[diss] Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu / ARTS

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    Let it Flow - Making Generative Service Design Work
    (Aalto University, 2024) Knight, John R.; Hyysalo, Sampsa, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Design, Finland; Muotoilun laitos; Department of Design; Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu; School of Arts, Design and Architecture; Hyysalo, Sampsa, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Design, Finland
    This dissertation reports on doctoral research on agile service design work. The focus of the inquiry was to explore in-house design, understand current working practices and identify potential improvements if and where necessary. The research was published as five articles, each of which drew on a series of mixed methods, empirical studies that explored different aspects of agile design work. The first article found that adopting agile had both negative and positive effects on a team of practitioners who were shifting from waterfall to scrum working in a design agency. The second publication reported on a healthcare case study that trialled ways to unify agile and service design and the third article tackled the business context of service innovation and introduced a new conversational service methodology. The fourth publication shifted attention back to practitioners' experiences of agility and reported issues affecting designers' occupational balance in extreme agile. Problems emanated from poorly defined tasks, ambiguous requirements, weak project vision and cross-functional misalignments. These factors, both individually and in combination, often stymied progress, reduced design impact and integrity and eroded practitioner wellbeing. The concluding article identified specific ways and means to improve integrating design in service production in different forms of agile. The results suggested that looser modes of agile could be ameliorated through principled, positive, practitioner resistance alone. More rigid agile forms, however, were improved by applying four foundation design practices, whereas intense and scaled forms required more structured approaches to team task definition and workflow control. In the final inquiry, practitioner feedback indicated the proposed remediating and resistant approach to unifying design and agile helped make service design work flow and improved practitioner job satisfaction.
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    The Teaching of drawing in higher arts education — Articulating the practitioners’ orientations
    (Aalto University, 2024) Nurminen, Marja; Löytönen, Teija, Doctor of Arts, Independent scholar, Finland; Taiteen ja median laitos; Department of Art and Media; Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu; School of Arts, Design and Architecture; El Baroni, Bassam, Assoc. Prof., Aalto University, Department of Art and Media, Finland
    It is my experience of working with drawing in higher arts education since 1998 that has driven this research. During these years, I have been occupied with the significances of drawing as a part of growing up as an artist. This is why the focus of my doctoral research project is on exploring the teaching of drawing in two art universities, one in Finland and the other in Sweden. The main research question is: What kind of orientations do the practitioners have towards drawing and the teaching of drawing? Even if drawing is understood as an important and integral component of an artist’s education, the significance and value of drawing have not been articulated properly. The research touches upon two areas: higher arts education and drawing. The theoretical framework I am using is Keijo Räsänen’s notion of academic work as practical activity (2009). In the research question, I refer to orientations, which are, according to Räsänen, how to do it (tactical), what to accomplish (political), why do it in this way (moral) and who to become (personal). The methodological approach draws from “at-home ethnography”, which was developed by Mats Alvesson (2003, 2009). As he states, it is a method especially suited for studying universities and higher educational institutions in which you yourself work. I am focusing on a particular strand of at-home ethnography which I call at-home interviews. The data consist of twelve interviews with six artists/designers and university teachers from Sweden and six others from Finland. The data collection method I have chosen is expert interviews with artefacts, i.e. the interviewees had the chance to bring one to three drawings or documentations of drawings to the interviews, and we also discussed the drawings. One of my goals in this research is to demystify the teaching of drawing and the tacit knowledge which it contains by articulating it. In so doing, the research produces a description of the values and beliefs about drawing in higher arts education, supporting those who are responsible for designing content and curricula for higher arts and design education.
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    Synthesizing Art and Science - A Collaborative Approach to Understanding Intergroup Relations and Contributing to Social Change
    (Aalto University, 2024) Amir, Einat; Sams, Mikko, Prof. Emer., Aalto University, Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, Finland; Taiteen ja median laitos; Department of Art and Media; Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu; School of Arts, Design and Architecture; Sederholm, Helena, Assoc. Prof., Aalto University, Department of Art and Media, Finland
    This thesis examines the vital role artists can play in shaping individuals and societies, emphasizing art as an impactful force that can foster a more inclusive, empathetic world. It explores the concept of synthesizing art and science, suggesting that equal collaborations between these fields can yield innovative solutions to contemporary 'Wicked' problems. This thesis is situated within the interdisciplinary domains of socially engaged research, ArtScience, and artistic research, with a special focus on the relationships between participatory performance art and social psychology.  This research agenda is composed of both the written and artistic components. It presents an analysis of innovative ArtScience interdisciplinary research methods and hinges on the role and efficacy of art, from collective transformation to personal engagement. Component 1 responds to why there exists a need for equal collaborations between scientists and artists, and how such collaborations could contribute to society. Underlining that artists are needed more than ever during challenging times, this study advocates for their crucial integration into all societal and environmental change initiatives. Component 2 shows empirical evidence from multiple studies of how the synthesis of art and science, specifically performance art with social psychology, contributes to improving prosocial behaviors by elevating empathy towards individuals from marginalized groups in different societies. Component 3 presents a tangible example of the synthesis of a social psychology field experiment with participatory performance art. As an artwork rather than an academic article, this component offers an opportunity for experiential understanding through direct emotional and aesthetic engagement, as opposed to merely analytical comprehension. Finally, component 4 illuminates the significance of art for the individual self, positioning narrative-based art as a safe space for emotional exploration, devoid of real-life social consequences.  Drawing upon the dynamic interplay between scientific research and artistic practice, this thesis positions research as the confluence between theory and practice, unearthing new knowledge. The synthesis of art and science in collaborative ventures offers enormous possibilities for innovative research. Beyond this, it has a multifaceted impact—it can educate, influence, and evoke change in individuals and societies in multiple ways.
