Master TR-NQF-HE: Level 7 QF-EHEA: Second Cycle EQF-LLL: Level 7

Course Introduction and Application Information

Course Code Course Name Semester Theoretical Practical Credit ECTS
ETI5311 Product Semantics Fall 3 0 3 8
This catalog is for information purposes. Course status is determined by the relevant department at the beginning of semester.

Basic information

Language of instruction: Turkish
Type of course: Departmental Elective
Course Level:
Mode of Delivery: Face to face
Course Coordinator : Prof. Dr. HAMİDE ELÇİN TEZEL
Course Lecturer(s): Dr. Öğr. Üyesi RENK DİMLİ ORAKLIBEL
Recommended Optional Program Components: -
Course Objectives: This course intends to make students consider products as texts and evaluate them not only with their use and exchange value, but also with their sign value, in order to question the communiaction and relation between users and products considering product semantics literature.

Learning Outcomes

The students who have succeeded in this course;
The students who have succeeded in this course;
1) Express an understanding on the theory of product semantics and semiotics
2) Develop ability to read and create product identity
3) Demonstrate ability to code and decode visual sign systems
4) Generate ability to evaluate user-product relationship from various perspectives (functional, emotional, social, cultural, etc.)
5) Demonstrate ability to write, adapt, and critically evaluate of reading materials
6) Construct design decisions over product semantics literature

Course Content

In the first part of the course, which is reading intensive, students will evaluate the meanings embedded in the products from different perspectives and read their social, historical and cultural references considering different approaches in the literature. In the second part of the course, which focuses on practice, they will create a concept with the perspective they gathered from the theory and transfer the theoritical knowledge into practice.

Weekly Detailed Course Contents

Week Subject Related Preparation


Course Notes / Textbooks: "Fiske, John (1982) Introduction to Communication Studies, London: Methuen.
Barthes, Roland (1994) The Semiotic Challenge, University of California Press.
Barthes, Roland (1972) Mythologies, Hill and Wang.
Krippendorff, K. (1989). On the essential contexts of artifacts or on the proposition that ""design is making sense (of things)"". Design Issues, 5(2), 9-39.
Lawler, A. (2007). How is Semiotics Used in Design?. A Review of Literature
Hjelm, S. I. (2002). Semiotics in product design. Report number: CID-175. ISSN number: ISSN, 1403-0721.
Krippendorff, K. (1989). Product Semantics: a triangulation and four design theories.
Krippendorff, Klaus ; Butter, Reinhart (2007) Semantics: Meanings and Contexts of Artifacts in Product Experience, eds. Hendrik N.J. Schifferstein and Paul Hekkert, New York: Elsevier pp.: 1-25.
Vihma, S. (2003). On actual semantic and aesthetic interaction with design objects. In 5th European Academy of Design Conference.
Vihma, S. (2004). Various Foundations for Design Semantics. Signification, Usability, and Interaction in DESIGN, 11.
Steffen, D. (2007). Design semantics of innovation: Product language as a reflection on technical innovation and sociocultural change. In Design Semiotics in Use Conference.
Krippendorff, K. (2005). The semantic turn: A new foundation for design. crc Press.

References: "Butter, R. (1989). Putting theory into practice: an application of product semantics to transportation design. Design Issues, 5(2), 51-67.
Crilly, N., Moultrie, J., & Clarkson, P. J. (2004). Seeing things: consumer response to the visual domain in product design. Design studies, 25(6), 547-577.
Feijs, L., & Kyffin, S. (2005). A taxonomy of semantic design knowledge.Design and semantics of form and movement, 71.
Mattozzi, A. (2009). A model for the Semiotic Analysis of Objects. in S. Vihma & T. Karjalainen (eds.), Design Semiotics in Use. Helsinki University of Art and Design Press. Helsinki, 2009.
Solis-Muñiz, H., & Rust, S. (2010). Constructing a message by product design: The concept of product language in theory and practice. Design and semantics of form and movement, 98."

Evaluation System

Semester Requirements Number of Activities Level of Contribution
Total %
Total %

Contribution of Learning Outcomes to Programme Outcomes

No Effect 1 Lowest 2 Low 3 Average 4 High 5 Highest
Program Outcomes Level of Contribution