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 who successfully complete the course should be able to:

* Identify the focus of their own design practice.

* Understand their competences and capabilities as a designer.

* Apply personally suitable textual and visual format to present their talent as a designer.

* Organise their work in a format of a professional portfolio.

* Explore and evaluate potential professional fields and contexts where to work after graduation.

* Generate a map of potential working environments for the future career.  

Credits: 5

Schedule: 19.04.2022 - 24.05.2022

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Maarit Mäkelä

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


Krista Kosonen

+358 50 5634506

Hanna-Kaisa Korolainen

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:

    The aim of the course is to explore and articulate focus of students own design practice and their competencies. They will envision potential ways of, and contexts for practicing as a professional designer, as well as meditate on the organization of their practice. Finally, the students try out where, how and with whom to practice design in the future by benchmarking and contacting relevant stakeholders.

    The main objective of the course is to understand the emerging field of contemporary design and position one s own practice as part of that professional field. The course acknowledges and discusses the transforming profile of designers today, and its implications on potential, relevant career paths. The outcome of the course is a map of potential working environments for contemporary designers.

    The course consists in two phases: (I) Finding my own way in the field: question, verbalise and discuss professional identity, and the drivers of one s practice (II) Mapping the framework for professional practice: processing and interpreting the reflections and ideating what and how to navigate towards after master s studies. Phase II ends in taking action: contacting personally relevant stakeholders to pilot attempts and establishing relationships with interesting collaborators for future design practice.

  • applies in this implementation

    NOTE: This year the course is arranged only as a 2 cr course. Due to this, the content is less demanding, even though the focus of the course is the same. Some of the learning outcomes, such as creating a professional portfolio & generating a map of potential working environments do not apply in this course. The course content & learning outcomes will be presented in detail during the first contact teaching day, 19.4.

    The course is organised partly at Aalto campus and partly via Zoom. See the schedule for details.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    For passing the first part of the course, the student must participate lectures and group activity (80%) and submit a coherent portfolio with comments and annotations situating the foci of their own practice. For the second part of the course, the student has to provide a reflection about professional desirables, conduct benchmarking about contexts for pursuing them and/or execute an interview with a chosen stakeholder. The assesment as is based on active participation during the lectures and group activity, and quality of the portfolio and other individual work.

  • applies in this implementation

    NOTE: This year the course is arranged only as a 2 cr course. To pass the course, the student must participate in lectures & group activity (80%) and submit & present a visualisation of his/her/their professional practice according to the instructions given in the course. The assessment is based on activity of participation during the contact teaching, the level of reflection & the quality of the visualisation exercise. Emphasis in the evaluation is on the personal commitment to the assignments and individual learning experience during the course.

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    54-135 h / 2-5 cr

    Contact teaching including lectures, visits, and assignments 30-55 h

    Independent/group work including benchmarking & field study 19-65 h

    Personal reflection 5-15 h

  • applies in this implementation

    Contact teaching, including lectures, mentoring and assignments 30 h

    Independent work 19 h

    Personal reflection 5 h


Study Material
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Kosonen, K. (2018). Finding One's Own Way in Design. Reflections on Narrative Professional Identity. Helsinki: Aalto University (Chapter 2 + selected chapters)


    Other literature sources will be given during the course.

  • applies in this implementation

    The teachers will give a reading assignment before the course from the book presented above. The participants will be also given instructions on how to prepare for the first day. 

    The assignments can be seen in MyCourses one week before the course starts.

Substitutes for Courses
SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    17 Partnerships for the Goals


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Please notice that the enrollment time ends two weeks before the course starts. The acceptance will be informed to all applicants one week before the start of the module.


    Decision by Vice Dean Rasmus Vuori in pandemic conditions 2021: The max amount of students 2020-2021 has changed.

    Teaching Period:

    2020-2021 Spring V

    2021-2022 Spring V

    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:


    Max 10 students 2020-2021.

    Max 12 students 2021-2022.

    The course is directed for CoDe students. The piority will be given for the students who hava chosen the course in their Personal Study plan, and who are near for graduation.

Details on the schedule
  • applies in this implementation

    Preliminary content of the contact sessions:


    Tue 19.4. 9.15-14: Introductions + course structure (Aalto campus)

    Wed 20.4. 9.15-11: Lecture + assignments (Zoom)

    Tue 26.4. 9.15-14: Workshop (Aalto campus)

    Wed 27.4. 9.15-11: Lecture + assignments (Zoom)

    Tue 3.5. 9.15-15: Workshop (Aalto campus)

    Wed 4.5. 9.15-10: Final assignment (Zoom)

    Tue 7.5. 9.15-15: Final presentations (Aalto Campus)


    In addition, the course includes tutoring that takes place 6.-11.5. The exact times will be announced later.