Topic outline

  • Please note! When you register to the course on SISU you need to select one of the studio groups. This selection is not final. You are not tied to that selection and it also does not guarantee a seat in that specific group. The actual group selection will happen during the first weeks of the course.

    The groups will have specific priority orders for the final selection in the case that they are overbooked. For example, this course is a compulsory course for VCD students, so students from Visual Communication Design will have priority in the VCD themed groups. Some of the groups might also require some prerequisites.

    For the 2023 course, we offer the following thematic studio groups:

    • Information Design (Rupesh Vyas)
    • Visual Narratives (TBA) Cancelled
    • Type and Written Language (Tuomas Kortteinen)
    • Self-Organized Publishing (Indrek Sirkel)
    • Interactive and Immersive Art (Matti Niinimäki)
    • Polisfonia - Politics and Sonic Practices (Antti Ikonen/Matteo Pra Mio)
    • Material situations and spatial arrangements, (art)piece is between people (Pia Euro)
    • Story Ecologies (Lucy Davis)


    Period IV

    • Wed 01.03. 2023 | Introduction to the course, Short introductions to each thematic group | Lecture hall A215 or Zoom:
    • Wed 08.03. 2023 | Matti Niinimäki: Studio | Arja Karhumaa: Project Design & Design Projects | Lecture hall A215, No Zoom option
    • Wed 15.03. 2023 | Pia Euro (Deadline for the group selections) | Lecture hall A215, No Zoom option
    • Wed 22.03. 2023 | Group Specific Lecture. See each group page for details
      • Interactive and Immersive Art: G203 (Väre)
      • Polisfonia (Zoom)
      • Information Design: Lecture hall A215
      • Type and Written Language: ?
      • Self-Organized Publishing: P106 (Väre, VCD Homebase)
      • Material situations...:  Kajuutta (Metallimiehenkuja 2)
      • Story Ecologies: Kajuutta (Metallimiehenkuja 2)
    • Wed 29.03. 2023 | Guest Lecture: Ariane Koek | Lecture hall A215
    • Wed 05.04. 2023 | Group Specific Lecture. See each group page for details.

    Period V

    Please see the detailed schedule for each group on their respective pages.
  • Description
    This group focuses on interactive and immersive art. We explore topics such as interaction as an aesthetic experience, immersive theater, 360-degree video/audio, real-time media, embodied interaction, critical media studies, generative and interactive narratives, machine learning/AI, computational art, and beyond.

    The course is intended to facilitate a capstone project for the first year of your studies in the New Media major. You are allowed (and even encouraged) to explore topics that you have initiated during previous classes. For example, realize a concept that you presented during Generative and Interactive Narratives, or use your project from Embodied Interaction and explore and polish your prototypes further.

    You are free to explore any media, technology and approach to the topic. Possible outcomes include, but are not limited to:
    • Interactive installations
    • Audiovisual performances
    • VR/AR/XR Experiences
    • Interactive sculptures
    • 360-degree video or generative art
    • Projection mapping

    You can work on your own or as a group. You do not have to be a professional programmer to join this thematic group, but a basic understanding of working with code as a creative medium is required. You also should have a basic understanding of how to create interactive systems (working with sensors or other inputs, designing interactions etc.). It is highly recommended that you work in small groups where you can combine your strengths together (visuals, sound, technology, code, interaction/experience, narratives, concept etc.).

    Matti Niinimäki

    Priority order
    1. Degree students in the New Media major.
    2. Exchange students in New Media. The course has to be in the pre-approved study plan for the exchange student.
    3. Students who have completed (or are currently completing) the prerequisites*.
    4. Other students.

    *Recommended Prerequisites
    • AXM-E7002 Introduction to Media Art and Culture (or equivalent knowledge of media art)
    • AXM-E7003 Interaction Design (or equivalent knowledge of interaction design)
    • AXM-E7001 Computational Art and Design (or equivalent knowledge of creative coding)
    • One or more of the following:
      • AXM-E7004 Physical Computing
      • AXM-E7006 Systems of Representation: Culture Lab
      • AXM-E7007 Generative and Interactive Narratives
      • AXM-E7008 Embodied Interaction

    Course Materials

    This group uses an external website for most of the course materials.
    You can find it here:

    MyCourses is used for submitting assignments and other administrative tasks. Or for things where private information is shared.


    1. Background research and a project proposal
    2. Completed final project
    3. Documentation of the final project and your process. Details will be published soon.

