Previous Breakfasts

May 10th 2016 at Media Factory

Fab Labs and experiments in democratizing technologies

DA Cindy Kohtala

Fab Labs are shared community workshops where people can design and make their own products. They are an important part of the ‘maker movement’, a collection of all kinds of activities and communities experimenting with digital fabrication technologies. As forerunners they may indicate how we as a society may confront or embrace increasing digitalization. I’ll discuss the kinds of practices and discourses that travel through the Fab Lab network.

Cindy Kohtala is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Design. Her doctoral research examined environmental sustainability issues in the maker movement. Her background is in Design-for-Sustainability.


Design practice between Fablab and Fortum: Prototyping with domestic energy use data

DA Karthikeya Acharya

Karthikeya Acharya is a design researcher. He defended his doctoral thesis, “Opening the Electrome: Redefining Home for Energy studies through Design practice” from the Aalto University, School of Art, Design and Architecture in April 2016. His research interests are in methods and approaches as design practice. He currently works as a visiting design researcher at Fortum, the Finnish state energy service provider. There he collaborates with two groups, the Technology and Innovation team and with the New business group. In his talk Karthikeya will discuss about an ongoing exploratory project at Fortum which looks at integrating domestic energy use data into the design of everyday artifacts.

April 12th 2016 at Media Factory

Developing Critically Informed Practical Knowing in Project Management Education

D.Sc (Econ) Riku Oksman
(Department of Management Studies, School of Business)

Riku Oksman introduced three different pedagogical methods in teaching undergraduate level project management courses.

Riku Oksman is an experienced trainer and organizational developer. He is specialized in utilizing experiential and interactive methods for training and development.
Riku’s special area of expertise is project organizing and its development. He also has  broad understanding of various themes in the field of management and organizing, ranging from leadership to strategy.

Introducing Experience Goals into Packaging Design

Researcher, lecturer, project manager Markus Joutsela
(Department of Media School of Art, Design and Architecture):

Consumer experiences are an increasingly important driving force for commerce, affecting also packaging design. Experience design for packages is rarely studied, however.

Specifically, there is a gap in research regarding the integration of experiential goals into the packaging design process. Open questions include how to describe the experience goals in the design brief when package design is outsourced, how to deal with changes during the design process, and how to evaluate, if the delivered design evokes the intended experience in the target audience. In this paper Markus presents three package design cases where experience goals were integrated into an outsourced packaging design process. The cases cover the design process from brief formation to experience evaluation of the resulted packages. He analyses the challenges and benefits of integrating experience goals into package design process, and provides topics for future research. Keywords: experience goals; packaging design; brief; design for experience

Markus Joutsela is a designer (entrepeneur), university teacher and packaging design researcher at Aalto University School of Art, Design and Architecture. He manages Pack-Age course and Valuepack research project that involves 17 funding companies, 3 research organizations and Tekes: Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation.

March 8th 2016 at Design Factory

Beyond centralised training programs – novel ways of developing teaching in Aalto

Maria Clavert

Previous research has widely questioned the effectiveness of top-down pedagogical development efforts, such as centralised training programs. Consequently, novel approaches based on local knowledge and strategies are called for. The presentation identifies ways of initiating pedagogical development in one’s own working environment. In addition, it highlights the organisational factors that support and prevent the local development efforts. The presentation is based on a longitudinal follow-up study conducted in the fields of science and technology.

Cell and Tissue Engineering & Biology Meets Mechatronics (an AOle’ pilot at Aalto University 2016-2019)

Katrina Nordström and Anni Laakkonen


The speakers presented the outcomes of their Spring 2016 course: cell and Tissue Engineering, which was held at Design Factory. Projects, assessment tools (also used in an Erasmus plus project) and  student feedback will be presented. In addition they outlined the pilot project “Biology Meets Mechatronics”  which is a pilot in the A!OLE Strategic at Aalto University 2016-2019.  At the core of this pilot is the development and use of blended learning, where on-line learning is ingrained into hands-on learning in projects and experimentation in the laboratory. The pilot will be built by utilizing two courses in the curriculum; CHEM – E3225 Cell and Tissue Engineering and KON-41.4120 Mechatronics projects.  The pilot continues ongoing collaboration on these courses that was initiated in the spring of 2015. The CHEM and ENG courses will form the initial core of the pilot.  During 2017-2018 elements from ELEC, ARTS and BIZ can be added. The idea is that the course/s can be completed at many different levels.

February 9th 2016 at Media Factory


Julia Valle  (researcher, designer):  
Department of Design
School of Art, Design and Architecture

The project aims at raising awareness towards the experience of dressing through creative pattern cutting.


Denise Ziegler (DFA, Postdoctoral Researcher) and Anna Jensen (MA, Doctoral Candidate)
Department of Art, Pori Urban Platform of Aalto University/Pori Live

Pori Urban Platform (PUPA) is a flexible experimental project platform within Aalto University located in Pori University Consortium. Started in 2015, it brings site specific research and art as well as academic teaching and research out of the academy into the living reality. For example one of its collaborative projects called Pori Live engages in and initiates together with Landscape Studies of University of Turku and the city of Pori projects that gather and produce a new kind of knowledge about the developing needs of the city and city planning in general. The moving targets are different parts of the city such as suburbs and their inhabitants or the kokemäki riverbed and its users. Pori and Satakunta region function as a living laboratory where the social impact of the university can be seen directly in action.

December 8, 2015 at Design Factory


Prof. Kevin Otto
Department of Applied Mechanics, School of Engineering

Prof. Otto presents an overview of his research in modularity, as well as somekey questions in current design science research. Having previously held associate professorships at the Singapore University of Technology and Design and MIT, Prof. Otto joined Aalto University this Fall. He is also the owner of Robust Systems and Strategy LLC, an innovation and quality engineering consultancy.


Miko Laakso
Aalto University Design Factory

There is still an aura of mysticism surrounding the nature of creativity in design work. Out of the various approaches to demystifying design creativity, design decisions present one option. The design process is widely acknowledged to involve iterating between divergence and convergence. The study discussed here investigates the divergent-convergent concept development activity in Finnish design agencies with specific attention to the decision-making in designer-client interaction that shapes the outcome of the design.

