Credits: 10

Schedule: 07.01.2020 - 13.02.2020

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Jaana Beidler

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Our perception of the world is built on multiple senses. Visual information, such as colour, dominates and provides first impressions, while the other senses of hearing, taste, smell and touch shape the overall experience. Colour and sensorial design play two overlapping roles: they provide functionality while creating character through aesthetic attributes.


After completing this course, students understand the impact of the sensorial stimuli on human cognitive behavior as well as the interconnectedness of colours, materials, textures, finishes, shapes weight, etc to ensure richer, more engaging and successful products and experiences.

They are able to integrate their learnings into unique and impactful color and sensorial design solutions and palettes at product/project, collection/portfolio and brand level. The course builds students’ competences in leading creative direction and driving colour, material and sensorial synergies as strategic business assets in design teams and organizations.

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Students explore colour, texture, finish and other sensorial modalities in several different materials and contexts in studio setting. They create unique and innovative concepts, samples and collections that will be used during the course in creative, practical and strategic assignments and projects. Close company collaboration with leading brands is a cornerstone of the course and learning pedagogy. Students practice color and sensorial design by considering cultural and consumer preferences, market dynamics, seasonal flow and lifecycle management. The combination of experimentation and real life assignments strengthens students’ creative expression with sensory aesthetic properties, focuses their strategic thinking and enables them to create emotional connections with customers. Through lectures, readings and hands-on explorations they gain knowledge about emerging colour and sensorial design trends, manufacturing methods and technologies, sustainable practices and the role of colour and materiality in digital environments. In the course, students create narratives and prepare presentations containing visual elements and written arguments. Results will be presented, discussed and analyzed together and with design experts from the participating company.

Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Documentation and content of colour and material design hands-on experimentations, colour, material and sensorial palette creation projects, journaling and reflection, visual and verbal communication skills, and creating team success. Passing the class requires attending 80% of the contact sessions.

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

270 h

Contact teaching including lectures, group discussions and assignments 80 h

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

Personal reflection 30 h

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Karana, Elvin & Pedgley, Owain & and Rognoli, Valentina (eds.) (2013). Materials Experience: Fundamentals of Materials and Design. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann. (selected chapters)


Fenko, Anna & Schifferstein, Hendrik N.J. (2012). The influence of sensory product properties on affective and symbolic product experience. Proceedings of 8th International Design and Emotion Conference London 2012.


Cagan, Jonathan & Boatwright, Peter (2010). Emotion: What it takes to be a product leader. IVEY Business Journal.


Other literature sources will be given during the course.

Substitutes for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

This course replaces course MUO-E1028 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): 



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 students. 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. The weeks 2 and 3 are intense lecture- and studio-time that requires full attendance to the course.


Registration and further information