Wood Design 60TRE

Course Objectives

In the specialisation course, Wood Design, students will expand their understanding, experience and creative skills, in order to strengthen the foundation of their understanding and experience of aesthetic values related to materials, communication, function and didactics. The course will further develop students’ awareness of the potential and values of the specialisation subject, in which people, learning, culture and environment are vital components.

Students will:

  • increase their knowledge and understanding of design and their ability to express themselves, through creative work using wood as the main material.
  • increase their knowledge and skills in processing visual, material, communicative and functional qualities.
  • gain experience using materials, tools, techniques and working methods suitable to the discipline.
  • increase their knowledge of art and design culture, and develop their ability to act in relation to tradition and innovation within the discipline.
  • gain knowledge and experience of methods for the development of ideas, design and products.
  • increase their ability to plan and carry out teaching, accommodating the variation in pupils’ learning requirements.
  • gain knowledge and experience of development work with regard to the subject.

Course Description

Wood is a material that holds a prominent position in our material culture. A thorough understanding of the uses of this material, both past and present, should therefore be included in our general education. Work with sculpture and utility objects is an essential part of the course.

Through alternating theory and practice, students will develop their ability to make decisions and defend professional practices. On this basis, the course will provide a background for improvement and an awareness of the potential and values of the subject area in relation to the individual, schools and society. Knowledge, skills and familiarity with creative processes and aesthetic, functional, communicative and craft-related qualities are important elements of the course. In building further on the general knowledge emphasised in the foundation course, the students’ standards for insight, understanding of concepts and critical competence will be raised.

Course unit 1: Material, Tools and Techniques

The conversion of ideas into concrete ideas depends upon knowledge and skills in a variety of areas. In this course unit the emphasis is on expanding students’ understanding of materials, subject theory and skill training within a subject didactics’ framework. Students will work with the necessary tools and techniques for processing, shaping and creating using wood as a material. Course unit 1 aims to provide students with the basic level needed for the role of a teacher, and with the disciplinary understanding needed to work more independently with course units 2 and 3.

At the end of the course, students will:

  • be able to evaluate, choose and utilise materials based on knowledge of their qualities and areas of use.
  • be able to use construction and joining methods such as: lamination, mortising and tenoning.
  • be able to use, handle and maintain hand tools and machines such as: chisels, knives, axes, planes, hand saws, band saws, circular saws, surface planes and thicknessers.
  • gain knowledge of working techniques and safety regulations for using different machine tools.
  • gain understanding of the elements that constitute different working techniques and the importance of their order.
  • be able to judge the difficulty of the different techniques in order to ensure disciplinary progression when teaching.

Several small assignments will be given throughout the course, linking theoretical matter and practical training.

Course unit 2: Utility Object Design and Product Development

Work on utility object design emphasises the creation of practical objects in material as a continuous process from idea to finished product. Through the study in design methodology/theory, a basic understanding of design-methodological thinking is built up, so that students will cultivate and develop their own ideas through analysing, visualising, documenting and communicating physical and cognitive action.

This course unit builds upon course unit 1. It involves work with projects based on one or several of the following main areas:

  • Furniture design: Furniture is a main product area in working with wood and is divided into two main categories: storage and freestanding.
  • Small object design: Concerns other product categories smaller than furniture.

Students will be able to:

  • analyse their own and others’ products within the field.
  • alternate between traditional and contemporary forms of expression, both national and international, with an evaluating and analysing attitude which forms the basis for the student’s work on their own products.
  • analyse and evaluate on the basis of knowledge of principal aesthetic theories, forms, colours, and material qualities.
  • maintain an awareness of the interaction between materials, tools, techniques and desired function and expression of form.
  • reflect upon and explain how their own and others’ products function visually and physically, in the contexts they are intended for or placed within.
  • master form and proportion, and display the ability to dimension.
  • use colours as a factor that influences form when working with three-dimensional forms.

Course unit 3: Sculpture and Installation

This course unit concentrates on a varied and experimental use of wood in three-dimensional contemporary expressions. Imparting content through different styles and processing materials in an open and searching manner is also emphasised. Students will also gain experience in combining materials with other devices and forms of expression, for example with electronic elements. The execution of exhibitions of these artistic expressions aims to provide the student with valuable experience in how to utilise space.

Students will be able to:

  • recognise the possibilities which are inherent in the materials to mediate content and interaction with other forms of expression.
  • understand the significance of surface qualities for communication.
  • show an ability to build further on earlier experience/knowledge and expand their repertoire through their own work.
  • use the materials in a wider range of expression.
  • view the value of recycling in both an aesthetic and environmental perspective.
  • place the materials in meaningful relationships in spatial and temporal contexts.
  • show the ability to materialise elements and build up an expression in a chosen situation.
  • reason about current topics in society and base their own expressions upon these.