Miko is working on his PhD at the Design Factory. His research focuses on creative practices in the early phases of design.

November 10th, 2015, at Service Factory


Petri Karjalainen from OpusCapita, Aleksandre Asatiani and Esko Penttinen from Aalto University.

Rapid developments in software, hardware and networking, is revolutionizing the way we live and work. We are witnessing a great societal change, where digitalization is entering all areas of work, previously reserved exclusively to humans. RPA is the manifestation of this change, enabling us to automate labor-intensive business processes with ease. RPA is defined as the application of technology that allows employees in a company to configure computer software or a “robot” to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems (Institute for Robotic Process Automation).  

The objective of the seminar is – by form of discussion – to develop a research agenda for RPA. The seminar is organized in collaboration with Aalto Service Factory and OpusCapita.

April 14, 2015 at Design Factory

Teemu Leinonen
School of Arts, Design and Architecture


Zach Dodson
Department of Media
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Graphic Design is changing rapidly. Aesthetics remain an important part of solutions that now include new forms such as story-telling, experiences, and authorship. Boundaries between disciplines are quickly disappearing. Rick Poynor says “Graphic design was always a place where interdisciplinary interests could find a home, and one can view recent developments as an inevitable fulfilment of the field’s potential. For this kind of work, though, graphic design has become outmoded as a misleading term. We need a sharp new name to convey the purpose, contribution, and identity of an expanded, integrative, transmedia discipline of communication and expression.” A discipline like this is Visual Narrative.

Visual Narrative is a story told primarily through the use of visual media. The story may be told using still photography, illustration, or video, and can be enhanced with graphics, music, voice and other audio.

This could take the form of “Narrative Art, Visual storytelling, Films, Pictorial stories, Illustrated stories, Comics, Sequential art, History Painting, Animation, etc. What binds the above mentioned areas is the fact that they are all essentially explorations into visuals that tell stories.”  Pimenta, S. and Poovaiah, R. 2010. On Defining Visual Narratives. Design Thoughts (August 2010), 25–46.

Visual Narrative is an exciting, emerging field that touches on many disciplines, and brings together a synthesis of skill sets from graphic design, writing, interactive media, film and games. Its emergent status is confirmed by the fact that top design schools, such as School of Visual Arts and SCAD, now offer degrees in Visual Narrative, the peer-reviewed journal Image & Narrative studies the field and presses such as Visual Editions (London, UK) regularly publish work in the genre. Founded with the methodologies of design and story-telling, this discipline embraces the digital innovations that are transforming all narratives – in books and journalism, on film and the web – into hybrid media.

This presentation focuses on an approach to visual narrative which deploys graphic elements and design thinking strategies to arrive at ‘hybrid’ image/texts. There is a small, secret history of designed works in fiction, from Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy to Mark Danielwski’s House of Leaves. The visual literacy and communication methods of the design field open up new possibilities in fiction, from structuring narratives in a formally designed way to creating moments of emotional impact with well-timed visual or typographical surprises. The combination of text and image-based narrative has implications for interactive works, graphic novels, games, and designed novels.

A new Graphic Design masters curriculum is being developed around the techniques and methodologies of Visual Narrative. The designer learns by seeing, and students learn by reading. This degree plan takes a studied, methodological approach that combines reading and seeing to arrive at a heightened visual/verbal literacy. The ability to parse complex visual narratives is the first step in creating them. The degree provides methodologies for designers, writers, new media students, illustrators and anyone else who wants to communicate in visual language. The program is interdisciplinary as well as widely cross-cultural, creating a tinder box for new ideas.

The presentation will touch on these emerging fields, the programs built around them, and a peek at the exciting works that are emerging from a hybridization of storytelling.

Zach Dodson is an active member of many arts communities, forging connections between the worlds of design and literature. He was the founder of Featherproof Books and his own design studio. His debut novel, Bats of the Republic, is forthcoming from Doubleday in October, 2015. His writing has appeared in Lamination Colony, Monsters & Dust, and 30 Under 30: An Anthology of Innovative Fiction. His design has appeared in Proximity, MAKE Magazine, shelter, and Bagazine. He orchestrated the literary roadshow The Dollar Store, and was host of Chicago’s Show ’n Tell Show. In 2014 he was once again named to Newcity’s Top 50 Literary Figures in Chicago. He received his MFA in writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and previously taught at Columbia College Chicago.


Tua Björklund
Aalto University Design Factory 

Not even great ideas advance themselves in organizations. Rather, proactive efforts are required to develop and implement initial improvement ideas. In this presentation, I summarize findings from seven case studies of product designers and entrepreneurs from the point of view of the antecedents and practices found to sustain proactive efforts over time. A tentative model for the role of concretization in this process is presented.Keywords: proactivity, product design, entrepreneurship, idea advancement

Tua Björklund works as a researcher at the Aalto University Design Factory, studying a wide variety of ways to support development efforts.  She has a MA from cognitive science, LicSc from work psychology, and her dissertation on proactive development is in the pre-examination process.

March 10, 2015 at Media Factory


Department of Film, TV and Scenography
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

The interdisciplinary practice-based research project, ‘The Apotheosis of Man: the Forgotten Peacock; From Deconstruction to Reconstruction to Re-proposal of the Male Suit’, through a series of workshops and interactive performance installations, aims to challenge the persisting conventional tradition of designing and wearing the male suit, proposing alternative perspectives by researcher – performance designer. The investigation focuses on the tools and means of processing the male suit in practice. It explores how to overcome conventions, generate artistic ideas, and how to apply this to something wearable.

The background to the project is one of heightened interest in male fashion in the wider society on the one hand, and increasing interest within academia in male fashion and masculinity on the other. The thesis focuses on the male suit today and, having stressed the minimal changes that have been made to its form, colour and materiality over the last century, despite the shifting notion of masculinity, experiments with it and proposes new approaches to it by deconstructing it from a performance designer’s perspective and informed background.

This practice as research is cross-disciplinary project, making use of different methodologies and synthesising current academic and artistic work on masculinity and dress – that draws not only on theoretical discourse on men’s dress, theories of masculinity, but also on different art platforms and studies within theatre, performance, fashion and design.


takis is a Doctoral candidate at the Department of Film, Television and Scenography at Aalto University School of Arts, Design & Architecture.

takis alongside his studies is a performance designer working internationally designing a wide range of productions; musicals, theatre, opera, ballet/dance, concerts and film.

