PACK-AGE – Interdisciplinary Packaging Design Project

The project began December 2011 and ended June 2012

PACK-AGE is a project course with a holistic focus on packaging design. Several teachers are teaching packaging design from many different perspectives. The most successful design projects are often resulted by interdisciplinary teamwork uniting design, business and engineering aspects. This course is based on practicing interdisciplinary teamwork on real packaging projects.

Media Factory funded and supported the development phase of the course and offered premises to run the course lectures and workshops.

Students work in teams of five and each student has their own special role in the team. The idea is to use student’s competences, background and prior knowledge as a resource for creative group work. Each team has a project manager, a student who is interested in learning to manage the design team and its responsibilities. The project manger will be rewarded extra ECTS credits for his/her work.

An ideal packaging design team has enthusiastic students from many different backgrounds. The design team might have, for instance a product designer, graphic designer, material engineer, marketing or communication specialist, a sustainability manager, retail specialist, industrial manager, new media designer or a photographer, but there are also many more possibilities. The most important thing is the right attitude and interest in learning packaging design and collaborative project work. It is also important that the student has time to work on the project.

All Aalto students are eligible to apply to the course. 30 students are selected to the course based on a written letter-of-motivation describing student’s background, skills and motivation.

PACK-AGE collaborates with external companies to get interesting project cases to the course. The course also has several material and production sponsors that help to materialize the created packaging concepts.

The course offer many benefits to all participants. To name a few, students
get a broad perspective to the latest packaging design knowledge and
learn how to work responsibly as a part of an interdisciplinary design team
and manage projects.

Aalto professors, teachers and researchers collaborate in creating dynamic
learnig system and interesting educational content and workshops based
on the latest knowledge. The course practicalities and offerings are actively
developed in collaboration with the teaching staff.

Participating companies benefit by getting valuable, novel and different
packaging ideas & solutions that work from many angles.

The course was piloted in 2012 and the results from the first course were good. The results were presented in Pakkaus 2012 Fair’s Innovation Gallery. The course got also media exposure in three different magazines/publications.

The second course is starting in March 2013

Project lead:
Markus Joutsela ( )
Contact information:
Markus Joutsela
Project members:
Markus Joutsela (
Kai Rentola
Tarja Toikka
Sanna Heiniö
Jouni Paltakari
Noora Nylander

Project files:
PACK-AGE logo (pdf file)
Pack-Age_10.jpg (jpg file)
Pack-Age_37.jpg (jpg file)
Pack-Age_22.jpg (jpg file)
Pack-Age_20.jpg (jpg file)
Pack-Age_04.jpg (jpg file)
_MG_4341.jpg (jpg file)