Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


On successful completion of this course, you  will be able to:
- express ideas and narratives by means of visual writing and experimental typography
- recognise the multiplicity of textual practices, their conventions and potentialities
- express yourself confidently by textual means
- challenge preconceived ideals of readability, legibility, and authorship
- describe theories on and give examples of the materiality of language
- use writing as material for design, and design as material for writing

Credits: 6

Schedule: 11.01.2021 - 18.02.2021

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Arja Karhumaa

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Arja Karhumaa

Contact information for the course (valid 29.12.2020-21.12.2112):

Arja Karhumaa,

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Focusing on the materiality of language, this course helps you amplify your identity as a 'visual person' towards full confidence in working with text, and to expand your vocabulary of expression accordingly. With a playful and experimental mindset, the course introduces you to a variety of methods, examples and theories concerning language and writing from a visual and material perspective.

    Notions and methods such as textual appropriation, translation, illegible writing, flarf, writing by rules and constraints, as well as other means of uncreative writing are explored both in practice and in theory. Experimental typography as well as concrete, visual and conceptual poetry can be explored according to your interests.

    The course projects can be gathered and presented as a book, a website, an installation, an exhibition, or any combination of these.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    What work is expected of you?

    These are the assignments needed for the completion of this course:

    1 The small class assignments submitted on time

    2 Your 6-page writing contribution to the course publication (book)

    3 Your contribution to the Reading Room event (reading, performance, video... or something else)

    NOTE Items 2 and 3 can be the same project, done individually or with other people.

    4 Course journal submitted at the end of the course. Describe your ideas, findings, readings, learnings, thinkings on the course, as well as feedback. 5 pages minimum (default settings in google docs).

    The course will be held online via zoom. 

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Class exercises and course assignments/projects. The successful completion of this course will require 80 % attendance. Students will be required to give course feedback in order to successfully complete this course.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The course is graded numerically 1–5.

    As evaluation criteria, the following are considered at the end of the course:

    - reflective and original responses to assignments

    - assignments showing consideration of convention vs. expression

    - active participation in conversations and commenting, sharing, and respect towards fellow students’ work

    - discernible evolution of design/writing/thinking process

    - submitting all assignments on schedule

    - an element of care in craft and presentation

    - all assignments must be submitted in order to pass the course

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Class work 48 h, independent work 114 h


Study Material
  • Applies in this implementation:

    All study materials will be shared via Google Drive in the beginning of the course.

SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    4 Quality Education

    10 Reduced Inequality