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.

Aalto University student putting post-it notes on a glass wall.

Studies leading to the degree of Bachelor of Arts

Studies leading to the degree of Master of Arts

Majors of the Master’s Programme in Design

Prof. Maarit Mäkelä and her work


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.


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

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


The gallery of the Department of Design.

Browse the gallery!
Emma Saarnio ja Helmi Liikanen


RDM & Open Science training
Research & Art Published:

Register for training in research data management and open science

New topics included! Registrations for autumn 2023 are open.
Annukka Svanda, photo by Linda Lehtovirta
University Published:

Annukka Svanda: It's important to challenge yourself to do hard things

'I believe that those of us who can and are capable have a duty to work to make the world a little better place all the time. For example, we can try to improve the situation of those who are not so well off.'
Henkilö makaa lattialla pää betonista tehdyn kuvun sisällä, kuvussa on lukuisia johtoja
Cooperation, Studies, University Published:

Education collaboration generates new ideas for using design

The School of Arts, Design and Architecture has a long tradition of working together with companies to solve challenges of many kind. Last spring, design students designed concrete speaker models for audio equipment manufacturer Genelec.
Designs for a Cooler Planet -näyttelyt ovat kaikille avoimia. kuva: Kalle Kataila
Campus, University Published:

What can you already see of the future?

At the start of the academic year, the Aalto University campus welcomes everyone with open doors. Through the month-long Designs for a Cooler Planet exhibition and events, you will discover fascinating research projects.


A white paper sculpture of curved arches with a green grid pattern on the right side, illustrating a transition from physical to digital realm. The sculpture is on a black surface and has a white wall as a background. The light source is on the left side, creating shadows on the right side of the sculpture.
Public defences

Public defence in Design, MA Emrecan Gulay

Exploring Intuitive Design Experiences
An event banner with the event title "What Happens in the Minds of Designers as They Design"
Lectures and seminars

Visiting lecture by John Gero: "What happens in the minds of designers as they design"

What happens in your brain and mind when you design? John Gero delves into how designers' brains work during the creative process, using insights from cognitive science, AI, and brain research.
Public defences

Public defence in Design, Mgr. art. Veronika Dlabáč, MLitt

Spaces of Embodiment: A practice-based investigation towards a new design typology for urban public spaces (title of the thesis)
Introduction to Research Data Management
Lectures and seminars, Staff trainings, Support for teams, Training to support research

Introduction to Research Data Management, Oct 3, 2023

Get to know the basics of RDM with Data Agent Dr. Essi Viitanen from Research Services.

Department management

Department of Design - Personnel

Aalto ARTS' Communications Guide

Easy access communication tools and help for everyone! This guide is updated according to the needs of ARTS members. Login (top right) to view all content. Some pages are internal, so they are only visible to logged-in ARTS members.

Aalto ARTS Communications Guide

ARTS' communications guide

Where to find us

School of Arts, Design and Architecture by Sari Dhima


Otaniementie 14
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

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