Code: ARTS3100

Extent: 20 ECTS

Language: English

Organizing Department: Department of Media

Teachers in charge: Markus Joutsela, Lecturer

Administrative contact: Study Coordinator of Visual Communication Design

Target group: Students interested in packaging design and working with real projects in a team.
Pack-Age minor prepares students for interdisciplinary project work typical in working life, involving cooperation with experts from many different fields. The student learns to utilize one’s special competence as part of a project and thus strengthen the team's expertise.

Applying to a minor: 

Application period: Spring. See instructions: Application instructions for Aalto University students

Students of other Finnish universities apply for the minor during the JOO application period in the JOOPAS system.

Application procedure: Students apply by means of written motivation letters. The motivation letter should include the following information.

  • Why are you applying and what expectations do you have?
  • What are you enthusiastic about and what interests you in packaging?
  • What kind of competence or knowledge do you bring to the team?
  • Do you have experience of project work or experience with packaging industry?
  • Would be interested in serving as project manager in your group?
  • Do you have a lot of other studies going on simultaneously?

Based on motivation letters, the teachers will form the project groups before the course begins. Each project group should have motivated students from different disciplines and backgrounds. One student serves as the project manager in each group. The project teams are often multinational.

Selection criteria:

  • Motivation
  • Educational background
  • Interest and experience
  • Suitability for the project
  • Available time (not many overlapping courses)

Quotas and restrictions: 20 students from Aalto University and 4 from Lahti Institute of Design and 4 from Helsinki University.

Study right: One academic year.

Prerequisites: Please see application procedure and quotas and restrictions.


Content and structure of the minor

The minor is taught in collaboration between five different schools: Aalto ARTS, Aalto BIZ, Aalto CHEM and Lahti Institute of Design and Helsinki University Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry.
Pack-Age is organised by the Aalto ARTS Master's Programme in Visual Communication Design.

Learning outcomes

Content outcomes:

  • The student gets a holistic understanding of how packaging works and what it enables. S/he understands how a package can serve different stakeholders in different phases of the product's life cycle and how packaging value chain is constructed.
  • The student knows the principles of visual, structural and user-centred packaging design that complies with sustainable development and is able to evaluate the feasibility of a packaging solution from many different perspectives.

Skill outcomes:

  • As a part of a project group the student is able to create a fit-for-purpose design solution taking into account the client, product, environment, and the user.
  • The student is able to present and justify their design solution. S/he can describe from a number of perspectives what kind of impact the design has and what value it brings.
  • The student is familiar with good project work practices and can function responsibly as a member of a project group and knows how to communicate with various stakeholders professionally.

Content of the Minor

In Pack-Age course students work in groups on company projects. The learning tasks involve designing future packaging concepts and prototypes. The learning content consists of theme lectures and workshops as well as independent and supervised group work. Teaching is based on collaboration between different teachers and schools. Utilizing competence and cooperation networks makes it possible to offer more comprehensive and holistic approach to teaching and learning packaging design.
During Folding Structures workshop students learn a system how to construct various 3-dimensional forms and structures made of polygons.

The teaching themes are:

  • Visual communication and concept design
  • Packaging structures, model-making and forms
  • Materials, food packaging, and packaging engineering
  • Sustainability and responsible product design
  • User experience, testing and consumer research
  • Branding and marketing

Structure of the minor

The minor consists of one long project course and a structural workshop.








Folding Packaging Structures