Companies he has worked for include: English Touring Opera, London National Theatre, Old Vic, Queen Elisabeth Hall, Barbican, Curve, Hampton Court Palace, Frankfurt Opera House, The Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and Rambert Dance Company, amongst others.

takis’ work has been exhibited at the Design Museums in London and Helsinki and the Bucharest Modern Art Museum. His nominations include four Off West End Awards for Set Design.

Currently he is designing a ballet world premiere for the Finnish National Ballet.


Chun Namkyu
Department of Design
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

In the Search for Fashion Thinking

Recently, both practitioners and scholars have attempted to question boundaries of design practice (Thackara 2005; Cross 2006; Manzini 2009). The new role of designers has been suggested in different fields, including public sectors, medical institutions and non-governmental organizations. Especially the notion of design thinking has been emerged and discussed from both industry and academia (Buchanan 1992; Lawson 1997; Cross 2011; Brown and Kātz 2009; Dorst 2011).

However, the conversation has not reached the community of fashion and overlooked fashion practitioners’ unique abilities that can unlock new potentials of design practice. The field of fashion studies can be considered as part of design studies, but it is difficult to argue that they are interchangeable fields without further understanding. To discuss design thinking in fashion, careful translation is required as fashion is constructed in very different historical, economical and sociocultural background (Calefato 1997; Kawamura 2005; Vinken 2005; Entwistle 2009).

While acknowledging the difference, my study aims to bridge design studies and fashion studies. The way I intend to construct my study is by adding the voice of fashion practitioners into the conversation on design thinking. This is achievable through understanding the ways in which fashion practitioners use their skills and knowledge—in other words, ‘fashion thinking.’ As groundwork of the effort, I seek to investigate what fashion thinking is.

To understand how fashion practitioners think, this research is built on a foundation of the study on design theories that are related to the topic, including design thinking and design knowledge (Schön 1983; Simon 1996; Lawson 1997; Krippendorf 2006; Cross 2006; Manzini 2009). Through the combination of qualitative approaches, such as interviews and field research, I aim to translate the view on design thinking to fashion studies. As the result, actionable design principles for future fashion practice will be proposed.

Presentation slides:

Keywords: fashion, fashion thinking, fashion practice, fashion practitioner

Brown, Tim, and Barry Kātz. 2009. Change By Design. New York: Harper Business.
Buchanan, Richard. 1992. ‘Wicked Problems In Design Thinking’. Design Issues 8 (2): 5. doi:10.2307/1511637.
Calefato, Patrizia. 1997. ‘Fashion And Worldliness: Language And Imagery Of The Clothed Body’. Fashion Theory: The Journal Of Dress, Body & Culture 1 (1): 69–90.
Cross, Nigel. 2006. Designerly Ways Of Knowing. London: Springer.
Cross, Nigel. 2011. Design Thinking. Oxford: Berg.
Dorst, Kees. 2011. ‘The Core Of ‘Design Thinking’ And Its Application’. Design Studies 32 (6): 521-532. doi:10.1016/j.destud.2011.07.006.
Entwistle, Joanne. 2009. The Aesthetic Economy Of Fashion. Oxford: Berg.
Fletcher, Kate. 2008. Sustainable Fashion And Textiles. London: Earthscan.
Fletcher, Kate, and Lynda Grose. 2012. Fashion & Sustainability. London, England: Laurence King.
Krippendorff, Klaus. 2006. The Semantic Turn. Boca Raton: CRC/Taylor & Francis.
Manzini, Ezio. 2009. ‘New Design Knowledge’. Design Studies 30 (1): 4-12. doi:10.1016/j.destud.2008.10.001.
Lawson, Bryan. 1997. How Designers Think. Oxford: Architectural Press.
Schön, Donald A. 1983. The Reflective Practitioner. New York: Basic Books.
Simon, Herbert A. 1996. The Sciences Of The Artificial. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Thackara, John. 2005. In The Bubble. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Vinken, Barbara. 2005. Fashion Zeitgeist. Oxford: Berg.

February 10, 2015 at Service Factory


Svetlana Usenyuk
Department of  Design
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

The presentation will share some insights on people and technology behavior in the extreme environmental settings of the Arctic, collected during my postdoctoral period in Aalto University, 2011-2014. By observing different forms of mobility encountered in today’s Arctic, I explore how challenging environmental conditions, scarcity of permanent roads, malfunction of modern transport technologies, etc. evoke people’s creativity as technology users. By observing the best local practices of working and living ‘on-the-move’, the research – in a long-term perspective – informs the process of developing and inhabiting the Polar Regions. Apart from practical value of the field data, the presentation will shed light on the methodology of the ‘research-on-the-go’, i.e. a real-time exploration of various forms of mobility in extreme environment that forces researchers to become correspondingly mobile.

Prior to joining Empirica Research Group in Design Department, Aalto University, Svetlana was a doctoral student and part-time teacher at the School of Arctic Design, Ural State Academy of Architecture and Art, Ekaterinburg, Russia. She received her PhD in 2011, with a dissertation devoted to transport vehicles for remote areas of Russian Arctic. Her research interests include crafted mobility, technology appropriation and traditional knowledge of Arctic nomads. To study all that, she travels extensively in Russian North and Northern Fennoscandia.


Aleksandre Asatiani
Aalto University Service Factory

Cloud computing is bringing changes in the ways people work across many industries. Knowledge-based professional services, such as accounting and consulting are especially susceptible to such changes. Cloud computing dramatically improves information management, enables for real-time collaboration over long distances, and brings customers closer to the service providers. These create new opportunities and challenges for service providers in developing their services. In this research we are looking for the ways, cloud technology is changing accounting services and role of accountant in the companies using cloud-based information systems. We highlight biggest signs of change and propose the model for professional service management in this new, rapidly developing environment.