    Each project (can be individual or group) needs to be documented as a GitHub page on the aaltonewmedia GitHub repository. Instructions and tutorials on how to do this will be covered during the course.


    Evaluation and grading details coming soon.


    Period IV

    Period V

    • Wed 3.5. | Project idea development
    • Thu 4.5. | Independent work (Room G203 is booked for us)
    • Fri 5.5. | Project Proposal presentations

    • Wed 10.5. | Clinics and Tutoring
    • Thu 11.5. | Independent work (Room G203 is booked for us)
    • Fri 12.5. | Clinics and tutoring

    • Wed 17.5. | Clinics and tutoring
    • Thu 18.5. | Independent work (Room G203 is booked for us)
    • Fri 19.5. | Clinics and tutoring

    • Wed 24.5. | Clinics and tutoring
    • Thu 25.5. | Independent work (Room G203 is booked for us)
    • Fri 26.5. | Clinics and tutoring

    • Wed 31.5. | Project work & tutoring
    • Thu 1.6. | Independent work (Room G203 is booked for us)
    • Fri 2.6. | Showcase of the Final Projects (Visualization Hub, G203, other possible locations)

    • Wed 7.6. | Present your work at the Aalto Media Lab Demo Day. Consider applying for the Art & Tech Open Call earlier in the semester, you might be able to pitch your idea here.

    Polisfonia - Politics and Sonic Practices


    Building on the educational framework called Polisfonia, participants will explore the political dimension of sound and music, and experiment with Sonic Practices as creative tools of political dialogue and expression.

    The course will feature a mixture of reflexive formats such as mediated dialogues, participatory mappings, readings/listenings, case-studies, and practical/hands-on ones such as labs, co-design sessions and sonic jams.



    • Expanding knowledge on the political dimension of sound and music.
    • Experimenting with sound and music as supporting tools of political dialogue and political expression.
    • Getting practice-based insights on the conceptualisation, design and enactment of participatory workshops.
    • Testing the Polisfonia methodology hands-on.

    1. Degree students in the Sound in New Media major.
    2. Minor and Exchange students Sound in New Media. 
    3. Other students.

    No specific prerequisites are needed.

    • Pedagogy of the Oppressed - Paulo Freire
    • De-schooling Society - Ivan Illich
    • Teaching to transgress - Bell Hooks

    Physical and digital course materials will be provided directly to students during the course.

    Conceptualisation, design and execution of a unique workshop format merging the elements of political dialogue and sonic practices (either alone or in small groups).

    Production of a process documentation (formats of the documentation will be collectively defined).

    The evaluation process will consist of two stages:
    1. Mutual feedback and assessment of each others works.
    2. Individual feedback with each participant taking into account the overall participation and contribution to the course.


    Wed 22.3. | Course introduction + Participant's introduction (ONLINE)
    Wed 05.4. | Thematic mappings (ONLINE)


    • Wed 26.4. | Politics of sound (ONLINE)
    • Thu 27.4. | Independent work
    • Fri 28.4. | Political design and participatory practices (ONLINE)

    • Wed 3.5. | Practical exercises and labs
    • Thu 4.5. | Independent work
    • Fri 5.5. | Principles, values, and techniques of participation

    • Wed 10.5. | Project conceptualisation
    • Thu 11.5. | Independent work
    • Fri 12.5. | Project design

    • Wed 17.5. | Workshop execution
    • Thu 18.5. | Independent work
    • Fri 19.5. | Workshop execution

    • Wed 24.5. | Feedback sessions and documentation
    • Thu 25.5. | Independent Work
    • Fri 26.5. | Documentation

    • Wed 31.5. | Project work & tutoring
    • Thu 1.6. | Project work & tutoring
    • Fri 2.6. | Showcase of the Final Projects

  • Week 12



    Setting the Scene for Information Design Studio

    (We will meet in the same room as the common session room we used, 

    A2 - A215, Kandidaattikeskus)

    Week 16


    Lecture 1: Why Information Design? Approach and Factors

    Assignment 1.1 Ideation with Factors



    Discussions and Brainstorming Project topics with Peers


    Lecture 2: Conceptual Information Design and Visualisation

    Assignment 1.2 Maps, Places, and Spaces


    Lecture 2: Conceptual Information Design and Visualisation

    Assignment 1.2


    Lecture 3: Visualization Principles and Narrative Structures in Information Design

