Syllabus: Product Deconstruction, Spring 2006, second module

4 cr, 8 ECTS
School of Design, UIAH
Instructor: Ilpo Koskinen, mail: ikoskine (at)
Office hours: Tuesday 13-14

NEW May 10: Spring 2006: papers are here!

NEW May 11: Ilpo's final notes for the class.

Ilpo's notes from presentations:

New: Products/initial selection (added: Apr. 20)// Hypotheses (with my comments) (added: Apr. 20)

April 15: New (Apr. 20): Instructions for contacting Nokia designers


All lectures are on Thursdays from 10-12 in room 885 unless otherwise said!

* Introduction

* Guidelines for selecting the product

* Guidelines for Product Deconstruction

* Guidelines for Designer Interviews

Background lectures:

- Paula Bello on Goodscapes (note: 1.2 MB) (check her longer paper from the design research pages.)

- Ilpo's notes of Turkka Keinonen's lecture

Structure, aims

The objective of the course is to deepen students' understanding of different ways to evaluate design products including recognizing relevant evaluation approaches and criteria, learning to choose methods to collect and analyse information and learning design writing skills.

Content: the search and definition of the evaluation perspectives of a design product.
- The evaluation of the product in practical, productional, commercial and/or in cultural context.
- The definition of the user segment, tarket market, technology base, maturity of the product category, style of the designer e.g. other essential attributes that describe design.
- To plan and complete the necessary studies for the analysis, such as the interviews and observations.
- Discussions with the designers of the chosen product, documentation of the project and final presentation.

Readings can be found in the library. Working methods are lectures, teamwork,essay writing / multimedia presentation. Instruction language is English. Evaluation scale: 0-5.


Introduction -- March 23:

23.3. Introduction: the aims, structure, organization of the class
Background lecture: Paula Bello. Turkka Keinonen. Creating a model for the class.

Product Search period -- March 23 - April 4:

Independent work: searching products for deconstruction.
30.3. Feedback/tutoring day IK is available in the class to help in constructing presentations, selecting themes to work on, etc.
6.4. Presentation: students presents products and select a few for deconstruction.

Deconstruction period -- April 6-13:

6.4. Lecture: guidelines The lecture gives guidelines for deconstruction.
Independent work: searching products for deconstruction.
Feedback/tutoring all through the week: I am available in my office to help in constructing presentations, selecting themes to work on, etc. Contact through e-mail if nothing else works!
13.4. Note! 10-12 Presentation: Students present their hypothesis about why the product was designed for the whole class.

Validation period -- April 13 - May 4:

13.4. Lecture: guidelines Guidelines for interviewing designers.
Independent work 13.4.-4.5.: you are supposed to interview designers during this period.
Feedback/tutoring by contacting me: I am available in my officefor help. Contact through e-mail if nothing else works!

Final Presentation and Feedback period -- May 4-11/18:

4.5. Feedback/tutoring day: IK is available in the class
11.5. Note 10-12! Final presentation: Students present their findings about designer interviews and other analysis. Discussion. Debate. Comparing empirical results to hypothesis: evaluating the latter.
18.5. Feedback (optional, depending on whether you are still around): IK gives feedback to students and they to him. Students are invited to participate, but no presence is required.

Paper or presentation?

The final presentation has to be written and illuatrated. However, as long as it is written and coherent, you can submit your work in any format you like, ranging from video to multimedia presentation. Innovative methods to communicate work is strongly encouraged.

* Get paper template from here.


Optional readings are available in the library - or on this Web site. Ask “Product Deconstruction” from the counter.

1 --- Vertical process:

- for a clear statement of the vertical process, check from the library: Ulrich, Karl T. & Steven D. Eppinger 2003. Product Design and Development. New York: McGraw-Hill.

- COPY IN LIBRARY: for a classic dedsign statement of a ystematic method, see Jones, J.C. 1984. A Method of Systematic Design. In Cross, Nigel (ed.) Developments in Design Methodology. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

2 --- Horizontal process:

- for a systematic but still creative design process, check from the library: Tom Kelley 2001. The Art of Innovation. New York: Doubleday. Kelley tells about IDEO in this book.

- "Wicked problems": intro. COPY IN LIBRARY: Rittel, Horst W.J. and Melvin Webber Planning Problems are Wicked Problems. In Cross, Nigel (ed.) Developments in Design Methodology. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

3 --- Historical process:

- for Turkka's historical process, browse the Volvo case from this book in the library: Karjalainen, Toni-Matti 2004. Semantic Transformation in Design: Communicating Strategic Brand Identity through Product Design References. Helsinki: University of Art and Design Helsinki, 2004

© IK -- March 8, 2006


Product Deconstruction: Site for 2005.