Aalto Media Lab


From an artistic and design perspective, the research subject of the Media Lab is digital media, how is it created and used and what is its potential impact in society. Our research engages in practical and theoretical activities covering both traditional and new categories in non-conventional ways. The research agenda of Media Lab is truly interdisciplinary, international, and closely aligned to Aalto University’s strategic priority in information communications technology (ICT) and Media.
Media Lab Spring Demo Day

Our focus on digital media as harbinger of the latest trends in audio-visual production is also important in much of our research. Our research encompasses multi-modality and cross-media tools and methods, textual, visual, auditory, and most recently tactile as well as gesture-based communication channels and interfaces. Since 2000 we have been researching the use of visualization and information design in order to create new forms of visual literacy and communication. Nevertheless, we also emphasize and are committed to further development of excellence in communication through artistic practices.

Our research staff is engaged in a wide variety of tasks, from developing and leading research projects, working in research groups, teaching and guiding doctoral dissertations, to lecturing in the Master of Arts program. As of March 2017, there are more than 40 full time and part-time doctoral students in the Lab. The current ratio of student to faculty for post-graduate studies is 1:7.

Research Groups

The research activities at Media Lab have been actively developed since 1995 and are organized through thematic research groups with projects. These research groups play an important role in our education programs, not only in terms of the contents and themes that they develop but also, because they bring the networks, the real-world concerns and the competitiveness of research and development environments into our international and multicultural educational framework.

Visiting scholars as well as  post-graduate students can join a research group as assistant researcher or as a researcher. A dissertation theme for example, can be aligned with a topic of research within a given group.

Game Research Group

The game research group is led by prof. Perttu Hämäläinen, who joined Aalto in 2012 after a six-year period as the CTO of Virtual Air Guitar Company (e.g., Kung-Fu Live and Kung-Fu High Impact).

Augmented Climbing Wall - Game Research Group

Learning Environments Research Group (LeGroup)

The Learning Environments Research Group (LeGroup) is involved in research, design, and development of New Media tools, as well as their use in the field of learning.

+Andscape, Augmented reality sandbox

Sound and Physical Interaction Research Group

Sound and Physical Interaction (SOPI) research group’s main interests are centred on the broad area of Sound and Music Computing (SMC) and Sonic Interaction Design (SID).

Sound and Physical Interaction Research Group

Systems of Representation Research Group

The Systems of Representation seeks to make knowledge related to heritage tangible through the use of representation and digital media.

Systems of Representation Research Group

Former Research Groups

This section includes information on former research groups at Aalto ARTS during the period 2010-present.


Crucible Studio explores, defines and creates new forms of storytelling in dialogue with new media and traditions of drama. Founded in 2002, the research studio is situated between the Media Lab and Media Centre Lume of School of Arts, Design and Architecture, which provides a unique environment where professionally equipped and maintained production facilities are linked with a content-led, practice-based and multidisciplinary research group.


Crucible Studio participates in Practice Based Research productions, which combine state-of-the-art expertise of design, drama, and technology. Crucible Studio’s goal is to achieve deeper emotional experiences in the interactive media and to create production methods to develop content and technology simultaneously in the multi-talented teams of artists, designers, scientists and technology experts.

Crucible Studio was established to respond to the apparent need of story-based, emotionally rich contents of high-quality new media products and co-operation between the experts in arts, technology and design.


For more information, visit http://crucible.mlog.taik.fi. You can also contact Pia Tikka (group leader).

ARKI (1996-2016)

The focus of Arki was in the co-evolution of digital media technology and the practices of everyday life, with a design perspective. Their work drew on experiences and practices of collaboration, participation and open modes of design and production. The name of the group, ARKI, means “everyday” in Finnish.

Research topics:

Understanding the role and potential of design and media in everyday life: Arki studied design and develop practices (content, formats, services and environments) together with individuals, communities, collectives and organizations.

ARKI was a multidisciplinary group, launched in 1996 which worked on a large number of research and design projects, funded by TEKES, Finnish Academy and the EU until its closure in August 2016 as part of cutbacks at Aalto University, brought about by financial circumstances that arose as a direct result of the Finnish government’s decisions to impose massive financial cuts on the nation’s higher education sector.

Earlier published detailed information about the group and its activities: http://arki.mlog.taik.fi

Contact information:

Kari- Hans Kommonen (research group leader) [email protected]



Our master’s thesis works – sadly not the older ones – are stored in Aaltodoc / Department of Media. A copy of each work can be found in Aralis library, and one copy here in Media Lab.

Research information portal

Our research related publications can currently be found in the Acris database.

Latest publications

All the latest publications can be found below.

Perceptual analysis of directional late reverberation

Benoit Alary, Pierre Massé, Sebastian Schlecht, Markus Noisternig, Vesa Välimäki 2021 The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

Negative game jam experiences

Annakaisa Kultima 2021 Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Game Jams, Hackathons and Game Creation Events, ICGJ 2021

Art of Research VII

Harri Laakso, Sofia Pantouvaki, Julia Valle Noronha 2021 Research in Arts and Education

Sustaining intangible heritage through video game storytelling - the case of the Sami Game Jam

Outi Laiti, Sabine Harrer, Satu Uusiautti, Annakaisa Kultima 2021 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HERITAGE STUDIES


Katri Lassila, Jenni Haili, Natalia Kopkina, Iina Gröhn, Patrick Kuoppamäki, Katri Naukkarinen, Taru Samola 2021

Inconsistent Ways of Seeing

Milja Laurila 2021

Augmented reality sandboxes

Teemu Leinonen, Jaana Brinck, Henriikka Vartiainen, Nitin Sawhney 2021 Digital Creativity
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database

Department of Media Research Blog

The posts in the blog advertise and document monthly activities and events related to research and the doctoral studies program in the Department of Media in Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture. The pages provide information about ongoing seminars, courses, bibliographies and more.

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Aalto BIZ researchers, photo Aino Huovio
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