Course plan

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Industrial Design BA (A), Semiotics, 4.5 Credits

General data

Code: IU131G
Subject/Main field: Industridesign
Cycle: First cycle
Progression: (A)
Credits: 4.5
Progressive specialization: G1N - First cycle, has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
Answerable department: Department of Design
Answerable faculty: Faculty of Science, Technology and Media
Date of change: 6/30/2017
Version valid from: 10/22/2014


This course will provide a basic orientation in how the meeting human/thing can be described and understood in terms of a semiotic approach. The student will become familiar with semiotic concepts that facilitates communication in issues such as products' messages, connection and use. The course will also place design and objects in a social context that promotes a reflective approach.

Course objectives

The student is expected to be able to:

Module 1.1 – understand basic semiotic concepts.

Module 2.1 – understand how humans through their senses interpret physical things through signs.

Module 3.1 – using semiotic concepts, reflect on shape and aesthetic expression.
– apply a semiotic approach in practical design work.

Module 4.1 – analyze industrially manufactured objects in a semiotic and social context.


The course provides a basic introduction to the study of the signs humans perceive through their senses. The emphasis is on the meanings of artefacts and how a designer can influence the interaction between humans and things.

The course includes the following modules:

Module 1.1 – Introduction and orientation.

Module 2.1 – Human perception and intellect. Design as communication.

Module 3.1 – Semantics, syntax and pragmatics and their various functions.

Module 4.1 – Product analysis.

Entry requirements

At least 60 Credits (ECTS) in Industrial Design or equivalent.
(OB 6)

Selection rules and procedures

The selectionprocess is in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance and the local order of admission.

Teaching form

The teaching consists of lectures and individual exercises in the subject.

Examination form

Examination could be in any of the following forms: Seminars, assignments, written exams, presentations or portfolio. The teacher-supervised instruction in the course largely consists of practical exercises with applications. Because of this, attendance in class is in its entirety compulsory.

Grading system

Fail (U) or Pass (G)

Course reading

Required literature

Author: Monö Rune
Title: Design for Product Understanding
Publisher: Liber

Litteratur som kompletterar de olika delkurserna kan väljas av ansvarig lärare.

Other information

The course cannot be included in the same degree as course with code IU037G.