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2020/2021  KAN-CSOCV1030U  How design creates value

English Title
How design creates value

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Second Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 80
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Social Sciences
Course coordinator
  • Tore Kristensen - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • Customer behaviour
  • Innovation
  • Experience economy
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 08-12-2020

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students must meet the listed learning objectives with no or minor mistakes:
  • Account for the core of design as the integral between problem-solving and meaning creation
  • Account for design aspects of theories of economics, aesthetics, psychology, ethnographics and cognitive science
  • Select and justify a proper theory to analyse objects, artefacts, environments and systems in a given case
  • Analyse and suggest managerial implications of the particular case situation
  • Reflect on alternative concepts and solutions
How design creates value:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Oral group exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2
Size of written product Please see text below
1 student write max. 5 standard pages, 2 students write max. 10 standard pages.
Assignment type Report
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
15 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Re-take exam is to be based on the same report as the ordinary exam:

• If a student is absent from the oral exam due to documented illness but has handed in the written group product, she/he does not have to submit a new product for the re-take.

• If a group fails, the oral exam they must hand in a revised product for the re-take.

• If one student in a group fails, the oral exam the course coordinator chooses whether the student will have the oral exam on the basis of the same product or if he/she has to hand in a revised product for the re-take.
Description of the exam procedure

Type of examination, exam aids, and assessment: 


Synopsis exam, either individually or in groups of two. Participation in the oral exam requires that the written assignment be handed in before the established deadline. The final grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral - ONLINE - performance. 


The project should depart from an issue or problem addressed in the course. The project should further explore the issue by adding new information, as additional theories or models or additional empirical data. For example, the students can detect and study a case by choice and discuss the case in relation to the theories and models that have been introduced. The course curriculum is mandatory, and the student should be able to discuss all aspects related to the course lectures and theories.


Written projects: 

  • Individual projects - max. 5 pages of text (excl. possible images)
  • Groups of 2 - max 8 pages (excl. possible images)


Oral defense - online via Teams: 


1 student = 20 min.

  • Student presentation: 5 min
  • Discussion: 8 min
  • Voting/Grading: 7 min


2 students = 30 min. (groups are examined as teams - therefore there will be an update in the exam plan since some group members are not listed together)

  • Student presentations (total): 10 min
  • Discussion: 10 min
  • Voting/Grading: 10 min
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach


We are constantly surrounded by design. In our homes, in public spaces, in stores and restaurants and other commercial spaces—designed objects are everywhere. But the quality of design varies widely. In this course we explore the ways that design can add—or subtract—value from user or customer experience.  

Artefacts, objects, systems and services can influence and serve users in different ways depending on factors such as their values and tastes, their needs and intentions, and their position within a particular environment. This indicates that users or customers judge a design solution using both emotional and functional criteria, and often without even knowing they are making such judgements.

In this course we will demonstrate various qualitative and quantitative approaches for studying user and customer reactions to different design solutions. We will then discuss how these insights might be used to improve design strategies. 

During the course we will discover and discuss different values of design: experiential values, symbolic values, commercial and economic values, hedonic values and sustainability. Tensions between opposing and often contradictory values will be identified and discussed.  


Course structure:

Students will work on a case of their own choosing. These case studies will then form the basis of the written assignment. With guidance from instructors, the student will analyze design and value perspectives in the given case. Since the cases are individually chosen it is expected that the students will search for relevant literature to provide both background and depth to their specific case.


The course will start by:


  • Identifying users and consumers 
  • Identifying various aspects of design as objects, artefacts, systems, environments and experiences
  • Identifying different values that design can create  



Various methods to study design and consumer perception will be introduced and exercised: 


  • Observation studies – prepare for field trips (in CPH)
  • Design analysis
  • Psychological methods 
  • Statistical and economic methods
  • Eye-tracking
  • Case studies



Description of the teaching methods
Teaching methods

A mix between:

• Lectures

• Workshops

• Case-based discussions

• Field-studies

• Content analysis of journal articles

• Small assignments that will support the learning objectives of the course and improve the analytical skills of students

• Guest lecturers from the design field will provide a diverse range of theories and cases
Feedback during the teaching period
a) As comments on the student's proposed case (for the written assignment), which presented and discussed in class

b) Individual guidance/discussion of the individual cases

c) Comments on the written project during the exam and expressed in the final grade

Student workload
Reading 50 hours
Lectures 30 hours
Fieldwork 50 hours
Analyses and reporting 20 hours
Seminar and critique 56 hours
Expected literature

Orienting Literature (final list will be supplied later)


Kristensen, T., Zaichkowsky J. and Gabrielsen, G. (2012) How Valuable is a Well-crafted Design and name Brand? Recognition and Willingness to Pay. Journal of Consumer behavior, 11 pp. 44-55.


Kotler, P.  (1973). Atmospherics as a Marketing Tool: Journal of Retailing, 49, 4.


Leder, H., Belke, B., Oeberst A., Augustin, D. (2004) Model of Aesthetic Appreciation and Aesthetic Judgments. British Journal of Psychology, 95.


Krippendorf, K. (1989). On the Essential Context of Artifacts or on the Proposition That ‘Design is Making Sense (of thing). Design Issues, Vol. 5, no. 2.


Madden, R. (2010) Looking at People: Observations and Images in ‘Being Ethnographic’. Sage Publications.


Norman, D. (2004) Emotional Design: Why we love (or hate) everyday things. New York. Basic Books.


Ponsignon, F., Bouzdine-Chameeva, T. (2017) Customer Experience Design: a case study in the cultural sector, Journal of Service Management, July.


Last updated on 08-12-2020