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 Design Department

Studies at Department of Design

Our students can study design, fashion, co-design, design leadership and sustainable development.

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.

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.

Design research provides reasoned and sustainable information on design, design practices, designers, design achievements and opportunities, the role of design in society and the future of design. Our research focuses on human-centered design and co-design, sustainable design and design-based research. We also study issues of design leadership and of design culture and history. Our research profile covers basic research in design and applied research that serves industry and the public sector.

Fashion/Textile Futures

The Fashion/Textile Futures research group explores new perspectives on human-centered design research.

ioncell material design Anna-Mari Leppisaari photo Eeva Suorlahti

Empirica – Research on art, design and culture

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

Empirica tutkimusryhmän työtä

ENCORE– Engaging co-design Research

ENCORE team’s research combines human-centered design, experience design and empathic service design.

Encore group

Embodied Design Group

Conducts prototyping-driven research to investigate design thinking, design opportunities, and user experience.

Aalto University/Flags

INUSE - The users and innovation research group

Researches the roles users play in design and innovation.

Aalto Flags - Aino Huovinen

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

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

Gallery

The gallery of the Department of Design.

Browse the gallery!
Series Things I saw, Maria Punkkinen

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

News

Oona Ojala studied how the cultivation conditions of luxury products such as coffee and cocoa will evolve with climate change. Photo: Elisa Dametto
Studies Published:

Innovative Approach to Circular Economy

An innovative pilot course studied the circular economy, arts and systemic changes.
Sediment sampling in the historical centre of Venice with the Limnos sampler provided by the Finnish Environmental Institute SYKE. Image: Pauliina Purhonen
Research & Art, Studies Published:

The trip to Venice—in the words of the students

Contemporary design students spent a week in Venice setting up the exhibition and gathering soil samples for the research.
Coiling vases from the local earthenware and painting the vases with the local earth in Earth Laboratory, Venice, August 2019. Photo: Catharina Kajander
Research & Art Published:

Working with contaminated soil in Venice

Revealing human traces in Venice Biennale.
Climate School
Research & Art Published:

Aalto University events at Helsinki Design Week

Aalto University's faculty and students are again prominently visible at Helsinki Design Week.

Events

CHEMARTS Summer school 2019
Exhibitions and fairs

Chemartsing with Bio-based Materials

CHEMARTS Summer School 2019 explored novel material solutions and their innovative applications
Critical Tide Seaweed Sculpture Oki naganode by Julia Lohmann photo: Noortje Knulst
Exhibitions and fairs

Critical Tide exhibition at the Design Museum’s Gallery

At a time of deep ecological crises, Critical Tide will open our eyes to the urgent issues our oceans face and showcase creative ways of intervening.
Screenshot of Interactive Diorama VR experience
Exhibitions and fairs

Interactive Diorama - Rembrandt 1632 at Central Library Oodi

A virtual reality simulation that takes the visitor deep into a painting by Rembrandt from the 1600s
PhD, Prof. Otto von Busch
Lectures and seminars

Lecture: Civic, Critical, and State Crafts

Dr. Otto von Busch is Associate Professor in Integrated Design at Parsons School of Design, United States. He has a background in arts, craft, design and theory and many of his projects explore how design can mobilize community capabilities through collaborative craft and social activism in the support of social sustainability, peace, and justice.

Department management

Tuuli Mattelmäki

Tuuli Mattelmäki

Department of Design
Laitoksen johtaja
Kirsi Niinimäki

Kirsi Niinimäki

Department of Design
Professor (Associate Professor)
Ramia Maze

Ramia Maze

Department of Design
Professor (Design Practices)
Guy Julier

Guy Julier

Department of Design
Professor
Department professors

Where to find us

School of Arts, Design and Architecture by Sari Dhima

Väre

Address: Otaniementie 14
School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Mon-Thu at 8.00-21.00, Fri at 8.00-20.00, Sat at 9.00-17.00.

Locations

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