“Media Lab UIAH” by Philip Dean

  • ©, Philip Dean, Media Lab UIAH


    Media Lab UIAH

Artist(s) and People Involved:


Artist Statement:

    The formation of the Media Lab at the University of Art & Design Helsinki was a logical step in our University’s evolution. Like any faculty bearing the name ‘Media Lab’ there is a certain amount of irony in adopting that title. But having witnessed the changes brought about by the use of computers in many of our departments in the last decade it was clear that there must be a place within UIAH where the problematics and advantages of digital media could be investigated, unrestricted by allegiance to any existing professional doctrine.

    Drawing on our successes of recent years we set to plan the department which would not only play home to its own Masters degree programme but would be the driving force behind the successful integration of new digital tools into the university as a whole. In a time of economic depression there was a need to consolidate existing resources, both human and technical, and to strive towards wider allegiance with both other universities and industrial partners. The Finnish climate of education is rapidly changing and no better seen than in UIAH during the last decade. We have gained openness through internationalization and through this have begun to learn the meaning of the phrase, ‘the competitive world of higher education’. Our education has become more relevant to the needs of modern society and academic values have had to be reassessed in the light of industrial dependence and sponsorship.

    The Media Lab has many roles to play. It is a place for teaching, research and production of what we now term ‘New Media’, but more specifically we hope that the Media Lab will be successful in
    applying the traditional skills of our university towards developing that media and the interface of man and machine. Much technology has come to us as the spin-off of an official desire to attack or
    defend, whatever the cost. It is not surprising that the nature of this technology is somewhat hostile. Now that the silicon chip and the Internet fall within our more peaceful budgets we would be wise to seek peaceful uses for our new tools which will ultimately increase our understanding of each other.


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