The founders of Wacky Tie Films,
Mikko Helmanen, Jussi Sandhu and Ville Hakonen with their stylish ties.

On Monday morning, there’s a class full of fourth year students during the course “Documentation and Reporting of Bachelor's Thesis”. Some of these students still aren’t sure what to write their thesis work on, even if the teachers first asked us about it during our first year of studies.

The thesis project of me and four others was filmed on week 41 and is being edited as we speak. It appears the film will turn out good, and the headline of my thesis work is becoming clear to me, as well. However, what’s waiting after school makes me insecure at times – graduation is just over six months away, and I hear that jobs are hard to find. One can’t help but wonder, how did the other graduates do before me?

When I came to TTVO in the autumn on 2009 I soon got more involved with the students two years ahead of me, the class of 2007. From those mutual projects I got, not only good movies, but irreplaceable friendships and awesome co-workers. I wish I could always work with such a crew, in which people get along and they understand each other. I ended up spending most of my time with these guys, inside and outside the school walls.

Now most of my friends of class 2007 have graduated. Some are working in the industry. Others find it very difficult to get a job according to their education, and so they plan ahead on their following projects and take on other work in the meanwhile. Then there are those who have decided to employ themselves. For example Miro Laiho, sound student of 2007, graduated in the autumn of 2011 and in June of 2012 founded Time Films Oy ( – a production company and freelance filmmaker’s agency in Helsinki. Some of the company shareholders are TTVO graduates as well.

For me, it’s been especially inspirational to follow closely the birth of a brand new production company here in Tampere: Wacky Tie Films ( The company specializes in post production phase and their goal is to bring some culture of film making from the capital city to the Tampere Region.

The company was founded in September 2012 by three good friends: editing graduates Ville Hakonen and Jussi Sandhu, and a media producing graduate Mikko Helmanen. The three made two short films together during their time at TTVO, and they found themselves to make such a great team, that they decided to continue down that road.

“Both the weakness and strength of TTVO lie in its project-based learning. The most we learned during school was from each other”, Jussi Sandhu says.

It was a genuine pleasure to watch Ville, Jussi and Mikko work together during school, and now in their daily work with the company, I can see the same spirit of pulling the same rope and having laughs together. Being an entrepreneur can be extremely stressful, but when you have two of your closest friends in the same boat with you, the journey will sure be more fun.

Wacky Tie Films is a fine example of what TTVO has to offer at its best: an opportunity to find the people who you want to work with for the rest of your life. If, in addition to that, you find some patience and will to bring something new to the table in this industry, you will be alright.

Hopefully each and every one of us can take that with us from this school.

Text and photo: Salla Lehtikangas.
The writer is a fourth and final year student in the Degree Programme in Film and Television.

by Minna Eloranta, Score Game Development Club Boss

During the Halloween weekend about 25 people gathered around in Demola to develop video games in about 40 hours.

7 teams worked hard to get something done until Sunday afternoon. For over half of the people it was the first time they were developing a game. It didn't make any difference in the quality though, all the games looked amazing! We had a serious lack of programmers at first, but in the end almost every team had one (and brave ones also taught themselves the basics during the weekend without prior knowledge!)
A sewing machine at a game jam!

Score was lucky to get Sulake (the creator of Habbo Hotel) to cooperate during the weekend. All of the games will be published at the Sulake web site, and have a chance to enter a competition to win up to 5000 euros. Sulake was also nice to sponsor us pizza and subway to keep the game development going on!

As the organizer it was great to see people working hard and enthusiastically. The event was highly successful and in the end everyone could proudly present their creations. The event was full of great stuff (sleeping not included) and everyone got to network and work with new people.

We all agreed we needed some sleep though:

You can play all the games here:

The author is a student of our International Media Programme
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By Vesa Rantanen, doing his exchange period at OCAD, Toronto

I currently study in exchange program at Integrated Media in OCAD University in Toronto, Canada.
OCAD has huge depth and breadth in visual arts and design programs. Emphasis on imagination, functionality and critical inquiry, OCAD is -by far- the most distinguished art and design school in Canada.

OCAD (Ontario College of Art and Design) University

Also, for me it is the foremost high-flying and demanding school I have ever been to. Studying here is all about getting your feet wet, rationalizing your work, and critical engagement in design.