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    Quantifying Qualia – Aesthetic Machine Attention in Resisting the Objectifying Tendency of Thought
    (Aalto University, 2024) Okulov, Jaana; Lehtinen, Sanna, Dr., Research Fellow, Aalto University, Department of Art and Media, Finland; Takala, Tapio, Prof. Emeritus, Aalto University, Department of Computer Science, Finland; Taiteen ja median laitos; Department of Art and Media; Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu; School of Arts, Design and Architecture; Suominen, Anniina, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Art and Media, Finland
    My interdisciplinary doctoral thesis Quantifying Qualia – Aesthetic Machine Attention in Resisting the Objectifying Tendency of Thought, conducted at the Department of Art and Media at Aalto University, explores human and algorithmic perception. While language-based approaches are widely developed and utilized in machine learning today, the thesis explores the ethical potential of alternative modes of perception to be manifested in machines and proposes the concept of aesthetic attention to invite perceptual variations from phenomena through how they resonate across the senses. Psychologist Daniel Stern suggests that this dynamic nature of experience, arising from embodiment, represents the earliest stage of development. Consequently, it serves as the primary means for interpersonal communication and also expressing inner experiences later in life. Additionally, affective and aesthetic expressions can be viewed as being rooted in these vitality forms described by Stern. The thesis argues that aesthetically oriented attention has the potential to reorganize perception by delaying the categorical determination of an experience. At the core of my research is the idea that the narrowed cognitive repertoire resulting from perceptual biases can be altered with perceptual strategies aiming to broaden the receptivity for sensory knowledge. My thesis consists of three peer-reviewed articles published in interdisciplinary edited volumes and journals, along with one peer-reviewed unpublished article. These articles redefine philosophical concepts such as aesthetic attention and qualia, making them computable. As a result, a method was developed in interdisciplinary collaboration to generate asemic stimuli algorithmically. This approach also led to the establishment of a research platform that seamlessly integrated both artistic and quantitative research. The artistic conclusion of my thesis is a research process utilizing the platform. During this process, asemic stimuli were annotated with artistic expressions as opposed to the traditional method of using verbal categories for annotating. Multimodal expressions established aesthetic data for a machine attention model to perceive beyond categories. With the research process, I demonstrated how the development of machine learning models that incorporate nonverbal expressions can influence cultures increasingly reliant on algorithmic information processing; future intelligence and ethics are founded on the choices we now make in what is recognized as valuable data.
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    Architectural computation of spatial dynamics
    (Aalto University, 2024) Han, Yoon J.; Arkkitehtuurin laitos; Department of Architecture; Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu; School of Arts, Design and Architecture; Kotnik, Toni, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Architecture, Finland
    In the current era, digital technology is ubiquitous throughout diverse aspects of architecture. This omnipresent condition undermines spatial discourse despite engaging with ample discussion concerning formal approaches. The research acknowledges that space and form in architectural experience are inextricably intertwined and should therefore be considered as such. In order to frame the discursive context, the thesis traces the development of an architectural understanding of experiential space through interrelations of aesthetic (bodily), spatial, and formal (geometric and topological) dynamics. The architectural understanding builds upon the conception of experiential space as field structures; the conception involves the three aforementioned dynamics and is conceptually interlinked with computational discourse in architecture. The research proposes systematic inquiries into aesthetic aspects of experiential space through a mixed-research strategy: designing a computational framework for spatial information construction and perceptual comparative analyses of the information. The computational framework in the thesis maps and visualises structural changes of experiential space as dynamic field structures, rendering abstract spatial information more tangible. Three study cases are presented showcasing the operations and behaviours of the computational framework. For each study case, the mapping results are also analysed in comparison to the existing body of architectural literature, including diverse written accounts of architectural experience based on phenomenological approaches. The comparative analyses of the study cases suggest that some qualitative descriptions of architectural spatial aesthetics can be constructed through digital computation, where resulting digital spatial information can be visually communicated. The thesis also discusses potentials and implications of the computational approach introduced in the thesis, particularly in relation to digital spatial information, digital media as cognitive extension, and digital tectonics.
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    Grounded Principles for Open Design Pedagogy - Design Perspectives on Early Years Pedagogy with Digital Technologies
    (Aalto University, 2024) Brinck, Jaana; Leinonen, Teemu, Assoc. Prof., Aalto University, Department of Art and Media, Finland; Kallio-Tavin, Mira, Prof., University of Georgia, USA; Adjunct Professor Aalto University, Finland; Taiteen ja median laitos; Department of Art and Media; Learning Environments Research Group; Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu; School of Arts, Design and Architecture; Leinonen, Teemu, Assoc. Prof., Aalto University, Department of Art and Media, Finland
    In the past few decades, researchers have shown growing interest in design in the context of teaching and learning in the 21st century. Accordingly, design has been introduced as a method to implement and develop teaching and learning practices that are more active, evidence-based, and interdisciplinary, as well as to confront real-life situations and problems. Moreover, in the current world, skills and competencies to utilise and benefit from various digital technologies are increasingly important for an individual to fully participate in society. Socialisation into digital media culture starts from an exceedingly early age, and digital environments are an integral part of children's everyday sociocultural environment. Thus, digital tools should be integrated in early years pedagogy. Consequently, this research explores the ways in which pedagogical practices should be designed to apply digital technologies in early childhood design education. The pedagogical dimensions of design practice are investigated in real-life educational context by conducting two design experiments, which highlight participatory design in pedagogical development and focus on developing practices that support the pedagogical use of digital tools and enhance children's participation in their everyday lives. To study the phenomenon, this research project conducted a participatory design process in a kindergarten in the Helsinki area for over one year, entailing 22 workshops involving research participants: teachers, daycare assistants, a pre-service kindergarten teacher, children, and pedagogical specialists. The research process was guided by a grounded theory method in which the aim is a data-driven and open-ended research process, and to actively learn from the interaction and collaboration with the research participants. The research process included three sub-studies that have been reported in three academic publications; in addition, a technology prototype was designed, implemented, and tested—an augmented reality sandbox for early childhood learning. As an overall contribution, this thesis developed grounded principles for open design pedagogy, a set of principles which is called the 4Ts of open design pedagogy. The thesis provides important perspectives on the ways that digital tools should be taken into early years pedagogy in a pedagogically meaningful manner. The main finding of this thesis is that open design pedagogy should foster learning contexts that are designed around the principles of togetherness, tools, trust, and time.
