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.


After successfully completing this course, students should be able to:

-increase artistic expression, design skills and conceptual thinking in the field of ceramics design

-execute independent studio work in model, mould and prototype making

-compare and evaluate the aesthetics and physical qualities of the material

Credits: 10

Schedule: 12.01.2021 - 18.02.2021

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Nathalie Lautenbacher

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Eeva Jokinen, Nathalie Lautenbacher

Contact information for the course (valid 04.12.2020-21.12.2112):

Eeva Jokinen

University Teacher / Department of Design 

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:

    The practical realization of a design project in ceramics, the theme of which changes yearly: from tabletop to surface design or other. The assessment starts from gathering research material, sketching and presenting the concept ideas, proceeding to studio work and resulting in the making of prototypes from ceramics. The concept development, designing and evaluation are processed theoretically in project seminars, where the manufacturing techniques and working methods as well as chosen solutions are discussed. Students write a learning log referring to the readings, lectures and reflecting those to their creative learning process.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    In the January 2021 starting course the client to whom we will design new concepts is Aalto shop. Aim is to create and prototype new gift item concepts to the University shop.

    Due the Covid situation studio work will be executed in smaller groups which means more limited time in the studio per person. However the aim is to produce a concept prototype with material samples and working models to express the general idea to the customer. It is possible to continue the work independently if the work interests Aalto shop and they wist to accept the design in their stock.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    For passing the course, the student has to participate in lectures and group activity (80%) and present the final artefact. Evaluation criteria: student´s activity during the course, explaining the creative process through the learning log, the quality and finalization of the final artefact and content of the final presentation.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    10 credits = 270 h

    73 h Contact teaching 33%: lectures, seminars, tutoring, excursions and evaluation

    142 h Independent work: studio work, learning log

    54 h Personal reflection 30 h

    1 h student feedback


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Chapman, Jonathan 2005. Emotionally Durable Design: Objects, Experiences & Empathy. Cromwell Press, Trowbridge.

    Harni, Pekka 2010. Object Categories – Typology of Objects. Aalto University School of Art and Design Publication series B 96. Otava Book Printing. Keuruu, Finland

    Mattelmäki, Tuuli 2006. Design Probes. Publication Series of the University of Art and Design Helsinki A 69. Gummerus Printing. Vaajakoski

    Pallasmaa, Juhani 2009. The Thinking Hand – Existential and Embodied Wisdom in Architecture. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Ponti Tipocolor, Italy

    Yanagi, Soetsu 1972. Adapted by Leach, Bernard. The Unknown Craftsman – A Japanese Insight into Beauty. Kodansha USA, Dai Nippon Printing Co. Ltd, South Korea

    The readings will be added to the course syllabus.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Saija Halko: Arkisto-sarja / Pohdintaa keramiikan piensarjatuotannosta
    The Archive series / Reflections on small scale production of ceramics Masters thesis. 

    (Available as pdf from Aalto library. Email them to get your copy.)

Substitutes for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    This course replaces the course MUO-E5012 in the old degree requirement

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Previous experience in ceramics is recommended.

SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

    11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

    12 Responsible Production and Consumption


Details on the schedule
  • Applies in this implementation:

    All activities except studio work will be held in Zoom. Some research excursions may be possible in individual level or small groups.