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Advanced Product Design

This is a programme that looks boldly into the future. Guided by a philosophy to challenge what is possible it fuses the knowledge and insights of today’s hard-core product design with the possibilities that arise when applying both the physical and digital technology of tomorrow. The result? Skilled industrial designers with the toolkit and mindset needed to create, develop and design new relevant product solutions.

The curriculum supports this vision. It focuses on the advanced treatment of design through user studies, problem identification and analysis, as well as new technologies and materials. It trains students on how to be innovative and to find novel answers. It urges them to wring the best possible solution for a given problem or identified design opportunity.

A universal approach - guided by the respect for human and nature deeply embedded in the Scandinavian design tradition - underpin each and every module.

In this project-based programme, students identify which problems to tackle and then collaborate with industrial partners, research units or local authorities. Typical challenges include professional products for the medical industry, conceptualizing new technology solutions for specialists, designing for upcoming consumer needs and developing professional tools within heavy industries.

These projects often lead students to dream jobs. Graduate Simon Linge’s thesis on an idea for a robot that buzzes around hospital halls stacking shelves — so that nurses get to spend more time with patients — was done in collaboration with ABB, University Hospital of Umeå and Karolinska University Hospital. Today, Linge works at one of ABB’s research departments.

“I had the opportunity to go into the hospital environment and shadow nurses in seven different departments and interview them about their work, to learn what problems they face in their everyday lives,” Linge recalls. “The approach is based on a methodology that aims to understand the user's needs, the problems that people encounter, and then trying to design products and services that actually help them.”

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