What is Dada?

DaDa is a student association founded by students of the Media Lab Helsinki of Aalto University. DaDa was founded to support the interests of Media Lab students. It includes organising a variety of events to support the members’ professional development and networking during and after studies. The association also aims to promote the fields of study in the Media Lab within the Aalto University and broader society.

Through different activities DADA also builds and strengthens a sense of community amongst the students and the department. Our aim is to everyone feel that they are supported and represented. Through our advocacy program we ensure that student rights are respected.

More for information about the rules of the association can be found here.

why dada?

We are a student organization for you, no matter where you study or even if you don’t study at all, because we are a group of enthusiasts of art, design and digital creations. Yes, we represent particularly the students of the Media Department at the Aalto University, but don’t let that stop you from joining our ranks. We are a bunch of misfits trying to make and build cool things, organizing workshops and events just for you!

Like mentioned before DADA is particularly a media department students association when it comes to student advocacy, but open to all who are interested in technology, arts, media, sound and game design. We guard the rights of our students and help improve teaching by means of providing complimentary workshops and events in relation to the New Media study program. DADA is also working towards helping its members to network in order to provide those crucial contacts in the “real world”. We spread knowledge about the disciplines studied at Media Lab within Aalto and the society at large by being open and accepting of anyone who wants to join without discrimination of gender, nationality, color and religion.

More information regarding the Aalto code of conduct can be found here.

Notable Projects


An annual festival featuring audiovisual performances, new media and sound art as well as workshops free of charge. The festival is open to everyone in the Helsinki region. Throughout its different editions, ÄÄNIAALTO has become a linking platform between emerging and established sound artists in their field.



An annual exhibition produced by Department of Art and Media students at Aalto University. The exhibition lasts for three weeks featuring ten artworks and installations from 14 students and alumni. Flux Island combines the figurative and literal. Flux as in flow of people, ideas, electricity, water, etc. and flux as in the substance used when soldering.


Demo DAy

The Media Lab was founded in 1994 and is now a part of the Department of Media at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture at Aalto University. The mission of the Media Lab is to explore, discover and comprehend the new digital technology and its impact in society; to find and exploit the possibilities it opens to communication, interaction and expression and to evaluate, understand and deal with the challenges it poses to design and creative production.

Already in the late 1990s we adopted the slogan, ‘hands on with minds on’ to explain our work. We also adopted the ‘demo or die’ attitude of other Media Labs and formalised this into bi-annual Demo Days, organised at the end of each term. Our Demo Days have become regular events at which we demonstrate our work to each other and the ‘outside world’, people from other departments and schools, companies, partners and prospective partners. Demo Days are also a chance to have fun together before the onset of the vacations.


board 2022-2023

Ilona Pakarinen, chair

💖🌷Hello everyone! My name is Ilona and I’m the chair of DADA for 2023!

I’m currently a first year student in the New Media MA and I completed my BA in Design just last year in Aalto. Im really looking forward to taking on some new challenges as the chair this year ☺️

Burak türköz, Vice-chair

Hi! I’m Burak, the vice-chair of DADA and a first year master’s student in New Media. I’m originally from Turkey, where I was studying industrial design in undergrad.

At DADA my roles mainly involve the internal workings of the association, but I am also one of the people you can talk to if you have an issue or idea about anything involving school. You can find me by looking for a person with a yellow jacket and/ or green beanie around campus.

Hyunji Kim, Treasurer

Moi! My name is Hyunji Kim, and I am a Master’s student from New Media, also, the treasurer of DADA!! I joined DADA to bring people from different fields together under media lab and create great synergy. I am looking forward to meet you at various events and communities we will organize!

As DADA treasurer, I am planning and managing all the incomes and expenses that come and go to DADA. My goal of the year is leaving a good precedent for finance managing to the next board members. Come help us to build a more sustainable DADA!!

Jade Roberts, Communications

Hiya! My name is Jade and I am the cOmMuNiCaTiOnS Board member of DADA. Through DADA I hope to help bring people of varying backgrounds together to learn more about different ways of communicating and thriving. I have experience in different forms of media including videography, music making, social media and news media. You can find me around world building for my film projects, in the acoustics lab and at DADA events.

Yan Zhang, Events 

My name is Yan and I am currently studying in New Media programme. Before that I had design background in Industrial field and user experience. I am curious and passionate about everything around me, so I joined the DADA board to learn more. As Events responsible for DADA, I hope to create an enjoyable atmosphere for Medialab students as well as students outside of Medialab. I have many hobbies and experiences, such as music performance, show planning, astrology, etc. I‘m willing to get to know everyone offline and always open to any events ideas.