Aleksandre Asatiani is a Doctoral candidate at the Department of Information and Service Economy at Aalto University School of Business. Aleksandre is a research coordinator at the Real-Time Economy Competence Center at Aalto University and serves as a consultant in EU funded industry projects geared towards development of innovative internet-based services. He graduated from Aalto University, earning a M.Sc. in Information and Service Management. His research focuses on adoption and use of cloud computing in organizations, business process outsourcing, and technology-based innovation.

January 13, 2015 at Design Factory


Pedro Aibéo
Department of Art
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

This doctoral research aims at investigating possibilities and benefits of combining existing technologies of smartphones and BIM (Building Information Modeling) in collaboration with government policies, in order to turn buildings into open source systems of information.

These aims will achieve research outcomes through theory and practice approaches, including the exploration of constructing pilot models.

In this talk I will briefly introduce the first case study of the prototype in Porto, with the usage of Photogrammetry and the removal of its façade.

Keywords: Architecture Democracy, Open Source, free, Open system, Smart city, Right to the city, BIM

Pedro Aibéo is an independent architect (MSc) and civil engineer (MSc), musician, theatre producer, media artist, writer and researcher (PhDc. Aalto University).

Link to Pedro Aibéo’s website:


Mikko Sääskilahti
Aalto University Design Factory

Today products and services are often digitally connected producing vast amounts of data. Users can be tracked and every click or move they make can be recorded. It is now possible to literally see what the users are doing, when and where, leading to the fact that we should actually be designing with data. It will be discussed, how the vast quantities of data that are obtainable should be considered in front end innovation, and what kind of concepts can be designed with a data-driven approach.

Keywords: Front end innovation, product and service design, big data

Bio: Mikko Sääskilahti is an industrial designer (MA), working on his research focusing on front end innovation and concept creation based at the Design Factory.

December 9, 2014 at Media Factory


Asta Raami
Department of Media
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

– is it possible to evaluate the reliability of intuition and develop intuition further?

Intuition is often described being one of the most important tools of creation among designers, artists and researchers. Intuition is an integral part of human thinking and together with reasoning faculties it forms the basis of it. Even in everyday life all individuals need intuitive faculties, but in complex cognitive tasks as visioning, creating and problem solving the role of intuition is fundamental. Even intuition is superior to conscious reasoning in some specific situations, these different thinking modes can often be best utilized when combined.

Both reasoning and intuitive faculties need training and practice in order to utilize the potential of them. However, the formal education and even design studies are strongly based on development of reasoning faculties and intuition is ignored hence its potential is lost. Even if intuition is used, the argumentation has to be based on rationalization.

The objective of this study is in use of intuition and the developmental aspects of it researched through the experiences of designers and people using a lot of intuition. The data has been collected from intuition coaching courses, the interviews of designers and highly intuitive persons, including my own experience as a teacher and a designer. The data includes designers’ descriptions of their intuitive experiences, the ways they understand and utilize intuition as well as their thoughts of developing intuition further.

The outcomes reveal that the highly intuitive personal experiences are usually extremely meaningful to the person and they have an essential role when creating. Yet they are kept private due to the common tendency to hide and deny intuition. The outcomes suggest that when bringing these experiences into consciousness and especially when they are shared with others, it helps a person to build a deeper understanding about the personal creative process. As a result, it also strengthens the professional expertise and personal self-esteem.
The data strongly supports the current understanding that intuition is a continuum which can be developed. One of my main interests was researching if intuition can be developed with coaching, or even to in a direction of an intentional tool. This means that intuition is not just random coincidence or emotion based arbitrary vibe. If using intuition as an intentional tool, it requires examining the accuracy and reliability of intuition. Even these aspects are challenging to evaluate, the outcomes based on designers’ experiences suggest there is a possibility of this evaluation. Based on these, I have collected some parameters, which may help when evaluating the reliability of intuitive information in more general level.

Keywords: Intuition, creativity, design, learning, experience, higher education, coaching, development

Raami has been researching intuition among designers in Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Helsinki. Her background is in graphic design, new media and educational sciences, she has both scientific and artistic competence.
She has been running courses focusing on creativity and intuition development to MA-level design students and professional designers since 2003, coaching more than two hundred students. She has also been teaching Developing Intuitive Thinking –courses tailored to Aalto University teachers.

During years 2008–2011 Raami worked as a researcher in a project researching intuition in creative processes, funded by the Academy of Finland. In 2007–2008 and 2011–2012 she worked as a Lecturer of Creative Design Process Development in Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. She has been teaching in Aalto University (former University of Art and Design) since 1998. During the years 1997-1999 she worked as a designer in a research project developing digital platform supporting inquiry learning and shared expertise through knowledge building.


Helena Sustar
Department of Design
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

‘Walk in Another’s Shoes’ or the ‘Many Faces of Integration’is work in progress project, started in January 2014 at the Aalto University, Design Research Department, Encore Research Group. The project focuses on mapping and visualizing different customer journeys and service networks of immigrants coming to Finland. The customer journeys and service networks are mapped through interviews and workshops with various service providers and customers. Service providers can be for example, the governmental organisations, private companies and immigrants’ associations. Customers include immigrants with diverse backgrounds. The insight gained through interviews and workshops will be used as a base for visualizing opportunities and challenges in the current services. The presentation will reveal current situation of immigrants living in Helsinki, its challenges and future opportunities.

More about Sustar can be found HERE.

Link to Helena’s presentation:

November 11, 2014 at Service Factory


Riitta Perälä
Department of Media
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Much of academic audience research focuses on one medium or genre, such as news. This research examines media use from holistic perspective. People’s personal media landscapes reveal which media are used for same purposes, and why specific titles are considered more engaging than others.

Media engagement is often addressed from the publishers’ viewpoint as something that can be measured, such as clicks or time spent with content. Instead, here engagement is examined as everyday practices and experiences, such as habits, rituals, usefulness and emotions.

Readers have clear roles for their magazines, and if magazines fail to fulfill that role, the readership construct is reconsidered. Traditionally habits are considered strength for the publishers, but in the contemporary fragmented media environment titles are easily replaced.

Riitta Perälä is a doctoral candidate at Aalto ARTS, and she is working in Media Concepts Research Group. She will defend her thesis in spring 2015. Her research interests are magazines, audience reception research, feminist media studies and visual communication. Previously she has worked in Finnish Periodical Publishers’ Association.

