MAPD5300 Aesthetics of Materiality Emneplan

Engelsk emnenavn
Aesthetics of Materiality
Masterstudium i produktdesign – design for kompleksitet
10 stp.


In our world of things and artefacts materiality is shaping both culture and cognition. Humans depend on things and things depend on humans, but by active consideration we can discover the way materials direct and define us. This course takes creative engagement with the designer´s sensory modalities as a starting point for explorative design-processes and materials driven design, where subjective methods and personal experience become ways for handling complexity and relating to user experience.

The course is centred around practice-based research and we 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, reflexive skills in design.


Admission to the Master's programme.


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

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

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

Arbeidskrav og obligatoriske aktiviteter

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.

Vurdering og eksamen

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. 

Hjelpemidler ved eksamen

No restrictions.


Grade scale A-F.


Two internal. External examiner is used periodically.