Katriina Heljakka

Postdoctoral Researcher, Cultural Production and Landscape Studies (School of History, Culture and Arts Studies)
Doctoral Student, Cultural Production and Landscape Studies (School of History, Culture and Arts Studies)
Research Manager, Cultural Production and Landscape Studies (School of History, Culture and Arts Studies)



Toy researcher
Katriina Heljakka (Doctor of Arts, MA (Art history), M.Sc. (Econ.), holds a
post-doctoral position at University of Turku (digital culture studies) and
continues her research on toys and the visual, material, digital and social
cultures of play in the Academy of Finland project Centre of Excellence in Game
Culture Studies. Her current research interests include the emerging
toyification of contemporary culture, toy design and the hybrid and social
dimensions of ludic practices. During her career, Heljakka, who received her
doctorate from Aalto University, has worked in the toy industry as a game
designer and creative manager responsible for trend-related research and
concept creation. In parallel to being an academic, Heljakka has been involved
in character creation, authored children’s storybooks and participated in
multiple art exhibitions with her toy-related photography and playable art
installations both in Finland, Portugal and the U.S. To explore the discipline
of toy design education, Heljakka has visited and lectured (and played) at the
toy design programs of the Polytechnic University in Hong Kong, Delft
University, Shenkar College in Tel Aviv, MIT Game Lab, Fashion Institute of
Technology in New York and OTIS School of Design in Los Angeles. In 2017,
Heljakka visited the Strong National Institute of Play as a research fellow. She
currently acts as the Chief of Play at Pori Laboratory of Play (PLOP). Contact:

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Towards a framework for analysing playful interventions - Lessons from a pink sandbox full of dice (2016) Proceedings - D and E 2016: 10th International Conference on Design and Emotion - Celebration and Contemplation Kultima Annakaisa, Nummenmaa Timo, Savolainen Sampo, Holopainen Jussi, Heljakka Katriina Irja, Kankainen Ville, Alha Kati, Mäyrä Frans
A4 Article in conference proceedings)

Toying with Twin Peaks: fans, artists and re-playing of a cult-series (2016) Katriina Heljakka
A1 Journal article – refereed)

From toys to television and back – My Little Pony appropriated in adult toy play (2015) Katriina Heljakka
A1 Journal article – refereed)

Leikkitieto 2015 – Pelillistyvä nukkeleikki leikillisen käänteen aikakaudella (2015)
Pelitutkimuksen Vuosikirja
Pelitutkimuksen vuosikirja 2015 Katriina Heljakka
A3 Book chapter)

Lelulaatikon rajoja rikkomassa – Tapaus Ken ja samanarvoistuvat nykyleikit (2015)
Katriina Heljakka
B1 Journal article)

Toys as Tools for Skill-building and Creativity in Adult Life (2015)
Katriina Heljakka
A1 Journal article – refereed)

Aikuiset ulos lelukaapeistaan (2014)
Heljakka Katriina
A1 Journal article – refereed)

This is Play – Reflections on playful artworks (as means for toy research) (2014)
Heljakka Katriina
E1 Popularised article, newspaper article)

ToDIGRA Special Issue, Physical and Digital in Games and Play (2014) Heljakka Katriina
C2 Edited book)

Last updated on 2019-04-01 at 10:42