OCAD´s way of approach to design differs a lot from TAMK´s. First, OCAD is a university and thus, more academic. BA students take courses in social studies (i.e..culture anthropology, psychology) and have more theory courses in general. In addition, projects involve more research, reasoning and written process work. At the end  of the day, it is more important to justify your decisions, clarify the process to others, rationalize your design and demonstrate the functionality of it. Also it is important to know how to place yourself in the creative field, how it affects you and vice versa.
Design itself is, in some assignments, only a fraction of the final mark.
From the magazine Vesa has made at OCAD with
the topic"Observations of an outsider in Toronto"

OCAD is very demanding in terms of professional way of approach to everything students produce. Half-baked work is automatically a fail (of course, a subject of consideration by professors). Students are constantly pushed to go beyond their comfort zone. Result is prominent; classes full of confident, talented young designers and artist who produce new, high-quality material all the time.
Amount of classes available is overwhelming. From 3D printing to nano publishing and guerrilla entrepreneurship, focused courses specialize to basically anything you feel like wanting.

Unconventional learning methods are widely supported. Like exquisite corpses, where one day, all of a sudden, professor mixes up everyone’s work by saying "Hand your work to the person sitting next to you".  Then students take up where the initial designer left and continue from there.
Not always the methods are that progressive and insightful; In my 3D print class, professor announced, that in two weeks, each of us should know our ways around in Rhinoceros 3D software, which is beyond complicated. And learn it by ourselves.
From the magazine Vesa has made at OCAD with
the topic "Observations of an outsider in Toronto"

Tempo of work is high. In my first classes, I did not realize that the assignments given we´re for next week. Telling by the amount of work, I thought they were coursework's for which there would be three months of time to work.

Sounds rough, huh? It is. On the other hand, I have learned a lot of crucial and essential information a designer should have.  Also I have produced more work in few months than I did the last whole year.

Canada holds some weird prejudices, that are, for sure, out of date.
Lumberjacks with flannel shirts on, chasing beavers? Ice hockey players with no teeth, constantly saying Ehhhh? Maple syrup on top of everything?
Canada is one of the most progressive countries in the world. Canadians are pioneers when it comes to art and design. They influence from the diverse nature and it shows. Canada embraces it ́s nature as well as preserves it. Even though the biggest imperium of twentieth-century lives right next door, Canadians keep to themselves. I founded that as something very positive. Canada is not the hat of the US. It is it´s own, prosperous and progressive country with amazing, laid-back people.

For now, I have been too busy to travel outside of Toronto, but I don´t mind. Toronto is Canada´s biggest city with approximately 3 million people (6 million in GTA).  A major north-American metropolitan city has everything a young fellow can wish for; lively music scene, bars, cultural happenings. A rich and vivid street culture in general.

For those, who might be looking for a prospective exchange at OCAD, go for it! Yet, keep in mind not to book too much stuff for the time in here. School work takes a lot, so prepare to spend long hours and weekends working (some classes end at 10:30pm anyways). Then again, you will -for sure- walk out of the school as a better designer you were before coming here.

The author is a student of our International Media Programme
Read more about student exchange
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By Emilija Veselova

The Nokia Do Good Hackathon was a 25-hour hackathon in Helsinki with the overall theme: "Design and develop for people and planet" for Windows Phone 7.5 with an emphasis on design. 

On October 9th and 10th while most students from Art and Media department were in school, doing their tasks three media students - Emilija an 11IMP, David an exchange student from Mexico and Hanna an exchange student from the Netherlands - spent 25 hours in an isolated environment competing for great prices at Do Good Hackathon organized by Nokia. Here is a short summary of what Emilija’s and David’s group did during these hours.

Emilija presenting outcomes of 23 hours of work

Traveling and getting settled:
The team started their way from Tampere to Helsinki around 14:00 when we bought our tickets and together with the Bio-waste reduction team proceeded to our train. We were lucky to get seats all in the same place and the way there was filled with people reading, finishing school or Demola assignments and just doing nothing.
After arriving to Helsinki we walked to the location, found everything all right and once we entered the place Demola facilitators greeted us there and showed around a bit.

