Smile, you are on CCTV

About three month ago I have packed my flat in Tampere and flew to the land of everlasting rain. The official reason for this trip was my Erasmus studies in the University of Salford and a job at the web design agency BLISS. The truth is, that I was sent to verify if it is true that all the residents on the British island oddly adds milk into their tea (they are, mission accomplished).

Tea with milk. Do not try this at home.

A few days before christmas, I have landed in Manchester, the home of the finest English football, the BBC and unpleasant bus drivers. It occurs that (as I have understood myself in a short delay), England is (still) a christian country, and seems not to operate so well during the christmas and new year’s time. So we had to spend our first few weeks here without an Internet connection, while experimenting other communication platforms (did you know you can still use your phone for calling?)

I feel so much safer right now.

Bliss is a digital agency specialized in web and mobile design and development. It is located In the northern quarter, the place which accommodates most of Manchester’s hipsters. The great people at Bliss welcomed me with tea (guess with what) and a couple games of Foosball. They were also kind enough to let me experiment with the monstrous CMS Drupal, which is the main platform we are working with, in order to create awesome and powerful websites.

Just another day at work.

University of Salford is a huge institution. It is quite popular among TAMK students as an exchange destination, mainly because it has a lot of digital animation and computer games courses. In contrast to my work at Bliss and to my classmates in TAMK, I have decided to try something else in my exchange university, so I took the Illustration pathway in the graphic design program. This study pathway is very traditional and encourage print and hand drawn projects rather than digital or interactive designs.

Stencil pictograms experiment

Myself in a traditional English pub, with former head of TAMK
 media program Cai Melakoski and two drunk Englishmen
 Richard Vickers and James Field (University of Lincoln)

Nevertheless, Manchester has a lot more to offer rather than studying working and ales. Music scene is huge compared to the tiny Tampere, on a nice day you can have a walk in the old industrial buildings or even take a 30 minutes train for a one day hike in the green hills of the peak district.

Old-school bridge between Manchester and Salford.