Aalto Studios 2017

Time to move on.

We have packed up our Arabia facilities on December 16th 2016 and joined Media Centre Lume in building a new, ambitious initiative and facility at the Aalto campus in Otaniemi during the next years. While this was made public some time ago, we didn’t yet have a name to go by. Now we do.

We call ourselves Aalto Studios.

To stay up to date, make a note of studios.aalto.fi, where we’ll build up more information on what we are aiming for, and how we’re starting to plan it together with you.

And be sure to like our New Facebook Page to get the latest behind-the-scenes view on our relocation and reignition for 2017!

Grant for Exchange Studies in Russia

For all the students of Aalto University this is a great opportunity to get to know Russia. A grant will be given for the studies .Student exchanges from Finland to Russia are intended for Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral students enrolled in a partner institution. Student grants are only available for full-time study or practical training which is part of the partner institutions’ working life co-operation. Students can also undertake exchanges without a student grant.

The students can choose from the following six universities covering almost all the Russia;  Yekatrinburg, Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk, Saratov, Moscow, Saransk

Interested, click here for more information!

All about Me Competition: Three Finalists Selected for the Final Round

In April, the Ministry of Finance, the Population Register Centre and Aalto University’s Media Factory challenged students to design a digital Finland. The aim was to develop new kinds of creative and visual ways for presenting government register data related to citizens.

There was a lot of interest in the competition: all in all, 8,500 persons visited the kaikkiminusta.suomi.fi website. Eventually, 22 entries were submitted by the end of the submission period.

The jury of the competition selected three candidates for the final round:

Roberto Danilo Aarnio” by Roberto Aarnio and Jesse Tielinen, Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
Muita herätteitä” by Joonas Pesonen, University of Eastern Finland
All Around Me” by (Joanne) Nian Hwei Wong, Tampere University of Applied Sciences

The entries were assessed by the Managing Director of N2 Alex Nieminen, Dean of Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architechture Anna Valtonen, Chair of the ICT2015 working group Pekka Ala-Pietilä, Data Journalist at the Finnish Broadcasting Company Teemo Tebest, Designer and Creative Director of Nordkapp Oy Sami Niemelä, and Researcher of Digital Design and active member of Open Knowledge Finland Sanna Marttila.

‘The entries we selected to the final round were clearly different from one another. The jury appreciated the finalists’ fresh, light ideas, which all exhibited potential for further development with professionals’, the chair of the jury Anna Valtonen enlightens the selection.
Each of the finalists will receive an award of 7,000 euros. In addition to the financial award, students get to utilise the competence of professionals in the field, who will help the students to further develop their original ideas into functional prototypes during October–December 2015. In January, the finalists will be judged in public, and the winner of the entire competition elected based on voting will be announced on 11 February 2016. The winning entry will receive an award of 8,000 euros.

The All About Me competition is related to the National Architecture for Digital Services, which involves constructing a digital, compatible infrastructure and provides a single outlet for electronic transactions for the use of citizens, companies and authorities.

As their material, those participating in the competition were provided with the register data of an imaginary person, such as information about the person’s place of residence, facilities, vehicles and family. The aim was to design the visualisation for the register data: how to present numbers, titles and names as clearly and visually ambitiously as possible. The purpose of the design work was to produce an innovative online service or website.

Further information about the competition and the rules of the competition can be found at http://kaikkiminusta.suomi.fi.

More information:
Jani Ruuskanen, Project Manager, Service Views, Population Register Centre, jani.ruuskanen [ät] vrk.fi, Tel. +358 46 920 6231
Marjukka Ala-Harja, Development Manager, Service Views, Ministry of Finance, marjukka.ala-harja [ät] vm.fi, Tel. +358 2955 30489


Media training for professors and reasearchers (in Finnish)

Mediavalmennusta professoreille ja tutkijoille kevään aikana

Media odottaa Aallon asiantuntijoiden ja professorien kertovan oman alansa tuloksista julkisesti. Toimittajat myös pyytävät päivittäin asiantuntijoiltamme taustatietoja ja kommentteja ajankohtaisiin asioihin.

Sosiaalisen median kautta tieto leviää sekunneissa koko maailmalle – millaiset aiheet mediassa kiinnostavat ja miten omalle aiheelle saa näkyvyyttä?

Julkisuudessa ja mediassa oleminen vaatii omaa osaamistaan ja tiedon muokkaamista yleistajuiseen muotoon. Aalto-yliopisto tarjoaa mediavalmennusta professoreiden ja tutkijoiden viestintävalmiuksien tukemiseen. Mediavalmennus koostuu kolmesta osiosta, jotka voi suorittaa erillisinä tai käydä ne kaikki. Lisätietoja löydät Insiden tapahtumakalenterista:  https://inside.aalto.fi/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=31892495.





Aalto Lab Mexico aspires change with multicultural projects

A good story increases the value of a product. This was the thought that provoked Artesanía para el bienestar –program.

A group of artisans disclosed the stories behind their products, or created products that symbolically told stories of the place the products were born at. The extra money would help people of the community to gain access to the National Social Security System. Knowing that a percentage of the money spent on products would go to a good cause, would work as a motivation for tourists to pay a little more of the products.

Every artisan in Aalto Lab Mexico had a selection of products within the Artesanía para el bienestar –program, and had them labeled with information on the amount of money that would go to the cause when the product was purchased. The aim of the program was to further the Cultural Branding -project of Aalto Lab Mexico.

Artesanía para el bienestar from Antti Seppänen on Vimeo.

