It was nice to see you yesterday (14.10) and hope to see next time those who could not make it! Do remember that attendance is obligatory. As mentioned yesterday, if, for some force majeure, you can’t make it, please inform us beforehand and be ready to write three summaries instead of the one required. We also agreed yesterday that one exception to this is if you are missing class because you have a scheduled Aalto exam on the day of the course, there is no need to compensate for this absence.

On 14.10 we listened to Professor Teemu Leinonen’s talk on new media and consultation for new media. If you are interested in viewing the new media diagram that Temmu drew during class, you can check it out on page 73 of his dissertation, which he wrote back in 2010.

We also listened to Anna and Nina‘s great introduction to Beirut (PDF version here) and viewed videos of the Desmeem initiative by MENA design research, and overviews of Lamba Labs, and Alt City.

For next time, please read the required reading for the session.

– Make a summary of the one article you chose in class
– If you were not present in class, please choose one of the three articles and write a summary of it
– Remember that a summary is NOT copy-paste from the article. Please include personal reflection.
– Send the summaries by e-mail to Andrea and Joanna by friday 18.10, 13:00
– To make it easier for us, please paste the title of your reading and your summary to the body of the e-mail (so don’t send attachments, unless you want to include a diagram or illustration)
– Mark the subject field of the e-mail with: NMTS – summary for session x (replace x with the date of the following session, e.g. this time it will be 21.10)

Thanks and see you on monday 21.10, at 13:00 in Arabianranta. Please note that we will meet in Aalto ARTS Research Institute – lecture room 344: Hämeentie 135 C, Aalto ARTS main building, enter by the main door then turn right directly, Open the door, go up the stairs, and room 344 will be to your left!

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Meet Anna and Nina

Anna Asikainen and Nina Martin are key people for this year’s study project #Helsinki/Beirut. They will help us coordinating the study project and guiding the students throughout the course, especially with regards to the activities and project work done in Beirut, Lebanon. Here a short intro:

We are Anna and Nina, two Aalto students/soon-to-be graduates from ARTS and BIZ. For the last nine months we have been working on the idea of starting our own social enterprise around the possibilities that new technologies have to offer, especially in non-welfare states.

I am Anna from the Master’s program in Management, Sales and International Development (Aalto BIZ). I am especially interested in the field of social business and entrepreneurship, sustainability studies and clean technology implementation. Geographically speaking, I am most fascinated by Latin America, where I conducted my thesis research, and the Middle East, mostly because there’s a vast un-utilised potential of social business climate in these areas. I am intrigued by new venture creation that is socially responsible and sustainable from the very beginning.

I am Nina, a third-year student from the Media Lab (Aalto ARTS) who got to dive deep into design thinking. I was given the chance to apply this to a three-months design research project in Lebanon with the MENA Design Research Center in Beirut. The challenges and opportunities of the Lebanese landscape, technically, culturally and socioeconomically speaking, are vast and made me return six times in the last year as well as become a Service Designer for various projects. With my thesis work in South Africa I am exploring a framework for cross-boundary communication, a concept that also lies at the core of our initiative.

Together we started last year something we called tentatively “Aalto Middle East Initiative“, and with help from others got started this Media Factory-funded student project you will participate in. We will explore the symbiosis of design, new technologies and entrepreneurship in an ever-changing society and get insights into an exciting ecosystem.

Our role in the course will be most visible during the preparations for the trip to Beirut, and when helping communicate and collaborate with the partners and people there. We will be meeting all you in the first session. See you!

Mar Mikhael

Mar Mikhael

Gemmayze stairs

Gemmayze stairs


Posted in Helsinki-Beirut | 3,280 Comments

Fall 2013 Reading list

Most of the sessions are accompanied by a reading list. Usually 2-4 obligatory articles and some suggested additional readings. We will be updating the list here, check it before each session.

Participants should: 1) read before each session ALL the obligatory articles 2) Write a summary of (1) ONE of them. Which article to write a summary of will be decided in class. Summaries should be no longer than 1 A4, however, they should be longer than 2 paragraphs. Summaries should be ready the session’s previous Friday morning.