Concepting part:
 Team started work with a concepting part. Our Demola project is large and complicated and we had to decide what we are going to do in the 25 hours of time we were provided.
Our coding muscle was not that strong, so we divided our work into 3 stages or steps:
Step 1: Connecting two phones via NFC, Bluetooth or something else and making them hold the connection, once the connection is over it creates a trigger that would start next step
Step 2: After the length and the time of the ride are received from the level 1, this step involves counting up points and adding gamification parts to the application. People are getting points for every ride and then achieving badges and striving for a large goal.
Step 3: Once the step 2 would be done, in-between steps 1 and 2 at the moment when the connection is broken a survey appears on the screen so that the rider and the driver can evaluate one another within 5 - 10 seconds.

Coding part:
The system that we were working on was Windows phone 7. We found out that it would be impossible to create a connection between two phones via NFC and Bluetooth is not stable, so we mixed this part up and Artem was working on a part where user on a map chooses his or her location. Then system shows the cars that are available nearby. The ride is simulated and at the end of it amount of kilometers shared is displayed. This part took from Artem a significant amount of time. Thus in the morning Emilija started to code the Step 2.
In the end, both programmers finished their parts around the same time and it took a while to combine both of them.

Presentations started 23 hours into the work time. The team chose Emilija to be the presenter of the presentation created by the team while coders were coding. The presentation included a short powerpoint presentation about the general concept and a demonstration of the created application.
After the presentation the team received good feedback about the presentation and the concept in general.

During the working period there were keynote speakers that inspired teams to do good and create good concept and solutions.
1st keynote:
representative of Finland's Microsoft development organization (i can't recall the name of it anymore) introduced the possibilities from Dreamsparks and other Windows phone application developer organizations.
He also introduced some features that should be used in the applications to ensure that they are successful in the market as well as some guidelines how the concept should be created and used etc.
2nd keynote:
the speaker introduced some shifts and trends in nowadays consumers world. Main changes that she was talking about were:
movement from “me” to “us” thinking in the society, that leads to large possibilities for overall do good concept in the world
movement from “i need more” to “i need enough” concept
movement from “i need to get stuff” to “i need a purpose” concept
3rd keynote:
Speaker from Nokia introduced to others IdeasProject - an open innovation platform lead by Nokia. In this platform people are able to give their thoughts and ideas to people who can actually execute them in their work. Usually there is a contest going on for the best idea that will be given to the project and the winner gets prizes from Nokia.

The author is a student of our International Media Programme
Read about the Ridesharing project
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By Alexandra Ostasheva, doing her practical training in Düsseldorf

Since the very beginning of the summer, I've been doing my work placement in an amazing city of Germany - Düsseldorf. Not too big, not too small, living 24/7; the new place felt awesome from the very start. Although, the first couple of weeks everything was compared to Finland. Still Europe, yet so different.

It takes me 20 minutes to cycle to my work place. Unlike in Finland, bicycles are equal members of the traffic. That makes you feel very good! :) Work hours are from 9-18, with an opportunity to have lunch on the open air terrace.
After work, there is a million of things to see, thousands places to visit right in the city. Eventhough, I am working now, I still remain a student. I live in a very cool dormitory, full of people from all around the world.

So, right now I am doing my internship in a post-production studio. I came to this company with the idea to be a Motion Graphics intern. As I was... for 3 hours.
However, the lack of compositers in the industry played its role, and I was assigned to be a Nuke artist. That was quite a surprise for me. Absolutely new software, new tasks, new knowledge needed.

The first two weeks were sleepless and tough. However, it started paying back very fast - already by now, I was given a chance to participate in production of commercials for Mercedes, Braun, Lenor.

Practical training, in general, is an amazing opportunity to learn, the perfect learning environment. You are surrounded by passionate professionals, who remember their days of internship with a nostalgic feelings, thus, are always ready to explain, help, tell you more, show you more.

To sum up, I wish you all, guys, to find the right place for your practice, otherwise, you may loose all the fun!

Peace to all!