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    Ilmastoitu ? moderni : Sisäilman hallinta sotien jälkeisessä toimistoarkkitehtuurissa
    (Aalto University, 2024) Linnanmäki, Seija; Niskanen, Aino, Prof. Emerita, Aalto University, Department of Architecture, Finland; Michelsen, Karl-Erik, Prof., LUT University, Finland; Arkkitehtuurin laitos; Department of Architecture; Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu; School of Arts, Design and Architecture; Savolainen, Panu, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Architecture, Finland
    Buildings account for nearly 40 % of our final energy consumption today. The biggest single user of energy is air-conditioning (AC) with a remarkable 10–15 % proportion of the total amount. Exact quality of indoor climate is a characteristic feature of 20th Century modern architecture. The social, political, economic, hygienic, aesthetic and cultural objects of AC had significant values for 20th Century modern architecture. Air conditioning has been enhanced for beneficial reasons such as healthy, work efficiency, thermal comfort, convenience, and energy efficiency of buildings. However, AC increases the use of electricity and has a negative impact on global warming and climate change. This study discusses the processes of design and building work in terms of the three main elements of the Theory of Social Practices, materia, competence and meanings. To analyse the role of air-conditioning in modern architecture, materia, I chose two case study buildings, built in Helsinki, Finland 1949–1953: the Head Quarters for the Industrial Centre (architects Viljo Rewell and Keijo Petäjä) and Voimatalo commissioned by Imatran Voima Oy (architect Aarne Ervi). At this time, mechanical ventilation was considered obligatory for office buildings, whereas natural ventilation, a traditional Finnish method of ventilation, was not permitted. The early stages of air-conditioning and Modern Movement architecture before the World War II form a background for the analyses of the competence and co-operation between architects and new profession of HVAC-engineers. The study was comprised of contemporary and research literature, archives of relevant companies and the Museum of Finnish Architecture as well as building archeological observations from the architectural and technical point of view. Office rooms in the Industrial Centre were air-conditioned by famous American Carrier Conduit Weathermaster System. The first large deployment of this type in Europe, was recommended by HVAC-engineer Torsten Kranck who visited building sites of New York skyscrapers in 1950. The air-conditioning industry for thermal comfort and convenience started in 1953 after a licensing agreement between the Carrier Corporation, Syracuse, New York and the State Metal Works and Aircraft Factory, Tampere, Finland was signed. The meanings of new technology were highlighted due to the Carrier Units imported to Finland at a time of depression, currency regulations and war reparations to Soviet Union. The third part of this study encourages people to find ways for buildings and occupants to work together in support of sustainable living and the mitigation of climate change. The demand for easy life and all-year convenience has resulted in energy-consuming world where better energy efficiency is pursued by new, even more electricity using technology with poor material efficiency as Elizabeth Shove has highlighted. People are more tolerant of thermal conditions than the ASHRAE Standard static model suggests. We need to try instead behavioural, physiological and psychological adaptation of the Adaptive Thermal Comfort model created by Fergus Nicol, Michael Humphreys and Susan Roaf.
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    Ordering the Everyday - Serial photography, repetition and everyday acts
    (Aalto University, 2024) Timonen, Hanna; Kella, Marjaana, Prof., Academy of Fine Arts, The University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland; Lehtinen, Sanna, Dr., Aalto University, School Common ARTS, Finland; Taiteen ja median laitos; Department of Art and Media; Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu; School of Arts, Design and Architecture; Laakso, Harri, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Art and Media, Finland
    Seriality and the everyday are elusive notions that are nevertheless central to photography. This thesis examines photographic seriality as an artistic practice and a quotidian activity. The everyday is not treated as subject matter to be photographically represented; rather photography is understood as a practice deeply embedded in the experience of everyday life. I argue that in order to understand the ways photographic acts take place in the flow of life, an understanding of photographic seriality is vital. Serial photography is approached both as a conscious artistic method and as a means of open engagement with the world, available to anyone with a camera. The work presents four case studies. Zoe Leonard's Analogue and Dina Kelberman's I'm Google are situated within post-conceptual contemporary art. In the last two chapters I introduce the artist Christina Holmlund's N60°09´2 E24°56´1, a series of photographs that are taken on a daily walk with her dog as well as photographs taken by a local photographer from her window. In these examples, photography aligns with other activities like daily tasks, walking, gathering and preservation. The thesis combines close readings of specific artworks, artistic research and two interviews with photographers. The artistic component includes a solo exhibition at the Photographic Gallery Hippolyte in 2018, as well as two further photographic series that test how a situated practice of serial photography unfolds in daily life. The work draws from a range of reading on conceptual art, history of photography, photography theory and everyday aesthetics, specifically the work of Yuriko Saito. The thesis discusses how immediate perceptions as well as larger phenomena become conceptualised through serial photography. In conceptual art, this happened through conscious experimentation with language, performance, and performative acts: briefs and scores for artworks. In everyday photography, a similar conceptualisation takes place when experiences turn into photographs. However, everyday photography does not lead to articulated concepts or artworks in any simple, institutional sense, but further actions, emotions and gestures of sociability. In this way, everyday photography achieves a merger of art and life not accessed by conceptual art. Instead of a rigid system or order, serial photography can then be viewed as embodied engagement with one's immediate surroundings. Looking at photography in relation to those undertakings that form the basis of everyday experience, the thesis ultimately suggests that serial photography can be approached as supporting activity that is related to preservation, maintenance, and care. 
