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2021/2022  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 First 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
  • Mia Münster - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • Customer behaviour
  • Innovation
  • Experience economy
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 16-02-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students must meet the listed learning objectives with no or minor mistakes:
  • Identify values in designed object, services, interiors or experiences.
  • Analyze how design can add value for one or more stakeholders.
  • Discuss relevant literature to analyze design cases and argue for possible improvements. Use literature from the curriculum and find and add relevant literature.
  • Test and use relevant methods for studying design and users - eg. observation study, interviews, prototypes.
  • Reflect on and discuss alternative design 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, see also the rules about examination forms in the programme regulations.
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 writes max. 5 standard pages of text (excl. possible images), or a suitable presentation that equals max. 5 pages of text.

2 students write max. 8 standard pages of text (excl. possible images), or a suitable presentation that equals max. 8 pages of text.
Assignment type Report
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 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


Examinations are based on a written assignments and an online exam - either individually or in groups of two. To sufficiently cover a case we recommend that students to work in groups of two, however, individual assignments are accepted as well. 


Groups are examined as teams and need to list themselves as teams on Digital Exam before handing in the assignment.


Participation in the oral exam requires that the written assignment has been handed in before the established deadline. The final grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the 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.


A part of the course curriculum is mandatory (is will apear from the literature list if readings are mandatory or optional). The student should be able to discuss all aspects related to the course lectures and theories.



  • Individual projects - max. 5 pages of text (excl. possible images), or a presentation that equals max. 5 pages of text.
  • Groups of 2 - max. 8 pages (excl. possible images), or a presentation that equals max 8.  pages of text.


Oral defense - online via Teams: 

1 student = 20 min.

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


2 students = 40 min.

  • Student presentations (total): 10 min
  • Discussion: 16 min
  • Voting/Grading: 14 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 and services 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 individual values, taste, needs and intentions, and culture. 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, and we will discuss how these insights can be be used to improve design solutions. 


During the course we will discover and discuss different values of design: practical values, symbolic values, economic values, hedonic values and sustainability, for example. 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 the instructors, the students 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 
  • Identifying different values that design can create  



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

  • Observation studies (preare for field trips in CPH)
  • Field Trips (prepare for field trips in CPH)
  • Design analysis
  • Psychological methods 
  • Eye-tracking
  • Case studies



Description of the teaching methods
A mix between online classes and classes on campus:

• Lectures
• Workshops
• Case-based discussions
• Field-studies
• Content analysis of journal articles
• Small assignments that will improve the analytical skills of students
• Guest lecturers from the design field will provide a range of theories and cases
Feedback during the teaching period

Feedback will be given as: Comments on the student's proposed case (for the written assignment), which will be presented and discussed in class. As Individual guidance/discussion of the individual cases, and as comments on the written project during the exam, and finally, expressed in the final grade.

Student workload
Reading 50 hours
Lectures incl. field trips 30 hours
Case Studies and Analysis 50 hours
Individual assignments during the course, eg. observation studies 20 hours
Assignment and exam preparation 56 hours
Expected literature


Orienting Literature (final list will be supplied later)


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


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.


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.


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


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.




Last updated on 16-02-2021