AMF seed funding brought food-workshops to Foodycle

New food festival, Foodycle, took over Viikki and Suvilahti in September 2013. The multidisciplinary project brought together artists, designers, scientists and of course consumers, to search for the future’s food culture.

The festival was built around sustainability and food culture, and the panel discussions on the 2nd day of the event had three themes: the meat production, food waste and the overall culture around food in Finland. The goal was to create a platform for discussion about sustainable food consumption.

“There seems to be a big gap between practices: scientists rarely talk with designers and laypeople rarely get to talk with scientists and so on. We wanted to bring all these people together,” says Lee Seungho, who was part of the project group.

The event consisted of a farmer’s market as well as food related workshops where the visitors could for example learn how to make sausages. For discussion the event included panels with participants with different backgrounds.

The group will continue with the project and Foodycle may very well become an annual festival. Seungho already has ideas how to make the event better next year:

“It seems like people who attended the farmer’s market were different from the people who participated in the panel discussions the second day. I think these should be arranged differently so that people get the whole experience.”

Aalto Media Factory’s seed funding participated in realising the project.

“The Aalto Media Factory funding made the workshops possible. It also gave me the freedom to really focus on this project,” Seungho says.

Media Factory’s Open Call seed funding is available for multi-disciplinary projects, and can be applied for at anytime. More info on the seed funding can be found here.

Kuva: Tuure Parviainen

Energy Hackathon 2013 – the results

8 great concepts/prototypes were created last week at Energy Hackathon 2013!

The focus of the hackathon was on domestic electricity consumption data. One reason why this data is particularly interesting is that Finland is one of the first countries in Europe where smart meters have been installed in nearly all households. The legal framework that gives people the access to their own data will be valid from the beginning of 2014.

The hackathon had approximately 60 participants and 3 special guests from abroad: Denise Recheis (Thesaurus and Knowledge manager at Reeep), Chris Davis (Postdoc in TU Delft) and Julia Kloiber (Project Lead at Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland).

Helsingin Energia and Elenia provided several data sets and the developers of the Open Energy Data API gave access to their test data.

Image: SmartRegions European Landscape Study 2012


After a full day of hacking, 8 concepts/prototypes were presented. The jury evaluated the proposals based on four criteria (concept, implementation, use of data, presentation) and nominated the following three proposals:

Smart saver – Electricity contract for the bold penny-pincher (winner)

Team: Janne Eskelinen, Jouni Juntunen, Janne Käpylehto, Heikki Raunio

Smart saver is a real-time billing optimizer for consumers that are interested to lower their electricity bill. The concept is based on the current market anomaly where consumers typically choose fixed electricity price contracts instead of market based Nordpool spot pricing.

The concept was backed up by hourly consumption data from year 2012 provided by Helsingin Energia. The data set of 37 electricity meters in Paloheinä were used to calculate differences between fixed and Nordpool spot. The team presented example resuls of two different type of properties: industrial building and private detouched family house with direct electrical heating. In annual level the market pricing benefited 5351 € and 736 € respectively in electricty consumption alone (without distribution or tax which will further increase the difference).

Furthermore load shifting scenario were 20% of consumption was shifted to less expensive hour was tested. This provided additional 6% cost saving in residential example house with 28 MWh annual consumption.

The team concluded with two potential service concepts: load-control features (for water heating and water heating circulation system) and SMS service informing about high-cost hours.

» Presentation slides

Race to Reduce (2nd place)



  • Facebook Application
  • Visualize energy savings via travel distance
  • Compete with friends to see who can save more domestic energy

The Game:

  • Choose a start and end point for your journey
  • Invite your friends to race
  • Answer a few questions used to normalize consumption data

Data Manipulation:

  • Used Helsingin Energia data (50 unit apartment building)
  • Calculated monthly consumption
  • Used January as the baseline month
  • Calculated % change from January
  • Highest reduction = most points
  • Most points = furthers distance travelled

» Presentation slides

CrowdREsourcing (3rd place)


Team: Jyri Salpakari, Juuso Lindgren, Jukka Kajan

CrowdREsourcing gathers consumers that are interested in investing to renewable energy together. Interest and the owned assets are declared on an online-service. The service forms clusters of potential investors according to their matching resources after which an initial proposal for a possible project are presented to the cluster. Possible datasets that could be integrated are Tuuliatlas and electricity network infrastructure.