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    In the Middle of Things : On Researching the Infraordinary
    (Aalto University, 2024) Coyotzi Borja, Andrea; Paenhuysen, An, PhD, independent curator and writer, Berlin; Taiteen ja median laitos; Department of Art and Media; Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu; School of Arts, Design and Architecture; Laakso, Harri, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Art and Media, Finland
    The infraordinary is a phenomenon first addressed by Georges Perec in his 1975 text Approaches to what? The in-fraordinary is presented in Perec’s text as an awareness and a questioning of things and events happening in our everyday life. These everyday happenings are not qualified as grandiose; but rather, the phenomenon focuses on the significance of the banal, the common, the things we label as ordinary due to their relationship with functionality or their recurrence in our daily lives. Through his work, Perec invites us to question the ordinary, what we encounter in our everyday lives, objects, situations, routines, and things which we have lost contact with when we dismiss them or qualify them as obvious. In this dissertation, I propose the question What is the infraordinary? not as an interrogative subject, but rather to raise the possibility and purposeful search, and re-search, of the phenomenon. This questioning delves into the processes through which the phenomenon becomes visible and inquiries about the dynamics present in this process. This dissertation approaches the questioning in two parts. The first part, In the middle of things, is practice-based research that seeks through 114 fragments to circumvallate the infraordinary and, in the process, determine which features and characteristics of the phenomenon are visible and how. This first part engages with experimental writing with the purpose of having content and form intrinsically woven. It follows the structure of the book Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar, which invites the reader to choose one of the three (or possibly more) orders to read the book. In the same way, the document In the middle of things invites the reader to decide how to engage with it: either linearly from 1 to 114, or by following a suggested order which is found at the beginning of that part, or by free association by moving at random from section to section. The research in this first part follows a way-finding methodology through a selection of concepts such as visibility, gesture, space, everyday life, and experience, among others. Additionally, In the middle of things engages with the two artistic components included in this doctoral research (the exhibition There was no thought, but a thrive for the visibility of something yet to be named in HAM gallery, and the piece What happens when nothing happens exhibited in Huuto gallery), as well as with related methodologies and practices employed by other artists and writers. The second part, On researching the infraordinary, elaborates on a framework of research on the infraordinary and on the work of Georges Perec in Literary studies and Artistic research. On researching the infraordinary also contains a formulation about the artistic research methodology employed in the section In the middle of things. Researching the infraordinary phenomenon brings forward the opportunity to observe and dwell on different facets of everyday life and to re-consider our relationship with our daily lives. In Approaches to what? Perec invites us to question our teaspoons, why? Why is questioning what is found in our pantries useful? What are our pantries saying to us? What do we encounter, and what do the things we find say about our everyday lives, our contexts, the place we live, the supermarkets, the social dynamics, and the politics of it? To inquire about the infraordinary is not an action delimited by the pursuit of an answer but an opportunity to engage with what surrounds us. A chance to take a moment, to look around and discover all that is already there speaking to us.
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    Mukana kuvassa : valokuvaus vapautuksen käytäntönä
    (Aalto University, 2023) Söderlund, Liisa; Salo, Merja, Prof., Aalto-yliopisto, Suomi; Kantonen, Lea, Prof., Taideyliopisto, Suomi; Suoranta, Juha, Prof., Tampereen yliopisto, Suomi; Taiteen ja median laitos; Department of Art and Media; Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu; School of Arts, Design and Architecture; Laakso, Harri, Prof., Aalto-yliopisto, Department of Art and Media, Suomi
    Since the 1840s, photography has been used to reveal social inequality. The tradition of social documentary photography has been formed from the photographers attempts to influence the problems prevailing in the surrounding reality, and the participants have also been invited to document their own everyday life and oppressive circumstances. IN THE PICTURE – photography as a practice of liberation deals with participatory photography. In this research, nine people who have experienced homelessness look at homelessness using photography as their tool. The photographs make the topics that are important to the participants visible. When pictures are shown in exhibitions, the purpose is to increase people's awareness of homelessness and to act as a visual counter-speech to the stigmatization caused by homelessness by changing stereotypical perceptions of homeless people. Theoretically, the research is based on the pedagogy of the oppressed by Brazilian educationist Paulo Freire (1921–1997). Freire's thinking is considered one of the theoretical cornerstones of critical pedagogy. In the empirical research, the photographic and discussion material is conceptualized as a practice of liberation with the help of Freire's ideas. This means that photography supports people's participation, cooperation and becoming visible and heard: it is a dialogic and critical awareness-seeking activity. Methodologically, IN THE PICTURE represents rebellious research, i.e. it belongs to those critical studies that take a social stand, where the participants work together with the researcher to achieve a more just world.
