Art education in the post-digital era: Experiential construction of knowledge through creative coding

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


    This dissertation examines the questions and problematics of code and digitality brought forward by the post-digital era. In particular, it focuses on the role and the means art education has in awakening a critical understanding of the digital constructs in our society. Moreover, this dissertation proposes creative coding as an art educational method to gain a first-hand comprehension of digitality. Increasing digitalisation is augmenting and altering our culture as well as society in general. Digital technologies mediate everyday life so much that not using them becomes a declaration of alternative values. The term post-digital delineates a world where the digital is complexly intertwined with the physical world. As such, digital technologies participate in the construction of society and everyday life. Post-digital presents multiple challenges in regards to everyday life, as well as to culture and society, which requires comprehension of these technologies and their underlying code. Without an understanding of how these digital systems work, we are unable to fully participate in the construction of contemporary life. Creative coding, generally, refers to programming where expression is more important than function. This dissertation widens the concept of creative programming into activities that include programming as one of their components, such as physical computing and in some instances new media art. Furthermore, creative coding in this research is considered from the art educational perspective as an experiential activity that generates and requires creative and critical thinking. My research methods are primarily based on phenomenology, ethnography, and theoretical research. The research material includes theoretical literature from the fields of art, art education, philosophy, and craft education, and from a varied field of studies on technology. The ethnographic material consists of my research at the Robotti Art and Craft School (Käsityökoulu Robotti). The phenomenological research strategy blankets the whole dissertation from me being the active participant in both teaching creative coding in various places as well as practising it in my artistic work. The dissertation offers three key findings that have both theoretical and practical implications. The first is the observation that understanding digital technologies in general, and teaching programming in particular, needs to be understood from a broader perspective. The second is the notion of digi-grasping, which refers to the growing need to comprehend the complex and intertwined digital processes inherent in everyday life. The third is the implication that creative coding can be a beneficial tool in art education in acquiring knowledge and critical understanding of the digital systems.
    Translated title of the contributionTaidekasvatus postdigitaalisella aikakaudella: kokemuksellinen ymmärtäminen luovan ohjelmoinnin avulla
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor's degree
    Awarding Institution
    • Aalto University
    • Sederholm, Helena, Thesis Advisor
    • Vadén, Tere, Thesis Advisor
    Print ISBNs978-952-60-7947-9
    Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-7948-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


    • Art education
    • code literacy
    • craft education
    • philosophy
    • digital humanities
    • creative coding


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