research project 2004-2007
||The SeFun project
examines how industrial design products communicate with users in various contexts. Product communication is conceived as interaction between products and users. Interpretation of visual qualities will be emphasized. For this purpose the approaches of visual semiotics will be discussed and further developed. Laboratory studies and qualitative case studies are carried out to gather empirical data. The project started in January 2004.
SeFun project is part of the Industrial design research programme (2003-2007) of the Academy of Finland.
SeFun International Seminar
& 6th Nordcode seminar and workshop
Helsinki June 6-8 2007
5th Nordcode seminar and workshop
Oslo, 10-12 May 2006
Research in Dialogue with Artistic Production, doctoral seminar
University of Art and Design Helsinki, February 8-9 2006
4th Nordcode Seminar & Workshop “Common denominators”
Trondheim, May 18-20 2005 Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Teollisen muotoilun bilateraalinen jatkokoulutusseminaari: Merkitys, käytettävyys, vuorovaikutus" (Signification, Usability, Interaction in Design)
December 1-2 2004 University of Art and Design Helsinki
Organised by SeFun and Emergence of Luxury projects
3rd Nordcode Seminar & Workshop “Design communication”
Lyngby, April 28-30 2004 Technical University of Denmark
2nd Nordcode Seminar & Workshop “Semantic & aesthetic functions in design”
Helsinki/Espoo, October 1-3 2003 University of Art and Design Helsinki & Helsinki University of Technology
Karjalainen, Toni-Matti & Snelders, Dirk (2008, forthcoming) Designing Visual Recognition for the Brand Accepted to Journal of Product Innovation Management
Person, Oscar; Schoormans, Jan; Snelders, Dirk & Karjalainen, Toni-Matti & (2008, forthcoming)
Complementing intuition: Insights on styling as a strategic tool Design Studies, in press.
Person, Oscar; Snelders, Dirk; Karjalainen, Toni-Matti & Schoormans, Jan (2007) Complementing intuition: Insights on styling as a strategic tool Journal of Marketing Management, Vol 23, No 9-10. 901-916.
Karjalainen, Toni-Matti (2007) It Looks Like a Toyota: Educational Approaches to Designing for Visual Brand Recognition International Journal of Design, 1(1)
Karjalainen, Toni-Matti (2006) Strategic Concepts in the Automotive Industry In Keinonen & Takala (eds.), "Tuotekonseptointi". Product Concept Design - A Review of the Conceptual Design of Products in Industry. Springer Verlag. 133-155
Karjalainen, Toni-Matti & Repokari, Lauri (2006) Challenges of cross-Atlantic project collaboration in design education 9th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education Newcastle, UK, September 13-14, 2007
Karjalainen, Toni-Matti; Rahe, Ulrike; Ljungman, Ida; Lodin, Karin & Starodub, Karolina (2006) “NOYO - CREATING YOUR EXPERIENCE” - A case study on the creation of affective brand script and visual product identity Design & Emotion Conference Gothenburg, September 26-29, 2006
Karjalainen, Toni-Matti (2006) The Appearance of "Active Fashion" - Semantic mapping of the Nokia 5100 design process 13TH INTERNATIONAL PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE Milan, June 11-13, 2006
Person, Oscar; Karjalainen, Toni-Matti; Schoormans, Jan & Snelders, Dirk (2006) The effect of market conditions on product styling strategies 35th EMAC Conference: Sustainable Marketing Leadership Athens, May 23-26, 2006
Turpeinen, Outi (2006) The interplay of art and research. In ed.by Mäkelä Maarit and Routarinne Sara "The art of research". Research practices in art and design". University of Art and Design. Helsinki.
Turpeinen, Outi (2006) Recombining ideas from art and cultural history museums in
theory and practice Nordisk museology 2/2006
Karjalainen, Toni-Matti (2005) Semantic Mapping of Design Processes 6th international conference of the European Academy of Design Bremen, Germany, 29-31 March 2005
Karjalainen, Toni-Matti (2005) Safe Shoulders and Personal Faces - Transforming Brand Strategy to Product Design 12th International Product Development Management Conference Copenhagen, Denmark, 12-14 June 2005
Karjalainen, Toni-Matti & Repokari, Lauri (2005) A Quest for Product Messages - Explorative research setting for analysing the communicative design aspects of mobile phones in the usability laboratory HCI International 2005 Las Vegas, USA, 22-27 July 2005
Karjalainen, Toni-Matti & Warell, Anders (2005) Do You Recognise This Tea Flask? - Transformation of brand-specific product identity through visual design cues International Design Congress - IASDR 2005 Taiwan, 31 October - 4 November 2005
Karjalainen, Toni-Matti (2005) Monialainen muotoilunäkemys yritystoiminnan kulmakivenä
Avista 2/2005. 11.
