Tag Archives: Pinta

Bright Baana

Helsinki celebrates the UN International Year of Light with the Bright Baana event. In September, the bridges of Baana will transform into lighting installations for four days.

The year 2015 was nominated by UN as the international year of light and technology. Year of Light highlights the benefits to humanity offered by the fields of science that utilise light and their applications.

The beautiful experiences of light that Baana offers its users between 24 and 27 September 2015 are the result of cooperation between the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) of Finland, Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and City of Helsinki Public Works Department.

The purpose of the project is to gather experiences on the use of new, energy-efficient lighting solutions and their effect on the sense of comfort and safety.

The installations create visual rhythm, colour and interaction to the urban space – experiences that are more common under the theatre lights. The installations tell stories, highlight the details of architecture and comment on the history of the location.

Around ten lighting installations will be implemented on the just short of 1.5 kilometre route from Mannerheimintie to the Länsilinkki on Mechelininkatu.

Alinen, the underworld of spirits in Finnish folklore, has been the inspiration for the installations. Underworld was reached through a tunnel or a small cave, and during the journey, one could face the spirits of the departed, healing forces or spirit animals. The design groups have interpreted the theme freely, from an urban point of view. The theme emphasises the characteristics of Baana as a space for the citizens, which is separate from the city above, dominated by cars and commercial activities.

The international Year of Light declared by the UN aims to increase the awareness of the possibilities of lighting technology as the promoter of sustainable development. In accordance with the theme of the Year of Light, the lighting installations of Baana utilise energy-efficient light sources and smart control technology, which reacts to the pedestrians and cyclists on the route.

The event is implemented in cooperation with the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) of Finland, Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and City of Helsinki Public Works Department. Thirty lighting designers and designers have designed the installations as group works and the corporate members of the Illuminating Engineering Society of Finland have been a valuable help to the event by lending the devices used in the installations.

The installations will be built as the student works of Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences students of Electronics and Stage technology.

Baana, completed in 2012, opened up a cycling and pedestrian route from the West Harbour to the city centre, when the railway traffic was stopped on the old port tracks, built a hundred years earlier. In some places, Baana is a dramatic canyon, lined by steep cliff walls, and in other places it is a lively “living room” for the youth or a park-like embankment. The pedestrian and cycling corridor, which was built into a former railway canyon, was awarded as a commercial-free public space in the European Prize for Urban Public Space competition in 2014, from among nearly 200 European cities.

Artistic Director Lighting Designer, Master of Theatre Arts Tarja Ervasti
[email protected] tel. 050 529 2874

Producer: Architect Pia Rantanen, the City of Helsinki Public Works Department
[email protected] tel. 09 3103 8812

More information on the installations: www.valoisabaana.fi


Explore Helsinki Design Week by touch

Interactive wayfinding service, running on the digital screens of central Helsinki, offers event tips and help for tourists and others in need of guidance. On the 3rd of September, aligned with the opening day of the Helsinki Design Week, the service is updated with new features, allowing people to browse information about the festival’s events.

Helsinki Design Week is the biggest design festival in Nordics, taking now place between 3rd and 13th of September. For people interested in the event, the outdoor touch screens in Helsinki city center share information about the events nearby, and routes to the location. With the help of Eventmore application, the events and routes can be explored with a smart phone. On the screens, animations allure people to touch and find their pick on Helsinki Design Week.

“During Helsinki Design Week there are 200 different events in the city. The wayfinding service on the city screens helps to find the most interesting ones. This supports our campaigning. It is also a great example of urban design,” says Hanna Harris, Program director of Helsinki Design Week.

Find your way with touch screens

All the outdoor screens are interactive touch screens that have a map-based wayfinding service. By tapping the map, users can find out more about attractions, events, public transportation and other important services. The map shows routes and walking distance within a five minute radius. The service is available in Finnish, Swedish and English.

“Helsinki is the most popular and international place to visit in Finland. That is why wayfinding is really needed. The wayfinding service on the city screens helps to find central locations, attractions and events in the city,” says Tuulikki Becker from Visit Helsinki.

Making the most of digital screens

For the content, the service utilizes City of Helsinki’s open data sources available for anyone. In addition to the wayfinding, the screens offer a chance to test out new interactive services with Helsinki residents. The goal is to get people to participate and take action, via different campaigns for example.The City of Helsinki and Forum Virium Helsinki have together piloted digital wayfinding, signage as well as interactive services for several years now.

You’re welcome to test the re-launched wayfinding service on the screens around Helsinki city centre! The city screens are marked with a recognizable info sign.

More information:
Jenni Niemiaho, Producer
[email protected]
tel. 040 167 6680
Forum Virium Helsinki

The original article was published in the Forum Virium Helsinki`s website.