The assignment responses in this course unit consist of three elements:

  • work with limiting the theme, where the student forms the framework for the practical work
  • the production aspect
  • the exhibition aspect

Subject didactics

This includes the study of the arts and crafts’ goals and possibilities, and how one may organise instruction to fulfil the intentions of the curricula, particularly with respect to the learning and development of pupils in upper secondary schools. The methods stress interdisciplinary cooperation, and project work is an integral part of the course.

Students will be able to:

  • find time and opportunities to participate in current subject pedagogical debates.
  • plan, carry out and evaluate teaching assignments in the subject, particularly in relation to upper secondary education.
  • work with interdisciplinary projects, and on the basis of their own experience, knowledge and curricula, be able to justify and organise different teaching and learning methods.
  • prepare themselves to meet the learning and expressive needs of pupils and be able to inspire and guide them towards the development of active and inquisitive working methods.
  • apply subject didactic knowledge and experience from the teaching practice period as a basis for personal and professional growth, critical evaluation and further development of the subject.
  • have an overview of the current curricula and textbooks used in upper secondary schools.
  • reflect over the pedagogic consequences of teaching in their particular field of specialisation.
  • debate and reflect over the values which the subject can contribute to culture and society in general.
  • discuss how our relationship to the objects around us influences our daily life and the development of children and adolescents.
  • analyse and evaluate current study programmes and curricula.

Research methodology

The work on this theme will provide students with knowledge and experience in fundamental methods and approaches to the acquisition, development and processing of knowledge.

Students should be able to:

  • limit the field of study, devise approaches to problems, use source materials and present and evaluate results.
  • explain the main methods and approaches used for the acquisition of knowledge on the subject.
  • use research literature, databases, informants and other sources.
  • recognise the possibilities for renewing and combining methods within research and development work, based on the nature of the subject.

Learning Methods

The course is divided into three course units, a period of teaching practice, and a period of assessment consisting of an individual, written examination and a final project.

Course units:

1.Materials, Tools and Techniques


2. Utility Object Design and Product Development


3. Sculpture and Installation


The course units are independent modules which cover specific aspects of working in wood. In combination, they form a whole which will prepare and qualify the student for working with a final project, worth 20 ECTS, on a self-chosen theme.

Subject theory and didactics, worth 15 ECTS, is integrated in all phases of the course. The content and level of the course will be realised through the current syllabus. The analysis and testing of experiences and ideas deriving from the course will be a vital element of the teaching practice. This, in addition to varied and progressive practical work, will weld the course into a whole. The student should have a general competence in research methodology, and be able to use this in conjunction with the final project.

The course comprises the following areas:

  • Materials, tools and techniques
  • Utility object design and product development
  • Sculpture and installation
  • Subject didactics
  • Research methodology
  • Teaching practice (3 weeks)
  • Subject theoretical and didactic written assignment (1 week)
  • Final project (up to 12 weeks)

Individual work in the workshops and with theoretical aspects constitute the main study methods. An important focus will be group work which will provide students with experience with the supervision of co-students using various approaches to professional challenges, minor seminars, debates, discussions and joint exhibition projects.

The teaching consists of demonstrations, practical exercises, guided skill-development, lectures, discussions and debates. In addition to the collective instruction, supervision will be provided both individually and in groups. The instruction takes place parallel to the execution of assignments and includes an introduction to practical working methods and lectures in subject theory, subject didactics and research methodology. The alternation between creative activities, theory and reflection is important in approaching a subject of this nature. The assignments are designed to give students more detailed knowledge and a wider understanding of their creative activities. Attending exhibitions is also a part of the course. Short excursions may also be organised.

Emphasis is placed on the students’ responsibility for their own independent work and ability to cooperate. Students are expected to spend a minimum of 37.5 hours per week working on their studies. They will be supervised by their teachers about half of this time.

Joint Theory

Some of the subject material may be considered common for all of the specialised courses. This will be mediated largely though seminars/lectures for the BA programme, Subject Teacher: Education in the Arts. The subject material, which will be presented in these joint seminars, may vary from year to year; consult the syllabus reading list.

Other external activities

In arrangements such as ‘Open Door’, time is taken to take part in course-related outside activities. These will provide experience in meeting the public and mediating topical material though exhibits and oral and audio-visual demonstrations.