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    Finnish Architects in China : Discourses and Practices
    (Aalto University, 2023) Zhao, Yizhou; Nieto Fernandez, Fernando, Tampere University, Finland; Arkkitehtuurin laitos; Department of Architecture; Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu; School of Arts, Design and Architecture; Sanaksenaho, Pirjo, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Architecture, Finland
    The expansion of globalization in the architecture industry has primarily changed the methods architects use and the organizational structures of architectural firms. Nowadays, international architectural offices that have advanced design capabilities are working globally. Finnish contemporary architecture has constructed its own identity while engaging extensively in international architectural designs. This doctoral dissertation focuses on the practices and discourses of Finnish architects in China and how Finnish architects have participated in the rapid wave of urbanization since China’s economic reform. Sino-Finnish projects bridge Finnish architectural designs, which is a paradigm of the Scandinavian design tradition. China, with a culture significantly different from Finland, is a fast-developing economy where numerous transnational architectures have occurred and more are expected to take place in the future. The primary research question is: How may Finnish architecture—an architectural tradition often associated with Finland’s identity and imagination—reconcile with the Chinese context at the level of practice and discourse? This research consists of several parts. First, the study investigates the backgrounds China brings to international architects and what China expects from them. Given the geopolitical, social development, and cultural differences between China and the West, Finnish architects in China are often situated in a context where discourses oppose and compete, which inevitably influences architects’ practices and discourses. Meanwhile, China continues to have close exchanges with the outside world in cultural and economic fields. Finnish architects have developed new works based on their design philosophies and methods, considering the Chinese urban scale and demands. Also, the study seeks to understand how Finnish architects construct interpretive discourses in a differentiated cultural background and critically analyze the strengths and limitations of these discourses. By analyzing the networks that conduct transnational architectural designs, this study seeks to understand how Finnish architects realize their buildings through collaborative partnerships involving multiple parties, including Finnish architects and local Chinese design institutes. Finally, this research uses a comprehensive case study to illustrate Finnish architects’ ways of reconciling their ideas based on a specific context and how differentiated circumstances have influenced their designs. This dissertation employs a combined approach of discourse analysis and case studies, drawing from diverse sources including interviews, literature surveys, and original documents. It encompasses interviews with architects from Finland and China, analyzing various documents such as drawings, communication records, and meeting minutes. The study spans architectural competition proposals to completed projects and enhances understanding of recent developments in Finnish architecture and globalized architectural design by examining design thinking, social contexts, design execution, and cross-cultural interactions.
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    Unimagined Spatial Performativity in three Scenographic Assemblages
    (Aalto University, 2023) Raya Mejía, Mónica; Loukola, Maiju, Dr., University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland; Elokuvataiteen laitos; Department of Film; Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu; School of Arts, Design and Architecture; Pantouvaki, Sofia, Dr., Aalto University, Dept. Film, Television and Scenography, Finland
    My research presents a philosophical retrospective report and analysis of accidental aesthetic encounters with unimagined scenographic performativity. The aim is to point at the aesthetic potential of the ephemeral in the construction-rehearsal processes of scenography and to what I present as evanescent spatialities. Conceptualizing the unimagined spatial performativity aims to aesthetically appreciate the most ordinary, incidental scenographic assemblages that display their brief performativity away from the gaze of a conventional public. Evanescent spatialities are not necessarily or primarily designed by human agents, nor are they conditioned to "exist" by the presence of a human performer or human audiences; rather, they occur autonomously and spontaneously and may be discovered or provoked by the act of playing. I took a feminist post-human approach to understanding that scenographies work as human and nonhuman assemblages and that bodies in space are always performing their own agenda. My research exposes an intimate and authorized visual archive that makes my photographic and video work an expansion of my practice. I envision that scenographers will continue to expand the discipline by exploring the world beyond anthropocentrism and the capitalism of the humanmade. My study performs my conviction that a scenographer can also act as a philosopher and as a political activist.
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    Beautiful Rotten Tehran - Multi-Sensory Artistic Research on Contemporary Urban Design in Tehran (Pardis Phase 11)
    (Aalto University, 2023) Mousavi, Ali; Taiteen laitos; Department of Art; Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu; School of Arts, Design and Architecture; Kallio-Tavin, Mira, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Art and Media, Finland
    Beautiful Rotten Tehran is a multi-sensorial enquiry into a specific location close to the city of Tehran, Iran, called Pardis Phase 11. This is accomplished by employing visual and acoustemological methodologies as research tools for observing and analysing architecture and urban design. In this regard, this research is an attempt to observe, study and analyse the process of urbanisation in Iran, specifically the housing construction in the Pardis Phase 11 suburbs of Tehran. The interest in the sensory dimensions of Pardis Phase 11 serves as the starting point for this multi-sensory research. The project employs sensorial methodologies such as acoustemology and cartography to investigate the area and urban transformations caused by concepts such as 'modernisation', 'development', 'progress' and 'globalisation'. The work evolves through a large collection of media content in the form of field recordings, photographs and collages made at the Pardis Phase 11 site. The main objectives of the research are a) to contribute towards critical spatial practices that are operating in the spaces between artistic research and urban design, and b) gain new knowledge and understanding of the social aspects and sensory experience of urban and built form (placemaking) in Tehran, Pardis Phase 11. In this research I offer Critical Regionalism as a possible solution to the issues related to Pardis Phase 11 and the research questions. A historical study is also presented to have a better understanding of past values. I also create comparative images of Before, Now and the Future, which resonates with the principles of Critical Regionalism. A chapter on nature embarks on the enormous task of dismantling the concept of nature in the context of urban space. In doing so, I have chosen a religious perspective as the point of departure, as religion is an ancient social concept that has been influential in most societies. Then, after dismantling the religious and philosophical concept of nature, I intend to construct a foundation for understanding urban space in continuation and in relation to the concept of nature. These are necessary steps to create a context for analysing, interpreting and understanding the changes happening in the city of Tehran, in particular the project of Pardis Phase 11.
