Collaborative and Industrial Design

Collaborative and Industrial Design MA

The studies in Collaborative and Industrial Design (CoID) focus on design's role in society. Students develop skills enabling them to work as design experts and leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators in a range of roles within industry, business, communities, education, and the public sector.

The Collaborative and Industrial Design major extends industrial design into interaction design, service design, co-design, and other emerging fields where design activities can enhance the quality of the environment and people’s lives. Students learn emphatic, critical, strategic, and technical competencies and capabilities needed in design innovation processes. They are also encouraged to explore novel roles in design and industry. Over the duration of their major studies, students will develop an understanding of design in relation to innovation and contemporary culture, be it local or global, private, or public. The students will also develop an extensive ability to design, lead design projects, and collaborate with designers and non-designers, and thus become able to shape change in communities and companies.

Aalto University is annually ranked in top ten in the world in the field of art and design by QS World University Ranking. The world-class teaching and facilities ensure that, upon graduating from the study option, graduates are able to:

  • Apply design practices to social, environmental, organizational, and technological transformations
  • Apply design strategically in the context of product development and innovation.
  • Integrate collaborative and human-centred approach into different scales and domains
  • Use creative design, systems thinking, and participatory approaches to develop solutions accountably and ethically
  • Provide design expertise and leadership in complex projects in multidisciplinary teams
  • Articulate and transfer understanding of design process to other design and non-design competencies
  • Create future-oriented products, services, and systems as a member of a multidisciplinary or trans-disciplinary team and/or as an individual designer
  • Combine creativity, curiosity, continuous renewal and expression with analytical skills and practice
  • Understand how to lead and communicate design-driven, often complex processes with empathy, critical thinking, and research-founded reasoning
  • Comprehend how design contributes to socio-material transformations for a sustainable future
  • Undertake design research to build knowledge to support and justify the practical work, and to apply for education leading to a Doctor of Arts degree

Language of instruction

In the Collaborative and Industrial Design studies, the language of instruction is English.


Collaborative and Industrial Design's major compulsory and major elective courses. In addition to the major compulsory studies the students choose their track from three options:
Option 1: Service design / Social Design
Option 2: Product design and development
Option 3: Interaction design

Students can also take courses from other study paths to complement their expertise.

IDBM students gathered around a table and drawing

User Inspired Design - Knowing

The course is an introduction to the collaborative design competence area. The course gives an introduction to the vocabulary, background and methodology of usability, design ethnography, user experience, co-design, interaction design, service design, accessibility and socially responsible design.

Collaborative and Industrial Design
Picture: Industryhack

User Inspired Design - Making

The course addresses visual and narrative approaches to human-centred design to illustrate users, use, concepts and contexts for reflective design, collaboration, evaluation and persuasion purposes. The course gives students skills in illustrating and explicating different aspects of products and the use of products and services by visual and narrative means. The students learn to choose, compose and apply design artefacts for different communication purposes that are necessary for designing material and immaterial concepts and solutions for socio-technical systems. They learn how to create design artefacts that invite contributions and create stakeholders' commitment, material for iterating and annotating the progress of design, to adjust the angle of scrutiny by choosing appropriate representations, to clarify complex relationships and isolate critical issues, to convince their audiences and to justify their solutions, and to contextualize design concepts. They learn how to use visual media to support oral communication and how to create self-standing presentations with media such as drawings, photos, videos, interactive demonstrations, physical props or mock-ups.

Collaborative and Industrial Design
People in Learningcenter

Design for Social Change - Strategy

Designing for Social Change (DSC) courses provide students basic understanding and competences to build design projects aimed towards social change.

Collaborative and Industrial Design
Strategid Co-Design -kurssin opiskelijat tekivät ratkaisuehdotuksia Helsingin kaupungin muotoilutoiminnan vaikuttavuuden arvioimiseksi.

Design for Social Change - Participation

Designing for Social Change (DSC) courses provide students basic understanding and competences to build design projects aimed towards social change.

Collaborative and Industrial Design
Students studying in Learning Centre.

Designing for Services

Designing for services course addresses application of design competence and engagement in the emerging topics of service design.

Collaborative and Industrial Design
Illustration of a citizen participating in the policy-making process

Design for Government

Design for Government (DfG) is a practice-based course within the Aalto University’s multi-school Creative Sustainability master’s program available for Collaborative and Industrial Design MA students on the service design track

Collaborative and Industrial Design
Curatorial and communications support as well as exhibition resources are available for selected projects.

Interaction Design - User Interfaces

This course teaches the basics of user interface design.

Collaborative and Industrial Design
One person watching a phone screen

Interaction Design - User Experience

The course will introduce the fundamentals of user experience and interaction design.

Collaborative and Industrial Design
People in workshop

Experience Design Project

Experience Design Project (XDP) provides students an opportunity to test their design skills in a company project.

Collaborative and Industrial Design
Human computer interaction illustration Matti Ahlgren Aalto University

Emergent User interfaces

The course gives an overview of new and emerging UI paradigms that go beyond traditional WIMP interfaces. These include tangible interaction, multimodal interaction (audio, haptic, smell and taste) and the various sensors and sensing techniques and technologies used to implement them.