>> Presentation slides

Other presented concepts/prototypes were:


Team: Jarmo Lundgren, Esa Mäkinen, Charlotta Haglund, Saara-Maria Kauppi, Pekka Pietilä, Lauri Anttila, Vesa Lindqvist

Web solution which connects to and gathers electricity usage information for the user (online bank identification to give access). You can compare your consumption to previous week and try to save energy (there’s a leader board). The prototype uses the test interface of

>> Online prototype


A proposal to create a real-time map of available solar energy in Finland.



Team: Sami Niemelä, Julia Kloiber & co

An ‘energy saving piggy bank’ for children.

  • A little bit like a tamagotchi that you feed with energy
  • Get batches, share score, get money ‘back’ from your parents
  • Get a sense of energy usage
  • Watch less tv 😉

» Presentation slides

Energy Radar


A Clock drawing information of ones hourly energy usage. Comparing the on time hourly energy consumption to one’s own longterm average energy consumption, so called ‘normipäivää’, normal day.


  • Winning yourself
  • Understanding your anomalies (peak behavior, anomal weeks, device use)
  • Learning to save, making behavioral changes (figuring out your own patterns)

» Presentation slides


Team: Reko Mäenpää, Ranjit Menon

Ambisocial is an attempt to add the often missing component to any data, leave alone energy. This is the experiential domain. Building energy artefacts, and not just Apps, allow stories to flow, serendipity to happen and creates awareness and curiosity among the new generation of energy enthusiasts, the kids. And when kids ask questions, the parents should know the ‘reliable’ honest answers. This was an attempt to prototype a simple audio-visual experience that brings an emotional aspect to multiple energy sources, in public spaces. By turning discrete events into organic flows one can begin to gather new ideas.


Presentations by our international guests & the final presentations of all the teams can be found here:


Two proposals (Smart saver + CrowdREsourcing) were invited to the Peloton Summer Camp kick-off event (Friday 24 May). We are also discussing about featuring energy as one of the topics of the upcoming Apps4Finland competition.

If you are interested in open energy information, please join the soon-to-be-established Open Sustainability working group of OKF Finland.


Thank you very much to all the participants of Energy Hackathon 2013 for an intense & fruitful event!

Communicum project report

The Department of Communication at Aalto BIZ and Media and Communication Studies at the Department of Social Research at the University of Helsinki set in motion the Communicum project in late 2010. The aim of the project is to facilitate collaboration between researchers, teachers and students of communication at Aalto University and the University of Helsinki.

The premise of the project is that collaboration between the departments synergistically increases their critical mass – ”collaboration and cooperation rather than competition”. During the process also Aalto ARTS Department of Media and Aalto SCI Department of Media Technology have joined the Communicum project, as well as the Department of Economics and Management at the University of Helsinki.

The project was funded in the Media Factory Open Call June 2011.

>> Read the project report

Creative Arts and Business Management Seminar results

Creative Arts and Business Management Seminar was held at Aalto Media Factory on June 6th, 2012 at 13.00 – 16.30 with around 20 participants, all interested in issues dealing with leading and managing creative processes and creative business in different contexts. The purpose of the seminar was to gather together researchers and practitioners from various fields to discuss on the research of the management of creative organizations and processes.

The main body of the seminar was organized around poster sessions, in which a total of nine posters were presented and discussed in three thematic groups. In addition the seminar participants were provided with an introductory overview of the relevant research themes in Aalto University. Read a brief memo of the seminar (pdf) or the presented research overview (pdf).

In the seminar the participants also decided to launch a new interdisciplinary network called Creativity & Coffee, consisting of researchers and teachers who share a common interest to develop research and teaching on the subject area of the seminar. Aalto Media Factory has agreed to support the network with a concrete aim to develop a new interdisciplinary Master’s Programme on creative management to Aalto University.