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    Talot pysyvät, ihmiset vaihtuvat : Sosialistisen yhteiskunnan rakentaminen entisessä suomalaisessa Kurkijoen kirkonkylässä Neuvostoliitossa
    (Aalto University, 2023) Böök, Netta; Knapas, Rainer, FL, fi l. tri h.c., Finland; Niskanen, Aino, Prof. emerita, Aalto University, Finland; Shikalov, Yuri, FT, Finland; Arkkitehtuurin laitos; Department of Architecture; Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu; School of Arts, Design and Architecture; Savolainen, Panu, Assist. Prof., Aalto University, Department of Architecture, Finland
    The study examines the construction of a socialist society from an architectural point of view in the former Finnish settlement of Lopotti in the municipality Kurkijoki as part of the Karelian-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic after the territorial cessions of Finland following the Winter War (1939–1940) and the Continuation War (1941–1944). It sheds light on the norms, goals and principles of construction and planning in the rural areas of the Soviet Union, both at the time of the cessions and later on, which also determined the shaping of the former Finnish territories after the wars. As a subject of study, Lopotti or, since the cessions, Kurkijoki, off ers rare opportunities to examine the fates of buildings representing foreign culture within the context of a new state, because almost all the buildings of the pre-war period have been exceptionally well preserved, both through the wars and the Soviet era. Sovietisation meant bringing all aspects of society under the direction and control of the Communist Party and a complete change of population. The restructuring of the countryside was guided by the division between industrial and military twns and rural areas created in the 1920s, and by the classifi cation of collective farms and the ideal of the collective village created in the 1930s. The Finnish buildings were exploited as a resource, hybridised or adapted to the needs of socialism, both in terms of their function and architecture.After Finland temporarily retook the area in 1941, it was returned to Finnish normalcy, that is, dehybridised. After the cession of territory in autumn 1944, the process of sovietisation was repeated. For Kurkijoki, however, sovietisation did not bring about the modernisation of living conditions and society in the same sense as in post-revolutionary Russia; on the contrary, compared to the Finnish period, its material development stagnated or even took a step backwards. Thanks to the rare survival of its built environment, the Kurkijoki settlement also provides an exceptional starting point for examining the cultural encounter or clash and the reception of the buildings of a foreign culture within a new state context amidst the process of Sovietisation and after the reconquest in 1941. Many factors infl uenced the way in which this building resource was dealt with in the Soviet Union, especially the position of the individual in a socialist society, the ambivalent attitude of the authorities, the blurring of the Finnish history of the area and rootlessness. Nevertheless, the case of Kurkijoki shows that even buildings of a foreign culture with contradictory connotations can be extensively hybridised when, at the same time, they are cleansed of culturally or ideologically alien features. However, it may be diffi cult or take several generations to incorporate such a resource into the national building heritage. In the Soviet Union, the Kurkijoki settlement had the status of the local and central village of the Kurkijoki sovkhoz, for which an extensive town and building plan was drawn up in 1975 in line with the then current ideal of an agrotown. However, by the time of the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, the plan had only been implemented to a limited extent and ultimately, in the postsocialist period, there was no longer any justifi cation for the implementation of the Kurkijoki urban development plan. The pre-war building stock in the actual settlement survived the Soviet era almost intact. On the Soviet scale, the case of the Kurkijoki settlement is just one example of the failure of rural modernisation and urbanisation. The large-scale plans did not match the available fi nancial resources, and the rigid and hierarchical administrative system did not really allow for the specifi cities of the local building tradition and the use of local resources.
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    Reciprocal Drawing: Bodies’ Co–dependence and Direct Contact in Performance Drawing
    (Aalto University, 2023) Karasch, Agnieszka; Rouhiainen, Leena, Theatre Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland; Suominen, Anniina, Assoc. Prof., Aalto University, Finland; Taiteen ja median laitos; Department of Art and Media; Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu; School of Arts, Design and Architecture; Suominen, Anniina, Assoc. Prof., Aalto University, Department of Art, Finland
    Reciprocal Drawing is an original method of collaborative practice situated within the field of performance drawing. In Reciprocal Drawing, two collaborators draw in the frame of reciprocal partnering strategy, which imposes uninterrupted co–dependence and contact between their bodies. The practice is carried out within two additional frames: the repertoire of actions and the score (rules and diagrams). Although these frames have been applied before, this research further jointly develops them to tackle challenges emerging from application of reciprocal strategies in drawing. The combination of frames facilitates co–exploration of reciprocal strategies’ potential for the medium. Supported by the frames, the collaborators devise complex reciprocal processes resulting in products that reflect ambiguous and nuanced human relations. The developed Reciprocal Drawing aims to extend conventional drawing by underlining the medium’s bodily–reciprocal, social potential. As an artistic research, the study focuses on Reciprocal Drawing processes and products as sources of embodied knowledge and explores the opportunities which they bring for drawing. As a phenomenological research, the study explores the embodied, relational–social dimension of Reciprocal Drawing. This is done by discussing the drawing–based experimentation conducted first solo by the researcher and then in duo form with collaborating artists. In the solo phase, the repertoire of actions was formed based on Laban Movement Analysis (LMA), a system of codified vocabulary used in understanding human movement. LMA helped the researcher to systemize and adapt body actions to the conditions of drawing in contact with the two–dimensional horizontal plane. In the collaborative phase, two strategies were identified as establishing the bodies’ co–dependence: rope–binding, originally used by Tehching Hsieh in his One Year Performance. Rope Piece (1983–84) and point–of–contact, the principle of Contact Improvisation dance. The use of rules and diagrams in the co–experiments links them to the 1970s practices of the Fluxus artists. In the reflection following the experimentation, LMA was also utilized to establish links between the complex reciprocal dynamics, the finalized drawings, and the mental states that accompanied their co–production. This aided the evaluation of the emerging opportunities. Phenomenological research theoretically guided the project allowing description, analysis, and thematic interpretation of the artist–researcher’s experience of the process to be verbalized. Following Merleau–Ponty’s philosophy, the embodied, expressive and dialogic character of Reciprocal Drawing is underlined as is its products’ capacity to be a source of self–knowledge for the creators. Additionally, with a support of theoretical perspectives in art and performance Reciprocal Drawing is identified as enabling co–exploration of physicality. Further, Reciprocal Drawing processes are presented as finely reflecting the social and relational aspect of human life: Defined as play, Reciprocal Drawing reveals its subversive, transformative and solidifying function, it renders possible learning new approaches to drawing. Finally, in this thesis Reciprocal Drawing is recognized as a postconsensual practice, where the engaged artists deliberately generate embodied conflict and co–explore its benefits without posing a threat to each other’s integrity. This is supported with the ethics derived from Jean–Luc Nancy’s and Emmanuel Levinas’ philosophies whose thinking is also employed to acknowledge Reciprocal Drawing as evoking loss, self–limitation and responsibility for the other.
