PhD position: Production of Form in Architecture

Trondheim, Norway
24 Nov 2017
End of advertisement period
21 Dec 2017
Academic Discipline
Arts & Humanities, Architecture
Contract Type
Full Time

A PhD position within the field of Architectural Theory is available at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) on the general topic: The Production of Form in Architecture.

Information about the Department and the ‘Form and Theory’ Group

The Department for Architecture and Technology is part of NTNU’s Faculty of Architecture and Design. It has 52 staff members and consists of four groups. Besides the Form and Theory Group, other groups within the Department are Building Materials and Constructions, Building Conservation and Transformation, and Energy and Environment. The Form and Theory Group includes 13 staff members who work in a wide range of fields including the theory and history of architecture, art and design, aesthetics, visual communication and architectural and artistic practice.

Research project description

Form is one of the core themes of architectural theory. Ever since Leon Battista Alberti’s discussion of lineamenta and subsequent Renaissance theoretization of disegno, the concept of form has never ceased to be in the centre of discussions among architectural theorists—in modern times, one can mention as examples the theoretical works of Peter Eisenman or the debate about aesthetic formalism in architecture. Since the second half of the twentieth century and the contributions by Ernst Gombrich, Christian Norberg-Schulz and Rudolf Arnheim, the problem of form has been often approached in relation to the theories of vision. These theories have undergone major developments in recent decades, because of debates about non-conceptual content in the philosophy of perception and the impenetrability of vision in psychology. At the same time, the content and function of the concepts of form in architectural theory and research are often at variance with those employed in the practical production of form. The project proposal should address these problems theoretically as well as through the discussion of concrete architectural projects.

This call asks for the submission of proposals for a research project that will lead to a final doctoral dissertation. The topic of the project should place its outcome within the field of enquiry defined by the problem of architectural form in relation to architectural design process and the compositional, spatial and aesthetic complexities that it has to resolve.

Work description

The PhD candidate will formulate the specific topic of the dissertation in collaboration with researchers within the Form and Theory group and will work towards the completion of the doctoral degree during the appointment. The appointment is for three years and does not include teaching duties.

For further information please contact:

Professor Branko Mitrovic at NTNUs Department of Architecture and Technology at



  • A Master Degree in Architecture (or equivalent) or a Master Degree in a related field of the humanities. Candidates with a background in the humanities should document their previous interest and work in the field of architecture (for instance, publications or previous academic work that pertains to architecture).
  • High motivation and interest for work in architectural theory. The research proposal that the candidates are invited to submit (see the ‘Application contents’ section below) will play an important role in the evaluation of the application.
  • Previous work in the field of architectural theory. The applicants are encouraged to submit two examples of their written work in the field of architectural theory or history. (See the ‘Application contents’ section below.) These may be published or unpublished texts, theoretical writings done during their studies, or theoretical analyses of their final theses.
  • Excellent knowledge of English and the necessary academic writing skills.
  • High-level personal responsibility and the ability to work independently and to take initiatives.


  • Reading ability in languages other than English and Norwegian (this is particularly important if the topic of the project proposal requires extensive use of sources in other languages).

Application Contents

  • Curriculum vitae that must contain information about education, work experience and previously published work as well as work done in the field of architectural theory.
  • Certified copies of transcripts.
  • A research proposal pertaining to the topic The Production of Form in Architecture. The proposal should be in English, up to 2000 words.
  • Candidates are encouraged to submit two samples of their work in the field of architectural theory or history. In the case this work is not in English or Norwegian they should include short 500 words summaries.
  • In the case of candidates who do not have architecture background: additional documentation showing their previous work in the field of architecture.
  • Documentation pertaining to the knowledge of languages other than English and Norwegian.

The application must contain information of educational background and prior training, exams, and work experience. Certified copies of academic diplomas, transcripts and documents must be attached. It is a prerequisite that the PhD scholar applies for, and is granted, admission to the NTNU PhD program as soon as possible after employment. PhD admission requires a Master degree or equivalent with at least 5 years of studies.

The works that the applicant wishes to be considered (such as publications) must be enclosed. Joint works will be considered provided that a short summary outlining the applicant's contributions is attached. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

Applications, including CV, diplomas, grade transcripts and other enclosures, as well as a brief outline of a research plan should be submitted in one electronically file via this page.

Conditions of appointment:

PhD Candidate is remunerated in code 1017, and is normally remunerated at wage level 50, There will be 2% deduction to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund from gross wage.

Engagement as a PhD candidate is done in accordance with “Regulation concerning terms and conditions of employment for the posts of post-doctoral research fellow, research fellow, research assistant and resident”, given by the Ministry of Education and Research of 19.07.2010. The goal of the announced position is to obtain a PhD degree.

The applicant will engage in an organized PhD training program, and appointment requires approval of the applicant’s plan for a PhD study within three months from the date of commencement. The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants.

The positions adhere to the Norwegian Government's policy of balanced ethnicity, age and gender.

The candidate may be expected to reside in Trondheim during the appointment.

According to the new Freedom of Information Act, information concerning the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to be included in the list of applicants.

Applicants must apply within December 21. 2017 via please mark the application with 17/35358.