14.10 General intro to the course

Additional suggested readings:

21.10 Participation, Collaboration and Engagement in Design and Research for New Media

Additional suggested reading:

  • Botero, A. (2013). Expanding design space(s) – Design in communal endeavors (Doctoral Dissertation). Helsinki: Aalto University. PDF Available: ARTS bookstore
  • Saad-Sulonen, J., Botero, A. & Kuutti, K. (2012). A long-term strategy for designing (in) the wild: lessons from the Urban Mediator and traffic planning in Helsinki. In Proceedings of DIS’12 Designing Interactive Systems (pp.166–175). New York: ACM. (PDF of the article Saad-Sulonen_Botero_Kuutti_AuthorVersion)
  • Sanders, E. B.-N., Brandt, E., & Binder, T. (2010). A Framework for Organizing the Tools and Techniques of Participatory Design. In Proceedings of the 11th Biennial Participatory Design Conference (pp. 195–198). New York, NY, USA: ACM. doi:10.1145/1900441.1900476
  • Mulgan, G., Caulier-Grice, J., & Murray, R. (2010). The Open Book of Social Innovation. United Kingdom: Nesta and The Young Foundation. Available online:

28.10 Is this the Third Sector or what? Self organization and the semi-formal

Additional suggested readings:

  • Horelli, L., Saad-Sulonen, J., Wallin, S., & Botero, A. (2013) When self-organization and urban governance intersect: Two cases from Helsinki. Paper presented at the Using ICT, Social Media and Mobile Technologies to Foster Self-Organisation in Urban and Neighbourhood  Governance conference, Delft, The Netherlands. Retrieved from
  • Pestoff, V. (2012). Innovations in public services: Co-production and new public governance in Europe. In A. Botero, A G. Paterson, Saad-Sulonen, J. (Eds), Towards Peer Production in Public Services: Cases From Finland. Aalto University Publication Series Crossover 15/2012, (pp.13–33). Helsinki: Aalto University. Retrieved from

4.11Bottom up, top down and in-between: Making, Hacking, Doing and Influencing in Helsinki.

Additional suggested readings:

7.11 Seminar “Infrastructuring the commons”

2.12 Towards Beirut (II)


Posted in Helsinki-Beirut, Reading/Benchmark | 2,841 Comments

Case 2013-2014: Helsinki-Beirut!

This Autumn and Spring semester, we will explore the role of digital tools in civic society — ranging from social media to digital fabrication and emergent production and collaboration modes, such as Do It Yourself, Do It with Others, hacker cultures and peer production. We look in particular at how these can be integrated in supporting and increasing entrepreneurial spirit, social cohesion, cross cultural collaboration, sharing, and learning, in two completely different contexts: Helsinki and Beirut 🙂

Why Beirut? Well, it is a long story! First, one of our MA students, Nina Martin, had the opportunity to visit Beirut last year and take part in some design work there. She enjoyed the experience tremendously and wanted to get something going between Aalto University and Beirut. She and her study friend, Anna Asikainen from Aalto BIZ, started to contact people at Aalto and in Beirut, and got the ball rolling. Now, Joanna, who is one of the instructors of the New Media for the Third Sector is half Lebanese. Putting all that together with some basic funding from Aalto Media Factory. the puzzle pieces started to fall into place and this why the NMTS study project for 2013-2014 has a multi-cultural twist to it.

Bicycle in Black and WhiteBeirut By Bike

Aalto Media Factory will provide funding for 8 students to go on a 10 day field trip to Beirut (air travel and accommodation). For this part of the course students will work full-time on the project with the Lebanese partners (February/March). They will form smaller teams with the local group and choose focus areas for intervention. The aim is to co-create concepts for social innovations that will benefit the Lebanese society and prototype some of the ideas in situ to the extent possible. A collective decision-making process will be undertaken during the course to decide who will travel.

The study project is open for all master level students at Aalto. Registration happens via WebOodi (course #25414). Hurry up if you want to be involved! There are only 20 places available (10 for Aalto ARTS students, 5 for BIZ, and 5 for the rest!)

