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 this course should be able to: 

- frame an opportunity for a project through the organization of individual and group design processes.

- coordinate their own experimental and creative design process.

- generate, explore and evaluate ideas and concepts.

- make use of a human-centred design approach for decision making and argumentation when designing. 

- implement their work in Aalto workshop spaces using a variety of acquired skills and tools.

- identify suitable ways to communicate design ideas, processes, and outcomes. 

- understand how design can impact, interact with, and improve socially relevant problem areas.  

Credits: 12

Schedule: 08.01.2025 - 09.04.2025

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Teppo Vienamo

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: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    In this studio course, the students explore contemporary phenomena through thematically-framed design projects. The project is organized in two stages: an initial group exploration followed by individual design work. The course introduces students to practices for designing for someone or something else. The course builds upon the fundamentals from Digital design with people (period II) by covering Human-Centered Design (HCD) as a methodological approach. The course encourages students to rethink and challenge the limitations of HCD in their practice. The course also introduces students to Aalto workshop spaces and provides them with the basic knowledge and skills needed to produce their designs. The course is organized in tandem with Thematic studio II with the same themes being explored collaboratively by students in the two courses.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    The final grade for the course is based on the work students produce individually and in groups throughout the course and which they present in the mid-project and final presentations as well as the learning diary that students develop in tandem with their work. The assessment of the work covers the process, the quality of the final production and a student's reflections upon the work. Active participation is expected and a minimum of 80% attendance in the contact teaching is mandatory.

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    The total workload for the course amounts to 324 hours (I ECTS credits = 27 hours).

    - Contact teaching (including workshop introductions, mid-project and final presentation) 120 hours

    - Individual and group work 170 hours

    - Personal reflection 33 hours

    - Giving course feedback 1 hour



Study Material
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    A reading list is provided at the beginning of the course.

Substitutes for Courses
SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

    12 Responsible Production and Consumption


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Language: English

    Teaching Period: 2024-2025 Spring III - IV
    2025-2026 Spring III - IV


    Only open for students in English-medium BA programme in Design. The course has 42 study places. Min 15 students. Registration for Courses Sisu.