Aalto University: Aalto Digital Creatives Art & Tech Open Call ’22 granted development funding for five creative industry projects

The Aalto Digital Creatives Art & Tech Open Call ’22 final took place as a part of the Media Lab Spring Demo Day at the Design Factory. Nine finalists took the stage for three minutes each to pitch their project. In this short window they had to convince the jury of why their projects should be selected for the development funding.

The jury had the opportunity to grant funding for three to five projects, depending on the scale and scope of each of them. This year five projects received grants that varied between EUR 8 000 to 18 000 per project. The jury had representatives from each of the Art & Tech Open Call partners: Taina Seitsara, the City of Helsinki; Jouni Frilander, YLE, Siamäk Naghian and Kati Pajukallio, Genelec; Annakaisa Kultima, Aalto University; Milla Moilanen, AVEK and Marcus Korhonen, Aalto Studios.

The winning projects represent different branches of the creative industry. As Marcus Korhonen from Aalto Studios summarized it, ‘What the jury wanted to do here was to look into a wide variety of digital creativity and not just look into one corner of it’.

One of the Art & Tech Open Call winners came from the field of design. The jury awarded the Artificial Designer project, which is a clothing label designed and fabricated by a machine. This research-based project also aims at exploring how science might be used to advance art.

Two of the winning projects were utilizing VR but in very different ways. Making Art in My Dreams explores the relationship between creative work and dreams by creating an animated VR documentary that lets the viewer enter someone else’s dreams. Whereas, FOLD.PSY is focused on creating a VR experience based on user’s feelings and responses accessed via biometric feedback.

Coming from the world of performing arts, the team behind Theatrical Voice 3.0 want to transform the way that sound is represented on stage. Their ambition to take on something so well established as sound is in theatre and look at it from a new perspective was what impressed the jury.

The fifth winning project was AR Flashlight Escape Room where the team had already developed a prototype of a flashlight utilizing augmented reality. The jury was impressed by the use of AR in a gamified setting which could potentially be used in multiple public and private forums. The team entered the Art & Tech Open Call with the idea of developing their new take on augmented reality into an escape room game.