The Systems of Representation group conducts research into representation, culture, and knowledge in the digital dimension. The group works on research and design projects, educational activities, and publishes frequently on topics such as cultural heritage, design research, new media, synthetic reality and simulation.

Research Topics

methods and tools
The group created some of the first implementations of Self-Organizing Map (SOM) algorithms for visualization of cultural heritage.
The group has created digital facsimiles of two of the most important maps in in the history of cartography, namely the Carta Marina of 1539 by Olaus Magnus and the Map of Mexico 1550. In this area the group also created the Image Annotation Notebook (Imanote) tool.
cultural heritage
The group has a portfolio of projects that showcases the use of digital design in this sector. We have worked with Design Museum Helsinki, Helinä Rautavaara Museum, Helsinki City Art Museum, National Board of Antiquities (Finland) and Uppsala University Library, among others.
3D user interface design We have experience and conduct research in the area of 3D interfaces for virtual reality as well as 3D networked environments.
Activity Theory
in art and design
The focus of the work has been on the use of Activity Theory in art and collaborative design practices.


About representation

Representation touches diverse areas of study and research such as: art, art history, design, history, information design, literary theory and narrative, media studies, philosophy, politics, postcolonial studies, semiotics, visualization, and visual culture.

In art and design however, representation refers to the creation, through the use of diverse media of material aspects of ‘reality’ including living organisms, artifacts, time, space, as well as abstract concepts such as culture and identity. In digital media representation involves the additional aspect of translating these creations into patterns that are essentially numerical.