Copenhagen School of Design and Technology


Design & Business 1 - User, Needs and Culture (EN)

Danish title
Design & Business 1 - Bruger, behov og kultur (EN)
Study programme
Design & business
Type of education
Full time education
Level of education
Bachelor (top-up)
5. semester
Duration of the subject/module
3 Weeks
Programme elements
Start time
Guldbergsgade 29 N, København N
Subject number
Responsible for the subject(s)/modul(es)
Rasmus Rahbek Simonsen
Jeremy Walton
Berit Konstante Nissen
Helene Niclasen Jeune
Nanna Kanneworff
Tina Hjort Jensen
Tim Meicker
Martin Hesseldahl
  • Purpose

    The purpose of this module is to give the student a basic understanding of the programme’s approach to the tension field between design, business, sociology and methodology.
    Active student involvement and experimentation will create a good foundation for modules 2 and 3 in Design and Business, as well as the various specialisations. The students will get an introduction to the mapping of users, their values as well as their cultural patterns of behaviour in a specific context. Activities, relations and structures will be illustrated with reference to a variety of perspectives, concepts and methods, which will subsequently be drawn upon in workshops and in the students’ own studies and analyses of qualitative data.
    The module ends with a presentation of a Visual Wall and an Insight Paper that creates the foundation for the next module.

    A module catalog which is available at Fronter, will form the basis for the workshops in the module.


    ●cultural and intercultural aspects,
    ●relevant theories and methods, reflection and argumentation.


    ●assess and apply methods of design to problem solving,
    ●communicate academic issues in various cultural and intercultural contexts,
    ●apply scientific methods and theories to research, analysis and in connection with academic immersion.

  • Type of instruction
    Teaching is a combination of lectures, video presentations, workshops, exercises, field work and group work.
    The first part of the day focuses on instruction and academic input in class, whereas the second half of the day involves workshops and field work.

    Students work individually as well as in groups throughout the entire module.
  • Subject/module requirement for participation

    Equipment needed to participate
    A valid print card, sketch/notebook, camera (possibly a mobile phone)

  • Exam

    The learning outcomes of the exam are identical with the learning outcomes of the subject(s)/modul(es)

    Prerequisites for access to the examination
    The Module has 3 Prerequisites:

    1) Annotated Bibliography. Individual. Evaluated in writing, students.
    2) Method description. Individual. Evaluated oral, students.
    3) Group presentation, Insights + Visual Wall. Evaluated orally, Lectures.

    If the student does not attend the final oral presentation, the student must submit a written assignment to fulfill the prerequisite requirement.
    Exam in one or more subjects
    Subject/module is tested with the following modules
    The exam is assessed according to the 7-point grading scale. The exam is weighted 70% of the overall mark for the Design & Business exam.
    Type of exam
    Written examination
    Type of assignment
    The student is required to prepare an individual written paper, bringing into play the knowledge, skills and competencies within the core areas of design, business, sociology, methodology and theory of science acquired during Design & Business 1 and 2. A case-based assignment description will be released at the end of Design & Business 2, upon which the student will have five days to prepare the written paper.
    Formal requirements
    The scope of the written paper is 5 standard pages (+/-10%). The student's name, class, date and number of characters must appear from the front page of the written paper.

    A standard page corresponds to 2,400 entries incl. gap. When calculating the extent, footnotes, but not front page, table of contents, literature list and attachments are included. In addition, photos, illustrations and figures do not count.

    At the front of the assignment, the title, the student's name, class, date and number of marks must be stated.

    Definition of a standard page
    A standard page is equivalent to 2,400 characters, including spaces. Footnotes excepted, the front page, declaration of confidentiality/statement of truth, executive summary, table of contents, list of references and appendices are not included in the scope of the paper. Photos, illustrations and figures are not included either.

    Applied reference system
    List of references, references cited and quotes must be handled in accordance with the Harvard Referencing System.

