Credits: 10

Schedule: 09.09.2019 - 16.10.2019

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Anna van der Lei

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

+358 45 107 4949

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

As biomaterial is a broad and currently widely used term, the students learn to explore and discover new perspectives to biomaterials and understand how to create their own creative approach towards these materials. After completing the course the students: (1) Understand how to use hands-on material exploration as a method for material research, and how to associate material research as a tool in a design process by applying research results to a new design concept; (2) Are familiar with varying concepts of biomaterials, especially the potential of biomaterials in the context of design for sustainability; (3) Have the skills to search information related to the research topic, make a plan based on a chosen research method, carry out the experiments individually or in small teams as well as record and present their process and discoveries; (4) Learn to challenge material values, aesthetics and new/old crafting methods to create unique material driven approach that can be utilized in their later work.

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The specific focus of the course is changing annually: it can be for example food and nutrition, the reuse our everyday waste, or experimental design of new biomaterials. Depending of the annual topic, the course may be executed in collaboration with a company or organization. The core of the course is to design an innovative concept in the given context, and to execute process-driven, hands-on material experimentation that aims to the use of material exploration as a source for practice-based design research. The background research, process documentation and final presentation/exhibition are an important part of the learning process.

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

This year Bio Materiality will focus on Fungi.

Fungi is seen in the field of design as a potential
future material in various applications. We will
harvest, grow and design with fungi

Please note:


We will kick
of the course on Wednesday 11.9 with a field trip to Nuuksio. Thursday
12.9 and Friday 20.9 we will work with our forest findings in the
Biofilia Lab. After which we will follow the timetable mentioned on

More detailed information will be send by email.

Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Documentation and content of background research, material design process and hands-on experimentations; quality of personal learning diary; visual and verbal communication skills. Passing the course requires attending 80% of the contact sessions (lectures, excursions, group meetings and feedback discussions) and personal learning diary kept throughout the course.

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

270 h

Contact teaching including lectures, group discussions, assignments and presentations 80 h

Independent work including literature study, writing assignments and studio/Lab work 160 h

Personal reflection 30 h

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Kääriäinen, Pirjo & Tervinen, Liisa (2017). Lost in the woods. Helsinki: Aalto University. Other literature sources will be given during the course.


Substitutes for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

This course replaces course MUO-E5011 in the old degree requirement

Course Homepage (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

In WebOodi.

Priority to Contemporary Design students and Product and Spatial Design students who have this course accepted in their personal study plan. 

The order of priority for admitting students to courses at Aalto ARTS 1.1.2018 onwards (approved by The Committee of Arts, Design and Architecture on 10.10.2017)

The order of priority is as follows:

  1. students for whom the course is compulsory for their major/programme and who have scheduled it for the current academic year in their personal study plan (HOPS);
  2. exchange students for whom the course is a part of his/her officially approved learning agreement and scheduled to be taken during the current semester;
  3. students for whom the course is compulsory for their major/programme and who have not completed it yet;
  4. students, for whom the course is part of his/her major’s or programme’s alternative studies and has been scheduled in the student's PSP (HOPS) for the current academic year
  5. students, for whom the course is part of his/her major’s or programme’s alternative studies and who have not completed the requisite number of credits for alternative studies yet;
  6. students for whom the course is compulsory for their minor;
  7. students, for whom the course is part of his/her minor subject’s alternative studies and who have not completed the requisite number of credits for alternative studies yet;
  8. students who have applied for the course through a student mobility scheme (internal mobility within Aalto University, flexible study right (JOO) studies etc.);
  9. other students.


Courses that are intended to be multidisciplinary (e.g. UWAS courses) may apply an order of priority based on the learning outcomes of the course, while bearing in mind the university obligation of enabling students to complete their degrees within the normative duration of study set for the degree. The order of priority does not apply to courses organised by the Centre for General Studies or doctoral courses.

This decision on the order of priority does not influence the right of the teacher to define prerequisites for the course.


Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Max 16 Please notice that the enrollment time ends two weeks before the course starts. The acceptance will be informed to all applicants one week before the start of the module.

Details on the schedule (applies in this implementation): 


Registration and further information