Research groups


Engaging co-design research

ENCORE team members share the passion for creative collaborative design. The point of departure for the research on what we call co-design, is somewhere in between user-centred design, design for experiences and empathic design, and their experimentation in varying contexts. The Encore keywords, in addition to co-design, are thus empathy, experiences, empowering, engagement and exploration. The team’s research approach is known to be creative, rigorous and visionary.

Group Leader:

Associate Professor
Tuuli Mattelmäki

Fashion / Textile Futures

The Fashion/Textile Futures team explores new perspectives in the field of fashion, clothing and textiles in multi-faceted ways. A strong research focus is on sustainable fashion and textiles, but group members’ research activities also encompass material-based research, aesthetics and creativity studies, practice-based research, and strategic fashion and textile management. The group is involved in several significant research projects, which integrate closed loop and circular economy approaches in fashion and textile systems.

Group Leader:

Associate Professor Kirsi Niinimäki


Research on art, design & culture

Empirica group approaches research with an attitude, where making, acting and engaging play important roles. The group’s goal is to develop exploratory methods, where art and design related practices are utilized in experimental ways as research practice. The group also conducts fundamental design research in design history, design professions and values, cross-cultural connections in design and design in societal discourses.

Group Leader:

Associate Professor Maarit Mäkelä


Embodied Design research group

EDG Embodied Design research group looks at reality as a venue for people to interact, communicate and learn though their bodies. Designs are established in and through the bodily dialogue with people, materials, and concepts. It is our job to develop new understandings about this whole. We promote three essential skills in our designerly research approach: designing, building, and analysing.

Group Leader:

Associate Professor Andrés Lucero


Users and Innovation research group

INUSE studies the roles users play in design, innovation and broader sociotechnical change. INUSE research predominantly takes the form of longitudinal case studies of real life settings, and studies both the design and use of technology or service that is of focal interest. This means linking the biographies of products and/or services with those of designers and users and focusing on the key means, arrangements, methods and settings and how they affect the process.

Group Leader:

Associate professor Sampsa Hyysalo


Sustainable design research

NODUS produces research-based design knowledge reflecting values of sustainable development. We conduct design-led research based on stakeholder collaboration and human-centred methodological approaches, in the transition towards more sustainable lifeways.

Our core competences include:

  • Problem space & context-framing
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Micro-macro scalability
  • Stakeholder sensitive design
  • Sustainable concept generation & assesment
  • Open, accessible & engaging node

Group Leader:

Assistant Professor İdil Gaziulusoy


Strategic Design Integration and Management

SDIM do research to understand how industrial and societal developments that evolve the design profession. The research cover questions about organisational adoption of design, leadership of designers, and implementation of design-driven development practices. We have a special interest in the expressiveness of product, services and organizations, creation of expertise in design, and how design competencies are commercialised in practice.