s ongoing research into the cultural heritage of the postwar period as an architectural, theoretical and technical field of interest. This announcement is particularly relevant for candidates who are aiming to explore themes within urban preservation, i.e. building heritage questions of urban significance, framed in relation to the city as an arena for heritage debates. The theoretical basis for the project should correspond with the FTH’s established emphasis on experimental preservation as a critical framework, combined with an aim of increasing the awareness on how overarching currents in urban development and urban planning influence the understanding and assessment of building heritage.
Project proposals may involve theoretical studies of singular buildings but prospective candidates must base their analytical approach on research perspectives from disciplines such as urbanism, cultural geography, urban planning history and theory, or other scholarly fields that deal with issues of urban character. Candidates who seek to understand the legacy of postwar building heritage in light of contemporary cultural heritage debates are particularly encouraged to apply. This connection represents an interesting “loop” seen from an urban planning perspective, in the sense that history is repeating itself in paradoxical ways. Many urban masterplans from the postwar period paved the way for an extensive demolition of historical architecture by promoting urban redevelopment in the form of tabula rasa. Nowadays, much architecture fostered by postwar planning is currently subject to same demolition threat as the historical buildings it once replaced in the name of modernization and progress. The underlying argumentation is characterized by a similar rhetoric of obsolete architectural standards, failed urban territories, and unsustainable technical solutions. Meanwhile, however, the field of cultural heritage management finds itself in a rather awkward position on occasion, when faced with the task of securing a formal protection on behalf of buildings the sector once fought vigorously against. A third parallel between the postwar period and today’s situation is the existence of a distinctly hostile public opinion in regards to some of the architecture in question. Projects that deal with the media discourse that informs current discussions on postwar building heritage in relation to the urban dimension are therefore welcomed.
The empirical material in question can be either Norwegian or international, or a combination of both.
The position is part of a professional practice and research network at the AHO, which carry a particular responsibility for building heritage studies at graduate and post-graduate level, as well as an executive master’s program in architectural conservation. The position is integrated in the Oslo Centre for Critical Architectural Studies.
AHO seeks a candidate with a strong interest in empirical material from the history of Western architecture and urban planning, explored through the scholarly lens of experimental preservation and similar theoretical perspectives. Applicants who plan to combine theoretical and practical perspectives are particularly encouraged to apply. Relevant work experience will be valued positively in the evaluation process. Candidates who primarily have a practical background (architect, planner etc.) should be able to document sufficient knowledge of history and theory in order to be in the reckoning.
Prospective applicants must have a master’s degree or equivalent formal qualification in relevant disciplines such as: Art history, architectural history, history of urban planning, architecture, urbanism, cultural heritage studies, cultural geography and cultural history.
The application must include:
- A letter of application describing why the applicant feels qualified for this position (two A4 pages maximum).
- A tentative project description of maximum 6 pages that gives an overview of 1) the research field and research questions, 2) theoretical approach/methods and 3) empirical and/or case study material.
- Copies of educational certificates (foreign applicants must attach an explanation of their university's grading system)
- Lists of publications and academic work (if applicable) that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee
- Portfolio and examples of written work (if applicable)
- 2 references to persons that may be contacted for discussion of the applicant ́s qualifications for the research position. In addition, written recommendations may be submitted.
Applicants who do not have English as their mother tongue must provide full and formal documentation of English proficiency (TOEFL-test or similar).
All documentation for the application should be in English. Exam transcripts in a Scandinavian language are accepted.
Applications will be evaluated based upon the following criteria: the quality of the project description and its relevance for the call; the academic competence of the applicant, and the applicant's suitability for the research tasks.
Position & Salary
The length of the fellowship will be three or four years fulltime, dependent on whether the candidate is found qualified to undertake teaching duties as part of the PhD position. The position requires full time residency for the full 3- or 4-year period. Research stay at a relevant international academic institution is a possible.
The PhD fellowship will start in September 2017.
The PhD candidate is required to attend the AHO Research School in his or her first year. This is a mandatory introduction program for all PhD candidates admitted to the PhD program at AHO. The Research School runs for two semesters and has a total scope of 45 ECTS. Research School attendance is compulsory.
- An annual salary of NOK 432.700 - 489.300 (salary level 50-57), depending on qualifications
- A professionally stimulating working environment
- Membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund (a monthly deduction of 2% of gross salary will be made as a contribution to the fund)
Application deadline: 28th of February 2017
More information about PhD fellowships at AHO can be found at: https://aho.no/en/content/regulations-degree-philosophiae-doctor-phd-aho