The specialist groups of Maker culture, Design learning and Technology – MaDe coordinates research through the following two research groups. Within the research groups operates several research projects. We are also affiliated with larger research projects in the faculty of educationa sciences, in co-operation with other faculties and also with other universities, both nationally and internationally.

In our research, we are interested in creativity and expert knowledge that emerge though processes of design and skill learning. We study design, craft and home economics as maker cultures, related processes of designing and making, as well as, material and immaterial outcomes of those processes. Our field of research also governs aspects related to design, art, home economics, the management of everyday life, technology, sustainability and well-being. We are interested in the maker culture, its development and relations to local, as well as, virtual international, communities, in which skills of making by hand are practiced, taught and tutored. Furthermore, we are also interested in social creativity, collaboration and communication. We examine pedagogical aspects that relate to knowledge-creating and teaching of design skills.

The research group, Food, culture and learning, focuses on subject-didactic questions related to the teaching and learning of home economics within various cultural settings and school levels, ranging from comprehensive school to higher education. We are especially interested in formal teaching and learning situations, such as in the classroom, but also within informal learning environments such as homes or NGOs.

Teachers’ practical mastery of food preparation skills is key for obtaining a high level of professionalism. Without having one’s own foundation of strong practical skills, the home economics teacher will be unable to focus on pedagogical issues within the learning environment, and provide individual support for their students build a safe and equal learning environment where the students feel free to experiment and learn new things. Home economics teachers in higher education must find a balance between cultivating generic skills (i.e., being reflective and critical) and subject-specific skills (i.e., having practical skills and knowledge of sustainable choices in everyday life).

The whole research group has actively promoted national and international research co-operation, participated in discussions on our latest research findings, consulted, and tutored young researchers, as well as organized expert meetings, seminars, and symposiums. The HEED-team, led by university lecturer, PhD Hille Janhonen-Abruquah, is raising important issues related to home economics education: pedagogical themes such as diversity, gender and equality in schools; transnationality, culturally responsive education, and multicultural education in schools are key issues when putting the new Finnish national curriculum into practice.

The research group is directed by Professor Päivi Palojoki

You can read more about this research project in Finnish from

Research in Craft Studies covers broadly different areas of craft, such as:

  • designers and makers of craft products,
  • designing and making processes and product development,
  • machines, tools and materials used in crafts.

Craft Studies is a multidisciplinary field of research. A research object can be approached from a psychological, physiological, social, cultural, economical or technological point of view. Craft studies analyses creative and productive activities of human beings.

Craft Education investigates teaching and learning crafts, and educational systems. Research focuses on teaching and learning skills, interaction and collaboration in craft.

Research themes are:

  • designing and making craft products
  • virtual collaborative designing
  • craft as a cultural activity
  • future of craft
  • craft skills and knowledge
  • teaching and learning crafts

The research group is directed by Professor Pirita Seitamaa-Hakkarainen and Professor Erja Syrjäläinen.