Please note that because of the ever changing political situation in the Middle East, the trip to Lebanon might be cancelled or moved to another date. We will be in contact with the Finnish embassy and consulate in Beirut when making the decision.

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Cleaning Day: Final presentations 31.5.2013

Last 31st of may we have the last session of the course with presentations and critique session. Many ideas for cleaning day development! Here a brief outline of the concepts and links to the final presentation materials. Thanks all the students for their time and interest in the themes and to Yhteismaa for accompanying us and the students in this experiment.

1) Cleaning Day treasures: (Nea, Riina, Suse) a nomadic intervention in the city and in FB that collects the treasures people have found from the stalls during cleaning day. The troupe took pictures of the treasures, interviewed people and made some noise. A marketing tool? a community building activity? a disguised usability evaluation of future mobile app? maybe all of those and more.

IMAG2277  Picture 37

2) Pen-pal Pirkka: (Nina) This intervention tests the idea of Cleaning day as an infra for other types of “recycling” projects. Can we recycle capabilities? During Cleaning Day Pirkka, an inhabitant of Helsinki with a drinking problem but a great writing gift, exchanged with others “Pay pal” package services.

IMAG2274 Picture 39

3) Cleaning day databoard:  (Georgia) What can be made up from the data produced during Cleaning day? Some simple info-graphics where produced and shared (What sells/swaps the most? Which neighborhood is more active?)  to help understand broader  questions like: Does it make sense for a movement to go OpenData – LiveData? What would that mean and can it portray the lively festival that Cleaning day is?


4) Cleanig Day Guide: (Catherine and Beatrice) How to help scale up and document the knowledge to set up cleaning day and its many services (stalls, recycling, etc)? A series of  guides and how to instructions for all participants of Cleaning day (sellers, recyclers, buyers, etc). Particular emphasis was put on developing the recycling services proposed by cleaning day.

IMAG2279    Picture 2

We are done! THANKS



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Cleaning day approaching… interventions in planning!

This lasts weeks we have been busy sketching, planning and preparing our design research interventions for Cleaning day, it will happen 25th of May. Ideas were numerous, some cleverly ambitious some neat and simple. We believe they are all good and relevant.

Lets see how we manage. Here a small taste of the ideas:

1) Siivouspäivän aarteet: (Nea, Riina, Suse) a nomadic intervention in the city that collects the treasures people have found from the stalls in cleaning day. The troupe takes pictures of the treasures, interviews people and make some noise. A marketing tool? a community building activity? a disguised usability evaluation of future mobile app? maybe all of those and more.

Picture 22

2) Pen-pal Pirkka: (Nina) This intervention tests the idea of Cleaning day as an infra for other types of “recycling” projects. This case there will be a stall were the capabilities of Pirkka, an inhabitant of Helsinki with a drinking problem but a great writing gift, can be displayed and exchanged. Can we recycle capabilities?

Picture 21

3) Siivouspäivä databoard:  (Georgia) This intervention aims to explore what can be made up from the data produced during siivouspäiva: Especifically mixing the Cleaning day website data (probably also data taken with the Facebook API) into  simple info-graphics. What sells/swaps the most? Which neighborhood is more active? These might help us understand other questions like: Can siivouspäivä go OpenData – LiveData? What would that mean and can it portray the lively festival that Cleaning day is?

Picture 23

4) Siivouspäivan Opas: (Catherine and Beatrice) Siivouspäivan Opas is producing some guides and how to instructions for all participants of Cleaning day: sellers, recyclers, buyers, etc). During the day itself the team will inspect the functioning of a recycling spot, observe, intervene and do some “service prototyping” on the spot. This we will believe contribute to develop the recycling services proposed by cleaning day. How to help scale up and document the knowledge to set up cleaning day and its many services (stalls, recycling, etc)?


