Monthly Archives: October 2014

Doctoral thesis defense: AND – PHENOMENOLOGY OF THE END

Doctoral thesis defense: AND – PHENOMENOLOGY OF THE END

Thursday 23.10.2014, 12:00, Sampo-sali, Aalto Arts, Hämeentie 135, Helsinki

Franco Berardi’s public defense of his thesis And – Phenomenology of the end. Cognition and sensibility in the transition from conjunctive to connective mode of social communication for a doctorate degree at Aalto University.

Opponent: Professor Geert Lovink, Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam
Further information:

We will return after the defense to Miestentie for our Doctor of Arts Seminar with Eva Durall. 


Eva Durall: The role of Design Games in Participatory Design…

The role of Design Games in Participatory Design: Analysis of  Feeler Prototype Participatory Workshops

by Eva Durall

Presentation abstract

The presentation explores the potential of design games as a method for developing empathetic understandings between designers and end users, as well as for reaching focused and meaningful discussions. We present different cases of use (in a focus group and in a co-design workshop) of the design game Feeler Reflection Game, a custom-made game developed as part of Feeler prototype design research. Feeler Reflection Game is a board game designed to serve the contextual inquiry and early participatory design sessions of a design research looking for solutions to help people reflect on their well-being and learning. The presentation will include a description of the game, as well as some of the conclusions achieved after analyzing some of the design workshop in which Feeler Reflection Game was used.

Keywords: Design Games, Participatory Design, Empathic Design, Design Methods, User-centered Design

The seminar meets at Miestentie 3, room 429, Otaniemi, from 17:00 – 19:00.

For further information about Feeler Reflection Game:

+358 50 577 1363
Learning Environments research group
Aalto University
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

The Women that Tech Forgot

‘The Innovators’ by Walter Isaacson: How Women Shaped Technology


While spending the summer of 2007 in Aspen, Colo., Walter Isaacson and his wife, Cathy, spent much of their waking moments hounding their daughter to finish — or even start, for all they knew — her compulsory college essay. Finally, after hearing enough from her nagging parents, Betsy Isaacson locked herself in her bedroom until she emerged with a completed two-page essay. “Congratulations, Betsy,” Mr. Isaacson recalls saying as they stood in the living room. “What did you write it about?” “Ada Lovelace,” she replied. This was followed by a long, awkward silence. Mr. Isaacson, who was just beginning work on a biography of Steve Jobs, could not recall who Ms. Lovelace was. “She’s one of the women who has been written out of the history of computing,” his daughter replied…

Read the full version of article in The New York Times, Fashion and Style section.


‘Undead and Everywhere’? The Post-Digital as a response to Ubiquity.

A lecture by Caroline Bassett

Just as the media become more about the ‘life’ than about the screen – something we experience everyday everywhere, something that saturates our worlds, a new movement in aesthetics says the new media is over. The new is old, the digital is no longer to be usefully distinguished from the analogue, and we should do something else, look at some other objects, perhaps, engage with nostalgia, the retro, the secondhand, the vintage.

This is the post-digital – and it makes a claim to account for contemporary, even to name it.  This talk looks at why the claims for the post digital are made, and made now. It asks why they resonate, gaining traction in debate and in everyday life and in cultural productions, and in the art world.  It explores possible connections between the post digital, which apparently turns away from technology and Object Orientated Ontologies which demand that we attend to the thing?

Finally I want to suggest that there are other ways to think about the present, or to seek to define the contemporary moment – and that these might have a different orientation towards the future.

Caroline Bassett is  Helsingin Sanomat Foundation Fellow at the University of Helsinki, and Professor of Media and Communications in the School of Media, Film and Music at the University of Sussex, UK.  Her research explores media technologies and cultural forms and practices and has published widely on feminism and technology, technological imaginaries, and contemporary computational culture. At the moment she is finishing a book on Anti-Computing.

Thursday, October 9, from 17:00-19:00, Media Lab, Miestentie 3, Otaniemi, Room 429


Organiser: Design Department

Teacher: Professor Maarit Mäkelä

Registration to the course: Camilla Groth (

Study credits: 4

Time: 25-27.11.2014 + pre reading & essee

Directed: Doctoral students in Aalto ARTS (max. 8) and MA students in Department of Design (max. 8)

Content: The aim of the course is to provide basic understanding about Practice-led research approach i.e. the discourse where art and design practices meets the notion of research in academic context. The study package includes three different parts including (1) pre-assignment, (2) workshop & conference and (3) reflective essee.

(1) To understand the context of the conference, the students read two books before the conference:

Maarit Mäkelä & Sara Routarinne (eds.) The Art of Research. Research Practice in Art and Design (2006). Helsinki: University of Art and Design.

Maarit Mäkelä & Tim O’Riley (eds.) The Art of Research II. Process; Results and Contribution (2012). Helsinki: University of Art and Design.

(2) Participation to the pre-workshop of the conference 25.11. and conference 26-27.11.2014

Information related to the conference:

Information related to the workshop:

(3) After the conference the students write an essey where they combine the pre-assignment with their experiments from the conference. This assignment can be combined to other ongoing studies that are related to their doctoral dissertation, MA thesis work, or Personal project.


Maarit Mäkelä
Associate Professor
Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Department of Design
Hämeentie 135 C, 00560 Helsinki, FINLAND
+358 50 3722 168


Fak’ugesi Festival , Johannesburg, South Africa

The Fak’ugesi Digital Africa Conference is calling for papers. The conference will be held from 4 -7 December in extension of Fak’ugesi Festival and proposes to reflect on the activities of the festival as well as present local and international research on the cross over of art, culture and technology in Africa and the world.

For more information visit,