Credits: 4

Schedule: 01.08.2019 - 20.06.2020

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

professor Idil Gaziulusoy

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Last week of Period III and V, first year, 2018 – 2020.

Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Students who successfully complete this course should be able to:

  • Discuss the implications of epistemological and methodological decisions on research outcomes
  • Explain the relationships between design practice, research-driven exploratory design and academic design research;
  • Select and apply design research methods suitable for a variety of design research tasks

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

In this course, students learn to understand a range of various relationships between design practice, research-driven exploratory design and academic research. They become familiar with different orientations within design research and gain basic knowledge to independently deepen their competence. Orientations include human-centred design, practice-led design research, design management and leadership-related research, design-driven applied research on materials and production techniques, and design for sustainability. Students also get an introduction to general epistemological and methodological frameworks commonly used in design research. Following this theoretical introduction, students experientially learn using a selection of design research methods relevant to their field of inquiry and masters project.

Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Based on the two pathways, assessment is based on different work


For the first pathway, first-year students,

-          Attend lectures (10% of assessment), complete a mid-assignment (30%), an independently completed assignment (50%) and self-evaluation (10%),

For the transition pathway,

They complete a written assignment (100% of assessment). The written assignment will require writing a book report based on the study material specified below (15-20 pages), and a reflection on own research referencing the study material and four additional scientific articles to be found by the student.


Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The structure of this course and when it needs to be taken has changed. Therefore, in the 2018-2019 academic year, there will be two alternative paths to complete this course to manage the transition. From 2019-2020 academic year, the transition path will be annulled.


Pathway for first-year masters students:

-          Online and in-class lectures  12 h

-          In-class tutorials  40 h

-          Independent study (individual and group work) 40h

-          Reflection and thinking 10h

-          Self-evaluation 6 h


Transition pathway for the rest of the masters students:

-          Written assignment 108 h

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Muratovski, G. (2016). Research for Designers. Sage. Additional material will be provided in MyCourses.

Course Homepage (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The course’s homepage in the Aalto University MyCourses system

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

0 - 5

Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 





Registration and further information