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.


Students will learn to:

1. Evaluate and compare different art and design research methods while becoming aware of the research done in the Department of Media.

2. Locate and retrieve information from multiple sources.

3. Integrate the new knowledge and formulate research questions.

4. Plan and produce a research plan.

Credits: 4

Schedule: 02.11.2021 - 07.12.2021

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Lily Diaz-Kommonen

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

We will meet online in Zoom at this link,

Password: 031706

Contact information:

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:


    Session 1 Why research?
    We begin with the question of Why do research in art and design? Why is it that in our times it has become important that creative people such as artists and designers engage in research? The lecture presents a variety of methodologies used for artistic research including Practice-led and Studio-based research. Students are given a set of cases derived from works of major contemporary artists and designers as reading assignment for the next session.

    Session 2 MyResearch
    Discussion of the case studies that were assigned in the previous session. The lecture discusses the major aspects of a research plan. For the next session students prepare and hand in a 500 word proposal (including a Gantt chart) that focuses on how research might be used in the creation/production of the idea for the next session.

    Session 3 Pragmatic approach to research in new media
    Discussion of a selection of the plans developed by students. A lecture focusing on Five major facets of new media of Concept, Interaction, Content, Audience, Interface are explored with the objective of illuminating how artistic and design research can be used. The plans developed by students are exchanged. The objective is for students to learn to do a positive peer-review of each other s work.

    Session 4 Some theoretical considerations
    During this session we will discuss different visions and points of view about the topics of Epistemology and Ontology and how these two influence current knowledge paradigms. Discussion of materials presented. A selection of the peer-review done by the students is presented.

    Session 5 Review of research methods, part 1
    The session presents a review of a variety of research methodologies used to develop creative projects in art and design and focused towards new media. Students break into groups and discuss the methods presented. Session ends with questions and discussion among all groups.

    Session 6 Review of research methods, part 2
    This final session presents experimental research methods used in Aalto ARTS. Invited doctoral students come to present and discuss their work with MA students. Students hand in their final improved presentations of research plan.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    80% presence in lectures, a book exam, and the Aralis information retrieval course are required.

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    4 credits, of which 3 credits will come from one lecture module, and 1 credit from an exam. To prepare for the exam, the teacher will make lecture slides available in MyCourses and at the beginning of the course provide the students a reading list of bibliographic materials related to the topics discussed in the class. These bibliographic materials will be used to complete the exam, that will be done as a take home and open book test, to be handed in at the end of the course.


Study Material
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    1. Lecture slides

    2. List of bibliographic materials to read in preparation for exam. 

    3. Set of short case studies prepared by the teacher and based on works by major con-temporary artists and designers as a reading assignment.

    4. A basic research plan template, prepared by the teacher, to use for completing their own preliminary research plan that must be handed in by the next lecture.

    5. A positive peer-review checklist prepared by the teacher so that they can carry on reviews of their colleague s preliminary research plans.

    6. A digitized selection of IDEO Methods Cards depicting the different design methodolo-gies. They are asked to look up information about these methods in preparation for the next two lectures. A selection of the preliminary research plans done by students are presented in the class.

Substitutes for Courses


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Period:

    2020-2021 Autumn II

    2021-2022 Autumn II

    Course Homepage:

    Registration for Courses: Sisu replaces Oodi on 9 August, 2021. Priority order to courses is according to the order of priority decided by the Academic committee for School of Arts, Design and Architecture:

    Available through Weboodi and MyCourses.