Gender and responsibility in digitally rich environments


Research within the theme area of gender and responsibility in digitally rich environments combines research and interdisciplinary collaborations with human, technical and natural sciences. The work on this theme area  stems from numerous research and development collaborations since the 1990s, including for example WomenIT project and the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) of the University of Oulu as a member of the multidisciplinary LUMINOUS research community. Currently the researchers in the theme area participate in developing digital solutions to recognize, prevent and intervene in violence in and around educational environs. Moreover, the researchers participate in the University of Oulu 2015 profilation work in  in the research area Digital solutions for sensing and interacting and has collaborated with Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (ITEE) on the profiling measure of Ubiquitous Wireless Sensor Systems.

As the core of this theme area, digitally rich environments and encounters are explored from the perspective of sustainability , gender equality and ethics. The research is inspired by feminist new materialist and post-human methodologies applying and developing a range of creative and arts-based methods for research and transformation. Research interests and new openings relate, among others, to the affordances of digitality, spatiality and creativity for engaging together with children in exploring, addressing and transforming gender-related violence in children’s peer cultures, as well as to sustainable and response-able processes, practices and outcomes in collaborative design of digital technologies.

Key words: affect, post-human, response-ability, digital technologies, participatory design, creative methods, augmented reality, sustainability, ethics, Barad, gender, equality

The members of the community

(Emails unless otherwise stated)

  • Tuija Huuki, PhD, Academy research fellow, Academy of Finland
  • Gender-based violence in pre-teen relationship cultures: How history, place, affect and arts interventions matter
  • Suvi Pihkala, PhD, Postdoctoral researcher
  • Anna R. Rönkä, MA, doctoral student
  • Ilmari Leppihalme, Lic. Arts, doctoral student    
  • Vappu Sunnari, Docent

External collaborators:

Selected publications:

Pihkala, S (2018) Touchable matters: reconfiguring sustainable change through participatory design, education, and everyday engagement for non-violence. Doctoral Thesis. Retrieved from

Pihkala, S & Karasti, H (2018) Politics of Mattering in the Practices of Participatory Design. In Proceedings of the 15th Participatory Design Conference- Volume 2 (PDC '18), ACM, New York, NY, USA, Article 13, 5 pages. DOI:

Pihkala, S. and Karasti, H. (2016) Reflexive engagement: enacting reflexivity in design and for 'participation in plural'. In Proceedings of the 14th Participatory Design Conference: Full papers - Volume 1 (PDC '16), Vol. 1. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 21-30. DOI:               

Hany Ferdinando, Liang Ye, Tian Han, Zhu Zhang, Guobing Sun, Tuija Huuki, Tapio Seppänen, and Esko Alasaarela. Violence Detection from ECG Signals: A Preliminary Study. Manuscript to Pattern Recognition Letters. (In peer review)

Liang, Y., Ferdinando, H., Seppänen, T., Huuki, T.,  and Alasaarela, E. (2015). An Instance-Based Physical Violence Detection Algorithm for School Bullying Prevention. Conference paper for IWCMC 2015.

Tumanyan, M & Huuki, T (in process) What (else) can arts-based methods do in working with children around sensitive topics: Qualitative review

Last updated: 2.11.2018