5) Siivouspaivä etkot catwalk: (MG) Cleaning day offers many up-cycling workshops for inhabitants in Helsinki. How to document peoples creations? spread the love and awareness of making stuff from other stuff?  This intervention will create a collective documentation stage in the Cleaning day workshop headquarters at Sähkötalo in the center of Helsinki.

5) Siivouspäivä stories: (June) – CANCELLED –  A recycling bicycle will tour around the city documenting stories of the the stuff people like to put in circulation during cleaning day. Things and stories will be swapped . What people value? What are their stories?

Picture 24

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Siivouspäivän digitalkoot (Cleaning day hackathon) results and small questionnaire

If you have participated in the Siivouspäivä digitalkoot (Cleaning day hackathon) on 16.3.2013, please answer our online questionnaire! It takes 5-10 minutes 🙂 Thanks!

The time has come to look back at the Siivouspäivän digitalkoot/Cleaning day hackathon event that took place on 16.3, at the Aalto Media Factory!  The main idea was to have a “Digitalkoot” (digital + talkoot) day, with a mixture of coding hack day, GUI prototyping, and event idea generation. Four tracks focused on different themes supporting development of the Siivouspäivä/ Cleaning day flea market day concept: VideoMobile app coding + interface design, Event “How to…” Guidebook, and Stories.

Here is a summary of what the day entailed and the concrete results that were reached:

Digitalkoot in (approximate) numbers
45 participants (10 facilitators)
8 hours of work (during which we had 24 large pizzas, 8 salad portions, 24 bananas, 2 bags of tangerines, 70 cups of coffee, 35 espresso, 25 teabags)
4 track themes that produced 16 digital artifacts (big and small)
45 enthusiastic inhabitants of Helsinki
Organizers: Teachers and Students of the New Media for the Third Sector course – spring 2013 ( Thanks also to: Kimmo Karhu, Aapo Rista, Sara Jacobsen + Siivouspäivä working team

Supported by
Aalto Media Factory
Aalto Service Factory
Media Lab Helsinki


1. Siivouspäivä Story tag – A price tag label (PDF)
A simple PDF file that Siivouspäivä participants can print and cut to tag their selling items with price, owner and a personal story about the object
(more info: Hyunsun Park and Seungho Lee)

Story price tag

Story price tag

2. Siivouspäivä mobile wayfinding app (Android & iOs)
This app offers a simple wayfinding solution for people interested in exploring the stands and recycling spots during cleaning day. The app answers the simple use case of “where I am?” and “what is around?”. During the day the team manage to create the back end database functionality and started testing the main functionalities of the front end for both Android and iOs. They continue to work so that we will (hopefully) have a functioning app for the May-Siivouspäivä (The work is closely tied with the other app concepts created at UI level shown later on this document).
(More info: Islam Mesbahul, Feroz Abdullah, Fabian Häusler, Suse Meissner + Kimmo Karhu, Aapo Rista)

Mobile map interface

Mobile map interface

3. How To Siivouspäiva / Siivouspäiva Opas (PDF)
A Collection of simple guidelines and illustrations to help people that want to participate in Siivouspäivä. There are different categories and themes that can be extended and complemented
(More info: Beatrice D’Agostino, Cathrine Einarsson, Helja Hyytia, Aajwanthi Baradwaj, Paola Montevecchi, Gabriela Dygrinova, Chow Yik, Yunhye Kim, Dahn Kim)

How To guidebook

How To guidebook

4. What to do the 25th of May? – (Online Video)
A video presenting comments of a “personality” (in this prototype designer that contributed to one of the upcycling workshops in past Siivouspäivä) that encouraged others to join in next Siivouspäivä. The concept has the potential of becoming semi-automated generative video using basic interview footage that could be combined by a webvideo framework.
(More info: Sasha Kazantsev, Nelly Sääksjarvi, Adnan Mirza)

5. The story of uwbsmndb547 – (Online Video)
This is a conceptual piece telling the story of an unidentified object changing owners, locations while expressing its feelings throughout that journey.
(More info: Hesam Pakbeen)