    Assignment 2.1


    Lecture 4: Sketching with Data 

    Assignment 2.2


    Lecture 5: Physicalization of Information

    Assignment 2.3

    Week 18 


    Lecture 6: Statistical Graphics and Visual Analysis

    Assignment 3.1


    CLINIC: Python, Orange, Data Wrangling*  D3, Gephi


    Project Planning discussion/1:1 Tutoring

    Week 19 


    Presenting Information Design Proposal and discussion 


    User study, Contextual inquiry


    Information Architecture, Interface Design (Figma Sketching)

    Week 20 


    CLINIC: Scrollytelling


    Individual/Group Project work/Tutoring


    Individual/Group Project work/Tutoring

    Week 21


    Build the project and documentation


    Build the project, documentation/presentation


    Exhibit the Project and presentation


    The course consists of lectures, in-class exercises, learning assignments, a course journal, and a final project which will be presented during the last session. The final grade is calculated based on the student’s performance in all of these areas and their overall participation in the course, in the following way:

    20% Contributions to in-class discussions and group work

    This grade is determined by the teachers based on whether the student: 

    – Attends all classes and arrives on time. 

    – Does all required in-class assignments. 

    – Demonstrates knowledge of course content. 

    – Contributes to class discussion with thoughtful questions, comments and examples. 

    – Is attentive and participates actively in class activities. 

    – Respects, listens, and supports classmates. 

    – Gives constructive feedback and takes others’ feedback into account.

    20% Course Journal

    – Critically reflects on the course content and the student's own learnings

    – Documents inspiration, ideation, and iterative processes of the final project

    – Format is appropriate and readable

    20% Learning Assignments

    40% Main course Project 


    Identifies an Information design impact on society and discusses the topic critically.

    Builds on discussions from the course.


    Includes your own research on the topic. 


    Presents a creative, thought-provoking exploration of the topic.

    The narrative and visual style is appropriate in conveying the content.

    Effective use of information design, Data visualization, and narrative structures.

    The overall project reflects course learning about information design.


    Meets deadlines.

    Participates in in-class project work.

    Creates concept notes to collaborate and build ideas.

    Brings drafts to class for discussion. 

    Takes feedback into account

    Submits the presentation for grading. 

  • We had to unfortunately cancel this studio group.

  • Description

    This studio course allows participants to examine writing and any of its properties — outside the 'meaning' of a text. That is, the studio exists for exploring the essential techniques and tools of writing — writing systems and typography — in a creative, open-ended manner. Through individual projects undertaken in the span of nine weeks, students might explore, for example, the subversive, forgotten, political, spiritual, or generative aspects of systems of writing in the context of their choice. 

    In practical terms, students will embark on a practice-based or artistic research project, the outcome of which could be, for example, a new typeface, an imaginary writing system, a self-generating encyclopaedia, or an interactive performance. This spring, students may choose between either articulating their own research question and project plan, or following a more structured framework given by the tutor, which will result in a new typeface designed during the studio, and presented in a type specimen at the end of it. (No prior experience in type design is necessary.)

    Individual projects are supported by workshops, lectures and tutorials. In addition to individual projects, participating students are asked to plan and run a 90-minute workshop ('Practical Interlude') for the rest of group at some point during the spring. Practical Interludes are meant as occasions for students to share key aspects and questions relevant to their practice. This might mean getting feedback on something they've designed, beta-testing new typographic tools and drawing instruments, or making a site visit to a place relevant to their project and/or practice.

    The studio will be organised primarily through Discord (server link forthcoming).

    Tuomas Kortteinen

    Priority order
    1. Degree students in the VCD major.
    2. Exchange students in VCD. The course has to be in the pre-approved study plan for the exchange student.
    3. Other students.


    Period IV
    • Wed 01.03. 2023 | Introduction to the course
    • Wed 08.03. 2023 | TBA
    • Wed 15.03. 2023 | TBA (Deadline for the group selections)
    • Wed 22.03. 2023 | Group Meeting: Presenting preassignments and initial ideas for studio project
    • Wed 29.03. 2023 | Guest Lecture: TBA
    • Wed 05.04. 2023 | Group Meeting: Presenting project plans / prototypes / zines

    Period V
    • Wed 26.4. | TBA
    • Thu 27.4. | TBA
    • Fri 28.4. | TBA
    • Wed 3.5. | TBA
    • Thu 4.5. | TBA
    • Fri 5.5. | TBA
    • Wed 10.5. | TBA
    • Thu 11.5. | TBA
    • Fri 12.5. | TBA
    • Wed 17.5. | TBA
    • Thu 18.5. | TBA
    • Fri 19.5. | TBA
    • Wed 24.5. | TBA
    • Thu 25.5. | TBA
    • Fri 26.5. | TBA
    • Wed 31.5. | TBA
    • Thu 1.6. | TBA
    • Fri 2.6. | TBA

  • The maximum number of students in this group is 15.

