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: (1) Deepen the understanding of the characteristics of the material and its aesthetic as well as expressive qualities; (2) Support the self-managing of the creative process with documentation, reflection and discussions; (3) position themselves in the wider context of art and design and activate critical thinking towards glass making; (4) capable of exhibiting the projects/artefact(s) and presenting the concept and process of making to others. 

Credits: 10

Schedule: 26.10.2020 - 02.12.2020

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Anna-Marie van der Lei

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Kirsti Taiviola, Anna-Marie van der Lei

Contact information for the course (valid 23.09.2020-21.12.2112):


Kirsti Taiviola,

Gianluca Giabardo,

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:

    Depending on the yearly changing theme, the course highlights process, artistic sensibilities or social and environmental responsibility incorporating design, sculpture, architecture and/or craft. Students refine their ability to think and communicate through a multifaceted medium and seek a personal approach to the material and its aesthetics.

    The task is to approach glass and glass making from a critical point of view, challenging oneself to think what glass making stands for in today's world - for both the student and in the wider societal context. The assessment starts from doing background research, sketching and presenting the concept ideas and then proceeding to hands-on studio work and resulting in the making of the actual piece(s) in glass. The concept development, designing and evaluation are processed theoretically in project seminars.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    This year edition of the course will engage the students in critically inquiring, exploring, and experimenting with glass and its manifold dimensions.

    Together we will reflect on what glass leaves behind, and what still is ahead; on the relationship with energy, material and resources, their extraction, (ab)use, and disposal; on the meaning and value of craft and craftsmanship in a contemporary (design) context; on the (ir)relevance of local, embodied, tacit bodies of knowledge and skills.

    The course will rhythmically proceed with readings, museum visits, discussion, written reflections, and practical experiments in the glass studio. 

    Our desire is not to have “finished” artefacts but to challenge, critique and unmake, through practice, production, activism, public engagement, speculative and critical approaches, material explorations, and theoretical exercises the paradigms that replicate, reproduce and advance unsustainable routines. 

    We will together search for, explore, and experiment new ways.  


    The course is part of an international research project initiated by Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin. Results might be included in a curated, touring exhibition in 2022/2023.

    Project partners:

    Aalto University Helsinki, Finland

    Bröhan-Museum Berlin, Germany

    Glasmanufaktur Harzkristall Derenburg, Germany and Gerhard Bürger Foundation

    Museum Glassworks Baruth (Museum Association Glashütte), Germany

    The Finnish Glass Museum Riihimäki, Finland,

    The Glass Factory, Boda, Sweden (glassworks, gallery and museum)

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Documentation and content of background research, material design process and hands-on experimentations; quality of personal learning diary; visual and verbal communication skills. The student has to participate in lectures and group activity (80%), and present the final artefact(s).  .

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    10 credits 270 hours in total


    Briefing, reviews and lecturing sessions 30h

    Individual or small group tutoring 30h

    Independent design work 160h

    Learning diary 20h

    Personal reflection 30


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Study materials will be uploaded to MyCourses:

    Dormer P. The Art of the Maker. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd

    Dormer P (ed.) 1997. The Culture of Craft (ed. 2010) Manchester: University Press

    Rawsthorn, A. 2013. Hello World, Where Design Meets Life. Penguin books

    Sennett R. 2018. The Craftsman. London: Penguin books 



  • Applies in this implementation:

    This is a preliminary reading list. More detailed list and instructions on the readings will be given in class. However, if you are interested in any of the following texts please do not hesitate to go ahead and read.

    Baudrillard, J. (2011). “The Artisan,” from The Mirror of Production. The Journal of Modern Craft, 4(1), 87–91.

    Bellacasa, M. P. de la. (2017). Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More than Human Worlds. U of Minnesota Press.

    Dorfles, G. (2014). The Man-made Object. In The Object (p. 71,74). Whitechapel Gallery, The MIT Press.

    Feola, G. (2019). Degrowth and the Unmaking of Capitalism. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 18(4), 977–997.

    Lehmann, U. (2018). Object Lesson. In Craft (pp. 180–181). Whitechapel Gallery, The MIT Press.

    Lindström, K., & Ståhl, Å. (2019). Caring Design Experiments in the Aftermath. 1–9. 

    Lindström, K., & Ståhl, Å. (2020). Un/Making in the Aftermath of Design. Proceedings of the 16th Participatory Design Conference 2020 - Participation(s) Otherwise - Volume 1, 12–21.

    Malpass, M. (2013). Between Wit and Reason: Defining Associative, Speculative, and Critical Design in Practice. Design and Culture, 5(3), 333–356. 

    Mari, E. (2002). Autoprogettazione? Corraini.

    Marx, K. (2018). Division of Labour and Manufacture. In Craft (pp. 100, 102). Whitechapel Gallery, The MIT Press.

    Morton, T. (2018). Being ecological. MIT Press.

    Papanek, V. J. (1985). Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change. Academy Chicago, Chicago, Ill.

    Sottsass, E. (2018). The Life of the Artisan. In Craft (p. 104,105). Whitechapel Gallery, The MIT Press.

    Thwaites, T. (2012). The Toaster Project: Or A Heroic Attempt to Build a Simple Electric Appliance from Scratch. Chronicle Books.

    Tsing, A. L., Bubandt, N., Gan, E., & Swanson, H. A. (2017). Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene. U of Minnesota Press.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:


SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

    12 Responsible Production and Consumption