The next meeting of the network has been preliminarily scheduled to take place at Aalto Media Factory on Monday, September 3rd, 2012 at 13.00 – 16.30. More information will be provided later on at this website.


Who Wants to Think Audiovisually?

Who Wants to Think Audiovisuality? is an exploratory research project aiming to do the ground work for a new research initiative and for an educational package aimed for students and public sector organizations. The wider goal is to improve citizen, public sector and company communication in understanding and co-creating Finnish society.

More info: Petri Kola, Sanna Marttila and Andrew Paterson (Aalto University School of Art and Design, Dept. of Media)
Decision: 6000€ (4th June 2010)

>> Read more about Media Factory’s open call funding.

Visualizing Locality

The increasingly sophisticated locality is characteristic in digital newspapers nowadays. During the last five years we have witnessed a born of a new phenomen – hyperlocality – where the readers can participate the production by sending news and photos by email or mobile. The latest form of locality could be called ‘augmented locality’ which includes geographic information, environmental descriptions, maps, photographs, videos, sounds, social media and services provided by local businesses and societies.

This research will be executed with students of Aalto University by participating the City Sets Workshop and Seminar in November 2010. The workshop includes observing city environment, collecting visual, text and sound material. The presentation of summary will be held the following week in the City Sets Seminar. After the workshop I interview the students and make a summary of their comments. Finally I shall create different models of implementations in digital newspapers and local businesses in cooperation with Mikko Kuhna, School of Science and Technology and Jari Salo, School of Economics.

The research can be fluently linked to the Next Media project, in studying the changing work of art directors working in the newspaper editing offices and the possibilities of locality. Besides that the project would be an essential part in my doctoral thesis, where I study the future of graphic designers’ work.

More info: Heikki Nuutinen Department of Media (AAD)
Decision: 6000€ (12th November 2010)

Sounds of Helsinki: Enriching music experiences for everyone – Know your city, Know your music

Sounds of Helsinki is a platform for location-based music services. It enables new applications running on mobile phones and desktops. With Sounds of Helsinki (SOH) applications people can experience music related to different locations in various ways, for instance by creating, sharing and modifying playlists connected to meaningful places or offering users music coupled with various events such as concerts etc. Our goal is to support musical serendipity, incidental discovery, but also affect the city culture. SOH services offer citizens and visitors new kinds of urban audio experiences and strategies for appropriating public space. We believe that location-aware music services can provide a unique opportunity to support local musical niches, live and recorded music, and provide novel perspectives into local way of living, whether they are habitants or visitors of the City of Helsinki.

Pirkka Åman pirkka.aman (ät)

Rhythmic Interaction in Digital Learning Environments for Music

We propose an exploration of rhythmic interaction with an interactive, digital learning environment that incorporates a virtual tutor, instrumental interaction, and creative audio-visual feedback.

More info: Antti Ikonen, Cumhur Erkut, Reha Dişçioğlu (Aalto University, School of Science and Technology, Dept. Signal Processing and Acoustics)
Decision: 3000€ (4th June 2010)

Proof-of-concept work to open the doors to physical information visualisation – giving form new meaning

The project aims to develop a larger/initial presence in the Aalto University/School of Art & Design of the emerging field generative/parametric design, and particularly my own focus in it, physical information visualisation.

One or two proof-of-concept works will be developed, exemplifying key elements of the above-mentioned field. These works will open the door to the field at the University, providing a good substrate for further discussions about the field’s presence and importance in the University.

More info: Miska Knapek (School of Art and Design, Dept. of Media)
Decision: 3000€ (4th June 2010)

Professional Experience – pilot with Media Concept Laboratory

The project starts a long lasting co-operation and produces concrete outcomes within adult education for the media field in Aalto University. The project is aimed to be a new start in the socalled Professional Education program. The first outcome of the project is a new opening in adult education spring 2011: Media Practice Leadership course. This pilot project is based on a theoretical background and educational material of the Mediaconcept Laboratory.

More info: Maija Töyry, Merja Helle, Hanna-Riikka Myllymäki Department of Media & Aalto Continuing Education
Decision: 5000€ (4th June 2010)