SeFun International Seminar / 6th Nordcode Seminar & Workshop
In cooperation with the World Congress in Semiotics "Communication: Understanding/ Misunderstanding"

June 6-8 2007 Helsinki, Finland  University of Art and Design Helsinki
Address: Hämeentie 135 C, 00560 Helsinki

June 11 2007
So, we have moved DSiU seminar to the book of successful past events. Thanks for the participants for your interesting and high-quality presentations and for bringing such a nice atmosphere (not to forget the beautiful weather) with you to Helsinki! We will consider the post-seminar publication during and after the summer and will also add some seminar images on this page later on. Have a great summer!

May 24 2007
And more papers started pouring in... (see the programme below)

May 15 2007
Small updates to programme, first paper online, location and travel information added.

May 2 2007
Updated programme below.

April 23 2007

New information added about working papers and presentations in "practicalities".

March 16 2007

Updated programme can be found below. Please note that we intend to start two hours earlier than initially planned. Initial list of paper presentations is also included.

March 13 2007

Thanks to wide interest, the seminar is now full. Due to limited resources, we cannot take any more participants.
You are warmly welcome to the SeFun research seminar !

The seminar aims at creating a relaxed academic atmosphere for discussion on topics around design semiotics. The emphasis of the dialogues will be put on design communication, which is approached by different methods within the many areas of design research.

Participants are encouraged to present their research on various levels, from works in progress to completed projects.

The seminar is organised by the SeFun research project (Semiotic Product Functions, 2004-2007) which is a collaborative effort between the University of Art and Design Helsinki and the Helsinki University of Technology. The project is part of the Industrial Design Research Programme of the Academy of Finland. The project has examined how design – as interaction between products and users – communicates in various contexts, particularly by means of visual qualities.

Nordcode (Nordic network for research on communicative product design) was established in 2002 to gather researchers and research students especially in the Nordic countries. Since 2005, Nordcode has been partly funded by NordForsk. The main activities of the network include annual research seminars and PhD courses. Design Semiotics in Use is the 6th Nordcode seminar and workshop.

The seminar is also connected to the World Congress in Semiotics, Communication: Understanding/ Misunderstanding, organised June 11-17 2007 in Helsinki and Imatra.

Important dates
November 1 2006 --- Call for papers opened

January 31 2007 --- Deadline for abstracts, sent to
(300 words, explaining the research background, objectives, and expected/final results)

February 28 2007 --- Approval of abstracts
(abstract and papers reviewed by SeFun members and additional persons)

May 30 2007 --- Deadline for final seminar papers, sent to
(2000-3000 words, to be published on the seminar web page prior to the seminar)

June 6-8 2007 --- Seminar

Autumn 2007 --- Seminar proceedings published

(advanced versions of selected papers, chosen in the seminar + summaries of group discussions)

Programme and papers
Initial Programme
(please click on the links to upload the papers)

Wednesday, June 6

09:30 - 10:00    Registration & coffee

10:00 - 11:00    Welcome & introduction

  • Susann Vihma & Toni-Matti Karjalainen
11:00 - 12:30    Paper session 1 Representation, discourse, and semiotic models
12:30 - 14:00    Lunch

14:00 - 15:30    Workshop Nordcode PhD writing assignments
15:30 - 16:00    Coffee

16:00 - 17:00    
Workshop Nordcode PhD writing assignments
17:00 - 19:00    Get-together coctail

Thursday, June 7

09:00 - 10:30    Paper session 2 Communication and products as media
10:30 - 11:00    Coffee

11:00 - 12:30    Paper session 3 Age and gender
12:30 - 14:00    Lunch

14:00 - 15:30    Paper session 4 Three approaches to design practice
15:30 - 16:00    Coffee

16:00 - 17:30    Group discussion on design semiotics
20:00    Seminar dinner at Wok-It

Friday, June 8

09:30 - 10:30    Paper session 5 Innovation and product functions
10:30 - 11:00    Coffee

11:00 - 12:30    Paper session 6 Graphical and digital interfaces
12:30 - 14:00    Lunch

