Research & Art

Key Research Area: 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

Make your research or project visible to the public and decision-makers: Application for Designs for a Cooler Planet 2023 now open

Our theme is Invisible – what don't we see even though we should? We're bringing together the most radically creative projects and work from our Aalto community, so come along!

Read more
Hologram at the Aalto's Product Design Project Gala. Photo: Mikko Raskinen

Upcoming events

Aalto Media Lab Winter Demo Day 2022
Exhibitions

Aalto Media Lab Winter Demo Day 2022

The Demo Day is an open gathering of the Media Lab's students, alumni, staff and friends. You are all welcome!
Demo Day
Exhibitions

Winter Demo Day 2022

Would you like to present your work at the Media Lab Demo Day this Winter? Demo Day is highlighting work from Department of Art and Media.
BatCircle_DSC_6517_photo Valeria Azovskaya
Exhibitions

Energy Transition Exhibition at Dipoli Gallery 2023

An exhibition on energy transitions and the challenges and solutions driving our response to the global energy crisis across research and industry.
Visualizing Knowledge 2023
Networking, Campus, Conferences and workshops, Exhibitions, Lectures and seminars

Visualizing Knowledge 2023

VK 23 invites you to discuss and explore uncertainty in a new light. Let’s find prevalent questions and explanations through information design and Data visualization to unravel the complexity.

Latest news in this area

Local partner organizations joining UCAMP
Cooperation, University Published:

Local organisations join Aalto University's Urban GoodCamp as project partners

Five organisations from the Helsinki Metropolitan Area's public and private sector are joining the Erasmus+ Urban Goodcamp project, providing challenges and mentoring to the students participating in the programme. The project Urban GoodCamp aims to tackle pressing urban challenges through multidisciplinary programmes for students, researchers, and life-long learners.
Sensual mathematics. Photo: Henri Vogt.
Studies Published:

Call for applications for Crystal Flowers in Halls of Mirrors is now open

Kristallikukkia peilisaleissa –kurssi - MS-E1000 Crystal Flowers in Halls of Mirrors: Mathematics meets Art and Architecture - on avoin kaikille kandiopiskelijoista tohtorikoulutettaviin, matematiikan ja tekniikan aloista taiteisiin, muotoiluun, arkkitehtuuriin ja kemiasta liiketoimintaan. Kurssille otetaan korkeintaan 50 opiskelijaa motivaatiokirjeiden perusteella, ja haku on auki 10.1.2023 saakka. Kurssi on 15 opintopisteen suuruinen, ja se järjestetään joka toinen vuosi.
White coffee cup with Space 21 logo, space's common room on the background.
Campus, University Published:

Welcome to Space 21 monthly morning coffees in Spring 2023

Space 21 open door events, monthly morning coffees, welcome all Aalto community to come and have a cup of coffee in a good company in the living room of radical creativity
An illustrated book with model wearing summery outfit lays on colourful textiles surface
Research & Art, Studies Published:

DIALOGUES – Creating New Textile Futures exhibition in Dipoli Gallery

The exhibition features research projects and student works related to textiles at Aalto University.

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.

Biofilia logo

Biofilia

Biofilia provides artists, researchers, students and scholars with the ability to engage with the life sciences and their applications within an artistic and cultural context, thus making creative and critical links between biosciences, engineering and the arts.

Featured research, courses, and art bodies

Encore's Doctors

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
All DfG students of class 2015 at Säätytalo (House of Estates) in Helsinki. Photo: Glen W. Forde.

Design for government

Encouraging an experimental culture is one of the Finnish government’s key projects. Aalto students have been in the thick of the action.

News
Smart Art - Where art meets math

Where art meets math

Antti Oulasvirta’s work at Aalto University combines art, design, psychology and artificial intelligence—for entirely new ways of studying human-machine interaction.

News

Cross-disciplinary consortia, networks and initiatives

Human computer interaction illustration Matti Ahlgren Aalto University

Human-Computer Interaction and Design

Human-centred design research

Department of Computer Science
Image: Aalto University, AaltoTEXTILES network

AaltoTEXTILES network (external link)

AaltoTEXTILES is a network linking all textile-material related activities within design, technology and business at Aalto University

Creative Sustainability The Test Site with UWAS Innovative Approach to Circular Economy course. © Abigail Garbett

The Test Site

The Test Site is a student-led network of practical sustainability at Aalto University.

Creative Sustainability
nainen ja kaksi miestä seisovat studiossa kuvan etualalla, taaempana mies odottaa kameran käynnistymistä virtuaalikonferenssissa

7 Experiences Summit giving birth to multidisciplinary experience research as a field

The conference brought together experience researchers from different fields for the first time worldwide.

News
Solar cells and textiles to be combined for energy harvesting in textile wearables

Sun-powered Textiles - Textile solar cell modules for energy harvesting in wearables

The research results of the Sun-powered Textiles project will be presented

Events
Blck Vlvt. Image credit: Aamo artscience group.

Aamo artscience group, `Blck Vlvt: the at v2 version´ - experimental installation

`Blck Vlvt: the at v2 version´ is the most recent manifestation of artistic and scientific research into the interplay between the Baroa beloabara* plant, light, electrical energy, J.M.William Turner and other humans. It is propelled by the Aronia Art Morphing (Aamo) artscience group at Aalto University.

Research & Art

Our departments in this area

AALTO_b-9344_Original.jpg _OE_4723_Original.jpg

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.

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
Filming. Image by Unto Rautio.

Department of Film (ELO)

The Department of Film, 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 emphasizes contemporary, critical, political and societal entanglements of art, curating, and pedagogy.

Research & Art
Kuva: Unto Rautio

Department of Industrial Engineering and Management

We conduct world-class research and education focusing on the creation and transformation of technology-based business.

Green plastic triangle on a white board,

Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis

Our main research areas are algebra and discrete mathematics, analysis, applied mathematics and mechanics, stochastics and statistics, and systems analysis and operations research.

Aerial photo of Computer Science Building at Aalto University campus

Department of Computer Science

To foster future science and society.

light colored artwork presenting exposures of a middle-aged body

Department of Art

The Department of Art educates and prepares professionals in the fields of art education, visual culture, curating, and contemporary art. The department is recognized internationally for high-quality artistic and art pedagogical activities, scholarship, and research.

Experiment underway in the Aalto Ice and Wave Tank

Department of Mechanical Engineering

The Department of Mechanical Engineering is a leading multidisciplinary research establishment with strong industrial ties and impact on industry and society alike.

See also

Tua Björklund's keynote

Design Factory (external link)

Educating the world’s best product designers

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
Kampustaidekilpailun tunnus

Winners in the campusart competition rooted in bioart and quantum physics

Laura Piispanen, Noora Heiskanen, Jenna Ahonen and Ayda Grisiute convinced the jury with their creativity.

News
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
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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