    Appendices must be placed after the reference list and should only be included if the student refers to them in the paper. An appendix is materials the student makes available to the reader, the full text of which does not belong in the paper. Appendices may take the form of interview transcripts, questionnaires, statistical summaries, documents that are not readily available, etc. Any appendix must carry an appendix number, headline, explanatory text and references, if any. In case of more appendices, the student is required to make an appendix overview. Each appendix must have its own page.
    Individual exam or group exam
    Exam languages
    The student will have five study days to prepare the written paper.
    Permitted exam aids
    All aids are permitted.
    Type of evaluation
    7-point grading scale
    Internal censure
    Exam criteria
    The student must demonstrate their ability to select, apply and reflect on relevant methods and theories in relation to the given problem. Specific learning objectives:

    Learning objectives
    The student acquires knowledge of:
    ●cultural and intercultural aspects
    ●the value chain and
    ●relevant theories and methods, and the ability to reflect on and argue in favour of them.

    The student has acquired the skills needed to:
    ●assess and apply relevant methods to problem solving,
    ●communicate academic issues in various cultural and intercultural contexts,
    ●apply design to market development,
    ●assess theoretical and practical issues and justify and select appropriate solutions within the value chain
    ●apply scientific methods and theories to research, analysis and in-debt study.

    The student has acquired the competencies needed to:
    ●engage in academic and interdisciplinary collaboration within all steps of the value chain
    ●manage complex and development-oriented issues within the profession
    ●manage communication and innovation of ideas in business contexts.

    Spelling and writing skills
    Spelling and writing skills will be assessed in the written assignments. The assessment is an overall assessment of the academic content, including spelling and writing skills. However, the academic content carries the most weight. Students who can demonstrate a relevant specific impairment, may apply for exemption from the requirement that spelling and writing should be included in the assessment. The application must be sent to the head of the programme at the relevant school no later than four weeks before the exam takes place.
    Deadline for submission
    The exam takes place at the end of Design & Business 2. Time and place, and deadline for the submission of the written paper can be found on Fronter.
  • Preliminary literature list
    This is a preliminary literature list. A final literature list will be provided in connection with study start.
    Anglia Ruskin University Library, 2015. Guide to the Harvard Style of Referencing. 5th ed. [pdf]

    Cambridge, UK: Anglia Ruskin University Library. Available at:
    <> [Accessed 15 June 2018]

    Fisher, T. H., 2004. What We Touch, Touches Us: Materials, Affects, and Affordances. Design
    Issues, 20(4), pp.20–31.

    Gaver, B., Dunne, T., Pacenti, E., 1999. Cultural probes. Interactions, 6(1), pp.21–29.

    Geertz, C., 1973. The Interpretation of Cultures. New York: Basic Books. Ch.1: Thick Description.

    Hemmings et al, 2002. Probing the probes. In: T. Binder, J. Gregory and I. Wagner, eds. PDC
    Conference Proceedings. Malmø, Sweden, June 23–June 25, 2002. Available at:
    <> [Accessed 15 June 2018]

    Kazmierczak, E., 2003. Design as Meaning Making: From Making Things to the Design of
    Thinking. Design Issues, 19(2), pp.45–59.

    Kolko, J., 2011a. Exposing the Magic of Design. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 76–78.

    Kolko, J., 2011b. Exposing the Magic of Design. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 46–54.

    Latour, B., 2017. Facing Gaia: Eight Lectures on the New Climatic Regime. Cambridge, UK:
    Polity. Ch.1: On the Instability of the (notion of) nature.

    Nova, N., 2014. Beyond Design Ethnography. How designers practice ethnography research. Provinces Press. pp. 29-44.

    Parsons, G., 2016. The Philosophy of Design. Cambridge, UK: Polity. Ch.1: What Is Design?

    Rose, G., 2001. Visual Methodologies. London: Sage Publications. Ch.14. Research ethics and
    visual materials.

    Schein, E., 2013. Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling. San Francisco: BK.
    Ch.2: Humble inquiry in practice.

    Thoreau, H. D., 1862. Walking. The Atlantic. Available at:
    <> [Accessed 14
    June 2018].
hours of teaching
hours of preparation
The figure shows the extent of workload related to the subject divided into different study activities.

In the subject Design & Business 1 - User, Needs and Culture (EN) you will receive 47 hours of instruction, which corresponds to 63 lessons (1 lesson = 45 min.) and 34% of your total workload for the subject.

The teaching primarily consists of the following activities: internal lecturers, group work, workshops, exercises.
The preparation primarily consists of the following activities: reading your own notes, reading the curriculum, exam, preparation for the exam.

Read about KEAs Study Activity Model

*KEA can deviate from the number of hours if this is justified by special circumstances