Karjalainen, Toni-Matti (2005) Tuotteiden merkitykselliset muodot: Tuotemuotoilu ja brändi yrityksen strategiankulmakivinä
Economic Trends 1/2005. 26-30.
Karjalainen, Toni-Matti (2005) Design Essay: Do you recognise that car? Car Design News July 15 2005.
Karjalainen, Toni-Matti (ed.) (2005) Design Communication. Report and selected papers from the 3rd Nordcode seminar & workshop. University of Art and Design Helsinki, Working papers F30.
Turpeinen, Outi (2005). Nykytaide vierailulla kulttuurihistoriallisessa museossa. Toim. Levanto, Naukkarinen, Vihma: "Taiteistuminen", Taideteollinen korkeakoulu, Helsinki
Turpeinen, Outi (2005) Merkityksellinen museoesine. Visuaalinen kriittisyys kulttuurihistoriallisen museon näyttelysuunnittelussa Taideteollinen korkeakoulu, Helsinki
Turpeinen, Outi (2005). Researching the visual qualities of exhibition design through experimental and cross-disciplinary methods In the making, conference proceedings, Copenhagen
Turpeinen, Outi & Vihma, Susann (eds.) (2005). Proceedings from the seminar on Signification, Usability, and Interaction in DESIGN. Online version. University of Art and Design, Helsinki, Finland 1-2.12. 2004.
Karjalainen, Toni-Matti (2004) Semantic transformation in design. Communicating strategic brand identity through product design references University of Art and Design Helsinki More information
Karjalainen, Toni-Matti (2004) Transforming strategic brand identity to product design references FUTUREGROUND Design Research Society International Conference Melbourne, Australia, 17-21 November 2004
Karjalainen, Toni-Matti (2004) Autoteollisuuden muotoilukonseptit - esimerkkinä Volvo [In Finnish, "Design concepts of the car industry - case Volvo"] In Keinonen & Jääskö (eds.), "Tuotekonseptointi". Teknologiainfo Teknova Oy, Helsinki. 173-197 [see Teknova]
Karjalainen, Toni-Matti (2004) Tuotemuotoilu brandin strategisen identiteetin tukena [In Finnish, "Product design as support of strategic brand identity] In “Design Management - Yrityskuvan Johtaminen”. Kymidesign, Kouvola. 80-89 [see Kymidesign > "julkaisut"]
Laakso, Mikko & Repokari, Lauri (2004) Design and Evaluation of Seamless and Transparent Middleware Proceedings of the FUTUREGROUND Design Research Society International Conference. Melbourne, Australia, 17-21 November 2004
Laakso, Mikko (2004) Usability Issues in Virtual Environment Navigation. Licentiate's Thesis, Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, Finland.
Vihma, Susann (ed.): Semantic & Aesthetic Functions in Design. Working Papers Series F 28, University of Art and Design Helsinki , Helsinki , 2004, 3-5.
Decode Research Group
Academy of Finland
|The project aims at combining research on
industrial design and semiotic product functions. For this
purpose, a research group has been formed that brings together experts from
design, semiotics, cognitive psychology and engineering. Education at the
master’s degree level and research training at both the University of
Art and Design Helsinki (UIAH) and the Helsinki University of
Technology (HUT) already include these fields. However, even though more
or less the same concepts have been used, thus far, research has been carried
out separately within each discipline. A conceptual framework that would
argue for integration of the viewpoints is missing.
A new research group has been established to carry out theoretical work in connection with analyses of laboratory and case studies. The internationally recognized research in design semiotics carried out at UIAH will be continued. One of the initiatives has been the formation of an interdisciplinary research group called Meaning of Form in 1998. With this new project, called SeFun, a methodological approach will be opened towards usability and technological research together with the Decode Research Group at HUT. The SeFun project will thus strengthen an important field of design research and will aim at furthering researcher training.
objective is to enhance the understanding and applicability
of semiotic product functions. The project will argue for relevant
concepts and develop methods for analyzing these functions. It will
start by scrutinizing relevant theoretical approaches (specifically
within semiotics and cognitive psychology).
