Research & Art

Arts and design knowledge-building

We aim to find new ways of solving supposedly impossible problems, to contribute to the wellbeing of people, and to have a positive impact on wider society.
In Tension 4 Photo by_ Eeva Suorlahti
Megan McGlynn: In Tension – material experimentation with microfibrillar cellulose (MFC) and printed biodegradable plastic, PLA. Photo: Eeva Suorlahti

Knowledge-building activities in art and design can be characterized by a quest for a human approach to any topic. In this way, Aalto University bridges different areas, such as art, technology and business.

Our cultural approach focuses on experiences and both sensory and hands-on skills and knowledge.

At Aalto, artistic and design activities are closely linked to the research carried out in the technical fields: many of our art-based researchers do not focus on new technologies or their development, but rather on the use of technologies within art and other socio-cultural contexts.

In addition, art and design knowledge-building activities include technology-based actions related to systems design and sustainable development.

The Aalto Networking Platform brings together our researchers, practitioners and external parties for multidisciplinary collaboration in the area of arts and design knowledge building.

 

Focus areas

  • Arts, design and architecture
  • Human experience, including customer experience
  • Industrial processes and service design
  • Data-driven experimental design
  • Cognitive systems
  • Organizations and teams
  • Creativity and creative practices

Upcoming events

Kantava maa Solid Ground
Exhibitions and fairs

SOLID GROUND – Kantava maa

An exhibition presenting an extensive selection of ceramics by Aalto alumni, staff and students.
Designer Leevi Ikäheimo's anatomical knitwear (2020)
Exhibitions and fairs

Intimacy

Intimacy situates at the intersection of novel politicization and digital disruption of fashion.It updates our understanding of Finnish clothing and accessory design into the 2020s, exploring the intimate relationship between the body and the clothes we wear and introducing visitors to the creative design process, from initial sketches to the finished products.

Latest news in this area

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Research & Art Published:

Data Vitality: Online Reading Group & Open Call

Exhibition Open Call and Reading Group
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Research & Art Published:

Mind Meets Machine: Immersive Data Interaction

The exhibited projects showcase novel computational design methods to creatively interact with global and local data. Whereas the on-going general discussions in relation to data-handling stresses efficiency, productivity and often de-humanization, the exhibited projects set their focus on the exploration of immersive data-interaction design tools to enhance climate-smart solutions in the urban context. The projects aim for showcasing possibilities to make abstract data visible and tangible, to enter a new level of data-informed responsive design, that has public benefit.
Augmented data-interaction is merged with the tangible sandbox environment, in order to formulate sustainable design speculations for Ainonauki, an urban plaza located between Väre and Aalto Studios. The understanding of available technology to be composed and rearranged in order to support the field specific discourse led to innovative design speculations, based upon human-robotic interaction. The developed design methodology emphasizes the importance of design iterations through computationally informed feedback loops.
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Research & Art, Studies Published:

DEEP SURFACING - Archaeology of Media Infrastructures Spring 2021 course exhibition

The exhibition features critical artworks by Master’s students as final outcomes of the Archaeology of Media Infrastructures Course.
Girl sitting in a dark room with light on her face
Honoured, Research & Art, Studies Published:

ELO short films succeed – main prize at Haugesund Film Festival and several student films at Helsinki International Film Festival

Auringonpistos by Anna Äärelä wins the main prize in Norway and ELO students compete in Helsinki International Film Festival national competition.

Infrastructure

Arts_Infra - PrintLab workshop by Jaakko Kahilaniemi

Workshops - Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture

At the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, hands-on learning is essential. Our students have access to one of the finest workshop environment in the world, with a very high workshop to student ratio.

Illustation of Otakaari 2A, the new home of Aalto Studios

Aalto Studios

Aalto Studios weaves together the players of the creative economy: designers, filmmakers, YouTubers, game developers, performing artists, educators, angel investors, public-sector operators, and more in Finland, Scandinavia, Europe, and beyond.

Research and learning infrastructures
MAGICS-infrastruktuuri mahdollistaa virtuaalitodellisuuden hyödyntämisen muun muassa taiteellisissa esityksissä. Kuva: Aalto Studios.

MAGICS – Media – Arts – Games – Interaction – Computing – Science (external link)

MAGICS is an infrastructure network to support research into motion recording, and virtual environments. It is a joint effort of Aalto University, Tampere University and the University of the Arts Helsinki.

Featured research and art bodies

Encore research

ENCORE research

Information about the current and past research projects.

Department of Design
Ariel Bustamante conversation room

Artist-in-Residence Programme

The Aalto AiR programme follows the practices of the best international universities and is, notably, the first of its kind in the Nordic countries.

Research & Art
Designs for a Cooler Planet logo

Designs for a Cooler Planet 2021

In a world of plenty, what is wise to design for the next generations? This year's theme is Resource wisdom, and a university-wide event will take place in September 2021.

News

Our departments in this area

Student teamwork at Aalto University. Image: Unto Raunio

Department of Architecture

We train professionals to design human-centred environments.

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

Research at the Department of Media

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.

Department of Media
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Department of Design

The Department of Design is a diverse community of competent, creative and responsible individuals. In design, we appreciate technical skill, social significance and artistic expression.

Filming. Image by Unto Rautio.

Department of Film, Television and Scenography

The Department of Film, Television and Scenography ELO is Finland's only university-level film school.

(Im)possible Labor #3 – WWW³ (WORLD WIDE WEB - WILD WO.MEN WITCHES : WORLD WITHOUT WORK), 2019. Installation. Galleria Augusta, Helsinki, Finland. Photo: Sheung Yiu

Research and artistic activities at the Department of Art

The research and artistic activities of Department of Art takes place in the fields of contemporary art, art education, visual culture, and curating. The department has a long tradition with artistic and philosophical production and many researchers’ work emphasises contemporary, critical, political and societal entanglements of art, curating, and pedagogy.

Research & Art

See also

Design_thinking_Mikko_Raskinen

Design Inside

Renewing societies requires world-leading design-based practices. The Design Inside initiative ensures we will have the world-class ability throughout Aalto to shape and explore the world around us.

Research & Art
Unexepected encounters exhibition: Matilda Tuure's colourful glass work presenting Bacterial Cellulose Samples

Renewing society by art, creativity and design

Aalto University promotes creativity in all disciplines and communities. One of our strategic targets is to renew society through art, creativity and design. We are a forerunner in combining art and creative practices with research and education.

Research & Art
Aalto University Shop interiors with some people in

Design for the Aalto University Shop

Multidisciplinary groups of students create intriguing and educative items for the shop – and for themselves.

Research & Art

Key research area contact

 Dr. Heidi Henrickson

Dr. Heidi Henrickson

Manager, Arts & Design Knowledge-Building | Materials & Sustainable Use of Natural ResourcesKey research areas, Aalto Networking Platform
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