Research at the Department of Media

Eva Durall's defence on Nov 1st 2018 - Department of Media Photo: Hilla Kurki

Our research activities include practice-led and basic research on art and design related topics, including visual communication and photography, visual communication design, media culture and heritage, new media design and learning, sound design as well as computer games. The work is carried out in the context of doctoral studies as well as within multi-disciplinary projects.

The Department of Media accepts visual design commissions from all sub-areas of communications and design. The most typical projects relate to corporate and product graphics, advertising, Internet websites, the design of electronic publications, as well as publication (magazines' appearance and layout), poster and packaging design.

Our research groups

AVCD Research Group

Aalto Visual Communication Design Research Group is actively involved in researching the role of visual communication design and broader design thinking in a wide range of applied areas with societal impact, including sustainability, education, health and well-being.

Visualizing Knowledge - Photo by Sebastian Wolf

Embodied Design Research Group

Embodied Design Research Group studies embodied design as a design agenda. Current computing systems treat human beings mostly as connected minds, quite completely disregarding our bodily engagement with the world. Embodied design embraces the human body as a central resource for action, communication, and play.

EDG Research 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


Photography research at Aalto is mainly conducted at the doctoral level. In addition, we host a biennial international photography research conference, the Helsinki Photomedia, which was established in 2012.

Image of the Aalto ARTS photography studio by Antti Huittinen

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

Focus on digital media

Our research 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.

The 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. The current ratio of student to faculty for post-graduate studies is 1:7.

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
Aalto Doctoral Programme in Arts, Design and Architecture

Latest publications

There are more than 1700 academic publications from the Department of Media published before the end of 2018. Here are the latest publications. 

Department of Media

Distanced visuality, embodied proximity? Railway journey, photography and the experience of space

Publishing year: 2020
School services, SCI, Professorship Takala T., Department of Computer Science, Department of Media

Beyond Individuals: Exploring Social Experiences Around Wearables

Publishing year: 2019
Department of Media

From Lived Experience to Empirical Data

Publishing year: 2019
Department of Media

Featuring comedy through ludonarrative elements of video games

Department of Media

A survey of the visual design of cartographic and other elements of illustrated tourist maps

Publishing year: 2019
Department of Media

A Research through Design Framework from the Evaluation of a Meta-Design Platform for Open and Collaborative Design and Making Processes

Publishing year: 2019 Proceedings of the Design Society: International Conference on Engineering Design
Department of Media

Kitchen Makerspace Cookbook

Publishing year: 2019
Department of Film, Television and Scenography, Department of Media, Department of Art

Research Pavilion #3, Sala del Camino, Venice ITALY

Publishing year: 2019
Department of Media

A sample of one: First-person research methods in HCI

Publishing year: 2019
Learning Environments research group, Department of Media

Should affect be monitored at work?

Publishing year: 2019
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database
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