Credits: 10

Schedule: 14.04.2020 - 19.05.2020

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Maarit Mäkelä

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

Maarit Mäkelä

050 3722168

Krista Kosonen

050 5634506

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The students learn to professionalize their ideas, and present their ideas to relevant stakeholders. At the end of the course the student should be capable to present a coherent exhibition and/or catalogue plan that is based on clearly curated narration.

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The main objective of the course is to understand what happens in the field of contemporary design currently and position the Contemporary Design Program student works as part of the ongoing discourse. The aim of the course is to curate and design the yearly exhibition and/or exhibition catalogue for the Contemporary Design Program. The outcome of the course is realised during the following term.


The course consists in three phases: (I) collecting and creating an overview of the works done in Contemporary Design Program done during the academic year; (II) processing and interpreting the collected data, and creating a narration; and (III) professionalizing and presenting the key concepts related to the forthcoming exhibition

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

Instead of building the exhibition or making the video, in 2020 the students will reflect on their own skills and capacities as a designer and make an annotated portfolio about their work. They will also map the field of Contemporary Design, and conduct interviews from the selected figures from the field.

Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

For passing the course, the student has to participate in excursion, lectures and group activity (80%), and present their final outcome.

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

Activity in the course.

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

270 h

Contact teaching including lectures, visits, assignments, presentations and reading group 90 h

Independent/group work including literature study and preparations for the final design 150 h

Personal reflection 30 h

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Gereth Williams (2009). Telling Tales: Fantasy and Fear in Contemporary Design. London: Victoria & Albert Museum. (selected chapters)


Naylor, Maxine & Ball, Ralph (2005), Form follows idea, an introduction to design poetics, Black Dog, London. (selected chapters)


Buchanan, Richard (1985) Declaration by design: Rhetoric, argument, and demonstration in design practice. Design Issues, 2(1), 4-22.


Other literature sources will be given during the course.

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

In this course the literature listed above do not apply. Instead, new material will be given after the 2nd workshop in the course.

Course Homepage (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

fail / pass

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 8 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. An additional 5 study credits will be provided for the students who realize the exhibition.

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

The final information related to the course will be found in the course syllabus on Wednesday 25.3.

Details on the schedule (applies in this implementation): 

The course will be happen online. The online teaching will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 9.15.


Registration and further information