Collaborative and Industrial Design
Pattern, computer science, robots and other artificial intelligence things, illustration Matti Ahlgren

Programming for Designers

This course is an introduction into programming for designers without requirements for prior programming experience. Its special emphasis is on designing and realizing visions of graphics and interactions in digital products.

Collaborative and Industrial Design
e-textile samples

Smart Wearables

This course will cover basics of e-textiles and basic machine learning techniques.

Collaborative and Industrial Design
Sun powered smart jacket

Smart Wearables II

Building upon foundational knowledge from the Smart Wearables course, this course explores e-textiles, biomaterials, machine learning, extended reality and user-centered design.

Collaborative and Industrial Design
Concept image of accessible MRI stroke unit with a picture of the van and the interiors

Emerging Designs

The course will enhance students' design understanding and skills through lectures and projects, emphasizing creativity and practical application with input from industry professionals.

Collaborative and Industrial Design
design scenario showing heart beats and instruction

Emerging Designs II

During the course, students will apply design to build knowledge of the conceptual propositions, by performing a validation of the concept or a key feature of it.

Collaborative and Industrial Design
Audience looking at an art piece.

Product Development Project

Product Development Project (PdP) is a five-period-long course that invites Master’s students from all backgrounds, but mainly engineering, industrial design, and business, to tackle challenges of collaborating companies. The teams form in September and deliver a functioning prototype in the final Gala in May.

Collaborative and Industrial Design
Purple lamps

Introduction to Algorithmic Design

This introductory course encourages the students to apply computational mode of thinking for their design problems, when applicable.

Collaborative and Industrial Design
Unite! summer school students will design an extra-terrestrial greenhouse for Mars

Research and Inspire

Research and Inspire is an MA level course by Collaborative and Industrial Design programme.

In the course students are guided through the process by which they learn to dive deep in analysing an issue or phenomenon they are interested in, contextualise their interest with relevant past and present cultural and societal changes, and develop insights that communicate the core and context of their interest.

Collaborative and Industrial Design
Solar cells laminated on the back side of textiles in the Sun-Powered Textiles project

From Concepts to Designs

The course has a lecture and workshop series, that supports a team design projects starting from an existing design concept which then is iteratively developed to more mature design. Students will use various physical and digital models to develop and evaluate projet.

Collaborative and Industrial Design
Kuva joka kuvaa EMMA-museon Yrjö Kukkapuron näyttelyä Taikahuone

Strategic Style Management and Exploration

The course introduces students to theories and practices for style management and exploration in design.

Collaborative and Industrial Design

Coursework showcases

Student coursework from service design / social design, product design and development and interaction design study tracks.

BUBA – A toolkit for remote pediatric diagnostics

BUBA is a device including a set of instruments designed for remote contact with a doctor. It will allow you to perform basic check-ups on your child without having to visit the doctor’s office.

Concept image of Buba showing the instrument set and a parent using one instrument on a child

Project Heimdall

Heimdall and team "FireFlys" aim to deploy advanced sensing technologies on UAVs for effective and efficient early detection and continuous monitoring of forest fires, addressing the growing severity and impact of such disasters.

two aerial vehicles Flying

Aalto students help develop digital services for women’s charities and family support groups

Student projects included a website for advice on long-distance relationships for Väestöliitto and an Instagram campaign aimed at recruiting members for the Women's Line.

Kuva: Naisten Linja.

Nudging retirement: a lifelong journey

The project Nudging retirement: a lifelong journey, emphasizes retirement as a lifelong journey, urging people to ponder their future and take proactive steps towards a meaningful old age.

Diagram of ageing

Professors and Lecturers

Guy Julier

Professor, Social Design

Potrait of smiling professor Guy Julier

Teppo Vienamo

University Lecturer, Industrial Design, Prototyping

University lecturer Teppo Vienamo

Heidi Paavilainen

Senior university lecturer

Tuuli Mattelmäki

Associate Professor in design, service design

Potrait of professor Tuuli Mattelmäki

Severi Uusitalo

Associate professor, Industrial Design

Potrait of Associate professor Severi Uusitalo

Sampsa Hyysalo

Professor, Co-Design

Potrait of Professor Sampsa Hyysalo

Andrés Lucero

Associate Professor

Potrait of Associate professor Andrés Lucero

Martina Čaić

Assistant Professor, Service Design

Potrait of assistant professor Martina Čaić

Virpi Roto

Senior University Lecturer, User Experience

Potrait of Virpi Roto

Antti Salovaara

Senior University Lecturer, Interaction Design, Human-Computer-Interaction

Potrait of univerisity lecturer Antti Salovaara

Students and alumni stories

Janne Pärssinen seisoo Mitsubishi Electronicin rakennuksen edessä Japanissa.

Internship in Japan: Working as an Industrial Designer at Mitsubishi Electric

Janne Pärssinen, a master student in Industrial Design, is delighted he had influence on the projects as an intern.

The picture shows Master's student Yijuan Wei outdoors in the Finnish nature in Otaniemi in the autumn.

International student's journey of securing jobs in Finland

International Master's student Yijuan Wei shares her story of landing exciting jobs in Finland. With the help of Career Services and persistence in job seeking, she secured an internship in marketing and a summer job in service design.


School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Aalto University
PO Box 31000,  FI-00076 AALTO, FINLAND

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