Credits: 10

Schedule: 30.10.2018 - 04.12.2018

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation): 

Heidi Paavilainen
University teacher, Dr.
Department of Design ARTS
Väre, P201
p. 050 464 1129 (no SMS's!)

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Module Course trains students to research and work with lifestyle and design trends. After the course the student understands trend mechanisms, is able to recognise trends in media, street, home and business; student is able to analyse design and lifestyle trends and can utilise trend information in her work, including is able to produce seasonal and long term design directions in her organisation or community.

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

In the course we will study and draw from, nordic experience, and try to get solid idea about the stereotypes and what’s behind them: what makes Scandinavia and north special?, Is there anything long-lasting or globally beneficial in the northern cultures and ways of behaving? In addition to fashion and textile design, how can the nordic influences be translated meaningfully into for example, Italian sports cars, American consumer appliances or South-American health care?

Development of the skills of recognizing and editing trend signals, abductive reasoning and interpretation are the key parts of the methodological training in the course. Training draws from the trend forecasting practices and ethnographic research tradition.  The online courses offered by the Finland Futures Academy (University of Turku) complement this course but are not compulsory part of the training. Course work is supported with reading assignments, in-class discussion and exercises, guest lectures by visiting professionals, assignment presentations, feedback, and tutoring.

Details on the course content (applies in this implementation): 

From student's point of view the backbone in the course is a research based trend report that student builds. The trend report can be 

  1. Portrait of a particular emerging trend communicated in a manner that is relevant to a certain community or industry
  2. Portrait of a particular lifestyle relevant in a future to a certain community or industry
  3. Thorough research to an emerging trends in a particular industry or community or other field of action.

In order to have the skills needed in building such a report, we first and foremost talk quite a lot. We read, too, to understand mechanisms and patterns that we can rely on when forecasting. By reading and talking we learn, but also develop our skills of reading critically, "with a pinch of salt", since trend and future literature is quite diverse in quality. Besides reading and talking, students train at least basic ethnographic skills of observation with small assignments. In ideal case student is able to integrate findings to their trend report. On the other hand we talk about and students train their editing skills, in order to filter relevant findings (most importantly signals of emerging trends) from all the stuff that students collect and process during the course. Key part of the "stuff" are the findings we do about Scandinavia, North and Nordic culture during the course.

To support skill development and to offer initial understanding of what future oriented work could be, we will have visiting professionals talking about their ways of working. Secondly, we have visitors who have specialty in particularly nordic topics. List of visitors will be published in MyCourses.

Building the report is an exercise in strategic and also user-centered thinking in a sense that it should serve particular client of student's choice. One part of the work is to find out about the client, and ability to communicate client's needs in a manner that justifies structuring and content of the report. Notice, however, that the course does not involve formal partnering with any of the clients and that client can be fictional in a sense that student does not have real life contact with it. Doing the report to an existing company based on personal contact is perfectly alright, as is supporting one's thesis work with it.

To support report work, in addition to the contact teaching, there is tutoring available during the entire course outside contact teaching times at least on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.

Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Lectures, in class training and presentations and tutored independent work

Student performance is evaluated based on the following items: student’s contribution to the class. Amount of submitted assignments and their quality. Ability to provide constructive input and feedback in class. Proactive working style. Research imagination and persistence. Management of the workload.

Elaboration of the evaluation criteria and methods, and acquainting students with the evaluation (applies in this implementation): 

To support an active mode of learning, course uses cumulative assessment to help you monitor your progress in the course. Grade of the course is based on the scores of the weekly assignments and the trend report. Student also needs to actively participate in at least 80% of contact teaching.

The weekly assignments and the trend report are scored with up to 100 points in MyCourses and add to student's grade as follows:

Summaries about readings in the  course, including discussion: max 20p
In-Class presentations of assignments, including discussion: max 20p

Project plan max 10p
Background research of client max 10p
Literature review max 10p
Ethnography or other field research max 10p
Foresight quality max 20p

Total maximum: 100p

Scores add to grade as follows:
0-50p = Fail (0)
51-60p = Satisfactory (1)
61-70p = Very satisfactory (2)
71-80p = Good (3)
81-90p = Very good (4)
91-100p = Excellent (5)

All course work is submitted in MyCourses as an assignment. All assignments are then scored and works submitted in time receive also written feedback when  appropriate. Submitting seriously late (24h+) has an exponential impact on the points the work can score.

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

270 h

Lectures, in class training and presentations 80 40h

Tutored independent work 188 178 h

Own reflection 50 h

Feedback 2 h

Details on calculating the workload (applies in this implementation): 

Correct workload is:

Total 270h

Lectures, in class training and presentations 40h

Tutored independent work 178h

Personal reflection 50h

Feedback 2h

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Raymond, M., 2010. The trend forecaster’s handbook, London: Laurence King Publishing.

Vejlgaard, H. (2013). Style eruptions. How 6 different groups of trendsetters make trends happen. Denmark: Confetti Publishing

Older version: Vejlgaard, H., 2008. Anatomy of a trend, New York: McGraw-Hill.

Details on the course materials (applies in this implementation): 

The "Study material" books are recommended but not compulsory reading. In addition to these, we have a selection of journal and popular articles distributed during the course.

Substitutes for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

MUO-E1008 Trend Forecasting

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

In WebOodi



Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Max. 30 students

Additional information for the course (applies in this implementation): 

Course contact teaching day is divided into 2-4 study sessions, each lasting 75 minutes, with 15-75 breaks in between. (e.g. 9:15-10:30, 10:45-12). There are total of 34 such sessions.

80% attendance in the course means that out of the 34 study sessions student can miss 7 sessions without sanctions. Missing more sessions means that student has an option to compensate missed sessions by doing additional homework, agreed with teacher. Up to 5 sessions can be compensated (7+5 sessions = 2 weeks). If student misses more than 12 sessions, course cannot be finished.

Also notice that it is highly recommended to show up in time. Sessions are signed during the first 15 minutes of the session and cannot be signed after that.

Details on the schedule (applies in this implementation): 

We will work based on the following repeating pattern:

Mondays: Independent work 9:15-17

Tuesdays: Lectures 9:15-12:00 & Visiting professionals 13:15-16:00

Wednesdays: Independent work 9:15-17 & Optional tutoring 13:15-14:30

Thursdays: Literature session 9:15-10:30 & Exercise/Presentation session 10:45-12 & Optional tutoring 13:15-14:30

Fridays: Independent work 9:15-17

Exception: last day of the course is Tuesday 4.12. (because Thursday is holiday). On that Tuesday we will have mixture of presentations and scenario building in-class working session.

Notice that Tuesdays may finish before 16:00. If visitor talk takes longer than until 16, it is optional to stay.

Detailed, updated schedule is in MyCourses homepage of the course.


Registration and further information