Program structure



First year

In the first year, introspection is emphasised and students are asked to look inside and define the designer as an author. Students are introduced to the basic methods of product designers, designing processes, research and methods. It is also considered important that students are able to contextualise their own work and argue for their work and ideas. Students learn about the basic elements of product design, the interplay of materials and tools as well as the interplay between the subjective and the objective/the material.

Students are introduced to the studios available to them during their studies. Students take courses on drawing and on professional software programs, as well as receiving basic training in photography.

A joint course with other design students teaches ideology and design history, cultural theory and material culture with emphasis on the importance of academic practices.

Learning outcomes

After the first year students should;

  • know, and be capable of applying, the essential concepts in the work processes of product designers,
  • have developed the skills to argue for their work and their decisions in design work,
  • have been introduced to the basic software programs used in product design,
  • have acquired methods for creating work processes and ideas,
  • be able to promote their work professionally, in written text, speech and in material expression.

Second year

In the second year the greater social context is considered and the basic concepts of the first year are examined more closely. Students work publicly, researching and analysing. Practical social transformation is of the essence. In the spring semester students work with companies and in that cooperation they develop new work processes, products and experiences. The year ends with a long joint course within the design department where current social challenges are actively engaged with.

Students take two separate courses in 3-D computer graphics and use work processes connected with digital design, 3-D printing, laser-cutting etc. Students take courses in a metal workshop and are introduced to the basic elements of metallurgy. Furthermore, students take a course on moving image media. Technical courses are connected with studio courses as much as possible.

Theory courses emphasise sustainability, creation and social- and cultural challenges. Students are furthermore provided with good insights into the history of product design, both in Iceland as well as in International context. In the second year students choose elective courses and can for an example take courses in creative writing, film theory and visual culture. The selection of courses is due to change between years.

Learning outcomes

After the second year students should;

  • be able to apply the basic concepts of product designers’ work processes in the greater social context,
  • be able to organise and create their own work processes,
  • be able to create works based on their own work processes,
  • be able to work in a team of professionals within and outside of the field of product design,
  • have basic knowledge of different technical possibilities and programming as well as having demonstrated the skills to materially apply that knowledge.

Third year

The third year aims at creating real projects, and the graduation year is divided into two long courses. In the autumn semester, teachers outline the structure of the graduation projects, where three parts of a course are inter-connected. It starts with research and conceptual work but gradually moves on to the design and production of promotional work where motion media, photographs and text is employed. In the spring semester students should organise and create their own graduation projects that are then examined and exhibited at the end of the school year. Students must demonstrate the knowledge and skill necessary to deliver a complete work where all parts of product design, from research to the finished work, are engaged with.

Students take one technical course in motion media. The technical course is in dialogue with the studio in the fall semester.

Students write a final thesis in the third year. Prominence is given to the integration of design and theory and it is expected of students to work independently. Students also write about their own graduation project in a special design analysis where they contextualize their own work aesthetically, materially, socially and culturally. In a joint course within the whole department students learn about the occupational environment of designers, the role and responsibility of designers in society.

Learning outcomes

After the third year students should;

  • be qualified to communicate their works both theoretically and technically,
  • be able to contextualise their own work and work processes and account for both in a social context,
  • have knowledge of the occupational environment of designers,
  • be able to work on various projects connected to product design,
  • be able to acquire an open mind and originality in thought,
  • be able to argue for their work on professional grounds.