Mari Karhu
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Personal profile

Research interests

Mari Karhu researches the use of collaborative media as a part of societal crises. Through a variety of research cases, she aims to find out how collaborative media platforms and people participating through them work in societal crisis situations. Moreover, she is interested in how collaborative media deployment and use are experienced, and how the platforms affect our everyday lives. 

The obtained results shed light on the exceptional circumstances caused by COVID-19 pandemic as well as the surrounding climate crisis. In the context of COVID-19, she has focused on the issues surrounding technology usage in the family setting during remote schooling phase as well as explored people's perspectives on how their perception and usage of social media changed during the pandemic. Speaking about climate crisis, the research results she has published, have contributed in understanding about collaborative media as a tool for empowering people towards sustainability and seeking solutions against climate change. 

Currently, Karhu is working with research cases that focus on experiences of a collaborative-media-based craft collective which aimed to combat climate crisis and promote ecological sustainability as part of Australian bushfires, and experiences of organizing and facilitating an open online hackathon which searched solutions to COVID-19 pandemic.

Karhu’s research is strongly related to the development of future technology, as the use of collaborative media technologies will increase, for example, due to remote cultures that are getting more common. Therefore, an in-depth understanding of what kind of technological and cultural phenomenon collaborative media is, is required.

Karhu received a salaried researcher position from the thematic doctoral programme 'Arctic in a Changing World' at the University of Lapland in 2022. In addition, her research has been funded by a one-year A.E. Nordenskiöld grant provided by Finnish Cultural Foundation, Lapland Regional Fund in 2015. 

Aside with her PhD studies, Karhu has worked for years in the field of communications. She is on a work leave from her position as a senior communication strategist at Miltton - the largest marketing communications agency in the New Nordics.


Field of science

  • Visual arts and design


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