14:00 - 15:00    Paper session 7 Evaluating visual solutions
  • Rebecca Lawson, Ian Storer & Tom Page: Paper removed. Please contact the Authors ( to get a copy.
  • Viktor Hjort, Sara Persson & Patrick Jordan: Things, constructs and meanings
15:00 - 16:00    Summary and closing the seminar
Participants with paper presentations
Nathan Crilly & P. John Clarkson, University of Cambridge, UK
Henrik Enquist, Lund University, Sweden
Claudia Gianelli, University of Bologna, Italy
Wellington Gomes de Medeiros, Staffordshire University, UK
Viktor Hjort, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
Sofia Hussain & Martina Keitsch, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Dirk B. Jacobs, Higher Institute for Integral Product Development, Antwerpen, Netherlands
Troels Degn Johansson, Danish School of Design, Copenhagen
Mirja Kälviäinen, North Karelia University of Applied Sciences, Finland
Rebecca Lawson, Loughborough University, UK
Thomas Markussen, Kolding School of Design, Denmark
Alvise Mattozzi, Architectural Institute of Venice, Free University of Bozen, Italy
Marc Monjou, University of Limoges, France
Michael Pickard & Gurpreet Singh, Design Center at Sunderland University, UK
Julie Sommerlund, Danish School of Design, Copenhagen
Dagmar Steffen, Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach, Germany
Claudio Vandi, Collegio Superiore Universita di Bologna, Italy
Paolo Volonté, Faculta di Design e Arti, Bolzano, Italy
Salvatore Zingale, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Nordcode PhD participants
Arild Berg, University of Art and Design Helsinki &
Nithikul Nimkulrat, University of Art and Design Helsinki
Hilde Berntsen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology &
Rikke Seim, Technical University of Denmark
Despina Christoforidou, Lund University &
Shahriman Zainal Abidin, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Monika Hestad, Oslo School of Architecture and Design &
Oscar Person, Delft University of Technology¨
Jessica Isaksson, Chalmers University of Technology &
Kyle Kilbourn, University of Southern Denmark,
Emma Linder, Ålesund University College &
Elin Olander, Lund University
Eva Wängelin, Lund University
Working papers instructions
There is no paper format you are asked to use. Instead, consider this as an opportunity to make your paper visually appealing and unique. Since there won't be another round of review, please pay also attention to correct English language. And please try to keep your paper within the recommended length, 2000-3000 words.

The absolute deadline is May 30th.
Papers should be sent to
. We will download the papers on the seminar page as soon as they arrive. So in order to give other participants enough time to read your paper and thus prepare better comments, we strongly recommend that you will finish your papers well before the deadline.

And please note that, before the seminar, you should download the papers from the seminar page by yourselves (to be found in the programme above). There will be no prints available in the seminar.

Paper presentations

The length of the paper presentations should be limited to 20 minutes. We would prefer to receive your presentation two weeks before the seminar in pdf-format. You may send it to: Or, you may bring your presentation saved in USB stick. This helps the seminar program to proceed without extra technical interventions.  For further information, please, do not hesitate to contact us.

The seminar participation is free of charge.

Seminar dinner
Could you, please, inform, if you`re going to join our dinner on the 7th of June! We will eat at the restaurant Namaskaar & Wok-it. Please let Johanna know also if you have special dietary.

Location and travel
The easiest way to travel from Helsinki city centre is to take the tram number 6. It has its terminal stop close to the University of Art and Design Helsinki. The tram travels via Central Railway Station. There are two directions. Take the one to "Arabia". 

Alternatively, you can take busses 71, 71V and 68 that depart from the Central Railway Station. Bus 74 departs from the Hakaniemi market square. In the bus, push the stop signal button when you see the Arabia factory on the right side of the road.

The telephone of the taxi is 0100 0700.

More information about the Helsinki public transport:

You have time by 20th of April, 4 pm to book rooms via Hotellikeskus to hotel Cumulus Olympia If you want to book these rooms you have to take contact to Hotellikeskus by phone, fax or email: 
Tel. +358 9 2288 1400
or +358 9 2288 1415
fax.  +358 9 2288 1499

When you book the room you have to mention code TAIK. One single room costs 132 euros /  night, breakfast is included. You can pay the room with cash or credit card and for guarantee they`d like to have your credit card number. Please, tell also if you want to have a smokeless room.

There is also one double room from Martta hotel The hotel is situated in the city centre and costs 149 euros. Please, inform
if you want to book it.

Tourist information
Map of Helsinki:

Contact mobile: +358 50 524 9994
mobile: +358 50 357 4047 tel: +358 9 7563 0473