A frame of reference for design studies has earlier been operationalized on the basis of Charles S. Peirce’s semiotic philosophy. Accordingly, visual representation, interaction and communication can be studied on many levels, including the sensual or imaginative, the actually physical and the symbolic. The combination of these levels seems to be a promising approach for design research because it takes both materiality and representation into consideration. Habits of action are not conceived as fixed rules, nor does the interpretation aim at fixing positions. The aim is rather to clarify arguments for interpretation and study their conceptual bases. In this project the theoretical approach will be further applied and broadened into closely related fields. For example, the aesthetic value of products will be of concern in the analyses because semiotics as the study of representation does not cover the analyses of appreciation and desirability. New insights will be obtained by combining perspectives of different research fields with the help of the literature.
||The constitution of the conceptual
framework will be established in connection with laboratory
experiments, field studies and qualitative
case studies that produce quantitative data for the analyses and
link empirical findings to theoretical argumentation. The perception
and interpretation of products, and their interaction with users
will be documented at the usability laboratory (HUT) and analyzed
in the context of use with the help of sample material. Knowledge about
semiotic product functions is needed, especially in product categories
that combine industrial design with new technologies.
|The research group consists of six
researchers. The deliberate aim has been to form
a new group with relevant educational backgrounds in order to achieve
the research objectives and to include researchers at different
stages of their careers. Gender distribution has been considered,
and the same principle will be held during the choice of tutors, the
scientific committee and experts.
Professor, Dr.of Arts UIAH (design semiotics),
docent at the University of Lapland (design history and design semiotics)
Person in charge of research
Tech.Lic., doctoral candidate HUT, MA (cogn.sci.)
Researcher, responsible for HUT activities
Dr. of Arts (Art & Design), M.Sc.(econ.)
Researcher, UIAH & HUT
Tech.Lic., M.Sc.(eng.), doctoral candidate HUT
MA (design), doctoral student,
Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach & University of Wuppertal
will carry out a work period in Finland and link the project
to research in Germany and distinguished experts in the field
Read more about the contents of by clicking the image.
will pursue close relationships to Finnish and international
research groups. Such relationships are especially important
for improving cooperation between the small groups to increase the
effectiveness of researcher training. Established research contacts
include the following institutions, which work closely within the field
of semiotic product functions:
University of Art and Design Helsinki UIAH, Department of Visual Culture (Dr. Vihma) and Department of Design
Helsinki University of Technology (HUT), Department of Computer Science (Professor Nieminen)
University of Lapland, Faculty of Art and Design (Professor Kettunen)
Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, Product and Production Development (Dr. Warell)
Högskolan för Design och Konsthantverk vid Göteborgs universitet (Dr. Wikström)
Goldsmith College at University of London, Department of Design (Professor Woolley)
Eindhoven University of Technology, Faculty of Industrial Design (Associate professor Overbeeke)
Wako University in Tokyo, Design Semiotics (Professor Kawama)
These scholars will form a scientific committee for the project.
|A central task of the project will be
to establish an active research network at the Nordic level. In 2000,
a planning meeting to start a network was organized in Gothenburg. It was
initiated by Susann Vihma and partly financed by the Nordic Academy for
Advanced Study (Norfa). Following this, the Nordic Network for research
on Communicative Product Qualities (Nordcode), an initiative
of the Meaning of Form Research Group (UIAH) and the Department of
Design Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology, was established
and a grounding seminar was organized in March 10-11, 2003 in Gothenburg.
The SeFun group hosted the second Nordcode seminar and workshop in October 1-3, 2003 in Helsinki/Espoo. Between 2003 and 2007, the SeFun project will function as a key activity of the Nordcode network, encouraging research cooperation of the Nordcode members. The annual Nordcode seminars will be important parts of the SeFun project.
of the research will contribute internationally to design research
by clarifying and deepening the theoretical foundations of industrial
design. The results will also be applied in industrial design and
engineering science education at the university level. Moreover, the
results are expected to improve communication between partners
within the product development process and also the strategic management
of industrial design. Furthermore, the overall aim of the project
is to produce knowledge to improve the quality of the built environment.
The conceptual framework and methods for analyses will be presented in an anthology that will function as the basis for the critical scrutiny and evaluation of the results at an international conference to be organized in 2007. The anthology will aim at gathering together the most recent and relevant research done internationally on design semiotics and applications.
After the project, a handbook will be written predominantly for design students, companies and institutions on the basis of the research results.
tel. +358 (0)9 756 30 364
Department of Visual Culture
University of Art And Design Helsinki
Hämeentie 135 C
tel. +358 (0)50 367 5979
tel. +358 (0)50 357 4047
for comments on this page, contact Toni-Matti Karjalainen