Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


Using a mixed methods approach that includes cultural analytics tools participants learn to:

  • Identify, study, compare, evaluate, abstract, and create new knowledge about the use of representation in contemporary digital culture.
  • Propose and create novel implementations and uses of representation in new media. 
  • Generate new research hypotheses and works in areas related to representation and new media.

Credits: 3

Schedule: 12.01.2021 - 06.04.2021

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Lily Diaz-Kommonen

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Lily Diaz-Kommonen

Contact information for the course (valid 12.01.2021-21.12.2112):




You are invited to a Zoom meeting for Session 1 of DOM-E5149

When: Jan 12, 2021 01:15 PM Helsinki 

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Course Description

    Representation, which has been defined as the use of signs to stand for something else, can be described as a ubiquitous tool in the artist and designer's toolbox. There are several reasons why the notion of representation is important to artists and designers:

    1) It is a phenomenon that emerges from our embodied experience in the world as humans and brings together language, culture and sensory perception.

    2) The internalized affects, knowledge, and values of human communities are externalized and made concrete into artefacts of culture through the use of representation. It is by understanding how diverse forms of representation are used in the making of genres for example, that we can assimilate the universe created in a work of interactive narrative.

    3) Representation plays an important role in the way that human beings understand and express the ethos (character and spirit) of the society in which they live.

    The course offers the students a holistic systems-oriented approach to the topic of representation. Rather than a mimetic approach, a systems-oriented, research-based approach into the notion of representation leads the art and design scholar to discern and evaluate the context and reasons why an artist or a designer might have chosen a particular set of tools, or decided on a particular theme, topic, or strategy for the realization a given work.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Interactive poetry will be the focus of the work carried on in the 2021 edition of Systems of Representation: A Culture Lab. Of particular interest is work that seeks to explore and promote the notion of inclusiveness. During the year 2021 we will also continue with the work on our research projects, Beyond Matters – Cultural Heritage on the Verge of Virtual Reality/BMVR and Social cohesion, Participation and Inclusion through Cultural Engagement SPICE.  

    The Systems of Representation course offers insights into a systems-oriented design approach that focuses on representation as a process related to the embodied grounding of human experience in time and space. Rather than copying the world, representation is one of the means that enables human culture and worldviews built by us and for us.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    A minimum of 80% attendance is required. Assessment is based on:

    1. A 1500 word essay, 30%

    2. A web-based project, 40% 

    3. Attendance and participation in class, 30%

  • Applies in this implementation:

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Using digital media and approaching the topic from a broad perspective that includes studying a wide variety of forms, experiences and literatures from various cultures, participants will exercise, develop and express their creativity and skills by designing and implementing new poetic audio-visual forms.

    METHODS USED: The course blends lectures with hands-on art/design interventions used to communicate and share conceptual thinking.  

    The interpretive interventions are shared and presented online in structured group sessions using a collaborative, participatory studio critique approach. The mode of presenting will vary depending on the participants skills and desires. For example: 

    • Envisioned poetry scenarios can be presented as light sketches brought together to form a poem. 

    • Poetic narratives can be enacted as walk-through-links with storylines recited out loud by the presenter.

    Work discussed and produced in the course is to bw organized and documented in the form of a Learning Diary narrative to be handed in for evaluation at the end of the course.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Students should be ready to devote three (3) hours a week outside of class for assignments.

  • Applies in this implementation:


    • Develop two (2) light prototypes of interactive poetry realize one (1) final proposal that can be presented in an online exhibition.

    • Write a short (1500 words) essay on a topic related to the work done in the course.

    • Complete a Learning Diary documenting their trajectory through the course.

    CREDITS: 3-6


Study Material
Substitutes for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    DOM-E5003 Systems of Representation

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:


SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    5 Gender Equality

    10 Reduced Inequality

    16 Peace and Justice Strong Institutions