Department of Design

Practice-Based Design Research

Practice-based design research includes artistic research, design-driven exploration on emerging technologies and materials, and the action research–oriented development of new design methods and approaches.

Prof. Maarit Mäkelä and her work
Professor Maarit Mäkela painting a vessel made of contaminated soil from Venice. Photo: Anne Kinnunen


Research is closely connected to the Empirica research group and the Contemporary Design Master's programme.

Examples of current funded projects

a ceramic vase with a face painted on it. behind a wrinkled white paper

Traces from the Anthropocene: Working with Soil, 2019 by Riikka Latva-Somppi

This project was carried out by artist-researchers of the Department of Design at the Aalto University in cooperation with soil contamination experts from the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE).

Department of Design

See the other foci of Aalto Design Research

Julia Lohmannin Hidaka Ohmu. Kuva: Mikko Raskinen

Design for Sustainability

Development of new sustainable materials, research on product/service systems for sustainability, sustainable consumption and research on sustainability transitions.

Department of Design
Aalto Sustainability Hub community

Collaborative and Human-Centred Design

Collaborative and Human-Centred Design research includes co-design, service design, interaction design, user experience, end-user innovation and open design.

Department of Design
Aalto Design Research
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