Aurora Navarro Villacampa, Corporate Relations

Moi! I’m Aurora, I am a Master’s student in New Media with an international background. Before this, I was at @kabkdesign so you know you can always come nerd out with me about typography.

While working on Corporate Relations and Outreach for DADA, I hope to provide opportunities where you can meet professionals in the industries you are interested in so that you can learn from them and continue to grow. 🌱

I’ll also continue to work on legacy projects to establish long-lasting partnerships with companies and institutions. If you want something to happen or want to collaborate with us, don’t hesitate to let me know!

board 2021-2022

monika hauck, chair

Cześć! My name is Monika Hauck I am a Canadian/Polish artist and musician currently completing an MA in New Media Design and Production. I am interested in creating immersive experiences for live performances and installations.

My background is in fine arts and in my free time, you can find me thrifting, working on DIY projects, biking, hiking, and crafting. This year my main goal as chair of DADA is to engage the artists and designers within Aalto to create a community of creatives who can share knowledge and exchange experience to better equip ourselves in both our personal and professional journeys on and off-campus.

Mathias Hörlesberger, Vice-chair

Hej hej! My name is Mathias Leopold Hörlesberger. Briefly about myself, I am a designer and social scientist with a background in service, interaction and user experiences design.

Originally from Vienna but have been living on/off in /Helsinki for 8 years and currently studying New Media Design and Production. In my free time I like bouldering and outdoor sports. As a vice-chair of DADA, my goal is to support students in building a strong community on and off-campus and as well as multiply student voices within Aalto and represent the ARTS community.

I don’t have any social media anymore due to ethical reasons. You might still find some stuff of mine online, but the best way to reach me is through Telegram or irl.

Katie Ballinger, Treasurer

Heyo! My name is Katie (Kathryn) Ballinger. I’m a New Media artist from Toronto, Canada,  I also spent a few years living in California  working in the Tech industry as a software engineer.

I love houseplants, bass heavy beats, playing video & board games, and bird watching. My art practice is centred around installation works, often with interactive components using electronics, code, and digital fabrication techniques.

I handle accounting & money stuffs with DADA as well as helping out in general with events and knowledge building. I strive to create a sense of community and help students feel settled here. Please say hello  if you see me around!

Marija Sumarac, Secretary  

Ćao! My name is Marija Šumarac and I am a sound designer and composer, studying MA Sound in New Media. Originally from Serbia, grew up near the beautiful river Danube.

My background is in sound design and music (both classical and jazz). I play trombone, and my hobbies are jewellery making, hiking and photography. As secretary of DADA, my goal is to provide better communication between students, to provide all information that they need and to help them in exchanging knowledge and experience during studying at Aalto. Feel free to say hi if you see me around!

Calvin Guillot, Communications

Hola! My name is Calvin Guillot. I am an artist, designer and developer. Originally from Colombia, I’ve been living for 8 years in Finland. Currently I am pursuing my second masters degree in New Media. I also like to be outdoors all the time and do bouldering and windsurfing.

As the communications person in DaDa, my goal is to create effective digital spaces where the members of DaDa and the Aalto community in general can share their ideas, art, and voice.

Ida Budolfsen, Events

Hej! I’m Ida Budolfsen from Denmark with a background in art and tech now studying New Media Design and Production. I like to get hands-on with installation or performance projects to explore new materials, or new ways to use my more traditional crafting interests. Fusion baby!

I also like a good board game or movie night, and I’ll be looking forward to hear your suggestions and ideas and facilitating events that bring us together to share interests, learn new things and have fun.

Gabriel Moise,  Student Advocate/Events

Hei! My name is Gabriel Moise. I am an artist from Romania working on games and animation, currently doing a master’s in Game Design at Aalto. I am interested in all aspects of the art pipeline, from pre-production to post-work. Some of my passions are coffee (a lot), role-playing games, and ice skating.

As part of DADA, I am organising events and doing advocacy work, especially for my fellow games student community.

Yujie Zhou, Student Advocate

Moi, I’m Yujie! I am a visual artist from China, studying MA Photography. Working with photography as my primary medium, as well as employing a variety of interdisciplinary frames, my practice is seeking to interrogate dominant historical narratives and individuality through the lens of a self-reflective critical voice.

As a student advocate of DADA, I want to understand students’ needs and try to influence on the decision making to support students.

Lulo Romero, Official DADA Creature

Woof woof, wooooooo, woooof *licking feet noises*.