Credits: 6

Schedule: 29.10.2019 - 05.12.2019

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Mikko Jalas

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

Mikko Jalas,

Philip Hector,

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

II (Autumn 2018 and 2019)

Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

After the completion of the course students will
1) Understand the principles of sustainability in product and system design.
2) Be able to use sustainable design strategies, methods and tools.
3) Be able to assess the impacts of and argue for design solutions for sustainability.

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The course covers both the historical development as well as the contemporary methodologies of sustainable design.

Topics include design frameworks and assessment methods related to systems design, circular design, product-service system design and inclusive design. Each topic is approached via lectures, readings and group work assignments. The essay task is to produce a critique of given sustainability solution.

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

of products, services and broader societal
arrangements as well as approaches for designing and redesigning these for
enhanced sustainability. It therefore acts as an overview on the various
intersections of design and sustainability, which can then be explored further
in other CS courses. The course is compulsory for all students of the Creative
Sustainability programme and available for all master students in Aalto.

The course
consists of lectures, readings, individual assignments and a flipped classroom
assignment as a group assignment. Readings include two pre-readings which are
used throughout the course and should be done during the first week of the
course. Other readings are assigned to each session.

The flipped
classroom tasks are delivered between 12.11. and 5.12. The exact timing depends
on which group you work in. A minor individual tasks are due 5.11. and 19.11.
and the course essay, the main individual task, is due on Monday 9.12.2019.

Readings for the
sessions are divided into 1-2 compulsory readings and additional readings.
Classes will make use of the compulsory and some of the additional readings.
The readings given for each flipped classroom exercise
are not compulsory, but to be used by the respective group.

Individual tasks:

essay is freeform academic writing, which assesses an argument and explores and
critiques a given theme (1200-1600 words). Guidance for the essay is given in
the essay guide document and in the class on 5.11.

individual tasks include the following:

On 5.11.,
take notes on the dilemma discussion during the game session when you are not
playing. Report on a single debate including the question, the approaches taken
and the arguments used in the dilemma debate (appr 300 words).

For the
lecture on 19.11., use one of the given carbon footprint calculators and
calculate your own footprint prior to the class. 


Forum ‘General discussion’ is to be used by students to suggest concepts, items
or problems to be discussed on the (following) lectures. You can draw on
readings if you think there is something particularly unclear or interesting in
them. You can also comment on issues that other students have raised in the
Forum. The Forum is used to assess the activeness of participation, which
counts for 10% of the grade.

Forum ‘Announcements’ is used only by teachers for practical issues related to
the course.

It is
recommended that you subscribe to both of the forums.

classroom exercise:

classroom exercise assigns a student group with the task of teaching others.
Each group will have a 30 min slot to organize teaching for others. This is
supported by a topic brief, literature suggestions and planning sessions with
the teachers on 7.11. and on a date closer to the presentation. Students can
make a wish on which team they want to contribute.

classroom teams should introduce the given topic or a more narrow subtopic to
other course participants. The activity should contain implications for design
or considerations on the contributions that design can make. Moreover practical
examples of design, which is responsive or directed at these concerns, are
desirable. The classroom activities may contain interactive parts.      

Submit to a
MyCourses folder the materials to be used and generated at the teaching event.

Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Course contents consist of weekly lectures, readings and assignments. The work also includes collaborative work with small group exercises, and a final course essay. To pass, the students are required to attend the lectures (80%) and perform all the assigned exercises, readings and written tasks given each week.
Assessment methods and criteria:
• Group assignments, final and intermediary reports 50%
• Active presence at the course platforms, activity log 10%
• Peer evaluation in groups 10%
• Course essay 30%

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


• Flipped
classroom exercise 50%: Consists of 40% given by teachers and based 
tutoring events, classroom activities and materials prepared for and collected
at the classroom + 10% students based on the classroom activities. Grade all
Flipped Classroom teams except your own team on a separate MyCourses document.

• Active
presence at the course platforms 10%: Includes with equal weight 1) classroom
presence, 2) Active engagement in classroom, 3) Active use of MyCourses Forum
‘General discussion’ (Initiate at least one topic discussion and comment on
three others), 4) Individual assignments given for 5.11. and 19.11. and 5)
Submitting the peer evaluations. 

• Peer
evaluation within FC teams 10% (add grading  ‘contributed more than
others’, ‘contributed as much as others’ or ‘contributed less than others’ for
all your team members except for yourself in a separate MyCourses document). 

• Course essay 30%

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

• Lectures, and class-room exercises, 42 hours
• Group work, 40 hours
• Reading course literature, 40 hours
• Course essay, 20 hours
• Feedback and participation on course platforms outside of the classroom, 10 hours
• Personal reflection 10 hours

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

Activity                                    Hours

Class                                         33,5

Reading                                    47

Groupwork                               30

Essay                                        18

Other                                         32

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

1. Ainger, C. M. (2014) Sustainable infrastructure : principles into practice
2. Ashby, M. (2013) Materials and the environment: eco-informed material choice
3. Vezzoli, C., C. Kohtala, and A. Srinivasan (2014) Product-Service System Design for Sustainability
4. Selected articles, other readings & web material

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

See the pdf. version of the Syllabus in the Materials -folder of the course.

For the class of Tuesday 26.11., the reading marked in the pdf-file as to-be-confirmed is 

Sanders, E. B. N., & Stappers, P. J. (2008). Co-creation and the new landscapes of design. Co-design, 4(1), 5-18.

Substitutes for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

This course will replace MUO-E8005 and MUO-E8020 Sustainable Product and Service Design, Theory.

Course Homepage (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Prerequisites (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Master students

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

0 - 5

Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Registration via WebOodi. Please see WebOodi for registration dates.

This course is open for Aalto master students. Max. 50 students

This is a multidisciplinary course and follows Aalto ARTS policy* accordingly: If there is a selection process, the order of priority in selection is: CS major students ; CS minor students ; 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 ; Department of Design students (taken in in the order of registration) ; 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; all other students.
* The order of priority for admitting students to courses at Aalto ARTS 1.1.2018 onwards:

Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Details on the schedule (applies in this implementation): 

See the pdf. version of the Syllabus in the Materials -folder of the course


Registration and further information