Riitta’s presentation at the breakfast:


Perälä R., Helle M. (2013) Engaging with media. Next Media Personal Media Day report

Perälä R., Helle M. (2013) Engagement medioihin. Next Media Personal Media Day report

Perälä R., Helle M. (2013) Kotiliesi ja engagement. Next Media Personal Media Day report

Perälä R., Helle M. (2013) Suomen Kuvalehti ja engagement. Next Media Personal Media Day report

Perälä R., Helle M. (2013) Tekniikan Maailma ja engagement. Next Media Personal Media Day report



Alf Bae
International Design school for Advanced Studies
Hongik University, Seoul, South Korea

Often same purpose Product-Service System (PSS) can be implemented in another society differently. Because societies have different socio-cultural issues, social norm and law, public systems have been evolved in a specific way for a society. One of factors for making such a difference is a social trust level.

Designing a PSS in a social context is a kind of wicked problems. Society is ever changing and dynamically evolving. Many PSS designing problem have to be faced with conflicts in a social context. To design a PSS, designers need to set a social trust level assumption about how users will behave as expected or not. Therefore designer needs to consider stakeholder normal usage, and stakeholder abuse of the system for designing a PSS.Short Bio:
Alf Donghoon Bae is a doctoral candidate at Hongik University in Seoul, South Korea. He works as a User eXperience Designer at Microsoft, Phone UX.

Alf’s presentation: ResearchersBreakfast_AlfBae_SocialcapitalasadesignparamterforPSS

October 14, 2014 at Design Factory


Riika-Leena Juntunen
University of Oulu, Aalto University

The post-doctoral research is wrapped around spatiality with the concept of “borrowed place”, which refers to physical premises with strong ideology that are purposefully moved outside their culture of origin. The first place under examination was a Finnish missionary station in China’s Hunan Province some hundred years ago. In the context of localisation missionary stations revealed how the receiving culture or the specific community never accepted the stations in a form that was offered to them, but “borrowed them” for new and innovative usage that echoed the structures of the surrounding society. In our time a similar process is visible in the establishment of Aalto-Tongji Design Factory (阿尔托同济设计工厂), a student centred hands-on product development platform in 2010 Shanghai. What combines the two seemingly separate cases is the conscious desire to influence the other culture. The unusual combination of Finnish cultural transfer in China reveals a process of acceptance with different stages and themes. Special emphasis is put on different levels of motivation, China’s soft power diplomacy and the desire to revitalise educational tradition and innovative spirit with the help of cross-cultural creativity. Yet the motivation on the Chinese side is always more complex and culture-specific than the simple need for reformation.


Miika Aittala
Department of Media Technology
School of Science

Photorealistic computer graphics is ubiquitous in modern entertainment, advertising and visualization. Such applications require high quality content in form of geometry, surface materials and lighting. Despite advances in algorithms and computing power, content creation largely remains an expensive and time consuming manual task performed by skilled artists.

I will present our recent work on an automated low-cost setup for capturing material reflectance properties of real-world surfaces. Our system produces state of the art results in reproducing the rich variation of color, shininess and bumpiness of a wide range of materials, using only a camera, an LCD monitor, and some Fourier analysis. The work has been published at ACM SIGGRAPH, the leading publication venue in computer graphics.

Publication and videos:

Miika Aittala is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Media Technology in Aalto University School of Science. He received his MSc inComputer Science in 2010 from Aalto University. His research topic is material appearance capture in computer graphics, in particular using simple and practical physical setups combined with advanced mathematical
optimization techniques. His general research interests include computer graphics and vision, light transport, simulation, numerical methods and inverse problems.

September 9, 2014 at Media Factory


Mariana Salgado
Department of Media
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

How to design for augmenting audiovisual archives? After one year of making participative design explorations using and designing for an audiovisual archive, this presentation will introduce preliminary findings and possible future directions. The focus is on how diasporas could reinterpret and enrich the audiovisual cultural heritage materials shared in portals such as Europeana or EUscreen. In parallel, the aim is to find meaningful uses of online video to empower immigrants and at the same time investigate the way in which they appropriate technology. Participatory design explorations such as one workshop with media practitioners, one participatory video project with Bulgarian immigrants and one course with interaction design students, are the basis of this analysis.

Link to the presentation:

March 12, 2014


Tuomo Hiippala
University of Helsinki

What can linguistic methods reveal about visual communication in print and digital media? In this presentation, I showcase the state-of-the-art in multimodal research, a field that studies the interplay of language, image, layout and other modes of communication. First, I present my longitudinal study of the tourist brochures advertising the city of Helsinki from 1967 to 2008 and show how the introduction of desktop publishing affected their structure. Second, I discuss the New York Times article “A Game of Shark and Minnow”. This article, which uses a so-called “Snow Fall” design, represents what has been heralded as a new form of storytelling on the web. I will offer a perspective to the article’s multimodal structure and outline the features that set it apart from mainstream design for news websites.

See also Tuomo Hiippala’s profile on University of Helsinki’s website.

Tuomo Hiippala on Twitter:


Teresa Macchia
University of Trento
Visiting researcher in the Systems of representation group at Aalto University

Museum exhibitions are active space, where people share and create knowledge. The exhibition is a resources that belong to everyone, and should be actively and commonly protected  and managed in common. The museum is a composite and highly valued cultural institution that opens the archived knowledge for educational and amusement activities for the society, and which affects current society and future society. For this reason, the modern art museum, and the related concepts and studies, is a way to analyse the flow of sharing knowledge between those who participate in the museums experience. The presentation proposes an overview of museum through the lens of Cultural Infrastructure and of a system.

About the speaker:
I’m a PhD student in Computer Science at the University of Trento (Italy), because of my sociological background I’m applying the system and interactive concepts to Computer Science theory and concepts. Cultural Infrastructure and the ecological theory are always in my thoughts.