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    Encyclopedia of In — Betweenness
    (Aalto University, 2023) Jensen, Anna; El Baroni, Bassam, Aalto University, Department of Art and Media, Finland; Taiteen ja median laitos; Department of Art and Media; Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu; School of Arts, Design and Architecture; Laakso, Harri, Aalto University, Department of Art and Media, Finland
    The dissertation Encyclopedia of In-Betweenness. An Exploration of a Collective Artistic Research Practice presents art as a socially prominent phenomenon that is always in a state of becoming. It suggests that art is on the front line perceiving new emerging ideas and ideologies while it also impacts and creates them. This means that art is obliged to seek what we, in fact, cannot yet know. The thesis has two main research questions. It explores how art can be a way to approach the unknown, and how it can be a tool for societal research and change. By creating art, we create societies. This is an immense task, and this dissertation explores the possibilities and responsibilities of it. Working towards the new always means working with the unknown, being in process and in an in-between state of becoming. To present in-betweenness, processes and becoming - things that are not known to us - new forms and methodologies are needed. Mapping the entanglements of the contemporary art world the thesis provides new perspectives on the relational nature of our being and ends up documenting a turn in the contemporary art world: how collective practices, site-specific and process-led approaches have emerged from the margins to the mainstream. The thesis documents how collective art projects can function as research platforms providing new knowledge and places for encounters. This study, positioned in the field of artistic research, uses exhibition making and curating as methods. By creating a network of varied knowledge, from the analysis of past projects to the diversification of theoretical and philosophical references, this dissertation intends to present how everything is in process and everything is symbiotic. The form of the dissertation – an encyclopedia with taxonomic colour-coding – is part of the methodology. It adds one layer to the domino effect of projects playing with known forms and questions of the unknown. Because artistic research operates with forms and experiences, these methods are part of the mediation: the in-betweenness and process-oriented approach defines the form and reading. The form follows the logic of the over 20 collaborative projects realized by the author during the past ten years presented and analyzed in the thesis. Deconstructing familiar concepts from “biennial” to “world expo” and “encyclopedia” helps to explore the unfamiliar and makes hidden structures visible. The thematically colour-coded entries map the current discourses, but they also point out the hierarchical conception of knowledge itself and the absurdity of taxonomic processes. It leads to the question of control, and the fact that eventually one can never control how something is encountered, experienced, and interpreted.
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    Spaces of Embodiment - A practice-based investigation towards a new design typology for urban public spaces
    (Aalto University, 2023) Dlabáč, Veronika; Hodson, Elise, Dr., Aalto University, Finland; Muotoilun laitos; Department of Design; Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu; School of Arts, Design and Architecture; Julier, Guy, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Design, Finland
    Spaces of Embodiment examines how citizens can experience intimacy, embodiment and spirituality in the radically changing city. The research is situated within the fields of design and architecture, and it derives from a personal quest for a public space that enhances spiritual and embodied behaviour in a highly urbanised society. This thesis investigates the meanings and practices of contemporary, Western embodied experience, leading to a new design typology through practice-based research. It addresses the questions: What are the features of a new typology of 'spaces of embodiment' in the urban context? How can knowledge of the embodied experience inform the design of public space? The research builds on my previous training as a visual artist and placemaker. It involves a critical analysis of contemporary cities related to digitalisation and disembodiment. It brings together innovative examples through architectural art projects such as Cultural Sauna (Kulttuurisauna, Helsinki) and King's Cross Pond (London) that offer new ways of looking at multifunctional public spaces in contemporary cities, but also rural areas such as Therme Vals (Vals, Switzerland) in relation to art and the notion of the body. The aim of this practice-based thesis is to make a contribution to knowledge within and beyond academia, via an art practitioner's lens, by creating a design typology for 'spaces of embodiment'. Research methods included: a literature review of theory focusing on the digital revolution, extreme urbanisation, secularisation, disembodiment, and lack of spirituality and the sacred; qualitative research through interviews with experts from the fields of visual arts, theology, urban studies, architecture and spirituality; three case studies (King's Cross Pond, London; Kulttuurisauna, Helsinki and Therme Vals in Switzerland) researched through the method of autoethnography; and practice-based explorations leading to practical design outcomes. New knowledge was sought through inductive modes of practice with the development of new types of public space. The findings of this research project concentrate on how the knowledge of embodied experience can inform the design of a new typology of 'spaces of embodiment'. The typology proposes spaces that augment, enhance, or intensify embodied experience and can work well in urban areas, and the collaborations produce various practice-based outcomes (images, visualisations, pictograms, summary of materials and practical applications) consisting of characteristics of a new design typology. A new approach is proposed to grouping, that defines the spatial requirements of public spaces and buildings not through technical specificities, dimensions and scales but rather through human experience focusing on senses, embodied thoughts, feelings and habits.
