The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (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. In addition, AHO offers post-graduate master degrees in urban studies and architectural heritage.
The Oslo School of Architecture and Design has a history stretching back about sixty years. The school was started in 1945 as a “crisis course” for architects who had seen their education interrupted by WWII. Prior to this, most Norwegian architects were educated at NTH in Trondheim. NTH was a polytechnic school, and throughout the interwar period, many architects had called for a more artistically oriented architectural education, and for an education based in Oslo, where one felt one would have greater access to the most qualified teaching personnel. The architectural education was initially a part of The Norwegian Arts and Crafts School (SHKS), but in 1961 AHO was established as an independent institution, from 1968 located at St. Olavsgt. 4. The school moved to new facilities by Akerselva at Maridalsveien 29 in the fall of 2001, and in 2005 the school changed its name from The Oslo School of Architecture to The Oslo School of Architecture and Design. The first industrial design education in Norway was established in 1979 as a two-year post-graduate course. A full education was started in 1983. From 1989 this education was a part of SHKS, but from 1996, the Institute of Industrial Design has been a part of The Oslo School of Architecture and Design. In 2009, the institute changed its name to the Institute of Design.
The education, research and project development at AHO is centered on design and reflections on design through critique, history and theoretical developments. At AHO, one works with design on all scales; objects, buildings, city and landscape design. The educational programs at AHO are professional educations. Organizing the studies in studios and focusing on working on projects are significant hallmarks. The architectural education at AHO is based on an academic model where drawing board education and learning theoretical disciplines through working on larger projects are central elements. The industrial design education has to a larger extent been divided into subjects, following a polytechnic model. The architectural education is organized as a continuous education ending in a master’s degree after five and a half years. The education combines theoretical disciplines, a professional aspect as well as conceptual and project oriented work. The industrial design education culminate in a master’s degree after 5 years. The study plan combines an established high professional level with an extended degree of theoretical depth and a contextual understanding of the social and cultural framework within which design will function and be interpreted.
AHO is divided into 4 academic departments:
- The institute of architecture
- The institute of urbanism and landscape
- The institute of design
- The institute of form, theory and history
The PhD program is organized as a separate academic and administrative unit. The PhD program includes about 40 PhD candidates who, along with AHO’s established academic staff, do research on artistic and academic problems.