The author is a student of our International Media Programme
Read more stories about practical training
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By Aino Yrjänä, doing her exchange period at Konkuk University in Seoul

Itaewon, my home neighborhood, view from my bus stop

It has been now a bit over two months since I departured from Finland. It feels surreal. Another two months and it's time for my final reports. I have been attending classes now a bit over a month and it's been very interesting for me. It is totally different from Finnish educational system with its pros and cons, of course. I have been generally happy with my studies. I have gained more academic knowledge under Communication Design than I could hope in the beginning of my semester. This was one of my learning goal. I have learned a lot from other students of my major (and from others in general) by observing and getting to know them.
180 exchange students of Konkuk University fall semester

I have been also eager to learn Korean language, one of my main learning goals as well. Hangul (Korean alphabet) is definitely learnable, but you need to do your own extra work on it on your free time, maybe with the help of Korean friends. Last week we have mid-terms, I will see how I have been developing. This is one more good reason to go out to streets, cafes and restaurants to practice my basis of Korean language. I have noticed that I learn the best way by doing or repeating what I want to learn. Independent studying and connections with Korean students have been vital to me to learn Hangul.
Spot Aino from the subway crowd

My learning goal towards Target Country was to get to know Korean culture and society has been developing very well beside my academical goals. I have been lucky to travel in many different cities of South Korea. I have also attended different events and festivals around the country for locals and foreigners. By meeting new people, I have been enlightened almost every day. It's been very awarding to spend my time here.
On top of a peak of Mt. Bukhansan. Behind tiny, tiny Seoul.

I'm living off-campus with two Korean women so I get to be part of the local culture during most of my stay here. I have been introduced to Korean cuisine and its traditions, tea culture and Korean spiritual traditions among many other things. I have learned a lot with my roommates. We have our differences but I feel grateful to learn new things every day. I live in an area where's lot of immigrants living called Itaewon district, but in my neighborhood of nearby blocks lives only Koreans – mainly elderly people. I guess I could ramble many pages about Korean grandmothers. I am forever fearing and respecting them, tough ladies. If they open their home and heart to you, you will learn and gain so much understanding towards their culture.
Attending Bike & Rhythm Festival in city of Gwangju

I have been blessed to have warm-hearted people around me, locals and exchange students. I experienced minor cultural shock when I arrived, which still rises its head sometimes, but I assume it is because I have never been in any Asian country before. To me it's weird that people really stare at you most of the time. They won't look away even though you would look back. Maybe only when you make funny faces.. Some people also have touched me without asking my permission or without approaching me beforehand. I also feel sometimes like a celebrity by having so many pictures taking with or without my knowledge. Having fair looks can be nice here, you definitely get the extra attention, but when you have a bad day or it's just getting old, you really should stop for a minute – breathe – and try to remember all the good things about your target country and try to put things into perspective. Humor also gets you through a lot of things. Life is not that bad after all, you know!
Autumn finally arriving to Konkuk University

I truly think every single person on Earth should go to live for awhile in completely opposite culture of their native culture. It will open your eyes, gain some gratitude and compassion to others and most importantly gain some understanding towards other people - what in my opinion we mostly need more in this world. Even though my journey to South Korea is mainly academic, I feel strongly that it's also very spiritual journey to me.

I highly recommend people go to exchange or have their internship abroad if they have the opportunity!

Best wishes,
x Aino
The author is a student of our International Media Programme
Read more about student exchange

Read more stories by and about IMPs, the Media students

Fanni Maliniemi: The Other Faces
open Mon-Fri 12-16
Ikuinen Gallery, Finlaysoninkuja 3

I am an art student and a passionate empiricist.

The exhibition is called The Other Faces. The idea is to discover the meaning of a touch within experiencing an art work. The exhibition consists of one series of sculptures. The sculptures are touchable beeswax faces in glass showcases.



Ikuinen gallery is a contemporary art project space located in the old factory complex Finlayson in central Tampere. The gallery is run by a board of fine art students in Tampere UAS School of Art and Media as part of their study program. Ikuinen gallery’s main focus is in presenting interesting and high quality student work, whereas work from other art school students and teachers as well as visiting artists are regularly also at show.

Ikuinen Gallery in Facebook

Our International Media Programme will next year expand to Music Production. At present TAMK Music Production studies are arranged as a part of the education of TAMK Finnish Media Programme in Virrat, but next year the new Music Production students will start their studies in the Media Programme run in English at TAMK Finlayson Campus in Tampere.

