TAMK collaborated with four different companies to bring a special opportunity for the students to work with VR using the sprint method. The idea was to see whether this kind of setting could be used in an university environment and provide students with unique experience with working in a multitalented team and with virtual reality. I was one of the students participating in the sprint week and here is my story of how the week unfolded.

Before the actual sprint week we had a common session to meet up with our fellow students to establish an understanding of what was going to happened during the actual sprint. We also played a game to divide us into teams. Each of us was given 20 points to administrate to different skills based on our personal abilities and experiences. Then we tried to match people with opposite skills within teams. This way we were able to create fairly equal teams so that in each team there would be people with different skill sets that were required for the tasks. We left the get together a couple of hours later having a good grasp of what was expected from us and eagerly waiting for the sprint to take place.

The first day was kicked off with a common meeting in the second floor lobby where we went through the agenda for the whole week before going our separate ways in our groups to meet our customers. In the group in most cases, there were some coders, graphic artists and audio designers as well as UX experts and project managers. The teams consisted of four members and the tutor teacher. The customers were Intopalo, Kalmar, Leadin, and Leonidas who all wanted different kind of virtual reality content. The customers introduced themselves to us and explained the tasks that they were handing out.

Briefly explaining what kind of challenges the teams received. Leadin wanted a crime scene investigating VR experience that could be used for teaching purposes. Kalmar asked for a crane operating VR set up and requested the use of LEAP technology that recognizes the hands of the user and brings the real world to virtual reality . As for Leonidas the group’s task was to test the new FOVE equipment and create a game to see how the eye tracking feature works. Intopalo requested user experience research on attracting the VR user’s attention while utilizing the whole 360-degree environment. Each team was supposed to produce a working prototype that was to be tested on the last day of the sprint.

After hearing out the customer, we started to brainstorm possible solutions to the given challenge. We used post-it notes to collect 10 ideas from everyone individually and then started to gather them in one large mind map. Everyone was supposed to narrow down their ideas and choose a focus point. By the end of the day, the teams sent emails to the customers explaining what they had done for the rest of the day and what was going to be their focus. We also got homework to do as we were tasked with benchmarking in order to find out if our solution to the problem had already been tested.

Next day we continued to iterate the ideas and finally had an online meeting with the customer in order to receive feedback and get the okay to start working on the prototype. Before the meeting, we went through the benchmarking and based on our findings continued to sketch the prototype. After having lunch we proceeded to do storyboards to illustrate our solutions which we later presented to other teams to receive feedback on them.

When we had found our focus point and agreed on it with the customer, it was time to start prototyping. Each team got their own spaces equipped with the necessary programs and virtual reality headsets to test the prototype while working on it in order to find and eliminate the problems that arose as quickly and efficiently as possible. The prototyping lasted for two days and some groups stayed overtime to work on them. The teams divided the tasks for the prototypes according to the skills of the individuals; some did the graphics while other worked on the code. There was also audio design and user experience design required for most of the projects.

After each day we gathered once more to go through what we had accomplished and to ask for feedback. Luckily, we had a large quantity of different experts at our disposal when we ran into some problems. As our teachers at TAMK and some of our customers worked side by side with us we got useful tips and information from them as they guided us when necessary.

In the end, each team was able to produce a working prototype. During Friday morning, we tested our prototypes with the user tester and gathered feedback from them. Later in the afternoon, it was time to present our findings to the customers and the other teams. The sprint ended with a celebratory toast to a successful week. Even though we established that week was rough, everyone agreed that it was a success and that it was an interesting experience. I enjoyed it very much and hope to see a similar opportunity for the students in the future.


Pictures by Leena Mäkelä
Text by Tiia Rintakoski

Video installations Breath and Protection by our Fine art lecturer Fanni Niemi-Junkola in the Finlayson Art Area exhibition 9.6.-27.8.2017.
The videoworks are located in Gallery Himmelblau 2. floor.

Cinematography by Film and TV lecturer Tommi Moilanen. 
The film crew included graduates from TAMK: Ville Hakonen, Sanni Hujanen and Jyrimatti Holm
The camera for Protection, Mira Rasi. 
The music was composed by Pekko Käppi.
The installations were first exhibited in Berlin in 2016.





Text: Fanni Niemi-Junkola 

Senior Lecturer / Head of Fine Art Study Path
Degree Program in Media and Arts
Tampere University of Applied Sciences  (TAMK)
Mediapolis, Tohlopinranta 31
33270 Tampere
FINLAND
email: fanni.niemi-junkola@tamk.fi
Tel. +358 50 3562803
www.tamk.fi

Eeverest started as a trio formed by two music production students Niko Mansikka-aho and Marcus Tikkanen in 2014 and it got introduced for a bigger audience by participating on UMK15-song contest. However, journey ended at 2nd semifinal and gradually after that the group made changes for Eeverest line-up and started building up a new brand. Nowadays, Niko Mansikka-aho is presented as the main guy in Eeverest. Marcus Tikkanen is also involved in the project, but is hitting from the back and co-writing songs with Niko.

On summer 2016 goals and deadlines were set for Eeverest and they started to create a portfolio of songs to be presented. The school has been also a major help pushing this project forward by organizing annual songwriting camps in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. Of course you need to really show dedication and skills, but also have a bit of luck to gain success from there. Niko and Marcus both got some of their contacts through the songwriting camp and it really gave hope and opened new doors. For example Marcus got signed to a publisher based in Netherlands called 'Roseville Publishing'.

On March 2017 Niko and Marcus organized a trip to Dancefair Musicfair that was held in Utrecht, Netherlands. Dancefair is a mainly concentrating in electronic music and offers for example panel conversations, master classes and meetings with the industry people. For Niko and Marcus, the trip included some meetings and getting to know the industry.

All these events led in to Niko signing his debut single 'Feel Good' with FRNT-music, which is a sublabel of Mixmash Records established by DJ/Producer pioneer Laidback Luke. The response to Feel Good has been great so far, since only in two weeks, it has been added on three official Spotify-playlists, two Topsify-playlists and entered in the Finnish top 50 viral list on Spotify at #5. Feel Good has been also noticed at Netherlands by the media and has gained some airplay from minor stations there and national stations, by Yle in Finland.

Eeverest is a good example of how hard work and dedication can lead to results.


t:janne

Janne Tauriainen M.A.
Senior Lecturer / Head of Music Production Path
Degree Program in Media and Arts
?Tampere University of Applied Sciences  (TAMK)
Mediapolis, Tohlopinranta 31
33270 Tampere
FINLAND
email: janne.tauriainen@tamk.fi
www.tamk.fi
GSM: +358 50 311 9733




Interested in seeing what Alexandra Mitiku, Veera Nelimarkka, Elina Pasanen and Anniina Pasanen have been working on this semester? In the first months, the girls have been learning about managing an exhibition, and since April, they have had the chance to create the artworks. Come and see the results!



Last Friday they arraged a pop up –exhibition in Pyynikki’s Trikootehdas. If you didn’t have time to go see the works, fear not! The exhibition opens up again, this time at a cultural centre called Uulu, in 2.6. The exhibition opening will be held at 17-19. The exhibition will be in Uulu for three weeks, so if you cannot make it to the opening, there is a lot of time to go and visit the gallery later. Welcome!