The main outcome of the course is that students are equipped with an understanding of core theories, concepts and methods in co-design and participatory design approaches, and their historical grounding and development. Students will also have experience from applying co-design methods in a live project with real stakeholders, and reflecting on the process and results.
The course is important because there is an increasing awareness of, and need for, co-design approaches and methods in industry, and in society at large. The scope of application has developed from addressing issues of democracy in the workplace to developing new ways for citizens to engage in societal development on many arenas, ranging from public service design to driving political change.
The students will gain a solid theoretical and methodological foundation in co-design. Further, by applying theories and methods in a live project, students gain first-hand experience from doing co-design, using state-of-the-art methods in a real setting. The live project is conducted in a semi-protected environment with real stakeholders and real issues, but with scaffolding from intense supervision, creating a productive learning experience.
In this course the students will be introduced to and trained in a repertoire of co-design methods for understanding professional and/or everyday contexts and for engaging participants in co-design of products and services. In particular the focus is on how to develop an understanding of the situation and practices, and how to transform this understanding into relevant products and services through co-design encounters.
Intended learning outcomes
After the course, the student should be able to:
- define participatory approaches in their historical and societal context, and their relation to other design approaches
- plan and conduct co-design projects including understanding a specific context, engaging people in this context, and suggest 2-3 product or service concepts grounded in an understanding of the specific context
- select, motivate, combine, and apply relevant theories and methods for explorative co-design projects
- reflect on practical and theoretical aspects of explorative co-design processes based on experience from the specific co-design project
- communicate relevant aspects of co-design processes in oral and written form including use of physical co-design materials, video and other media
During the course the students work with a co-design project in real-life context, divided into three similar phases, each with a ethnographic inspired or co-design encounter in the 'real live' setting. Each phase starts with introduction to theory, methods and tools, followed by rehearsing and preparation of the co-design encounter, under supervision from teachers and TA's. The co-design encounter is then carried out with external participants, followed by reflection on and documentation of the encounter. The phase ends with presenting the co-design encounter, with video-documentation and reflections in class. After the third phase, an exhibition of proposed product or service concepts is arranged by the students for class and external participants
Attendance at the three class presentations and an online test.
The student will receive the grade NA (not approved) at the ordinary exam, if the mandatory activities are not approved and the student will use an exam attempt.
The course literature is published in the course page in LearnIT.
Student Activity BudgetEstimated distribution of learning activities for the typical student
- Preparation for lectures and exercises: 15%
- Lectures: 15%
- Exercises: 15%
- Assignments: 5%
- Project work, supervision included: 30%
- Exam with preparation: 15%
- Other: 5%
Ordinary examExam type:
D: Submission of written work with following oral, External (7-point scale)
D2G: Submission for groups with following oral exam supplemented by the submission. Shared responsibility for the report.
Group report (15 – 20 pages) documenting the main co-design project. The group has a shared responsibility for the content of the report. Harvard system is used for referencing.
Group presentation of the co-design project.
During the group examination: individual presentations reflecting on the theoretical and practical aspects of applied co-design methods. Group discussions of relevant issues.
- Group sizes: 4-6 students
Group exam : Joint student presentation followed by a group dialogue. All the students are present in the examination room throughout the examination.