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    Post-Internet Queer Reproductive Work and The fixed Capital of Fertility: The Interface, the Network and the Viral as Themes and Modes of artistic Response
    (Aalto University, 2023) Close, Rebecca; Taiteen ja median laitos; Department of Art and Media; Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu; School of Arts, Design and Architecture; Kallio-Tavin, Mira, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Art and Media, Finland
    This research considers the digital infrastructures and interfaces of the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) industry as a depository for human memory and a powerful translation zone where beliefs regarding social and biological reproduction are fashioned today. Offering an innovative take on the dynamic interaction between sexuality and digital technologies, this thesis sets out how queer reproduction struggles, as evidenced in the long history of pathologizing queer parenting structures and the networks of care forged during the HIV/AIDS crisis, are not just a glimmer haunting the IVF-centred heteronormative fertility clinic but structurally linked across the systems of accumulation that order capitalist expansion. The concept of “post-internet queer reproductive work” fuses three scholarly traditions: the study of queer work, theorizations of reproductive labor and the concept of fixed capital. Chapters 1-4 define and mobilise these concepts, suggesting how they interact and inform each other in the context of the financialized fertility market, with a focus on the facial-matching algorithm boom in Spain and European clinic and bank websites. Post-internet queer reproductive work is further elaborated on through close readings of 1970s UK lesbian magazine Sappho, who published poetry and operated as a network for resource sharing across disability, sexuality, race and class struggles, and Gay Gamete (2000), a work of Net Art by U.S artist Clover Leary that protested an FDA protocol regulating gamete donation according to sexuality and sexual practices. Beyond historical examples, the concept of post-internet queer reproductive work attends analytically to the processes through which the social knowledge accumulated in queer reproduction struggles is incorporated as the fixed capital and “digital machines” of the global fertility market. Chapters 5-6 contextualise the artistic dimension of this thesis as it is constituted by an animation film, a Net Art work, a poetry book and ongoing editorial project Them, All Magazine, which brings together poetry, critical writing and Net/Code/Software Art on the subject of reproductive politics and sexuality. Broadly, this research proposes a reclaiming of the interface, network and viral as themes and modes of artistic response to reproductive control. While the interface, network and viral are staple topics in the fields of Software Studies and Visual Studies of the Internet, they have not been a main concern for Feminist Social Reproduction Theory or related studies of assisted reproduction. On the other hand, social reproduction struggles and sexuality have not always been at the center of studies of the interface, the network and the viral. This thesis is an original contribution to the interdisciplinary field of reproduction studies by developing a Queer Marxist perspective on assisted reproduction, fixed capital and reproductive labor –and their intersections– and by presenting post-internet art works and practices as modes of response to reproductive control. Layering critical, sociological, historical, audiovisual, editorial, auto- and poetic gazes, this thesis develops an interdisciplinary mode of “gestural writing” as a method and way of knowing that centres bodily feeling and political becomings.
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    Intuitive Design Workflows - Investigating the Feedback Cycles Between Physical and Digital Processes
    (Aalto University, 2023) Gulay, Emrecan; Kotnik, Toni, Prof., Aalto University, Finland; Muotoilun laitos; Department of Design; Embodied Design Group (EDG); Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu; School of Arts, Design and Architecture; Hyysalo, Sampsa, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Design, Finland
    Digital technologies have transformed the design process in various disciplines, including architecture. Architects now use digital tools not only for mundane tasks but also for creative processes. However, some conventional analog methods such as sketching and model-making have lost their prominence in the digital era. This thesis investigates the role of physical and digital techniques in the initial design stages and examines the feedback cycles of conception, revision, and evaluation. The main objectives are to understand architects' current experiences, test the feedback cycles via tangible research prototypes, and propose approaches to create intuitive design workflows. The thesis consists of three peer-reviewed articles that document the three main processes of the research. The first article is a literature review that defines the scope of the investigation. The second article introduces an exploratory design process based on Research Through Design (RtD) methodology. The last article presents contextual and online interviews with practicing architects and experts from Finland, Switzerland, Germany, and the UK. The findings emphasize the importance of physical and digital techniques in the initial design stages and highlight the need for design and interaction methods to integrate physical and digital design workflows. The thesis suggests that architects value intuitive design experiences that allow for easy manipulation and understanding of design concepts, which can be achieved through the use of tangible and interactive design tools. The thesis offers several approaches to create intuitive design experiences, such as using interactive and tangible design tools, integrating physical and digital design workflows, and designing for ease of manipulation and understanding of design concepts. The thesis provides a theoretical and historical framework for the research, with each study presented separately. The main findings and highlights of the research are discussed in the last chapter, which connects the three research processes and offers ideas for practitioners and researchers to create intuitive design experiences. These findings are useful for practitioners and researchers in the architecture and design fields who are interested in improving the design process and creating more intuitive and efficient design experiences.
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    Puisto taideteoksena - Kolme helsinkiläistä puistoa suunnittelun ja laajennetun lavastuksen näkökulmasta
    (Aalto University, 2023) Aaltonen, Jari; Elokuvataiteen ja lavastustaiteen laitos; Department of Film, Television and Scenography; Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu; School of Arts, Design and Architecture; Lahtinen, Outi, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Film, Television and Scenography, Finland; Gröndahl, Laura, Univ. Lecturer, Uniarts Helsinki’s Theatre Academy, Finland
    The starting point for my research comes from my observations on the literature of garden art, in which parks and gardens are often equated with theater and scenography. This led me to the question of what connects parks and gardens to the art of theater and scenography. A park with its surroundings can act as art. This way the art in outdoors can be more than just a statue on a pedestal. In different outdoor spaces people can be guided to use and observe the space as art through the usability. Overarching theme in my study is the usability of outdoor spaces: how the space solutions move people in space and how they experience the space? I am approaching a topic that is familiar to me, planning outdoor spaces. I have used my own experience of park design and landscape architecture. I have connected this with the theory of expanded scenography and pragmatic art philosophy. I am seeking answers to my research questions by studying three different public spaces in Helsinki. Tapio Wirkkalan puisto - Tapio Wirkkala Park is a central part of this study. It’s unusual park space in Finland due to the amount of art included in the space. In comparison Karhupuisto - Bear Park represents more traditional concept of art and Hiljentymisen piha - Yard of Silence represents what I call integrated concept of art. I observe my case studies as works of art, and the artistic experience they generate. According to art philosophy of pragmatism, aesthetic experience is created through practical and material features, providing that the art is experienced through one’s own experience. Very practical features such as the plants, furnishings, different materials used and built structures affect the experience of any outdoor space as art - as a meaningful experience. The designers of Tapio Wirkkala park and Yard of Silence have their background in theatre scenography. Both case studies show how the scenography and its ways thinking and working affected the spaces created and how the designers move a people in these spaces. When planning public outdoor spaces, the art of theatre and scenography can be utilized by using various means and concepts. This way art can be understood in a much wider concept in comparison to a traditional park architecture and design.