Course description forMAPD5300 Aesthetics of Materiality


The course is about research through practice and about gaining knowledge from explorative design-processes.The course will focus on working directly with materials, spatial interaction, developing model-studies and  examining process. Exploration is emphasized throughout the course and the student is expected to generate a comprehensive series of model output and to develop aesthetic, re¿exive skills in design.

Required preliminary courses

Admission to the Master's programme.

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student is expected to have achieved the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence: 


The student 

  • has developed advanced abilities in visual- and material articulation and aesthetic application .
  • has gained advanced knowledge of material engagement and how the world of things, artifacts, and material signs can be embodied through practical exploration.
  • has gained advanced knowledge about interplay between material-aesthetics and object­-semantics.
  • has gained knowledge about aesthetic strategies, methods and theory within a practical design research project.


The student is capable of:

  • independently running a discovery-led process and stating a relevant research question.
  • developing and recognizing relevant practical working methods.
  • developing concept- and material model studies within a specific context.
  • analyzing and reflecting on form and material application using relevant terminology.
  • dissecting and refining design models systematically 
  • analyzing and synthesizing experience from observations and various perceptions.
  • exhibiting and presenting their research using relevant terminology and tools.

General competence 

The student 

  • is familiar with the theoretical basis of a practice based-research.
  • understands the need for and use of practical exploration.
  • is familiar with the terminology and language of practice-based research


  • Material properties in a specific context. 
  • Design methodology. 
  • Product communication and semantics. 
  • Aesthetic principles of form and function in a specific context. 
  • Experimental material practice. 

Teaching and learning methods

The most important teaching and learning methods for this course are discussions, group work, lectures, studio courses and tutoring.

Course Requirements

The following required coursework must be approved before the student can take the exam:

  • One oral-presentation of theoretical approach.
  • One oral-presentation of end-product.


Individual or group portfolio examination. The portfolio consists of: 

  • Design-process documentation including end-product (model studies and iterations responding to the problem definition or research area), timeline with outline of process, documentation of model-studies and presentation of end-product.
  • End-reflection in appropriate media (written, video, poster etc.) on the design-process and end-product.

The examination result can be appealed. 

Permitted Exam Materials and Equipment

No restrictions.

Grading scale

A grading scale of A (highest) to F (lowest) where A to E is a pass grade and F is a fail grade.


Two internal. External examiner is used periodically.. 

Course information

Course name in Norwegian
Aesthetics of Materiality
Study programme
Fall: Masterstudium i produktdesign – design for kompleksitet
Year of study
FALL 2019
FALL 2019
Programme description
Fall 2019: Masterstudium i produktdesign – design for kompleksitet
Subject History