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Theory 1: Theory in Design Practice

ECTS Credits
Course code
Included in study programme
Master’s in design

Brief course description

This course develops a commonly shared understanding of key concepts, theories and terminology in the Master of Design study programme. It helps students develop a disciplinary attitude to research in the fields of design and art, seeing such research as an integrated part of their own practice as designers.

The course includes a core of required reading as well as a suggested reading list. The course presents several approaches and methods relevant to developing design theory and to research practice and the discussion of comprehensive design projects. This provides a basis for critical reflection by situating the designer profession in relation to (among other things) the sociocultural context, design thinking, design research and interdisciplinary collaboration. The course also provides a basis for contextualizing students’ own design work. It introduces work routines for doing independent study, that is, routines that remain relevant after completing the master programme.

The course’s learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the students should

  • be able to situate the subject area of design, and their own design practice in a theoretical, researchbased and sociocultural perspective.
  • be able to discuss, document and communicate with others about their own design work, not only visually, but also materially and orally

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching and learning take place in workshops involving theoretical and practical work, also through lectures, supervision (individually and/or in groups) and independent study.

Coursework requirements

  • completion and submission of all assignments by the scheduled deadlines
  • participation in instruction and activities that are defined as mandatory in the course description


Coursework requirements must be met in order for the student to receive a final assessment in the course. The student’s work is assessed in relation to the learning outcomes and assessment criteria set for the course. The assessment is made by the teacher with course responsibility and may also be done in collaboration with internal subject teachers and / or external guest teachers.