    Priority order:
    1. Degree students in the VCD major.
    2. Exchange students in VCD. The course has to be in the pre-approved study plan for the exchange student.
    3. Other students.

    Wed 22.03. 2023 | Group Specific Lecture. Room P106 (VCD Homebase)

  • The focus in this studio group is on the dialogue between the maker/viewer, (art)piece/space and situation. How the work will be always recreated in interaction and viewer is adding a layer on it. Author is also a viewer whet the piece gets materialized, conceptually and/or concretely. 


    The emphasis is on each own artistic practice but on the way, we’ll do exercises on those questions. 

  • Description 

    The Story Ecologies studio group is for everyone and anyone in ViCCA and in DAM who is interested in engaging multisensorial and multispecies forms of storytelling in their practice and/or thesis work. An ecological approach to storytelling through art might concern itself with (among other things): 

    -Situating a narrative in multiple, more-than-human places and times

    - Revealing existing human-more than human interdependencies and interconnectivities;

    - Speculating about future political ecologies;

    - Suggesting how these might manifest in multi-sensorial multi-species experiences.

    *Recommended Prerequisites: AXM-E3002 - Story Ecologies in Theory, Practice & Everyday Life

     Importantly, this particular studio group is intended as the applied, practical component of a complementary site-specific/  course, the content of which is situated each Thursday in April May in the lovely Villa Lil Kalvik (Vuosaari metro). The choice of Vuosaari is both as the area gives you access to the early springtime forests, beaches and waters of Kallahti and Uutela, but also importantly, the contested urban dynamics and incessant construction in this fastest growing area of Helsinki.

    The complementary course is called AXM-E3002 - Story Ecologies in Theory, Practice & Everyday Life. It runs on Thursdays 27.4.2023-1.6.2023 and will bring you an additional 5 credits alongside the 9 credits already allocated to Art & Media Studio. It is strongly recommended that you take AXM-E3002 as most of the field experimentation and content will be given in the Thursday slot. 

    In combination, the two courses give exposure to the kinds of stories to be found and sensed in urban ecologies together with a selection of ecologies of story; methods which you might work in order to present these experiences in your own practice.  

    Kallahti peninsula May last year

    Image of Digesting Waters final presentation by Genietta Varsi, Chiara Alissa Estivariz Lopez, Myriam Graz and Celine Diaz, Vuosaari, Villa Lil Kalvik, March 2022 Photo by Juan Couder

    Priority order

    1. Students who take both AXM-E3002 and this course together
    2. Degree & Exchange students in the VICCA
    3. Other students.

    Course Content

    The (AXM-E3002) Story Ecologies Thursdays at Vuosaari will focus upon enriching your own, group or individual story-ecological process and expanded senses of storytelling via guest inputs, experiential exercises, scores, field tours,  readings films and podcasts (theory and fiction). Story Ecological themes explored in Vuosaari may include: Site specificity, Non linear and alternative narrative structures, Embodied Storytelling, Multiple temporalities, Non linguistic storytelling, Walking & Story, Everyday Animisms, Collaborative Methods and More than Human Actors. Critical explorations may include: Multi-Species Collaborations, Biomimicry, Voices and Reception (Audiences, Viewers, Listeners--be these human or non human). 

    The Wednesday and Friday AXM E031 (Art + Media Studio) components will focus mostly upon the application of Thursday's contents and methods in the development of ecologies of storytelling in your group, individual or thesis work. These sessions will be mostly held in Otaniemi, with certain dates reserved for extra field trips around Vuosaari.

    Some of these Wednesday and Friday sessions may be conducted together with Pia Euro’s Material Situations and Spatial Arrangements as our studio rooms will be side by side. Pia and I would like to keep open the possibility for ViCCA Art & Media Studio students to benefit from both of our studios. However, if you sign up for Story Ecologies, you will be expected to commit to completing the Story Ecologies course outputs (below)

    Course Outputs for combined courses AXM E031 (Art + Media Studio) 9 credits and AXM-E3002 (Story Ecologies) 5 credits

    1. A working weekly journal/sketchbook (individual)

    2. A story ecological work that resonates with the themes, methods and questions of the course (group or individual)

    3. A critical reflection of this work that takes into consideration key methodological, material and multi species questions that have arisen during the course (individual max 2500 words)