Topic outline

  • Learning Outcomes: After completing this course students are expected to have a deeper understanding of how human-centred research, design and technological innovations can productively engage the complex challenges emerging in crisis contexts, including natural and man-made disasters, socio-political crises, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Students should develop critical skills to recognize the limitations and ethical implications of conducting research, participatory design, and deployment of technologies including security, privacy and any unintended consequences of such work, while applying rigorous human-centred design principles and practices to have a meaningful impact in such crisis situations. 

    Content: This online course will consist of weekly seminars on a series of topics with invited guest speakers and workshops/discussion sessions to review case-studies, methodologies and working design research projects. The weekly sessions will be held using Zoom and other online platforms will be used throughout the course. Students will have an opportunity to prepare critical responses to readings and monthly assignments, maintain a learning diary and optionally conduct team-based projects with industry or public organizations in the Helsinki area. The collaborative project outcomes can be conceptual designs, working prototypes or proposals for extended research into technology or policy implications of engaging critically with crisis contexts.

    Assessment Methods and Criteria: All students must actively participate in weekly seminars and workshops, complete selected readings, an online learning diary, and 3 brief assignments as working papers or mixed-media works (blog/website/wiki/video) until July 15 to receive 3 credits. For an additional 3 credits, students must complete a group project with a proof-of-concept idea or working prototype and a short paper of their findings for presentation at the end of the course by September 3. Students can be graded on a 0 - 5 scale, as well as Pass/Fail. 

    Workload: Class sessions and workshops (36 hours), weekly readings (18 hours), 3 brief assignments (15 hours), learning diary (12 hours). To receive an additional 3 credits students must conduct a group project with collaborative design research, a final presentation and jointly-written short paper.