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Project 2: Strategic Product Design, 15 Credits

Swedish name: Projekt 2: Strategisk produktdesign

This syllabus is valid: 2019-12-30 and until further notice

Course code: 5ID210

Credit points: 15

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Industrial Design: Second cycle, has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: Two-grade scale

Responsible department: Umeå Institute of Design (UID)

Revised by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2019-10-29


The course includes advanced studies in the field of strategic design, brand identity and strategic product development. The course is often carried out in collaboration with predetermined company or brand and consists of the following phases:

1.    Strategic design seminar (4.5 credits)
This course phase includes the introduction to a company, existing products and the analysis of the overall brand impression that these expresses and the present and future market situation. Methods for analysing the brand appearance of products will be introduced through practical exercises, the result of these will be shared through de-briefings and presentations. Most of these activities will be done in groups. This phase ends with the students defining a project relevant to the scope of the course and formulates this in a written design brief.

2.    Strategic design project (10.5 credits)
This part includes project work focused to explore the possibilities for design and development of new product solutions that conceptually, visual and functionally respects the desired characteristics and brand values defined by the students. This phase ends with a final presentation and the submission of a visual report summarizing the student’s work process during the course.

Expected learning outcomes

After completing the course students will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Benchmark and analyse existing brands and products based on corporate identity, core values and expressed design strategy.
  • Identify new relevant design opportunities for a brand and it’s product range.
  • Show the ability to draw conclusions and make decisions based on initial research, conclusions and decisions and communicate this in a written project description together with a personal work and time plan.

Competence and skills

  • Show the ability to combine and communicate the obtained knowledge with an individually generated design and brand expression in the form of a new design concept.
  • Present the end result of the design project in two and three-dimensional form in a convincing way.

Judgement and approach

  • Document one’s work process and reflect on the work methods and individual choices made during the design process.


Required Knowledge

A Bachelor's degree or equivalent first-cycle qualification comprising of at least 180 ECTS or a corresponding qualification from an internationally recognized university. Specific entry requirements are: 60 ECTS credits in the field of Design. Student must also have passed all previous courses on the Master programme in Advanced Product Design at Umeå Institute of Design or the equivalent. Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English B/6.

Form of instruction

The teaching is in the form of lectures and practical training, independent acquisition of knowledge, group work and individual project work. Details and schedule according to the specific project brief as presented at the beginning of the course. Education is carried out in English.

Examination modes

Examination is carried out in the form of presentations – oral, visual and written – at specific gateways during the course and as a final presentation at the end of the course.
After completing the course the grades Fail (U) or Pass (G) is awarded the student.
In order to obtain credit for the course, the student must have produced an approved project brief with problem statement and time plan, participated at the presentations at the specified gateways, and made a final presentation of the project. A visual report, documenting the work process and the final result, has to be submitted.
The grades Fail (U) or Pass (G) provides a summary of the results of the various parts of the course and are given only when the final presentation has been approved.
For students who have not obtained the grade Pass, other examination sessions will be arranged. A student who for two consecutive examinations for the same course or sub-course has not been passed, has the right to have another examiner appointed, if there are no special reasons against this (Higher Education Ordinance chapter 6, 22 §). The request for a new examiner shall be made in writing to the Head of Department at Umeå Institute of Design.

Students have the right to request that previous studies, or equivalent knowledge and skills acquired in a professional, work-related capacity, be validated and transferred into credits on an equivalent course or programme at Umeå University.  Applications for credit transfer should be addressed to Student Services/Degree Evaluation Office. More information can be found at the Umeå University student web site (www.student.umu.se/english) and in Chapter 6 of the Higher Education Ordinance.  Appeals may be made to the Higher Education Appeals Board (ÖNH) against a decision by the university not to approve an application for credit transfer (Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 12), even in cases where only a part of the application has been rejected


Valid from: 2019 week 44

Reference literature

Reference literature is not mandatory.

Blue ocean strategy : how to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant
Kim W. Chan, Mauborgne Renée
Expanded edition. : Boston, Massachusetts : Harvard Business Review Press : [2015] : xxviii, 287 pages :
ISBN: 9781625274496
Search the University Library catalogue

The upcycle : beyond sustainability : designing for abundance
McDonough William, Braungart Michael
1. ed. : New York : North Point Press : 2013 : xvii, 227 s. :
ISBN: 978-0-86547-748-3
Search the University Library catalogue

This is service design thinking : basics, tools, cases
Stickdorn Marc, Schneider Jakob
[1. pbk ed.] : Amsterdam : BIS Publ. : cop. 2011 : 373 s. :
ISBN: 9789063692797
Search the University Library catalogue

Business model generation : a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers
Osterwalder Alexander, Pigneur Yves, Clark Tim
Hoboken, N. J. : Wiley : cop. 2010 : 278, [3] s. :
ISBN: 978-0-470-87641-1 (pbk.)
Search the University Library catalogue

Klein Naomi
No logo : no space, no choice, no jobs
10th anniversary ed. : London : Fourth Estate : 2010 : xli, 502 s. :
ISBN: 978-0-00-734077-4
Search the University Library catalogue

The ten faces of innovation : IDEO's strategies for beating the devil's advocate & driving creativity throughout your organization
Kelley Tom, Littman Jonathan
[New ed.] : London : Profile Books : 2008 : xi, 273 s. :
ISBN: 978-1-84668-031-1 (hft.)
Search the University Library catalogue

Cradle to cradle : remaking the way we make things
McDonough William, Braungart Michael
1. ed. : New York : North Point Press : 2002 : 193 s. :
ISBN: 978-0-86547-587-8
Search the University Library catalogue

Jordan Patrick W.
Designing pleasurable products : an introduction to the new human factors
London : Taylor & Francis : 2000 : viii, 216 s. :
ISBN: 0-748-40844-4
Search the University Library catalogue