February 11, 2014


Maiju Loukola
Department of Film, TV and Scenography
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

An artistic doctoral study on performance design in Aalto ARTS ELO Degree Program for Performance design in Theatre, Film and television. The study focuses on the mediality of performance space and experientality of projected image installations — contemplating the mediality of theatrical space/place in the light of the notion of touch through aesthetic experience, sensable perception and embodied visibility in the context of contemporary performing arts and its mediated space. The study is an artistic research with the researcher’s own involvement as practicing scenographer, consisting of three performances, installation experimentations and a theoretical thesis.Maiju Loukola is finalising her doctoral thesis on ‘The Architecture of Touch: media scenographies as performative space’ (Aalto Arts), which approaches the mediated space of performance in terms of sensable theory, experientiality, and scenographic poetry. Her artistic research focuses on the interplay of virtual and visceral spaces/bodies, including media aesthetics, phenomenology of performance, and space/placethrough moving image technologies.


Daniil Pokidko and Gospel Oparaocha
Department of Management studies, Entrepreneurship programme
School of Business

We are working at the research proposal of “Theatricalization of Entrepreneurship education”. Based on preliminary literature review it can be noticed that Entrepreneurship has a lot in common with the theatrical issues and moviemaking:
-“Acting as if” (Gartner et al., 1992; Schreyögg & Höpfl, 2004; Anderson, 2005)
– Storytelling (Morgan & Dennehy, 1997; Gold & Holman, 2001; Warren, 2004)
– Scenarios (Mante-Meijer et al., 1998)
– Improvisation (Eisenhardt, 1997; Brown & Eisenhardt, 1998; Monks et al., 2001)
– Role of emotions and gestures (Byron, 2008; Cardon, et al.,2012),
– Impression management (Gardner, 1992; Crossan et al., 1996; Cardon et al., 2012) and
– Interaction between actor and audience (Arkin, 1998; Mason & Harrison, 2000; Anderson, 2005)
– Videography as a tool to capture and longitudinally reflect these learnings (Kozinets & Belk, 2006; Caldwell et al., 2010)These aspects are well discussed within the Entrepreneurship & wider Management literature, but hardly mentioned upon the topic of university education.Our interest lies in exploring the possibilities of use of theatricality and AV within the entrepreneurship education context. Our intention is to start a discussion and attract people with know-how of above-mentioned domains in order to co-construct an educational package of workshops aimed to increase the awareness of students with different backgrounds about skills and competences they can develop with the help of theatricality and AV.The initial research would such combine School of Arts, Design and Architecture (+University of the Arts Helsinki) with know-how and experience in mentioned domains, students from Aalto Ventures Programme as well as BIZ (+Hanken) masters and minors in Entrepreneurship as a test audience for workshops and interested in the topic researchers and teaching staff from all Aalto and other schools.As a result we believe this project would also increase the understanding of importance of theatricality and AV within a topic of own business creation and education aimed to help people doing that.
January 14, 2014

Łukasz Trzcinski
The Department of Film, Television, Scenography
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

The stimulation of aesthetic responses by acting on the senses – especially on the visual sense – is one of the main components of film. Aesthetic visual agents in the film exploring the phenomenon of the impact of art on the human senses at a neurological level. Neuroaesthetic factors are responsible for a multi-layered reception of art and the manifestation of these reactions. The analysis of neuroaesthetic phenomena offer a number of opportunities to pose new questions to explain the reasons for the strong impact on the human mind and the emotional reactive responses that follow. In composing a film image, from the very beginning, the visual designer’s desire was to induce a strong mental reaction. The artistic task of the designer was to create a pictorial equivalent for various emotional intention, relating to aesthetic states (for example: beauty delight, disgust and mystery).


Lisa Erdman
Department of Art
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

This artistic research presents the claim that satirical medical advertising has the potential to generate thought and dialogue with the potential for individual empowerment and social change.

The primary method of investigation involves the conceptual art project entitled, Finnexia®. The project takes the form of a multimedia advertisement campaign for a (fictitious) medication that enhances the process of learning the Finnish language. Finnexia® is meant to evoke an alternate reality that offers an innovative space for conversation about the role of language acquisition in cultural integration within Finland.  On a secondary level, the pharmaceutical advertising in Finnexia® presents a commentary on the increasingly popular pill-popping approaches for treating a widening array of physical and mental ailments.

Links related to Finnexia®:  (product site) (medical animation) (portfolio website)  (Article about Finnexia® written by Beth Morton  (6 Degrees Finland English Language Magazine))

Contact email:

December 10, 2013


Leena Louhiala-Salminen & Anne Kankaanranta
Department of Communication
School of Business


Elena Trencheva
Department of Film, Television and Scenography
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

My talk will present costume design for film as a research area from a semiotic perspective. It will be a reflection on the role the cinematic costume plays in creating additional sign meanings to delineate the characters and to support the development of the narrative.

Costume design as a field of academic research is still young and does not have a hard theoretical frame. The cinematic image-garment stays marginal to the mainstream film theory and semiotic studies and lacks its adequate analysis. Many film theoreticians focus on the semiotics of image and cinema, but the costume as “a non-specific cinematic code” (Metz, 1974) relies not only on the reproduction offered by the image. The costume in cinema is closely related to reality, using codes known from the daily life. Its visual characteristics are logically connected with significant cultural processes. It is a sign system with strong contextual dependence and meaning variability.

In the presentation I will outline the shift between two main stages of research focused on the semiotic aspect of the cinematic costume. The first stage is marked by my personal interest in the possibility to discover and define some common features in the signifying process in costume in one of the most dynamic and cinematographic genres such as science fiction. Science fiction film relies to a great extent on costume to create a credible atmosphere for its stories in depicting the fantastic time, culture, social structure and way of life. The costumes for SF film build a complex signifying system, and the meaning in its elements is closely related with culturally determined codes, as well as with the aesthetic tastes of the audience, with the trends in the appropriate clothing style popular at the time when the film was created. The elements of the costume system contribute to the action that takes place on the screen. They construct the external appearance of the characters reflecting their inner emotional state and at the same time polarize/contrast the different groups of characters by opposing stylistic decisions. The outcome of the research is that the iconography of costume in science fiction film does not possess constant and permanent icons, but their image and contents is dependent on the specific dramaturgic tasks and on the individual deliberate decisions made by the film creators.