Screen shot from the recently published Music Production Studies showreel
(You can find the showreel below)

There will be 30 seats available for new students instead of the 20 until now. After the merger and the new curriculum the areas of study of IMP will be: Event Production, Game Design, Motion Graphics, Music Production, Music Business, Sound Design, Visual Design, Web Design.

Application Period Jamuary 7 to February 12
Here please find the time table and the resources to do the application:

  • September: TAMK application web pages are complete, see
  • October: The national joint application web site will open at
  • November: Our new curriculum featuring Music Production will be launched
  • December 1st: The pre-task to be submitted with the application will be published
  • January 7th application period kick off
  • February 12th application closed
  • Early March: invitations to Entrance Exam sent
  • April 9 and 10 Entrance Exam
  • The final results of the student selection will be sent to the applicants by post on May 28th at the earliest.

Read more about the Media Programme
Read about the activities of IMPs, the Media students

Showreel of the Music Production

Showreel of the present IMP:

During last autumn and spring I was lucky enough to be involved in a client project for Nääsville ry working on the Kuntoklubi initiative. All in all the project brought together students from a number of degree programmes, resulted in a website, flash game and most importantly a whole series of workshops with disabled people in Tampere. This experience and time spent was far more beneficial than I had expected. Now is your chance to get involved as they are looking for people to continue the work!
Personally I embarked on this project hoping to learn about user experience and user interface design for disabled people. This I certainly did but along the way gained much valuable experience with Wordpress, game design and the last thing I was planning to do: project management!

Now with a website in place as well as game there's a need for a "weight watching" application and "exercise card" to further encourage a healthy lifestyle and diet. This was the main focus of the workshops we held which involved various sporting activities, drawing for the website, using the Internet and generally discussing what is healthy and what isn't. This pleasingly proved to be a topic that the disabled people were extremely enthusiastic about. Bringing up some very passionate discussions and opinions. This was certainly the most rewarding aspect of the project by being involved with such a great target audience - there really was never a dull moment!

Please get in contact with erja.kyllonen at to inform of your interest!

The project also involved a number of new elements to the Degree Programme in Media and the methods of doing projects. In the image you can see a new way to present project reports with a more visual poster. This was far better in my opinion for project feedback and discussion about things afterwards at least.

Likewise to do the game for Kuntoklubi I enrolled on the Game Design minor and got a great team together, with Angel Lopez and Johanna Lievemaa, to work on the game. The end result is called Super-Elli and gained good feedback for both the client and Kuntoklubi participants.

This game is certainly a long progression and not what I expected from waking up to an e-mail from Cai Melakoski on a dark autumn morning. Just a couple of weeks ago I presented the end results of Kuntoklubi in Finnish to the Neloskierre board who were both pleased with and greatfull for the results.
Read more:

Jarno Vesala is the 29th Young Artist of the Year. He graduated in 2004 from the Fine Arts Programme of TAMK School of Art and Media. He held his first private exhibition in 2003 in Tampere and has also participated in collective exhibitions ever since.

Jarno Vesala with wife Katri Mononen (also TAMK fine art graduate) and child.
Photo: Antti Haapio

The national Young Artist of the Year event was initiated by the Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1984. The purpose of the selection of the artist and the exhibition process is to present young, talented artists and to pay attention to new Finnish art and its phenomena.

The Young Artist of the Year receives a grant of about 20 000 EUR and the opportunity to hold an exhibition at the Tampere Art Museum. The artist has to be under 35-years old.

The Young Artist of the Year event is organized by the City of Tampere and the Tampere Art Museum.

The previous Young Artist of the Year graduate of our Degree Programme in Fine Arts was Tülay Schakir, Young Artist of the Year 2001.

Tampere Art Museum
Jarno Vesala

Jarno Vesala on our blog:
Young Artist exhibition 2009
Our exhibition in Miscolc 2009

The autumn semester of the European Virtual Academy is up and running with eight courses in English + one in Hungarian and one in Italian.

Enrolment time is over for most courses, but two courses accept new participants by October 14 and one by October 15, so hurry up if you want to join.

