Apply now for Product Sound Design Summer School, August 23-26 2010

The Sonic Interaction Design group I have been involved with over the last few years is running a Summer School on Product Sound Design, in collaboration with Aalto University, ‘Design Factory‘ and industry partners in Helsinki. This will be highly valuable for PhD students in their first years or Master students in their final year. Places are limited so apply as soon as possible!

More information from the website:

Future products will rely on our natural capabilities of continuous and physical interaction. Moreover, for the best experience in their use, they need to stimulate, but not saturate, all our senses. Our sense of hearing is quite advanced; yet only a few product developers, engineers, marketing teams, and designers know how to make use of it properly. The COST-SID action, over the years, has developed a growing body of methods, tools, and techniques to get you started.

Our mission in this summer school is to educate the future product design and development team members with a specific competence on interactive sound. The training school is strategically positioned as a first step in a longer research and training on the integration of SID product sound design methods with Product Design and Development, as thought at the Aalto University and MIT, for example.

Upon completing the summer school, the participants will be able to

  • use effective strategies for concept generation and communication regarding the usage of sound in future products,
  • prototype and evaluate an interactive sonic product according to a scenario given by the partnering companies HipUI and Powerkiss
  • earn 2 ECTS from the Aalto University.

Target Participants

The target participants are 16-20 students in the last year of masters studies, or first two years of PhD studies in design, engineering, or economics. They will be selected by the relevance of their studies or research to the product sound design. We expect about half of the trainees to be Aalto students.


The applicants should send,

  • a CV,
  • a letter of motivation that clearly indicates the applicant’s motivation, previous experience with interactive product sound design, and expectations from this training activity,
  • an official transcript of completed and remaining studies,

all in Portable Document Format (PDF) to Cumhur Erkut latest by Monday, June 21, 2010.

The summer school requires no registration fee. For the selected participants from outside of Finland, basic financial support that would cover the most economic travel and accommodation costs will be provided by the COST IC0601 Action SID.


A preliminary program is as follows

Time Day 1 (23.8) (Registration opens at 08:30) Day 2 (24.8) Day 3 (25.8) Day 4 (26.8)
9:00 Welcome and introduction to the Product Sound Design Summer School Product Development Project (Design Factory) Groups Groups
10:00 Design Factory concept and company presentations in relation to product sound design (Powerkiss and HipUI) Narration and Performativity in Sonic Interactive Commodities (Daniel Hug) Groups Groups
11:00 Design themes and group formation (2 projects x 2 groups) Experience prototyping Workshop 1 Groups Groups
12:00 Lunch break Lunch break Lunch break Lunch break
13:00 Product Development in 6 hours (PD6) Workshop (Wycliffe Raduma) Experience prototyping WS 1 Groups Groups
14:00 PD6 Experience prototyping WS 1 Groups Groups
15:00 PD6 Basic Exploration of Experience Prototyping with the Sound Design Toolkit (Stefano Delle Monache) Groups Groups
16:00 PD6 Experience prototyping Workshop 2 Groups Presentation
17:00 PD6 Experience prototyping WS 2 Groups Feedback and evaluation
18:00 PD6 Experience prototyping WS 2 Groups Goodbye


The summer school is organized by Dr. Sc. (Tech) Cumhur Erkut (Aalto TKK/ETA), with a big help of MA Daniel Hug, (ZHDK, Zurich, Switzerland), MA (Laurea) Stefano Delle Monache (IUAV Venice, Italy), M.Sc Antti Jylhä (Aalto TKK/ETA), FM Inger Ekman (Aalto HSE, CKIR), and Dr. Arts Koray Tahiroğlu (Aalto TAIK, Media Lab). In addition, many members of the Aalto Design Factory and the SID Action are actively working on specific tasks.


The workshop modules and related contact teaching is prepared and conducted by Wycliffe Raduma (PD6), Daniel Hug (Narration and Performativity in Sonic Interactive Commodities and Experience prototyping Workshop 1), and Stefano Delle Monache


The tutors will provide individual guidance to the selected participants or groups, especially during Day 2 within the Experience prototyping workshops. More info TBA.

Related Training Opportunities

The training school is scheduled right after Helsinki Summer School ( HSS), and the Interdisciplinary Product Development Course ( IPD) within. A longer time in Helsinki, in-depth studies of interdisciplinary product development, and 5 more ECTS could be beneficial for the participants. The interested students are encouraged to enroll and to attend to the HSS on their own budget.

Accommodation and Travel Information

No specific accommodation arrangements are available at the moment, the participants need to arrange their accommodation. For budget accommodation, the following links might be useful:

For general travel information in Helsinki Area, please follow this link.

Further Info

Please contact Cumhur Erkut


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