The Media Lab Helsinki was founded in 1994 and is now a part of the Department of Media at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture of the Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland.
The mission of the Media Lab is to explore, discover and comprehend the new digital technology and its impact in society; to find and exploit the possibilities it opens to communication, interaction and expression and to evaluate, understand and deal with the challenges it poses to design and creative production.
One critical aspect of work in a Media Lab is the need to constantly demonstrate the results of the development work that happens there – a mixture of research, thinking and practical experiments. Already in the late 1990s we adopted the slogan, ‘hands on with minds on’ to explain our work. We also adopted the ‘demo of die’ attitude of other Media Labs and formalised this into bi-annual Demodays, organised at the end of each term. Our demodays have become regular events at which we demonstrate our work to each other and the ‘outside world’, people from other departments and schools, companies, partners and prospective partners. Demodays are also a chance to have fun together before the onset of the vacations.
The Media Lab offers English language masters (MA) and doctoral studies (DA) in a variety of subjects in the field of new media. Research is undertaken in 5 research groups and as an integral part of the individual studies of doctoral students.