One of the new courses in EVA's programme is the Narrative Photography
course with Sari Tervaniemi from our Degree Programme in Fine Arts

The courses are open for students of the partner universities Babes-Bolyai University, Hochschule Mittweida - UAS, Sapientia Hungarian University of Transilvania, Tampere UAS (TAMK) and University of Milano-Bicocca. The plan is to invite new partners after the first, EU funded, phase of the project is over.

The autumn semester courses in English are:

  • Contemporary Mainstream Cinema
  • Economic Models in the Media*
  • Film analysis
  • Interactive movies
  • Introduction to visual culture
  • Narrative photography
  • Production and Distribution Processes (in the media and communication)*
  • Reflexivity in Film** 

* Enrolment by October 14
** Enrolment by October 15
Also our studentsshare their EVA experiences on their blogs. The most recent
entry is on the Emirella blog, you find a link below, good reading

Read more:
EVA home
EVA on Facebook

EVA on the blog Emirella and her colourful world

Greetings from the county, where the cars drive on the wrong side, the buses are (red)double-deckers, the rain is our daily companion and the girls are wearing way too little clothes for the rather fresh temperatures. It's not all just myths, it's reality!

beautiful British architecture in Manchester

It's been four weeks now since we arrived to Manchester, four chaotic, challenging and above all, very interesting ones. Ignoring that fact that the university had immense troubles with the IT and all the timetables as well as that there was no responsible person (Erasmus tutor) for us when we arrived, the time so far has been amazing and the fact that a very generous welcoming package was awaiting us, compensated for all the troubles we had to go through.

Our first week here was mainly dedicated to organizing courses, fixing schedules and arranging all necessary things for living in a foreign country and of course getting to know the surrounding and all the campuses of University of Salford. During the first week, there were several welcoming events going where one could have a closer look at the British culture, through pub quiz, workshops and lectures as well as afternoon coffee and tea.
traditional British tea party

Already during the first week, Kristina and I got an invitation from the Ersamus Coordinater of Art and Design School to give a presentation to the local rotary club about Finland as well as our home countries. We felt highly honored and at the same time a little anxious about presenting to a big crowd afraid of not understanding their questions due to their British accent, we were not used to by that time. Despite all worries, we succeeded and even got lots of positive feedback about the interesting facts presented and, who would have thought that, our fantastic English.

Finally, after this busy week, out studies began and we got to know our own campuses, courses, lecturers and other students. From what I saw till now, the teaching methods here in Salford are a bit different to what we are used to in Finland. Every single lecture is very intense, packed with lots of information and tasks, the speed of talking is incredibly high and after every lecture we have to accomplish quite big tasks additionally to the main tasks, which is due by December.
One of the courses I am taking is Digital Media, where we were promised to be pros in Autodesk 3D Max after six weeks, which sounded totally surreal for me during the first lecture. However, after two and a half weeks of practicing, I am confident that I will have a good understanding of the program by the end of the course and my fingers are already flickering very controlled over the keyboard.
wireframe of the 2nd assignment: Victorian house with sash windows
and with faces - yes I did it! thought it's not ready yet.

I am absolutely enthusiastic at the moment about 3D program which lead me to take another 3D course, where Maya is taught, supported by stop-frame animation to get to know the basics of movement. At the moment, Maya is just basics, though separating all the short cuts and menus from 3D Max is a bit challenging.

stop frame room in the MediaCity - one of my now working areas

And last but not least, I got to take a course, which is mainly focusing on motion graphics, but that one is unfortunately only starting in November, what means that I still have to wait a few weeks till I get to learn more of the secrets of After Effects, 3D Max and motion graphics. I can't wait.

I could still go on, but I think most of people got already bored after the first paragraph and those of you who made it till here - thanks for staying with me and congratulations to you, you made it till the end! :)

Greetings from Salford,

Story & Photos: Sabrina Seidl

My very first windmill!

Greetings from this great land of windmills, clogs and tulips! Although, to be honest, I have only seen one windmill up close during my one month of living in the Netherlands. Clogs are mainly only visible in tourist shops and well, tulips are kind of a spring thing... So what is the Netherlands then, if not these three? Let me tell you: a pretty awesome country.
I have proof - Dutch people actually do wear these!

