Summer school

Crowds at Copenhagen harbour pool

Ways of Living: Danish Architecture & Urban Design (Copenhagen’s Walking Classroom, Summer 2022)

An international summer school (BA-level, 7.5 ECTS) at the University of Copenhagen.

Application deadline: 1 April 2022 (1st round) and 1 June 2022 (2nd round if there are available places).

See the course catalogue.

Course description

In this two-week intensive summer course, the city of Copenhagen will be our primary classroom, with walking-lectures, sidewalk-seminars, independent field studies, and collegial debates being unfolded across a diversity of places within the metropolis. First-hand experiences, place-based interpretative discourses, on-site analyses, and critical readings will be entwined to support grounded ways of questioning and understanding the historical and contemporary Danish architecture and urban design cases at-hand. ‘Ways of living’, in this course, encompasses and addresses a diversity of human and nonhuman relationalities, and acknowledges that architecture and urban design are never stand-alone but are always parts of something both bigger and smaller than themselves. In this course, ‘ways of living’ spans a broad spectrum between ways of living with nature and ways of living relative to shifting socio-cultural conditions and political landscapes. Our concern shall be with such wider themes as urban history, sustainable urban development, climate adaptation, public life and the everyday (including human health and wellness), multi-modal transport, architectural transformation, circular economy, decision-making praxes (including participatory urban design and the distribution of power relations/resources), playscapes, and urban recreation. We warmly encourage diverse academic majors to enrol to further support a richness of interdisciplinary and intersectional perspectives and dialogues in our walking-classroom.

NB: Additional notes on course structure: The primary assignment in this course is a written exam paper structured as a critical reflection logbook. In general, each course day is organised such that collective field sessions compromise the first half of the day, and independent field studies compromise the afternoons. Moreover, there will be one course day designated as a full-day group field study exploring new neighbourhood developments in Copenhagen. Note well that weekend days are included in the course schedule given the condensed period of two weeks. Lastly, all sites can be easily reached via public transport, bicycle, foot, or/and scooter – however, should you have any accessibility related concerns, please feel free to mail your queries in advance to

Student testimonials (summer 2021)

The course was a remarkable ON-SITE experience in the city of Copenhagen, while observing and reflecting on the WAYS OF LIVING, how people behave, act and evolve over time. Together with the focus on the SPACE IN BETWEEN, meaning the transition between private and public and all layers in between, together with the focus on the people (considered) at the margins of society, and moreover actions and problems invisible for the users yet crucial for the way we continue to live and use the city as our playground.

Anonymised student

Thank you Courtney D. Coyne Jensen and Lars Gemzøe for organising this fantastic course down to the last detail. Thanks to you, we were able to see the city through on-site lectures, commenting on the architecture and urban spaces on the spot and exchanging ideas between teachers and students through continuous dialogue. These lecture-tours in the city were special because they were seen not only from the point of view of two architects but also of two citizens madly in love with their city. With your overwhelming passion, you showed us every detail of Copenhagen from the design of the mailbox to the colour of the light on the streetlights. You passed on this attention to detail and curiosity to us students. In fact, my colleagues and I didn't want to stop for a moment and wanted to visit every corner of the city, becoming more and more impressed every day by the changes Copenhagen has made in recent years. Can’t wait to come back!

Anonymised student

Thank you again for this outstanding experience! This course is extremely recommendable for everyone interested in the future of our build environment - but especially for urban planners/designers and architects. My gratitude goes to Courtney and Lars and all the people involved in creating the course as well as the wonderful people I got to study Copenhagen with!

Anonymised student