This conclusion set the background for the second stage of the research. It is determined by the construction of a more elaborate theoretical and methodological frame for exploring and reading the meanings generated by the cinematic costume by way of employing formalist and structuralist concepts. The ideas of the Russian Formalists about the motivations for constructing a meaningful story by the spectator (narrational, transtextual, realistic, artistic) ensure a wide range of perspectives in which the cinematic costume might be explored.

November 5, 2013


Stanislav Roudavski
Digital Architectural Design
The University of Melbourne

This talk considers digital media as members of extended and dynamic techno-social performance ecologies. This conceptualization extends possible modes of engagement with media and emphasizes unobvious relationships and effects. Design examples include situated virtual environments, portmanteau narratives, evocative-research strategies and narrative integration of multi-agent systems.


Stanislav Roudavski is an artist, architect and researcher currently working as a Senior Lecturer in Digital Architectural Design at the University of Melbourne. In addition, he is a founding partner of the creative initiatives Elseware and ExLab. Stanislav’s research interests include philosophy of ecology, technology, design and architecture; design fiction and conceptual designing; parametric and generative processes in architecture; emergence and self-organisation; complex geometries and digital fabrication; virtual and augmented environments; theory and practice of place-making; and practice-based research methodologies. The outcomes of his practice and research have been disseminated through multiple publications and international exhibitions including ACADIA, ISEA, FutureEverything and others. Stanislav serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Architectural Computing and the Digital Creativity journal. He is also a member of committees of CAAD Futures and CAADRIA conferences. Before arriving to Melbourne in 2009, Stanislav worked on research projects at the University of Cambridge, had a teaching engagement at MIT and practiced architecture in several European countries. Stanislav holds degrees of Master of Architecture / Master of Fine Arts from the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg (Russia), Master of Science in Computer-Aided Architectural Design from the University of Strathclyde (UK) and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Cambridge (UK).






Synes Elischka
The Department of Film, Television, Scenography
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

I will talk about my obsession with the screen as a media artist and filmmaker, how I tried to move past its obvious limitations and how my artistic work helps me get a new look on the age-old question: why does cinema work as well as it does?

It is well known that movies can have a tight grip over viewer’s minds. In film and media research this state is known as immersion: the phenomenon of deep engagement with a medium. With recent developments in cognitive neuroscience we are now for the first time presented with the opportunity to dig deeper into the underlying mind processes that enable our interaction with cinema.

Video installation:

Presentation slides

October 8, 2013


Marja-Riitta Koivumäki
The Department of Film, Television, Scenography
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

This DA thesis aims to define certain characteristics of so-called poetic dramaturgy in Andrey Tarkovsky’s films. The essential elements of classical dramaturgy as proposed by Aristotle are problem (conflict), cause and effect, turning points and a closed ending, and writers continue to use such elements in their writing. I am interested in whether or not it is possible to define the features of poetic dramaturgy in a similar way so that they too are incorporated into the writer’s craft.

The deviations from classical dramaturgy are of interest to me, and I will consider them as evidence of poetic dramaturgy. My contention is that there is an immanent system in Tarkovsky’s films that clearly differs from classical dramaturgy and which we can define as poetic.

In addition, my aim is to analyze the nexus between word and image in the screenplay and film, with the intention of understanding whether the poetic dramaturgy has been defined in (written into) this particular screenplay or whether it is something that only the director has introduced into the film.



Esko Penttinen
Aalto Service Factory

Real-Time Economy is a development program geared towards the innovation and diffusion of real-time technologies. Aalto University and Tieto established the program in 2007 initially focusing on financial processes such as e-invoicing, e-banking, e-payments, and e-reporting. Since 2007, the program has evolved into a nation-wide development initiative reaching out to dozens of organizations (government, business, academia).

One of the core research areas in the program has been consumer adoption of information technologies. Recent empirical studies on e-invoicing (Juntumaa 2011) and self-service checkouts (Rinta-Kahila 2013) have explored the link between intention to use and actual use of IT. In this presentation, we will tackle this link by examining triggers that can launch intention to use into actual use.

September 9, 2013


Kristi Kuusk
Department of Industrial Design
Eindhoven University of Technology

How services around smart textile products could be ecologically, societally and economically more sustainable by taking the craft approach by introducing three ongoing case studies.

Bedtime Stories is a set of woven bed linen enriched with augmented reality on a tablet application that allows a different type of storytelling interaction to emerge.

Tender/Vibe-ing is a tryout of a new kind of application for a fully-fashioned knit with technical yarns for health area embedding light and vibration into wearable that actually invites people to touch.
Thermochromic Dance is an exploration about stillness, traces, movement in technical yarn crochet/knit and performance arts.


Riku Oksman
Department of Management and International Business
School of Business

While managing projects people involved take part in different project management practices, which vary across industries. These practices are always closely tied to the social field in question and the particular rules of the game in that field. In my dissertation research I have studied the construction of project management practices in three specific fields, i.e. Finnish television, feature film and commercial film production. Based on interviews of 13 established producers I have concluded that in these fields this construction is dealing with the institutionalized power positions over creative content that different actors occupy in their fields.

April 23, 2013


Hafdis Sunna Hermannsdóttir
The Department of Design
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Designing for changing food-related behavior involves complex issues, as food and eating do not only involve nutritional aspects (Daniel, 2006), but are interconnected to various physical, social, emotional and cultural factors (Rasmussen & Smidt, 2001; Meiselman, 2008 and Gustafsson, 2004), as entailed in the term Foodscapes, that seeks to cover the broadness of food and eating as being embedded in complex physical, social and cultural aspects, where people, spaces and food interact (Mikkelsen, 2011). When dealing with food and eating in the western world, much effort has been invested in emphasizing rationalization of nutrition and diet on the cost of cultural, gastronomic and culinary heritage of the past (Haden, 2006).

The industrialization of food with its standardization has reduced the playful engagement the individual can have with food, and mass production has increased the distance between the consumer and the consumed, where the origins, ingredients, and production processes of most items are unknown to the consumer (Finkelstein, 2003). This view on food and eating can also be seen in the way the spatial environment is designed, with emphasize on supporting the mere food consumption and an effective “manufacturing-line-process” of bringing the food to and from the table in an efficient way (Jacobsen, 2008 and Tvedebrink, Fisker, Kirkegaard, 2012). As a response to this, the talk explores how design can contribute to the broad Foodscapes perspective through focusing on bringing back amusement and engagement from culinary history. This is approached through using service- and co-design tools in open-ended collaboration. The context is Danish kindergartens.


