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.

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, 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.

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.

Learning Task-Agnostic Action Spaces for Movement Optimization

Amin Babadi, Michiel Van de Panne, Caren Liu, Perttu Hamalainen 2022 IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics

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


Bruce Altshuler, Lily Diaz-Kommonen, Sarah Kenderdine, Lívia Nolasco-Rózsás 2021 Hybrid Museums Symposium Proceedings

Game jams in general formal education

Riikka Aurava, Mikko Meriläinen, Ville Kankainen, Jaakko Stenros 2021 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CHILD-COMPUTER INTERACTION

Lost Islands

Samir Bhowmik 2021

Memory Machines

Samir Bhowmik, Jussi Parikka 2021 LEONARDO

Defining STEAM Approaches for Higher Education

Claudia Carter, Heather Barnett, Kathryn Burns, Nathan Cohen, Eva Durall Gazulla, Frank Nack, Andrew Newman, Shaun Ussher 2021 European Journal of STEM Education

Review on Techniques to Measure Spatial Affordances in VR Environment

Tania Miranti Chumaira, Lily Diaz-Kommonen, Luis Emilio Bruni 2021 Cognitive Processing
More information on our research in the Aalto research portal.
Research portal

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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