Five Doctoral Defenses from the Culture-based Service Design Doctoral Programme!


Culture-based Service Design Doctoral Programme celebrates the publication of five doctoral dissertations this autumn. The candidates’ research topics are related to Wicked Problems, Artificial Intelligence, Northern Design, Service Design Workshops and Unconventional Computer-Mediated Emotional Communication Systems. Together these dissertations create considerable new contributions of knowledge and theory on service design in both European and Global perspectives.

The doctoral candidates of Faculty of Art and Design are covering variety of research topics:

  • Mari Suoheimo: “Approaching Wicked Problems in Service Design” (defense 18.9.)
  • Titta Jylkäs: “SHARED PATH - Service Design and Artificial Intelligence in Designing Human-centred Digital Services” (defense 16.10.)
  • Piia Rytilahti ”Pohjoisen muotoilun teoria. Kestävän muotoilun kuluttamisen perusteista” (defense 23.10)
  • Essi Kuure: “Service Design Workshops in Design Practice” (defense will most probably take place 13.11.)
  • Hong Li: “Connecting Couples in Long-Distance Relationships: Towards Unconventional Computer-Mediated Emotional Communication Systems” (defense TBC, in pre-examination). Please follow the links to participate in the public defenses.

These have been conducted in close collaboration with companies, public institutions and other stakeholders. The service design research of these dissertations is characterized by practical outcomes: it contributes to the business development of companies, creates new opportunities for product-service systems, defines new concepts and practices related with local communities and in this case with northern design or tries to solve complex or even wicked societal problems.

Wicked problem -laatikko_web.png

Picture: Wicked problems in service design often require complex stakeholder management in order to obtain a shared view of the problem.

Thesis relate closely to the extensive research work of two research groups: Service Design Research Group “Co-Stars” led by professor Satu Miettinen and Lapland User Experience “LUX” led by professor Jonna Häkkilä. And more is coming, next defences will be in the first half of the year 2021 (Mariluz Soto, Pan Shaohua, Tarja Pääkkönen, Mira Alhonsuo, Virve Hyysalo).

Please follow the Co-Stars website.


Picture: Unconventional computer-mediated communication solutions can facilitate Long Distance Relationships.

Thesis have been supervised by professors Satu Miettinen, Jonna Häkkilä and Kaarina Määttä. Co-supervisors include established practitioners from industry and organizations such as Dr. Alexander Borek from Volkswagen Group (with Titta Jylkäs) and Dr. Tuula Jäppinen from The Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities (with Essi Kuure). Please contact the doctoral candidates for further information and join online defense events.

You can follow the doctoral defences online:

Further information:

Doctoral candidates describe their research topics on YouTube-video:

Mari Suoheimo, mari.suoheimo(at), 040 686 3988
Titta Jylkäs, titta.jylkas(at), 044 474 4333
Piia Rytilahti, piia.rytilahti(at), 040 484 4406
Essi Kuure, essi.kuure(at), 040 484 4407
Hong Li,, 044 474 4335