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  • Writer's pictureSiiri

Design Studies – Third Year, Second Period: Production Process And Outsourcing Manufactoring


This was the second period of my third year studing design and footwear at Häme University of Applied Scienes. During this period we had total of four courses dealing with sustainable design, service design, subscribtion and supply chain as well as collaboration project 1 where we continued our footwear project from the first period.




Sustainable Design

Socially resposible | Costumer centered | Open | Inclusive | Respectable | Consireable | Ethical | User friendly | Local | Collaborative | Aesthetic | Slow | Innovative | Functional | Problem Solving | Environmentally friendly | Cultural diversity | Fair trade | Smart | Valuable | Meaningful | Creative | Curious | Honest | Thorough | Longlansting | Useful | Future oriented

This course was a short introduction to sustainable design and its phenomenons. Basically, the course's main goal was to get us students thinking about our impact on the environment through different assignments that incorporated sustainable development dimensions: ecological, social, cultural and economical. Together those dimensions form what we can call sustainable development or sustainable design and they should be considered in the designing, manufactoring, commercial and end-life stages of products as well as services.

However, it is also good to remember that there is no such thing as perfectly sustainable product and therefore claims such as "100% sustainable" etc. are misleading. But what there is are better products where sustainability has been truly considered in every step of the way (not just in materials but also in fair pay, green energy, transportation etc.) and the actions towards more sustainbale practises are openly explained. After all, sustainable design/fashion is as much about changing the culture of design as it is about the material composition.

Terminology Assignment
Slow Design | Slow Fashion | Collaborative Consumption | Hygge | Restoration | Tuunaus | Sustainbale Developmen | Climate Change And Design | Eco-design | Ethical And Social Design | New Materials In Design | Ecological And Sustainable Design In Clothing, Footwear Or Glass And Ceramics

Terminology assigment was about getting to know the terminology used when talking about sustainability and its phenomenons in general as well as in design. For the assignment our class was divided into smaller groups and each group investigated their specific topics and phenomenons.

The group that I took part in studied slow design, slow fashion, collaborative consumption, hygge, restoration and tuunaus which is a finnish term for turning old into something new. Other groups covered topics such as sustainable development, climate change and design, eco-design, ethical and social desing, new materials in design as well as ecological and sustainable design in clothing, footwear or glass and ceramics.

Product Life Cycle Assignment
Ecological Dimension | Social Dimension | Cultural Dimension | Economical Dimension

In product life cycle assignment our job was to choose one of our own designs and create "a map" featuring the lifetime of our product through sustainable development dimensions. The idea was to highlight how our products impact environment (energy usage, materials, transportation, waste...), social (locallity, small businesses, social media...) and cultural structures (inspiration, heritage professions and techniques...) as well as economics (production time, supporting other businesses, efficiency...).

For example, a very simplified life cycle of my "Woolshoes" looks something like this:

  1. Need / assignment / Idea

  2. Designing

  3. Production

  4. Marketing

  5. Transportation

  6. Use

  7. Recycling and reusing

(See the picture below for more details.)

In all of these phases it is important to consider how are my actions adding to the whole process and what kind of life cycle they will create for my product. That is why, circularity is an important point of view when it comes to product life cycle: can these materials be reused or recycled in the future and how? Will these materials dissolve in soil or water in a way that benefits world's natural carbon cycle? Can byproducts of manufactoring etc. be used in other products or processes?


Service Design

Costumer Centered | Co-creative | Holistic | Emphatetic | Iteration | Complete Experiences | Qualitative Reach

This course was a very brief introduction to service design which generally deals with designing complete, better and more customer friendly services through different design methods. All in all, service design has a user-centered, co-creative and holistic approach to designing services and draws insights from qualitative research which helps designers to imagine service experiences from the customer point of view. What's more, in order to better focus on spesific areas of a particular service it is key for succesful service design to be able to break down services into smaller processes as well as identify factors within those processes such as actors (employees), locations (environments where service is recieved), props (objects needed during the service), associates (other organization involved in the service process) and workflows (actions delivering the service).

So, for you to understand your service, its dimentions, problems and needs here are few tools which you can use and which we also got familiar with during this course:

User Personas

First step to service design is to understand your customers. This can be done through user personas which showcase potential customers or users of your service and highlights their lifestyles, needs, wants, litimations, fears and so on. You can read more about user personas here.

Emphaty Map

Emphaty maps also showcases your customers but in a deeper level. In short, emphaty maps try to reveal inner worlds and behavior of your users such as what they see, hear, feel, say, do and think as well as what are their pains and gains in regards to your service and business.

Customer Journey Map

After your understand who your customers are you should be able to create customer journey maps. These maps pinpoint critical moments, encounters, barriers and touchpoints your costumers experience when using your service. They are ultimately a visualisation of the relationship and interaction between the customer and your business and aim to reveal how well your service meets costumer expectations. Usually, costumer journey maps tell detailed customer stories from the first encounter with your business to the last action. They showcase different timelines, scenarios, touchpoints, channels of communication and sometime also feelings and thoughs.

