PINS9540 Estetikk i innovasjon Emneplan

Engelsk emnenavn
Aesthetics in Innovation
PhD Programme in Innovation for Sustainability
5 stp.


Aesthetics as a field of contemporary research concerns the study of sensory experience and sensuousness and in a wider context by highlighting the role of sensory modalities. This course will address the sensory side of innovation, seeking to create awareness of the many possible ethical and interactional consequences and possibilities of aesthetic choices. In order to pursue these matters the course will look at specific areas of study such as visual structures in digital communication and interface design, art, design and performance innovations (future of living technologies, bio-art, wearables, experimental architectures), environmental aesthetics, eco-media and sensuous perspectives in social innovation. The course will also address universal design aesthetics, experience and performance economies as well as enactivist perspectives: the role of embodied imagination and variational analysis. The syllabus may be abbreviated and adapted to fit the interest of the participants of the course in cooperation with the supervisors.


In order to pursue these matters the course will look at specific areas of study such as:

    • Visual structures in digital communication and interface design
    • Art, design, and performance innovations (future of living technologies, bio-art, wearables, experimental architectures)
    • Environmental aesthetics and eco-media
    • Sensuous perspectives in social innovation
    • Universal design or design for all aesthetics
    • Cultural heritage technology
    • Experience and performance economies
    • Enactivist perspectives; the role of embodied imagination and variational analysis


Completed Master’s degree (120 ECTS credits) or equivalent education level.


Upon completing the course, the candidates are expected to have gained the following learning

outcomes (knowledge, skills and general competence).



The candidate.

  • has deep understanding of theories, concepts, and definitions within the area of applied aesthetics tied to sustainability and eco-media
  • has advanced knowledge of visual and sensuous strategies in tech and design development
  • has a nuanced understanding of the multiple aesthetic challenges in the development of innovative sustainable solutions
  • has advanced knowledge of the sensuous sides of digital communication


The candidate.

  • has developed an ability to critically examine and challenge established environments, materials and digital products from an aesthetic perspective
  • can work and contribute efficiently in cross- and multi-disciplinary teams on the subject of aesthetics as part of sustainable innovation
  • can apply a visual, material or aesthetic approach to a sustainable innovation problem in own research
  • can suggest various sensuous solutions in an innovation context and identify various eco- medial strategies


General competence

The candidate.

  • can identify relevant research problems and challenge established knowledge and practice within aesthetics in sustainable innovation
  • can contribute to new, advanced knowledge and insight within the area of sustainable innovation and entrepreneurship based on applied aesthetical reflections
  • can communicate with research community and collaborators outside higher education on the complex interaction between ideas and aesthetics (materials, sensuous and visual strategies) in a sustainable innovation context

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

Teaching will consist of theory lectures, seminars with candidate presentations and workshops with multidisciplinary project collaboration, organized by art and design innovators. Teaching will be both practical and theoretical, with a strong focus on aesthetic content in actual innovation projects.

Arbeidskrav og obligatoriske aktiviteter

Active participation in the seminars is necessary to adequately understand the course material and themes. Participation is therefore mandatory, and candidates are expected to attend all days of teaching and required to attend at least 80 percent of teaching days. In special cases of documented illness, the course leader may accept exceptions to this requirement. In these cases, lack of participation can be substituted with alternative arrangements such as active reading of the relevant syllabus literature. Course requirements are assessed as confirmed or not confirmed. The course requirement must be completed and confirmed within the given deadline in order to have the right to submit the final exam. 

The course requirements are:

  • Each candidate will arrange a practical workshop relevant to the PhD project, alone or in collaboration with other candidates. In addition, participation in a number of the other workshops is mandatory.
  • 80 % attendance is required. 

Vurdering og eksamen

Confirmed participation in the course and accepted exam.

Portfolio exam:

  • Documentation of the development and execution of a practical workshop arranged by the candidate, alone or in collaboration with other candidates.
  • An individual reflection note (3000-4000 words) discussing experiences and reflections drawn from the workshop and the syllabus, relevant to the candidate’s PhD project. Cover page, illustrations, and list of references come in addition.

Hjelpemidler ved eksamen

All examination support material is allowed as long as source reference and quotation technique requirements are applied.


Assessment is pass/ fail. If a project is graded fail, the candidate has one opportunity resubmit a revised

project within a given time-period.


The final exam is assessed by the course lecturer and one other examinator. External examinators will be used regularly. The assessment is based on the learning outcomes for the course.


The course is primarily for PhD candidates. Unfilled places may be opened to applicants with a relevant Master’s degree or equivalent . Applicants must submit a summary (approximately one A4- sized page) containing information on their PhD project. The summary must be submitted before the deadline for applications.