6. The Walk – (Online Video)
This short introduces the re- and upcycling focus of the Siivouspäivä to a confused pedestrian who keeps coming across the same fabric in different shapes over and over again.
(More info: Kimi Nguyen, Jaakko Keso, Dahn Kim)

7. You can get it in Siivouspäivä! (Online Video)
This is a promotion video that works on the idea that the value of ‘Siivoupäivä’ lies in  sharing our memories with our neighbors. Things are not just fashion items or just made  of fabric they are memory items. there are 2 demo videos of the idea: (Notice that the date is wrong – next Siivouspäivä happens on 25.5!)
(More info: Moungkoen(MG) Lee, Ieva Cakule, Ingrida Slisane, Sara Szabo)


8. Siivouspäivä song playlists  – mp3 song list
A collection of music elusive to the Siivouspäivä theme.  The collected songs comment on the themes of the day and can serve as background and soundscape for those selling and swapping their goods as well as for those strolling the cities to find bargains. (Playing lists can be implemented in spotify, youtube, last FM and other similar services)
(More info: Fang-yi Lee)

9. The Coat’s story –  (storyboard stage)
The video proposes  3 different themes. 1. Trading as a  metaphor for the many meanings of an object 2. The personal stories of objects sold in siivoupäivä 3. Siivouspäivä as a stage for people’s own fashion shows.
(More info: Sarah Zabo, Ieva Cakule, Ingrida Slisane) (+MG)


10. A story layer for Sivouspäivä map (Sketches)
A proposal for adding a layer of stories to the current siivouspäivä map database. The layer can contain personal stories of objects that circulate hands in siivouspäivä and could add possibilities to create personalized journeys during cleaning day
(More info: Sang-hyun Ryu)

11. Siivouspäivä Story news magazine (Dummy)
A magazine that documents siivoupäivä stories, people, places and happenings after cleaning day has passed. It can serve as marketing for next siivouspäivä, as documentation and as tool for community building around siivouspäivä
(More info: Hsiao-chun Shih)

12. Siivouspäivä sellers App (wireframes)
This app concept is thought from the sellers perspective: What are the needs a seller has, when he is already out in his/her stall during Siivouspäivä? They want to be able to update information about their stalls. What is already sold out? Are they closing earlier than expected? This is what the “Sellers App” is all about.  The participants also came up with an idea that could easily be implemented to the website as well: How often has a seller participated in Siivouspäivä already?
(More info: Lu Zeng, Dan Qin, Jessie Hsu)

13. “I bought that” App for siivouspäivä (Wireframes)
Marketing tool, where participants of Siivouspäivä will make the marketing for Siivouspäivä.  The idea is that whenever something nice is bought, it is photographed with the app. The app will add the Siivouspäivä logo and item price (as entered by the user) as a badge/ribbon on the photo, which then is shared in different social media platforms. This type of app would work because people like to brag with their great bargains! It can also be an added functionality for Siivouspäivä mobile app?
(More info: Suse Meissner, Neea Laakso)

14. Siivouspäivä buyers’ app (wireframes)
3 different views to the UI of a Siivouspäivä app that let buyers navigate through a map/list view where all the stalls are marked. They can then tab on a certain stall and see the info about it.  In future there will also be a functionality to add favorites, stalls that you really want to go to, so that you can make up your route beforehand (This UI are the bases of the wayfinding app that will be implemented before May).
(More info: Dipti Sonawane, Roope Kiviranta, Tae Yong Kim)

15. Video Stories (Script)
A concept/script template for an engaging way that stories around the the Siivouspäivä could be told on video.
(More info: Dahn Kim)

16. Lamp meme viral video (concept stage)
An item can go through many journeys. From shirt to skirt to bag to teapot warmer to lamp shade. This viral video shows the shirt’s point of view. It is in its concept stage now.
(More info: Kimi Nguyen)

Thank you all for your contribution!

If you have participated in the Siivouspäivä digitalkoot (Cleaning day hackathon) on 16.3.2013, please answer our online questionnaire! It takes 5-10 minutes 🙂 Thanks!

