Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulun opinto-opas 2014–15

Product and Spatial Design

Basic information of the minor

Extent of the minor in ECTS credits: 20

Teacher in charge of the minor: professor Pentti Kareoja

Language of instruction: English

Target group: Minor in Product and Spatial Design is a minor programme aimed at master-level students from other study programmes in Aalto ARTS, who want to deepen their understanding on contemporary professional practices and competences in the design. Depending on the chosen courses, students with varying earlier experience will increase their understanding in product or spatial design.

Limitations of the minor:  BA degree

Level of the minor: Advanced studies

Content of the minor

Learning outcomes of the minor

Minor in Product and Spatial Design provides its students improved understanding of design in relation to contemporary culture, art, design, environment or materials. Minor students will improve their ability to understand and participate into cross-disciplinary teams, and to bring forth a designerly mode of thinking.

Content of the minor

Studies are organized in three different competence areas that all include several courses ranging in topics and mode of working. In general all contents promote problem- and project-based learning, and all of the courses involve a project addressed in cross-disciplinary teams.

Furniture Design provides knowledge and skills for designing a sustainable and unique piece of furniture, one that reflects a strong vision. The objective is to educate designers who are able to combine social responsibility and creative interpretation of beauty, skillfully employing various methods of empirical research.

Spatial Design is built on the relationship between space and object. The core question is how the 3D context affects product and furniture design and how objects interact in space. The aim is to strengthen 3D understanding by combining different scales, materials and disciplines into the contextual framework.

Applied Art and Design deepens student’s ability to reflect on their work in a wider cultural context and conduct experiments in product development. The studies include design projects related to everyday living, functional objects, and unique pieces.

Structure of the minor

The applicants of the minor can select courses from two competence areas, by picking two from a single area, or then two from two different areas. Students are recommended to identify more than two suggestions by providing alternatives to their primary choices. Upon application the applicants are asked to attach their portfolio and justify their choices in their short Letter of Intent. Furthermore, the selected minor contents must be compatible with in the student’s Personal Study Plan.

The courses are selected from the list below.



ECTS Credits

Furniture design



Material, Structure and Shapes



Form Structure to Product



Form and Function



Art, Furniture and Architecture





Spatial design



Neglected Space



Space in Practice



Identity of Space



Advanced Space Project


Applied art and design



Rethinking Design



Experimental Design



Design Exploration and Experimentation



Material Experimentation and Research



Product and Space Interaction



Critical Design


Timing of the minor

Minor studies are available through the academic year and its contents are organized annually. Selected students take part in two courses, organized in two different study periods, during which they are expected to work full-time.

Applying to a minor

Number of available places

The number of available places vary from 2-3 students. Selection is based on portfolio, Personal Study Plan and Letter of Intent and earlier experience.

Application process and selection criteria

Application to the programme can be done via Aalto University eAge system’s internal minor application process https://eage.aalto.fi/.  Application time for Aalto University students is 1.-15.5.2014.

Upon application students must include to their application material their official Personal Study Plan (from their own major programme) and Letter of Intent (with the two preferred courses and their alternatives). This material can be attached directly in eAge online system. Portfolio must be sent to the training programme´s  study coordinator.

In the Letter of Intent the student is asked to identify the preferred two courses, along with some alternative choices, and to justify these choices in relation to their earlier studies and their official Personal Study Plan.

Selection is done according to the portfolio, Personal Study Plan and Letter of Intent and overall suitableness of the student.

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