Kai Kuikkaniemi
Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT
School of Science

Big interactive screens are becoming more popular. Big screens are cheaper and better. New interaction means are developed constantly and the quality of the technology is improving significantly while designs are getting better and users are getting more comfortable with new ways of interacting. Big public interactive screen can be a window between physical and digital – significant or critical component in bringing the scenarios of pervasive computing and internet of things in reality. But even further, the large interactive screens can become nodes between physical, digital and social, and enable new kinds of co-experiences and social practices in smart spaces. In his talk Kuikkaniemi will share some insights on what he has learned during the development of Kupla – a collaborative and playful large multitouch interface system – and – a live participation platform for events, classes and collaboration. The talk will also present a preview on a production model for participatory big screen projects Kuikkaniemi has been developing for his thesis at the Aalto Arts.

March 20, 2013


Lassi A Liikkanen
Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT
School of Science

There is an overwhelming number of service and interface solutions available for enjoying music.
There is very little public knowledge about the popularity of technologies in everyday use. In the presented study, we document the current popularity of streaming, internet-based music sources over physical and local media. In particular, we show that YouTube has emerged as a dominant, general purpose solution for music consumption for young adults in a north European country. YouTube serves slightly different functions than Spotify, the other prominent technology does. We discuss factors underlying service adoption decision and the importance of user experience issues for service use and acceptability.


Sujil Kodathoor
Aalto Global Impact

Aalto Global Impact supports Aalto University’s mission to change the world for a better place. We work as a catalyst and actively orient, shape and analyze the societal impact of Aalto University and its partners.As a group of passionate people from Aalto, we create global alliances and develop new research and real-life learning environments. We promote best practices and innovations towards long term societal needs. This involves collaboration with enterprises, civil society, governmental agencies, other universities and international organizations.The Aalto Global Impact team aspires to co-create sustainable opportunities for all.

February 12, 2013


Wael Soliman
Department of Information and Service Economy
School of Business

Wael Soliman is project researcher at the Centre for Knowledge and Innovation Research (CKIR), and a doctoral candidate at Aalto BIZ at the department of Information and Service Economy.

The doctoral dissertation focus is on “People-Driven, ICT-Enabled Innovations”; and more specifically, on the application/implication of crowdsourcing in the media & publishing industry.

Crowdsourcing may be seen “the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call”.

In media context, the role of the crowd (i.e., people) is redefined from mere consumers to co-producers of content; while the role of publishers is redefined from producers to processors of content.

The research focuses on two levels of analysis: 1) supply chain innovation perspective at the organizational level, and 2) users’ motivation to participate at the individual level.


Yulia Tammisto
Department of Information and Service Economy
School of Busines

Yulia Tammisto is a doctoral student at Aalto School of Economics Information and Service Economy department. The research is focused on open data business models: how opening up various data-sets can create value for individuals, businesses and economies.

Open data is an example of a collectively created resource that can be utilized for improving the ways in which societies operate including transparency, efficiency in producing value and sustainability.


Kit Srinivasan
International Relations

Kit Srinivasan, the Coordinator for international projects from International Relations will speak about her role in handling the funding programmes for educational development. She will also introduce the IR pages in Inside for educational projects and funding tools.

January 15, 2013


Pia Tikka
The Department of Film, Television, Scenography
School of Arts, Design and Architectur

Pia Tikka presents her enactive feature film project “Maiden of Dusk”, currently in development. An enactive feature film involves both linear narration and enactive sequences. In the latter, the narrative flow (mise-en-scène) will be determined in real-time in response to physiological reactions of the spectator. A subgoal is to develop and test methods to produce a human-like avatar, which resembles the main character as close as possible and allows changes in real time. The enactive avatar technologies include (1) facial scanning (2) the facial expression encoding models and real-time computer animation, and (3) enactive interface and emotion-driven feedback. A simulation model will concretize the concept and preliminary functionality of the enactive avatar.


Antti Ruotoistenmäki

Research Support Services (RSS)

Antti Ruotoistenmäki introduces the ARTS School team for external research funding. You can contact RSS when you need help with getting and managing external funding for research, including IPR, contract and any other legal issues involved with external funding.


Hanna Nurmela
Aalto HR

Hanna Nurmela tells about special networking events organised for Aalto’s international faculty and staff. Come to hear whom you can meet at Meet and Greet –event, what Win Win winter is about, how to get a Finnish family friend and how Aalto Club operates. And other stuff as well.

December 12, 2012


Munjur Moula
Department of Energy Technology
School of Engineering

Doctor of Social Sciences Munjur Moula finished his doctoral work in 2012 from Helsinki University on detailed context based service delivery system for the street children in general. At this moment, he is actively working at Aalto University as a project researcher in connection to energy issues in communities.

Combining extensive practical fieldwork (7 years) experience and academic knowledge, Dr. Moula developed a service delivery system for the children’s practitioners in general. He has strong expertise on participatory action research, situation assessment, field research, problem-solving management methodology, practice-based research in social work and social policy, and project planning and implementation. His current research interests are: socio-economic and livelihood analysis, institutionalization interaction systems and community-led development approach.


Seungho Lee
Department of Design, School of Arts
Design and Architectur

Seungho Lee is a newly accepted doctoral student in department of design. In his recently finished master thesis work, Beef Finland 2012, he attempted to experiment the use of “design brief” as a metaphor for defining the problems of beef production and consumption within the Finnish context. He is continuing with his endeavour to understand further “design as problem defining discipline”.

Lee has worked, before and during his studies, for a number of design consultancies in Seoul and Helsinki, and his former employers include Huno Consulting in Seoul and the strategic design unit of Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.

November 13, 2012


Young-Ae Hahn
Department of Design
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Young-ae speech is about her doctoral dissertation, the methodological characteristics of mediating artifacts designed and used for user research, and her involvement in two recent projects: hvMuseum (a participatory data collection platform that facilitates users’ abductive learning), and CitySets workshops.

Taru Henriksson
Research Institute
School of Arts, Design and Architecture