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Social movements and social media in the welfare state

Last class Pauliina Seppälä (MA Social Policy) gave us a very interesting presentation dealing with some basic concepts of the nordic model of the welfare state (as context / infra / stage) and what it has to do with for social movements and social media. We discuss in particular how she sees the role of social media in re-imagining the nordic welfare model, what bits count as design (what not?) and what is missing based also on her insights gained by engaging with everyday social movements. Here a copy of her slides in PDF (NMTS-socialpolicy-seppala).

We have nice discussion and challenging thoughts where put forward: Design? Politics! Policy!

Thanks Pauliina,

Posted in Cleaning day: Resouces | Tagged , , , , | 3,350 Comments

Fourth assignment: Reading list #2

Assignment # 4: readings + short summary, Due date 12.4.13

Read all three obligatory readings, but write a summary of one of them (which one for which student will be decided in class). Send it through email to Joanna and Andrea before next class. (mark the document clearly with your name, date and title you are summarizing)

Browse the list of further suggested readings – read as many as you want :). Contact joanna or andrea for access to the dropbox

1) O’Connor, C  (2012) Urban Prototyping and the dawn of DIY urbanism. Smart Planet Blog (October 25th) Available online:

2) Fischer, G. (2011). Understanding, fostering, and supporting cultures of participation. interactions, 18(3), 42–53. doi:10.1145/1962438.1962450

3) Seppälä P (2012) Tiny social movements: Experiences of social media based co-creation. In Botero A, Paterson AG and Saad-Sulonen J (eds.)  (2012) Towards Peer Production in Public Services: Cases from Finland, pp 62-75. Available online


Further reading:

Hassan Z (Forthcoming) Laboratories for Social Change: The Two Cultures (Excerpted from Laboratories for Social Change: Creating Effective Responses to Complex Social Challenges)

Brereton, M. & Ghelawat, S. Designing for participation in local social ridesharing networks: grass roots prototyping of IT systems. n T. Robertson, K. Bødker, T. Bratteiq, & D. Loi (Eds.), Proceedings of the 11th Biennial Participatory Design Conference (pp. 81–90). Sydney, Australia: ACM. doi:10.1145/1900441.1900478

Botero, A., & Saad-Sulonen, J. (2010). Enhancing citizenship: the role of in-between infrastructures. In T. Robertson, K. Bødker, T. Bratteiq, & D. Loi (Eds.), Proceedings of the 11th Biennial Participatory Design Conference (pp. 81–90). Sydney, Australia: ACM. doi:10.1145/1900441.1900453

ACM digital library should be freely available when logged from the Aalto network. PDFs also in course drop box

Posted in Cleaning day: Resouces, Cleaningday: Assignment | 2,647 Comments

Our hackathon is happening: Siivouspäivän digitalkoot 16.3.13

Poster for the Hackathon (Beatrice and June Kiitos!)

We have been busy preparing the hackathon for Cleaning day. After some brainstorming and preparations we decided to call it a digital “raising barn event” or digitalkoot (in Finish) to hint at the fact that we will be working in some concrete technology yes ( mobile apps and videos), but will also work in other fronts like “how to’s” and stories all of them related to Cleaning day. The hackathon will take place at Aalto Media Factory on Saturday 16 of March. Everybody is welcome.

Learn more and register here!
Our 4 tracks will be:
– Mobile Apps (Hosted by Suse, Georgia, Riina and Nea)
– Video (Hosted by Nina and MG)
– Stories (Hosted by June and Sara)
– How to’s (Hosted by Catherine and Beatrice).
For Joanna and me this is also the first time to be engaged in something at this scale so we are learning a lot as well. To plan the day and coordinate the contributions we are encouraging the students to use a variety of tools: post it notes, boards, physical space, dropbox space, google documents, eventbrite event, facebook events, githib repo, video recordings and others.

One thing to keep in mind for the day and our course in general is the following question: are we falling into traps of “solutionism”? (for ref to the term see e.g “Is smart making us dumb?” and  “The Perils of Perfection“)

Posted in Cleaningday: Event | Tagged , , | 3,876 Comments