I don't really know what I was thinking when I chose to leave Finland behind and go on an exchange to a country I actually knew nothing about. So far it's been the most confusing, frustrating, exciting, fun and, above all, awesome month in my entire life. I have traveled a lot in the past but coming to live and study here is something completely different. In some way it's a refreshing feeling to meet people who have no idea who you are. I was lucky to get an apartment from a student who left for his own exchange for the autumn. I share the place with three Dutch guys who study Audio Design at my exchange school, Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht. Everybody has been very welcoming and I have gotten to know a lot of great people in such a short time.
Utrecht Dom Tower
The main campus is situated in Utrecht, 30 kilometers south from Hilversum, where I currently live and the technological campus resides. During my first week in the country HKU made sure all of its exchange students felt right at home and all had a place to live. We toured around Utrecht and visited some of the main sights, like the Dom Tower. Over 400 steps to the top, but we made it! We were also shown around the Hilversum campus a couple of weeks later when the studies actually kicked off. I have also visited a couple of other cities, and hopefully even more in the future. Train is fast and relatively cheap, at least when comparing to Finland. A bike is a must too, just like every tourist guide about the Netherlands says.
A beautiful sunset in Amsterdam on Saturday

My exchange studies consist solely of project work. Each third year student here is placed in a group and they work on a designed project until the end of January. Projects are given by an external client, and they can vary a lot depending on the year. I am really happy with the project I was assigned to, as it is about making a historical game for elementary students within three combining municipalities. It gives me a great opportunity to add more stuff to my portfolio and get experience in making a playable game in less than half a year.
My team getting ready to interview the school kids in one of the many schools in Schagen.
The kids wrote down which games they play the most... See any familiar ones?

One thing I didn't expect was the amount of Dutch I get to hear in everyday situations. Luckily I have been awake during my Swedish lessons, otherwise I would be in big trouble! Hopefully I will speak fluent Dutch once I come back to Finland. The first Dutch word everybody should learn is gezellig, since it doesn't actually have a translation in the English language. Here is the definition explained in one big post! It's the one you hear the most, so learn that and you are pretty much good to go!

To make adapting to a new culture easier I have been making comics about my everyday life in the Netherlands. You can find them all from my blog, if you get interested!
My latest Typical Dutch comic; How to learn to love the Dutch language.

So far so good, I hope the rest of my exchange goes smoothly as well. Missing Finland, but loving it here!
Greetings from the Medieval Torture Museum!

Story and pics:
Heidi Mäenpää

Read more about the IMP students
Degree Programme in Media (International Media Programme, IMP)

by Trent Pancy

New to the MindTrek experience for 2012 was a brand new concept called "The MindTrek Lounge".

MindTrek Lounge Lounging

The goal was to create a free space for people to come and experience the MindTrek vibe, whether or not they registered and paid for a ticket.

A group of TAMK students got together with the producers of MindTrek to take over this endeavor and make a fun, laid back space where students, professionals, and everyone in between could come to network, take workshops, relax and have fun!

We wanted the space to not only feel like a lounge, but to also be an entertaining attraction that could stand on its own as a pleasant part of the MindTrek Experience. Our goals were to include:

         - Interesting & Unique Workshops & Presentations
         - Networking Opportunities
         - An appeal for both Students & Professionals
         - Free Coffee
         - Fun & Relaxing Components

After some brief conferencing, we came up with a hearty line up of workshops and ongoing activities to offer. On stage we set up some fun improv-based workshops, interviews with some local organizations, a pitching clinic, an interview with a local movie production team, and some other new components as well.

"Inside The Box" Workshop with Trent Pancy

Off stage we offered a chance for people to play some of their favorite video games from the days of old (Super Mario Bros., Sonic The Hedgehog, etc) on the big screen, relaxing and engaging music, coffee (sometimes on the house), and a showcase of computer games that were developed over the summer by the 5D project, an endeavor of TAMK's S.C.O.R.E. group.

Playing Some Video Games

We also had an area of the lounge devoted to the international theme of MindTrek, where we hung 3 maps (Finland, Europe & The World) where people could post their business cards and represent their homelands.

Global Collaboration at the MindTrek Lounge

It was a fast and furious couple of days. We laughed. We sighed. We workshopped. Sadly, it was all over too quickly.

I hope that future incarnations of MindTrek continue the Lounge tradition. It truly felt like a place where people could come together and hang out, taking a break from the sometimes crazy pace of MindTrek.

