TPD4202 - Humanitarian Design and Technology


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Report
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Report 100/100

Course content

Humanitarian design is a term that can be used to describe the process of designing products, services or systems for populations affected by natural and/or man-made disasters. The course aims to develop students' knowledge of designing design interventions for a humanitarian market. The course aims to develop an individual and team-based agency to work through design in increased unpredictability, with marginalised populations and with multi-stakeholders including humanitarian organisations, private and public stakeholders. The course will consist of a case-based process, complemented by lectures and theories from humanitarian design, design anthropology, service innovation, scenario building, contingency planning and entrepreneurial mindsets. The course will also introduce examples of the role of technology in humanitarian relief.

Learning outcome


The candidate

  • has basic knowledge of what characterizes the humanitarian market and its influence on design
  • has basic knowledge of methodological tools and practical examples of what is needed for humanitarian design to succeed.
  • can reflect on the responsibility regarding sustainable and ethical design processes in settings with challenged infrastructure, large power disparities, vulnerable populations and low income.


The candidate

  • has tried out different methods and techniques to understand how design can provide value in a humanitarian context.
  • has gained basic experience of how to work methodically, systematically and human-centered in spite of ethical dilemmas and unpredictability in a humanitarian setting.

General competence:

The candidate

  • has knowledge of concepts, methods, values and practices in humanitarian design

Learning methods and activities

Group projects based on selected cases provided by international NGOs and companies. Method and design concept report to be developed throughout the course. Readings on humanitarianism, humanitarian technology and humanitarian relief standards.

The groups receive regular group supervision sessions, lectures and guest lectures from Urban Ecological Planning, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Department of Geography in addition to the Department of Design. International guest lectures are also invited.

Further on evaluation

Re-take exam is held in the next semester.

Required previous knowledge

Students from the Department of Design who have completed a minimum of D3, including exchange students from design, architecture, urban planning, building and environment or human geography.

Course materials

Course material will be handed out by course beginning and in advance of lectures

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2024

Language of instruction: English, Norwegian

Location: Gjøvik , Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Design Methodology
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Design


Examination arrangement: Report

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Report 100/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring UTS Report 100/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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