Media Lab Doctoral Seminar – March 23, 2017

Welcome to the Media Lab Doctoral Seminar on Thursday March 23rd from 17:00–19:00, note room change to 426 at Miestentie 3 (Otaniemi), 4th floor.

DOM-L0003 Doctor of Arts at Media Lab Seminar
Responsible  teacher: Prof. Lily Díaz-Kommonen

Presentations by Jana Pejoska and Sanna Marttila. See abstracts below.

Jana Pejoska: Designs for an embodied learning experience

Abstract: The study is focused on the research and development of tools for learning that are designed based on the principles of HCI as an embodied experience as defined by Paul Dourish. Considering that social and learning cultures are from the largest part defined by their media and tools for thinking, working, learning and collaborating, it is crucial that the designs of the learning tools are in balance with the culture they are used but also developed in and for. For these reasons the selected methodological approach is research based design, that aims to respond to the needs and strive for developing functional prototypes in an iterative process that includes the end-users from early stages of the research up to the final prototype.

Acknowledging the fact that information and communication are accessible anywhere and at any time with the help of smart mobile devices for users in developed societies, it is important to understand how the context fosters learning. Mobile learning is ubiquitous, context-aware experience, which can occur in any given environment.

I am interested in tools, whether they are software or hardware that would enable an ease of access to information on site and combine both real-world and digital-world learning resources. The tools should enhance the sensory experience of the user to his/her social and physical environment. This embodied experience evokes certain types of interactions and processes of meaning and value.

The results of the study are prototypes of tools that are made for an embodied experience and evidence on their support in situation when learning occurs.


Jana Pejoska is a doctoral candidate in Media Lab whose main interest is in understanding the creation of good tools that can support learning based on embodied experience. She holds a masters degree in Digital Culture from the University of Jyväskylä where she deepened her experience in games and widened her knowledge in serious games for learning for kids. She worked on her own mobile learning games after that and was active in the serious game industry in Finland. Jana’s latest fascinations are wearables for advanced sensory experiences.

Sanna Marttila: Infrastructuring and Commoning for Cultural Commons

Abstract: This dissertation project centers on co-designing open and meaningful access to vast digital archives of cultural and memory institutions. In the thesis the author reflects on her involvement in three design research cases. Two of the cases are design and development projects of socio-technical infrastructural initiatives aimed at contributing, from different angles, to wider public access to and creative re-use of European digital audiovisual cultural heritage. The first information infrastructure aimed to develop a peer-to-peer audiovisual file-sharing system for creative communities and their emerging media practices. The second initiative developed a Europe-wide portal for digital audiovisual heritage. In the third case the author addresses the cultures surrounding information infrastructures, and discusses means of fostering and sustaining collaboration between cultural and memory institutions and their audiences, through analyzing her engagement with a cultural movement. Through this, she investigates how participatory design activities can strengthen interaction and participation in commons-like frameworks, and explores how commoning and infrastructuring practices could support the emergence of common-pool resources and commons culture.

To frame these three cases, the author builds on the concept of commons, understood as particular arrangements for managing and governing shared resources (Ostrom 1990; Ostrom and Hess 2007; Benkler 2013; Bollier and Helfrich 2012). The focus is particularly on the characteristics of what has lately been referred to as cultural commons (Madison et al. 2010; Hyde 2010; Hess 2012; Bertacchini 2012; Björgvinsson 2014). The cases are analysed by combining this broader framing of commons with a discussion of the concepts of infrastructure and infrastructuring processes (Star and Bowker 2002; Karasti 2014).

The thesis puts forward empirically grounded findings for designing socio-technical infrastructures for digital cultural heritage and people’s everyday media practices. It introduces design principles and strategies directed at professionals both in cultural and memory institutions, as well as in the fields of collaborative media design and human-computer interaction. By building upon design research theory and by engaging with design activities, the thesis also explores the evolving field of co-design and participatory design of information and communication technologies (ICT) and its shifts in focus over time. To conclude, the author suggests that Participatory Design should turn more seriously towards open modalities of collaboration and commons to ensure the relevance of PD in the future.

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 11.25.57Sanna Marttila is a doctoral candidate in Aalto University, Media Lab. Her doctoral dissertation explores the role of collaborative design in contributing and sustaining of vibrant cultural commons. As a designer Sanna’s interest includes open and collaborative design and creative re-use of digital cultural heritage.