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Syllabus for

Academic year
MPP111 - Form theory and exploration
Undersökande form och formteori
Syllabus adopted 2021-02-26 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPDES
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Industrial Design Engineering

Teaching language: English
Application code: 16115
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: A
Maximum participants: 40
Status, available places (updated regularly): Yes

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0109 Written and oral assignments 7,5c Grading: TH   7,5c    

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Johan Heinerud

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General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

MPP121 Basic form design or equivalent


The course aims to provide the students with a superior understanding of product-related design and the tools and training for advanced form design. Based on theory and methods presented during lectures and literature, translated into practical exercises, the intention is to make the students comfortable working with abstract and form-oriented processes. Furthermore the student is given training in how to link content, function and semantic message and how to be able to implement these in form-oriented work. The aim is also to examine, experience and reflect on the relationship between form intent and wording of a specific form language.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

A. Explore the possible uses of the basic technical design elements bar (1D), surface (2D), volume (3D) and the space that they create when put together in a composition or being transformed.
B. Analyse, specify, and discuss the content and structure of three-dimensional forms.
C. Explore and show similarities/analogies/references in contemporary and historical three-dimensional design
D. Link function and semantic messages with the skills to design and to implement these in form-oriented applications.
E. Through practical exercises demonstrate increased knowledge of form-generating tools, their possibilities and limitations
F. Through seminars, presentations and peer-reviews demonstrate a greater understanding of form, how it is generated and its consequences.
G. Through seminars explain, discuss and reflect on form, its structure and content, form morphology and organization as well as on form theory.
H. Implement a form oriented design process both laterally (from one idea to another) and vertically (from coarse to fine detail)


The course consists of lectures, creative exercises, practical exercises, seminars and scheduled time for reflection.

AB, DH: These learning activities, links to four boxes that all have the same structure but different content in terms of theory, methods/tools, exercises and form medium.

The structure looks as follows:
Introduction/Theory/Exercises/Reflection/Theory/Exercises/Form assignment/Seminar

Creative and multimodal introduction which connects to the box's content.

Basic theory linked to the box's content.

Preparatory exercises that provide the base for each box form assignment. Can be done both  individually and in groups.

Scheduled time for reflection on theory and exercises.

Supplementary theory that highlights/clarify/complement the first theory session.

Additional preparatory tasks. Can be done both individually and in groups.

The main assignment of the box is linked to the specific material medium and turnover of theoretical content, methods and tools. Implemented as group work.
Seminar Presentation of the form assignment of the box and peer review of another group's work.

C: Lecture and exercises.For each box a reflective diary and a visual portfolio is created that gives the student the opportunity to collect, organize, evaluate and document the knowledge and gained experiences.


See "Content".


Announced at the start of the course.

Examination including compulsory elements

A-B, D, H: Attendance (80%) of lectures. Actively working with exercises/tasks in the classroom. Make use of supervision sessions. Completing assignments. Make well thought through peer reviews on all the form assignments and be able to give and take criticism during seminars. Submit final work on all the form assignments in all the boxes in Reflective diaries and Visual Portfolios.

C: Attendance (80%) and active participation in lectures and exercises.

Preparatory exercises made in the classroom are graded according to the principle fail/pass.

Each Box is examined based on process and actual results in accordance with the principle fail, 3, 4, 5 and represents a combination of both the joint work in groups by:
- Ability to use the relevant facts, theory and methods.
- Ability to translate/convert the acquired knowledge into practical skills and abilities in chosen material/form medium.
- Ability to put the work carried out in pictures, drawings and/or other representations of the process and results in a relevant way.
- Using a relevant vocabulary at seminars and final presentation.
and by:
- Individual performance in Reflective diary and Visual Portfolio for each of the boxes.

Over all boxes the degree of progression is also assessed, something that complements the overall grade, which is based on an average of the score of completed tasks.

The course examiner may assess individual students in other ways than what is stated above if there are special reasons for doing so, for example if a student has a decision from Chalmers on educational support due to disability.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.