Topic outline

  • Lectures

    The first lecture will be in the Learning Hub Atrium in the TUAS building (Maarintie 8) on Tue 5.9.2023 at 10:15-12:00.

    Teaching team

    Course leader: Dr. Salu Ylirisku

    Assistants: Beatriz "Bia" Glaser, Kabir Bissessar, Nhat "Kevin" Hong, Rafal Ciechanski, Thuy "Mimi" Määttä


    Course information

    Design Thinking and Electronic Prototyping is a course for learning the basics of the designerly process of crafting useful ideas in combination with project work with electronic prototypes. Students will familiarize themselves with basic programming of microcontrollers with C-language, and to use various sensors and actuators. We shall be utilizing the Arduino platform.

    Participation in lectures (minimum 80% attendance) is required, and missed lectures must be compensated with additional written work assignment.

    Weekly exercises and prototype building happens in the Sähköpaja lab (TUAS building, Maarintie 8).

    Learning outcome:

    After the course the students will be able to explain the foundations of design thinking process, and conduct user-centered design and prototyping activities. They will be able to build interactive prototypes featuring a microcontroller and to conduct user tests with the prototypes. They also know how to communicate their ideas effectively and argue for the usefulness of their design idea. Most importantly, students will train on their skills to reflectively negotiate and verify design ideas.

    The course is organized through four main activities:

    • Lectures
    • Weekly exercises / tutoring sessions
    • Project work
    • Reflexive learning diary

    Lectures (Tue mornings 10:15-12:00)

    Lectures are organized every Tuesday morning (10:15-12:00), except during exam weeks. Lectures will elaborate tools and principles for prototype building as well as theoretical insights into design process and user testing. Lectures are also very much dialogical, so expect to be ready to so some talking too.

    Exercises / Tutoring (Tue 12:15-14:00, Wed 14:15-16:00, or Thu 10:15-12:00)

    The students will be grouped into teams of 3-4, and they will gain support for project work during the tutoring sessions. The students are expected to participate a tutoring session once every week. So, you will need to pick up one of the above times that suits yourself. The exercises can be done individually, so you don't need to come there as a team.

    Once the basic exercises are completed, you are expected to work on the design project with your team. During the project work, you will be expected to meet your team's tutor once every week. 

    Project Work

    Student teams will conduct a project, where they develop a 'useful design' that they demonstrate with a functioning interactive prototype. In 2022 the project topic is on wearable/carried products.

    Reflexive Learning Diary

    Students will learn to actively keep a reflexive learning diary through the course. The deadline is on each Friday midnight, except during the exam weeks, when we do not have diary returns.

    Course Book

    Donald A. Norman, (2013) "The Design of Everyday Things", MIT Press, Revised and Expanded Edition