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 taking this course, the student

  • Understands the value of design and its main approaches to sustainability, collaboration, innovation and management.
  • Knows about the different design fields and understands design’s possible application to different areas.
  • Understands the importance of the user’s perspective and knows design tools that help including users in projects.
  • Can describe the design thinking process, its phases and its most relevant tools and methods.

Credits: 2

Schedule: 05.09.2022 - 09.06.2023

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Pirjo Kääriäinen, Paulo Nicoletti Dziobczenski

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

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

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

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: Finnish, Swedish, English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    This is an introductory online course for students who are curious about what design is, how designers work, and how to work with designers. In this course we explain the basic definitions of design, introduce models for understanding design processes, and show the value of design in industry and society.  

    Students learn the four essential pillars of design today: sustainability, collaboration, innovation and management. Through hands-on activities and reflections at the end of each chapter, we give you a taste of some widely-used design tools, guide you in thinking like a designer and show you possibilities of deepening your design studies at Aalto University.

    The course is self-directed and at your own pace: there are no class meeting times or live lectures. This is an elective course suitable for both BA and MA level students.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Completed assignments. Evaluation will be done and credits given in the end of each period.

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Independent learning based on reading and assignments.


Substitutes for Courses


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Language : English

    Teaching Period : 2022-2023 Autumn I - Spring V
    2023-2024 Autumn I - Spring V

    Enrollment :

    Registration for courses: Sisu. Priority order to courses is according to the order of priority decided by the Academic committee for School of Arts, Design and Architecture,

    The course is completely online, participation not restricted.