Below you can see two costumer journey maps I made during this course based on user personas and emphaty maps from the previous period. These maps tell a story of two different customers who have come to experience a national park and its nature. Even though, I have pointed out several things my customers incounter when visiting a national park I could have gone into more detail with what they see, feel and experience in each touchpoint.

Service Blueprint

Blueprint is a document that is based on the customer journey maps but showcases the customer and service relationship in an even more detailed way. Basically, blueprint aims to reveal the full set of events and encounters customers can have with your service.

Blueprint includes:

  • Physical elements of your service such as a webpage or a store.

  • Customer interaction which means the things customers have to do when using your service such as getting on a buss or reading a post in social media.

  • Employee actions/Visible actions are things visible to the customers such as store's interior design, your website layout or behavior of employees.

  • Backstage actions are things which customers do not neccesarily see happeing but which effect on their service experience such as cleaning, upkeeping and website updates.

  • Support processes are things that support your service and keeps it going such as salary paiments, IT support and employees' shifts.

Below you can see a blueprint which me and my clasmate Katja did based on the customer journey maps above.


Subscription And Supply Chains

During this course we learned what phases and things need to be considered in subscription and supply chains. Shortly, the main goal was to get an idea of the stages your product or service goes through before it is in costumers hands and what can possible happen after the costumer has recieved the product such as feedback and reviews which lead to product development and so on. We also touched on how to price our products, work or services and how to make an offer about our work.

These are some possible stages of product's subscription and supply chain:

  • Inquiry / Offer request is received

  • Offering

  • Ordering

  • Receiving order request

  • Producing or manufactoring

  • Dispatching order

  • Delivery

  • Costumer receives ordered product

  • Billing

  • Invoice management and processing

  • Payment is received

  • Costumer feedback

Material Purchasing

In this assignment the idea was to learn where and how to get materials and services that are needed in order for you to produce your products. Furthermore, it was important to note how much the materials cost and how much or how little you could order the material in bulk.

Pricing Workshop

Pricing workshop was about calculating prices for our products in a way that considers not only material costs but also delivery, work, time, taxes etc. Needless to say, that his assignment was about finding balance between market approapriate pricing (what people are prepeared to pay) and what your product actually costs as well as how much you need per product. Since the product should include also your salary finding the right price that works for you and your costumers can be hard.

For example, according to my calculation (which is only an approximate guess and propably lacks information) one pare of "Woolshoes" that I have designed should cost about 700-1500 euros. This price, however, doesn't neccessarily work for obvious reasons. Therefore, the number is devided by 10 which lands the price on 128-150 euros which is a much more sensiable price for the consumer.

My Offer

During this assignment we practised how to construct an offer concerning our work, products, projects and so on. Staying with the theme of pricing we had to think about the cost of our own work as well as project expenses. What was also important was to get an idea what needs to be mentioned in an offer and what does not have to be mentioned.

Usually, offers are short, one page documents therefore only relevant and neccessary things should be mentioned such as:

What are you offering?

To whom are you offering?

Who will carry out the job?

What your offer includes and what it does not include?

Compact list of things the project will produce (moodboards, prototypes, patterns...)

Timetable – When the project/job starts and when it ends?

Approximate price and payment terms?

When it will be delivered?


Period of validity?



Collaboration Project 1

In this course our footwear class continued the project we started in the previous period which delt with outdoor shoes. You might remember that the project was very secretive meaning that I cannot show you any pictures or tell a lot about the products we designed. However, I can tell you a little about the process. So, in the last period the project was in its research and design stage (which you can read more here) but during this period we moved on to the technical part which dealt with patterns, prototypes and technical documents etc. Our class was also devided into groups according to different job stages. I belonged in pattern and specs groups.

CAD Patters

Before the prototype group can start making protypes pattern group has to make patterns using digital CAD program called Shoemaster. After the patterns are done in computer they are cut out from the program with special cutter mashine.

3D components

Sometimes shoes consist of 3D components which have to be designed from the CAD patterns to fit the shoe perfectly. This is done using 3D programs where the componenst can be printed out through 3D printers.


Once patterns and 3D componenst are finnished prototype group can now start sewing and testing out how everything works in real life. Usually, you have to make at least two prototypes to get a good idea of how everything falls into place and in between them some pattern alterations are often neccessary.

Specs – Shoe Specification Sheet

Shoe specification sheet is a technical document which generally informs manufactorers how the shoes are to be made. It informs people making the shoes about materials, colors and components, what is their location on the actual shoe and in what order the pattersn are to be sewn etc. Usually, specs consist of (as far as I know) explotion pictures of the patterns, workflow orders and a sheet with a technical picture of the shoe model including material, component and colour info.


When buying or designing products do you consider all of the sustainable development dimensions?

Have you ever used service design tools?

Would you be ready to pay 1500€ for my woolshoes? :)


Thank you so much for reading!




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