Aalto Lab Mexico, like other Aalto Labs, strives to create means for lifelong learning and cultural exchange. Aalto Media Factory’s Seed funding was received to realize the multidisciplinary project.

Aalto Lab Mexico is a collaboration project of Aalto University with Technological Institute of Monterrey, Mexico City Campus, and National Autonomous University of Mexico. The goal of the project is to create collaboration between Universities, companies and cities to work together on sociological issues.

Learn more about Aalto Lab Mexico and their upcoming programs on their website.


Watch Games Now! lectures on video!

Interested in the game industry? Watch the broadcasts from the Games now lecture-series 2013 here:

30.9.2013 Creating Gameworlds: The Art of Gameplay, Interaction and Story – Matt Costello

28.10.2013 New Interfaces – Panel by Finnish experts

25.11.2013 Game Jams and Hobbyists – Gorm Lai

Next: 9.12.2013 What Is This Indie Anyhow? – Panel by Finnish indie developers

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

New project decisions for AMF seed funding

We are happy to announce that the following projects have been approved for AMF seed funding:

Exploring Cinematic spaces: Frames, Images, Screens
Kirsi Rinne, Timo Heinänen

The Symposium delves into these complex issues. It aims at gathering existing multidisciplinary knowledge on the evolution of aspect ratios and composition of cinematic images. One of the key question deals with the role of aspect ratios in cinematic narrative and storytelling. What is the significance of aspect ratios in building depth and space? How perceptual submersion is achieved in new media? Multidisciplinary approach The symposium is open to all students, teachers and scholars. The target group includes filmmakers, new media and media technology students, professors and professionals.


Aalto on Waves finalization
Johannes Söderström, Dimitri Paile, Leo Liesvirta and Anna Berg

A document about a journey to Brazil that the students of Aalto University did. It is a story about how expectations face the reality in a foreign country.

9100 €

Urban Media Prototyping
Andrea Botero, Joanna Saad-Sulonen, Kimmo Karhu

The initiative aims at exploring collaborations between creative technology and media, participatory art, and urban design communities via placemaking and urban media interventions (prototypes) that explore civic engagement. We will build -via an open hackathon organised by Aalto students- two urban media prototypes which will be explored in real life settings.


Enactive Avatar finalization
Pia Tikka & others


Seattle in Helsinki
Professor Eric Bruun TECH, D.Soc.Sc Jukka Kortti ARTS, Lecturer Arja Karhumaa ARTS, Maarit Suokko ARTS (M2) and Producer (co-ord.) Pipsa Asiala;

This project should provide insight into the importance of major infrastrcture decisions on the future urban form and social fabric of a city by the means of data visualisation.
While it would be highly desirable for the visualisation to be creative and innovative, it is far more important that it be grounded in physical reality with realistic impact estimates, and for intance not wild exaggerations, boosterism for Helsinki, bashing of Seattle.
It should be possible for a person who is well educated to understand without the need for a specialized vocabulary or training in architecture, design, or civil engineering.
Five concrete and creative project ideas will be developing by 8 students: a led bicycle, a sound design intervention, an audiovisual isometric map, an alternative view booth with augmented reality elements, a 3D light installation with sensors.


Electro-acoustic Digital Music Practice for ND people
Till Bowerman, Julian Parker, Vesa Välimäki, Pirjo Kääriäinen, Ramyah Gowrishankar. DoM (ARTS), DoD (ARTS), D o Computer Sciense (SCI)

With this application, we request that Aalto Media Factory support the initial phase of the long-term project ”Electronic digital music practice for Neuro-diverse People”. The goal for this starting grant is (a) to support development of a solid network of international partners to successfully apply for an EU-level research project and (b) to help carry out the first design and prototyping iteration of this project in order to get a solid basis in both expertise and publications for a successful large-scale project application.
As a starting point for the exploration of possible shapes and materials for the hardware interface, we will focus on the use of textiles and e-embroidery.

WP1 – investigative field work: The deliverables of this WP are musical recordings, workshop documentations, and, possibly with the help of the recorded material, attendances to public events and international festivals.
WP2 – evaluation & coding, theory building. The deliverables of this WP are scientific papers for IxD, NIME and Autism related conferences
WP3 – conceptual synthesis & instrument development. The deliverables of this WP are instrument prototypes and guidelines for the design of electronic instruments to be published at international conferences.


Games Now! lecture series
Miikka Junnila, Perttu Hämäläinen

The gaming industry is growing faster than ever, but there is also a myriad of changes affecting the scene. New target audiences, platforms and distribution channels. New business models, game mechanics and approaches to games as experiences. New roles in games companies. New connections between the games industry and other businesses. New possibilities to use games for non-entertainment purposes, and new production processes – there are lots of things happening, and the pace is growing.

The Games Now! –course series is planned to be a forum where international and national speakers address these hot topics, bringing the latest knowledge for Aalto students and game industry professional alike. The perspective needs to be multidisciplinary, as the changes are affecting all different aspects of the games industry, and there are relevant topics for people of different professions.

The Games Now! -course series will contain a monthly lecture by a specialist that will also be available as a web stream. Students can participate to get credits, and also people from game companies are welcome to learn and also to spark up conversations after the lectures. Apart from the lectures, there will also be some workshops on different relevant themes, also open to a limited number of students and industry people. This will create opportunities for networking, both inside the Finnish game scene, and to the international speakers. The new connections will open up new possibilities for courses also in the future. As we are aiming for top speakers and interesting topics, there might even be a chance to build a massive open online course around these lectures.

Media Factory 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