The author is student of TAMK UAS Degree Programme in Media
Read more stories by and about the IMPs, the International Media Programme students
Photographs from MindTrek's photostream on Flickr

More about MindTrek 2012 on our blog:

The Nokia Ubimedia MindTrek Award (NUMA) Winner Workshop and NUMA Awards Ceremony were important events of MindTrek 2012

During the 3-hour workshop the best-ranked ubimedia masterpieces - the finalists and projects awarded with honorable mentions were introduced. The audience could see how the winners actually work and how they were made.

Numa Chairs Ville Luotonen and Artur Lugmayr together with Honorary Chair
Tim Merritt  handed out the prices. Other NUMA core team members are
Jury Chair Björn Stockleben and  Chair Cai Melakoski
photo ©MindTrek
The winners
The first price (€3000) went to
Botanicus Interacticus - Disney Research, Pittsburgh
Jonas Loh installing the plant before introducing Botanicus Interacticus
at the workshop

Ever thought interactive devices could be simply grown in the future? If not, maybe the interactive plant interface, Botanicus Interacticus, will make you reconsider. Using multi-frequency electrical pulses, this technology is capable of sensing the location and intensity of touching on any kind of plant (size permitting). This establishes a surprisingly powerful interface between the organic and the digital world and allows for a literally natural integration of media into the environment. This groundbreaking approach broadens the scope of ubimedia in an exciting way.

The second price (€2000) went to
Oh Music, Where Art Thou? - User System Interaction Programme, Eindhoven University of Technology

Matthijs Zwinderman introduced the OMWAT

Lost in a strange place in an unfamiliar city? This ambient audio navigation service is an innovative ready-to-market solution that relieves you from exposing your expensive phone and enables you to move about like a native. You will enjoy having your eyes free for looking around or interacting with friends, while a clever manipulation of stereo channels leads you the way using your favourite music. Mobile devices make services available virtually anywhere, but still tend to distract us from our surroundings. The jury values that the solution solves this dilemma in a simple and elegant way.

The third price (€1000) was won by
Joggobot - Exertion Games Lab, RMIT University Melbourne

The NUMA workshop was interactive. On left Wouter Walmink from
Joggobot with TAMK media students Yonathan Wolowelsky
simulating the Jogger and Joel Forsman the Robot

There are numerous new popular running applications for mobile devices, but even the best of them cannot replace the motivation caused by the physical presence of a running mate. The flying running companion Joggobot comes surprisingly close to a social running experience. This project shows the potential of ubimedia when it actually manifests in the playful behavior of physical objects instead of being rendered onto small screens.

The honorable mentions 
Honorable mentions were given to:
Nimesha Ranasinghe and the taste synthesizer

 “Digital taste synthesizer” by the CUTE-Center of National University of Singapore
is according to the jury a visionary project aiming to conquer the sense of taste for ubimedia.
Floating About

“Floating about” by Hochschule Darmstadt, a social location-based game that uses mobile projection devices to render an alternate reality directly on objects in the environment.
Interactive Shadows was made by our Media students Amir Abdi & Johanna Peltola
and TAMK Business Informations Systems student Siru-Kristiina Kuivanen

TAMK Media Programme is one of the key organisers of NUMA. This year our students also participated in the competition itself with two projects. We are very proud of our students - although they didn't win a price in this tough competition their Demola project "Interactive Shadows" was selected to the short list and became thus one of the projects the NUMA jury considered worth a price.

About NUMA
The Nokia Ubimedia MindTrek Awards is an annual competition with a total prize sum of 6.000 euros in 2012. Numa is open to all kinds of artists, practitioners and researchers. The competition was part of the international MindTrek 2012 conference held for the 16th time in Tampere, Finland during October 3rd – 5th.

The competition is organized collaboratively by MindTrek ry, Tampere Region Centre of Expertise in Ubiquitous Computing, Entertainment & Media Management Lab. (EMMi Lab.) of Tampere University of Technology, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Nokia Oyj and the Ambient Media Association (AMEA). The competition is funded by Nokia Oyj and the Tampere Region Centre of Expertise in Ubiquitous Computing.
Read more about the ubimedia competition on our blog
About MindTrek 2012 on our blog: