Aalto University Summer School

Nordic Product Design

Design thinking is a problem-solving methodology that makes it easier for organisations and individuals to identify challenges and create solutions in many industries. This undergraduate-level summer course explores the Nordic aspect of design, emphasising sustainability and ecological thinking, as well as functionalism and critical design.
Photo: Tuomas Uusheimo

Teaching period:


Application period:

1.2.2024 – 25.4.2024

Course format:



2 weeks part-time

Course level:


Field of study:

Art and design




Aalto University

Tuition fees:


Nordic Product Design is a two-week intensive interdisciplinary summer course focusing on a distinctive approach towards the design of products, materials, and systems in the Nordic context. The course explores themes of design thinking, merging it with the current trajectory of Nordic design with an emphasis on functionalism, ecological principles, sustainable futures, aesthetics, materiality, and critical design. 

The initial phase of the course aims to develop a well-rounded theoretical understanding of these themes in the socio-cultural context of Nordic Countries, with a particular focus on Finland. This stage bridges theory and its historical and contemporary practices using visual materials, films, interactive dialogues, and assignments. The second phase is more hands-on and emphasises practical explorations. It includes workshops, site visits and experiments where students work in both group and individual tasks.

The course aims to foster a holistically creative process that extends from ideation to creating actual artefacts. At the end of the course, students will be able to develop a unique approach to solving and questioning design problems, anchored in the Nordic approach to design thinking and practice. The course further encourages students to apply these design strategies and solutions in their own international context, contributing to global design perspectives.

Sushant Passi
Sushant Passi

Teacher Information

Sushant Passi is a transdisciplinary designer and specialist for Creative Digital Productions & Prototyping at Aalto Design Factory. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Contemporary Design from Aalto University, with a minor in ChemArts, where he has fostered a deep interest in critical thinking, speculative design, materials futures, applied art and product development. 

As a designer and researcher, he has collaborated with various design, innovation and social impact firms, such as the Godrej Innovation Centre in India and Scope Impact in Finland. Sushant has also taught and facilitated various design-centric courses and workshops at Aalto University and XAMK. His notable works have been exhibited at Iittala & Arabia Design Centre and Helsinki Design Week. Some of his recent publications can be found in the Journal of Virtual Exchange (2022) and with the DFGN-R Conference (2023).

Summer School teacher interview: Learn how to approach design challenges in the Nordic Product Design course by Aalto University Summer School

Aalto University Summer School offers a brand-new undergraduate-level summer course on Nordic Product Design for 2024.

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Aalto University Summer School

Aalto University Summer School offers high quality academic summer courses and programs at Aalto University.

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Undergraduate summer courses

We offer multidisciplinary academic summer courses for undergraduate students.

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Extracurricular programme and social events

Get to know your coursemates and Finland through engaging extracurricular activities and social events organised by the Summer School team.

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