70 404 Aesthetics in Physical Context


Passed foundation level courses or the equivalent: basic design education three years corresponding to BA. The course is open to students from all design specializations with completed basic course in the workshops at AHO. Material costs must be expected.

Course content

The aim of the course is to give students the opportunity to explore and reflect on applied aesthetics in physical form, from both a practical and theoretical side. The course has a close cooperation with the workshops where students will explore physical form as well as materials, surfaces, formats etc. They will also reflect on and discuss the various topics and their own physical explorations.

The topics are for example: How material gives a response during exploration? Haptic perception. Surface, pattern, texture and blind testing of design objects. Context – the relevance of what context the objects are created for.

Learning outcomes

• Strengthened design skills through practicing creative processes in physical materials.
• Exploring aesthetic effects
• Gain experience through practice and train their critical eye.
• Explain and argue for their aesthetic choices.
• Knowledge of the hierarchy of the senses and haptic experience.
• Knowledge of what the process contributes to the result, experience with material-specific processes and the aspect of time.
• Knowledge of various types of experiments and intentions with these.
• The course various themes are central to design and the students shall be able to apply knowledge from this course in their later projects.

Working and learning activities

The course will be organized around different themes and students will carry out practical investigations within each of the themes. Each theme will last for two days of the course. There will be a lecture / introduction to each topic given by various specialists, time for independent study, reflection and practical examinations. Each topic will end in the afternoon on day two with presentations, reflections and discussions around the topic. In elective week, students choose a theme from the course and immerse themselves in this through experiments in several iterations. The course concludes with an exhibition.

Professor in charge

Nina Bjørnstad

Additional information

Co teacher Industrial Designer/ Associated professor Geir Øxseth.


Assessment Date Duration Grade scale Oral examination
Vurderingsmappe Individual Pass / Fail

The course is evaluated based on participation in discussions and physical experiments

- Deliverables in each topic, experiments and a reflection note. The latter delivered on Moodle.

- Physical result from exploring the chosen theme during one week. Reflection and final exhibition.

- The final deadline for the deliveries is the last day of this course. If you work together, the distribution of the work need to be accepted by course leader. Pass / Fail.