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Doctoral Defence: Elisabeth Sjödahl


3 May, 2024, 10.00 – 15.00

Elisabeth Sjödahl will defend the PhD thesis: Deep Landscape

Trial lecture: 10:00 am

Trial lecture:
Reflections on the deep landscape as design strategy: bridging theoretical and practice-based approaches to manmade grounds?

Disputas: 12:00 pm

Thesis abstract
This thesis argues in favor of urbanism not only incorporating landscape but
also actively incorporating the other, unseen half of the landscape: the manmade
underground. At a time when human actions dominate the urban geological
ground conditions, and the reuse and transformation of terrain is becoming an
increasingly greater concern, it is more important than ever to actively integrate
the underground into the planning of urban transformation projects. This
requires new approaches to perceiving the depth of the landscape setting we

The thesis presents a design case to test the assumption that the urban landscape
has depth. The design case, which includes daylighting a piped underground
water system, reveals a need to design the visible and invisible underground
landscapes as one. Landscape interventions on the surface affect the underground
as much as they are conditioned by it. Taking this depth into account in planning
is a necessity, and the thesis coined the term ‘deep landscape’ as a concept and a
strategy for design.

Elisabeth Sjödahl is landscape architect, architect and urbanist. She holds a
landscape degree from the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) Barcelona
and an architectural degree from the École d’architecture de la ville et des
territoires Paris-Est. She is currently an Associate Professor at AHO and
co-founder of a new landscape architecture program. Past teaching at the
Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) Stockholm and the Technical University
of València (ETSA). She has experience from regional landscape planning,
private practice and is a founding partner of the office Worksonland, which
develops urban, architectural and landscape projects. She currently carries out
multidisciplinary research that explores human cultural, water and ground
relations across scales.

Professor Peter Hemmersam

Sabine Muller

Henri Bava

Adjudication committee
Associate Professor Ranja Katariina Hautamäki
Associate Professor Katrina Wiberg
Associate Professor Ted Matthews (coordinator)