Department of Design

Department of Design

The Department of Design is a diverse community of competent, creative and responsible individuals. In design, we appreciate technical skill, social significance and artistic expression.

We educate front-line design professionals and visionaries for established, changing and emerging fields of design. We renew our expertise through high level research in continuous collaboration with our stakeholders. We strive towards a sustainable and just society and environment.

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Studies at Department of Design

You can choose the Bachelor's degree major between Design, Fashion or Aalto Bachelor Prorgamme in Design. Master's studies can be conducted either in Collaborative and Industrial Design; Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design; or Contemporary Design programme. In addition, the Department provides two Aalto-level Master's programmes: International Design Business Management and Creative Sustainability.

A student focuses either in the Master's degree major or the field of the programme, and may take advantage of Aalto University’s wide range of multidisciplinary courses for the minors and freely selectable studies.

Prof. Maarit Mäkelä and her work

Research

Our research is at the international forefront in sustainable design, practice-based design research, human-centered design and co-design. Our research environment enables and our culture encourages goal-oriented research, imaginative experiments, critical discussion, and transdisciplinary collaboration.

Go to Aalto Design Research Site

Research Groups

ENCORE - Engaging Co-design Research Group

The ENCORE research group explores constantly application fields for co-design through hands-on exploration and ambitious research. The visionary competence stems mostly from industrial design spiced with engineering, architecture and anthropology.

Encore

Embodied Design Research Group

Embodied design (ED) can be seen as a design agenda. Current computing systems treat human beings mostly as connected minds, quite completely disregarding our bodily engagement with the world. Embodied design embraces the human body as a central resource for action, communication, and play.

EDG Research Group

Empirica – Research on art, design and culture (external link)

Group approaches research with an attitude, where making, acting and engaging play important roles.

Empirica tutkimusryhmän työtä

Fashion/Textile Futures

The Fashion/Textile Futures research group explores new perspectives on human-centered design research. The group approaches research in the field of fashion, clothing and textiles in multi-faceted ways.

A coat made of Ioncell. Design: Anna-Mari Leppisaari. Photo: Eeva Suorlahti

INUSE - The Users and Innovation Research Group

Researches designer-user relations in sociotechnical change.

INUSE transition arena workshop - panorama of indoor space with groups discussing around whiteboards

NODUS – Sustainable Design Research Group

NODUS Sustainable Design Research Group undertakes transdisciplinary design research for sustainable futures.

Nodus tutkimusryhmäläisiä keskustelemassa

SDIM - Strategic Design Integration and Management Group (external link)

The Strategic Design Integration and Management (SDIM) research group organises researchers with an interest in design management and the organisational adoption, implementation and leadership of designers and design-based practices at the Department of Design.

SDIM research group image

Collaborate with us

We offer our partners the opportunity to collaborate with international level designers and design researchers.

Read more
Design for Government 2018 photo by Heidi Konttinen

Gallery

The gallery of the Department of Design.

Browse the gallery!
Emma Saarnio ja Helmi Liikanen

News

Two models wearing grey solar cell clothing.
Research & Art Published:

Researchers developed invisible, machine-washable solar cell technology for clothing

The discrete nature of the cells protects them – and makes the clothes more attractive, the physics and design researchers say. Promising applications include work and outdoor clothing, and curtains which react to changes in the amount of light.
Festival poster
Research & Art Published:

Art for All festival returns in August

The cross-artistic festival will take place 26.-28.8.2022 in the Helsinki Botanical Garden. The event features pieces from performing arts to installations and audiovisual works.
Aalto_glass_challenge_2018_Jaea Chang_Glass_Lake_Photo_Anne_Kinnunen_KDQ0207.jpg
Press releases Published:

Kone Foundation donates 800 000 euros to Aalto University's area of art and design

With this donation, the foundation wants to support research in the arts and artistic research in particular. The aim is to safeguard the diversity of disciplines and freedom of research in fields of education that have suffered from funding cuts and educational policy prioritisation.
PatternLab2022-kurssi myi ennätykselliset 92 kuosia
Research & Art, Studies Published:

PatternLab set an all-time sales record

The pattern design project's latest sales mark the highest sales record in history. The course with a strong brand will also be renewed.

Events

Parenting and Climate Change event with Idil Gaziulusoy and Tapio Pesola
Lectures and seminars

NODUS TALKS Parenting and Climate Change

İdil Gaziulusoy and Tapio Pesola converse parenthood in the times of climate change and climate activism as a parent.
Detail related to the thesis "Niki (Mother) (2020)
Public defences

Public defence in Design, MA Hanna-Kaisa Korolainen

The title of the thesis is The Making of Inspiration – From Monet to Warhol and beyond
Relevance of design for creativity
Online event

#7 DesignTalks: The relevance of design for creativity

What is the value of design for creativity? Riikka Mäkikoskela (Aalto University) and Marco Mäkinen (TBWA/Helsinki) will share their insights.
An example of temporary use from the empirical context of the thesis: Former shipbuilding halls at île de Nantes in France served for 15 years as a public space accommodating different events and activities during the urban redevelopment of the former harbour area. Photo: Jean-Dominique Billaud / Samoa.
Public defences

Public defence in Design, Architect M.Sc. Hella Hernberg

Mediators can enable new uses for vacant spaces
Department of Design - Personnel

Where to find us

School of Arts, Design and Architecture by Sari Dhima

Väre

Otaniementie 14
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Locations

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