Teaching practice

Three weeks of the academic year is reserved for teaching practice, which is normally associated with the teaching of crafts in upper secondary schools, folk high schools or other pedagogic environments. The course involves the entire country, and the teaching practice may therefore be placed outside the university college’s immediate geographic area. The practice groups consist of 3 to 4 students. Those students who are not currently studying to be teachers, or have not taken teacher training at an earlier date, will normally be assigned alternative practice.

Students will cooperate with their teaching practice mentors and subject teachers in planning, executing and evaluating their teaching arrangements.

Teaching practice reports must be submitted, at the latest, one week after the practice period is completed. Both the teaching practice efforts and the report are used in evaluating the student’s overall performance. For more information, please refer to the ‘Teaching Practice Handbook’ on Telemark University College’s web pages.

Student council

Students choose their own student council consisting of 2-3 students who function as intermediaries between the teaching team and the class. When appropriate, the student council may participate in team meetings in order to discuss matters related to the planning of class activities.

Assessment Methods

There should be a relation between the aims, content, teaching and learning methods and assessment of the course. The assessment will form an important part of the actual learning, and act as a means of allowing the individual student to both develop understanding of the aims of the course and to acquire insight into their own suitability for the teaching profession.

Reviewing and assessing teaching and learning methods, sketches, rough drafts, models and products, together with subject didactic reflection will reveal the students’ contributions and progression in the course, and provide insight into, and awareness of, their professional advancement and learning. The assessment is also intended as an aid to the individual student in the form of supervision. Students may, for example, receive feedback related to processes and results, and their ability to work together.

Both students and the teachers must participate in the course assessment with the aim of further developing the course and preparing students for future work in developing their own teaching and schools’ activities. The assessment must therefore also include the content and organisation of the course, the student’s own work, and teaching and learning methods through the entire year.

Assignments must be submitted at the appointed times, and will be evaluated on a pass/fail basis. All elements of the assignments must receive passing grades in order for the student to achieve a passing grade for the course unit. The teaching team is responsible for the assessment. Students must submit all individual assignments to the appointed times and receive passing marks before being allowed to sit the examination. Students are personally responsible for holding themselves oriented about assignment requirements and deadlines. Missing assignments and failing grades on required elements may affect whether the student may continue with the course or take the final examination. This should be viewed in connection with the rights and responsibilities the student has according to the examination regulations at the university college; please refer to the Act Relating to Universities and University Colleges § 40.


Individual written examination; 5-day home assignment

The student will write an assignment based on a given theme. The teaching team is responsible for the selection of the theme, which will be of a subject-theoretical/subject-didactic nature. There are specific requirements related to organisation, structure and the student’s ability to relate the subject material to the theme. The written assignment should include a maximum of 10 pages, using 12-point font and 1.5 line spacing. See ‘Guidelines for Written Work at Telemark University College’.

Final project

The project is an independent study worth 20 ECTS, integrating the subject material covered in the course. The choice of theme/area of study is made by the student. The final project has a mandatory requirement for supervision, and the individual student is responsible for contacting the subject teacher and arranging for supervision. In the final work, particular stress is placed on creative work, theoretical background and the ability to analyse and organise one’s work with the materials. Specific demands are made for the final project with respect to structure and use of elementary scientific methods.

The project will primarily be associated with expressions in metal and must be school-related. The goal is to allow the student to gain experience in executing an independent professional work with a research aspect, and one which will provide an opportunity to specialise in one or several aspects of the subject.

The result will consist of practical creative work in materials, thorough documentation including a written paper fulfilling the normal requirements for report writing, and a comprehensive presentation. Students will, in addition, organise their own syllabus literature related to the project, which should include about 200 pages on subjects associated with documentation in the report.

The project may be presented using other techniques, such as multimedia, provided the requirement for documentation is fulfilled. The final project will lead to an exhibition presentation in which the student will present his/her work.



Individual written examination, 5-day home-assignment

20 %

Final project

80 %

On the diploma, the title of the final project will be entered. A letter grade will be given, on a scale from A to F, where A is the highest possible grade, and E is the lowest passing grade. Both parts of the examination must receive passing marks before the examination is considered passed. The teaching practice period must be given a passing grade in order to receive a diploma.

Please refer to Telemark University College Examination Regulations for further information.

Det vises for øvrig til forskrift om eksamen ved Høgskolen i Telemark.

Minor adjustments may occur during the academic year, subject to the decision of the Dean

Publisert av / forfatter Marte Gulliksen <Marte.GulliksenSPAMFILTER@hit.no>, last modified Liang Xiaoli - 13/12/2006