The Visual Communication Design programme at Aalto University (VCD) is an international learn- ing community committed to investigating new modes of action within visual communication. This archive was established in 2020 as a means to document and share the activity and work of the programme.

Terhi Adler

MA thesis



Spatial Sequential Art – Comics beyond the Book Format



This thesis rethinks what comics can be. The aim is to renew expectations of what comics can look like and refresh the realization conventions. To achieve this, research of this thesis examines how the boundaries of comics would act if expanded into the third dimension. As a result, this thesis helps the establishing of a new medium, spatial comics.


The thesis is practise-led artistic research. That means producing knowledge by methods of creating art work, and describing the creations and ways of making. The theory for this thesis is mostly drawn from practice, meaning both hands-on work and the thought process. The thesis introduces ways of making spatial comics as well as reflects on the handling of the artistic work.


Spatial comics have its roots deeply in comics as a form of sequential art. Spatial comics follow the same logic as traditional comics, mixing visual and textual elements in a sequential narrative juxtaposition. As a form of intermedia art, spatial comics merges comics with a variety of possible combinations of spatially experienced art, usually installation or sculpture. By physical presence, spatial comics create multisensory experiences for the exhibition visitor. Being an artform of its own, spatial comics might not answer the problem of traditional comics exhibitions, but inspire towards taking the gallery space into consideration. By reading this thesis one can understand what spatial comics in its various formats is, and possible ways to make it.


Link to thesis:


Interview (Finnish):


The on-going exhibition at Kanneltalo: