The Embodied Design Group

Prof. Jack Whalen

 Dr. Jack Whalen is Adjunct Professor, Design and Ethnographic Research, in the Department of Design, where he teaches courses on Design Ethnography and User Inspired Design. He is also a project manager for Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, an international NGO, where he is leading work on analysing the socioeconomic impact of new management regulations for Indonesian blue swimming crab on the fishers and designing measures to mitigate that impact. In addition, Jack is working with SFP on designing a methodology for evaluating the socioeconomic performance of fisheries. Previously, Jack was a Principal Scientist at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Centre (Xerox PARC) where he led ethnographic studies of workplaces and customer sites, along with the design and implementation of knowledge systems, work processes and services. And prior to that, Jack was Associate Professor and Department Head in the Department of Sociology at the University of Oregon, where he carried out participant observation studies of police and fire emergency communications centres. For more about Jack, see...

Olli Heiskanen

I am a master student in Collaborative and industrial design. I joined Embodied Design Group in summer 2016 as a thesis worker for Light Energy-project. My thesis is going to be about adaptive street lighting in future smart cities, concentrating in the capital area of Finland. In my study, I’m creating a vision of the future by studying outdoor managers and users of the streets to find possible concepts that are beneficial to all stakeholders. Light...

Mikko Illi

Doctoral student – Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Design My ongoing PhD research focuses on B2B sales. I’m doing an ethnographic research on industrial sales-agents work and aim to design and develop new supportive tools for their use. I have worked on this exciting topic in UXUS -project from year 2013 and started my PhD studies in fall 2014.   Academic publications: 2016 – IMP conference, Poznan – paper title: “Managing the design and development of visualised support for value-based selling process in paper machine industry” accepted to conference proceedings 2015 – IMP conference, Kolding – paper title: “Applying conceptual design to B2B sales negotiations” accepted to conference proceedings 2014 – Design conference, Dubrovnik – paper title: “Facilitation with digital tools, pictures and tangible objects in face-to-face workshops” accepted to conference proceedings   Projects: Design or Die -project EU -rakennerahasto 2016-2019 UXUS -programme, FIMECC 2010-2015 – User experience and usability in complex systems Arvotori -research project, Tekes, 2014-2015 Innokone -project, EU...

Riikka Townsend

I am a doctoral candidate at the Department of Design. I started my doctoral studies in 2013 and joined the Embodied Design Research group in the autumn of 2014. My education has led me through textile art, – craft and – design related studies both in England and in Finland, and my work experience as a freelance designer has also provided an understanding of the commercial requirements to textile and surface design. As a member of the Embodied Design research group  my main research interests are in exploring the sensory scope of responsive and transformative textiles through explorative material enquiry and prototyping. The objective of my research is to facilitate more intuitive settings within our living environment. I currently work in the Heat Harvest -project, and also collaborate with the Swedish School of Textiles. My prior academic work experience is from the RESPO-project, Responsive Materials in Spaces, during 2011-2013, and in the DWoC-project, Design Driven Value Chains in the World of Cellulose, during 2013-2014. My MA-thesis focused on future rugs, which have been exhibited in three exhibitions. Publications 2015: Riikka, Townsend, and Salu Ylirisku. “Context Construction through Material Perceptions.” Tangible Means: Experiential Knowledge Through Materials: Conference Proceedings, 2015, p. 93-105 (2015).  ...

Karthikeya Acharya

I am a Postdoc researcher at the Embodied Design Group. I got my doctorate in Design Research from the Department of Design, Aalto ARTS in 2016. I am also a visiting researcher at the CTO of the Finnish state energy corporation Fortum. My prior academic degrees are a Bachelors in Architecture, from Manipal University, India and a Masters in Interaction Design, from Domus Academy+Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, Milan, Italy. In my doctoral research, I took the position of framing domestic energy use as information. Through field based design practice I studied the implications of such a position for domestic relations within the home. I employed this position through design practice within the context of apartment living, mainly in India over a period of three and half years. With a similar position, I also undertook an experimental case in Finland. With this background, my current research interests inquire into automation of everyday energy use practices and its implications to the development of human relations that concern social issues such as economic and social disparity in high-density contexts. I have worked as a commercial architect, as an industrial ethnographer, design researcher and also as an installation artist. Some of my selected publications can be found here. My doctoral dissertation published by the Aalto ARTS books can be downloaded here. Contact me on e-mail: firstname.lastname@aalto.fi...

Lutz Gegner

I am particularly researching the User eXperience (UX), hence how people experience, interact and value novel designs – how they perceive products and attribute meaning.
Together with Mikael Runonen we developed AXE …

Jussi Mikkonen

My research interests are in wearables (3D-printed and eTextiles), personal electronics and prototyping (User interfaces, embedded systems, teaching methods, tools).