Interactive screens complement digital wayfinding

The interactive city screens of the future might serve as a feedback channel and offer real-time personalized information about what’s happening in the city.

Digital and interactive screens are an increasingly visible part of the urban landscape. In tomorrow’s Helsinki they will be used as city guides and information channels. The interactive screens are ideal for integrated, participatory campaigns as well as for media art and visualizations.

Forum Virium Helsinki has been testing different kinds of wayfinding and interactive services on Clear Channel’s city screens. In the pilot projects conducted together with several city departments, the advertising screens have been used for diverse communications purposes.

The development work for creating interactive services for Helsinki’s digital media channels started from the needs of tourist guidance around three years ago. Since then, city screens both outdoors and indoors have been tested for delivering interactive map and information services for tourists and residents. This interactive service at customer service points utilize open data, and city departments have also produced their own information content to the screens.

“The digital wayfinding service for touchscreens fetches information from the city’s open data sources, which are also accessible for other service providers. The sources include news from the Metro newspaper and the City of Helsinki, the Linked events interface as well as public transport stop and route information from HRT,” Pekka Koponen from Forum Virium Helsinki elaborates.

“A useful idea, particularly with the map services and events info being available in different languages,” the users applaud.

Besides wayfinding, Forum Virium Helsinki is exploring opportunities with a broader range of interactive content. “We have produced and tested several interactive campaigns together with the city – from questionnaires to polls and participatory campaigns that activate the strollers on the streets,” project manager Kaisa Spilling says.

The first interactive experiment was conducted during the Ice Hockey World Championship in 2012. Passers-by had the chance to compete in light-hearted ice-hockey themed quizzes. Later on the screens have enabled people to test their animal expertise in a quiz at Helsinki Zoo, explore the e-book services offered by the Helsinki City Library and vote in the architectural contest for the design of Helsinki Central Library.

Forum Virium Helsinki and city departments are continuing their development work with media screens for both services and content. The idea is that in the future, the screens will provide residents with contextual information, serve as a feedback channel, and even offer customized information about current city events.

Digital media screens offer information based on time, place, event and audience.

Why it’s done
The screens provide residents and tourists digital wayfinding and interactive services, and also a chance to communicate with the City of Helsinki.

Who’s involved
The City of Helsinki Public Works Department, HRT, Helsinki Marketing Ltd, Helsinki City Library, the City of Helsinki Information Technology and Communications division, Clear Channel and Forum Virium Helsinki.

Who it serves
Locals and tourists, city departments.



Text: Petja Partanen, Tarinatakomo
Picture: Joel Pekari, Forum Virium Helsinki

The original article was published as part of Forum Virium Helsinki’s publication Building an open city.

Lights of winter: Digital photo exhibition on urban screens

Lights of winter (Valoisa Talvi) was a photo contest and a digital photo exhibition never before done in Helsinki. The residents of Helsinki were asked to  take a photograph of a lighting that inspires them and tag it #valoisatalvi or #valoisajoulu. The top ten was displayed on the urban screens in Helsinki city centre.


Following in the footsteps of the former Lights of Christmas campaign (Valoisa Joulu), the Lights of Winter aimed to get residents of Helsinki to participate in urban planning. For the City of Helsinki public works department, it was a means to engage the people and a follow up in the lights of christmas campaign from december.

The ten most inspiring photos were displayed on the urban screens in Helsinki city centre between 3rd and 9th of February.  Three lucky contestant also won a gift card for Rajala Pro shop.

The campaign was advertised on the urban screens around Helsinki city centre as well as on valoisatalvi.fi and on Facebook. In total, 80 photographs were entered to the contest with hashtags #valoisatalvi and #valoisajoulu. The campaign event page on Facebook had about 80 participants.

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 11.08.22

Check out the digital photo exhibition and all the photos on valoisatalvi.fi!

The campaign was done as a part of the Pinta project,  creating and testing out new forms interactive services and wayfinding in Helsinki. The project is funded by City of Helsinki’s innovation fund, coordinated by Forum Virium Helsinki. Partners are The City of Helsinki Communication Department, Public Works Department, City Library, Helsinki Marketing Ltd and Helsinki Region Transport (HRT).


Interactive screens in the Helsinki customer service points

In collaboration with the City of Helsinki, Forum Virium Helsinki has launched an updated wayfinding service in the new interactive screens of the City of Helsinki’s customer service. The screens are available not only for tourists and visitors, but also residents of Helsinki.


The screens are located in the lobby of Helsinki City Hall, The Museum of Helsinki, Library 10, Railwaystation tourist information center, Helsinki Region Transport’s (HRT) service point, the customer service point of the Public Works Department and Helsinki Zoo.

Thanks to the screen’s touchscreen-ability, there’s been a chance to test out and create even more interactive services and flexible trials than before.

The updated service offers residents and tourists current news and information on things happening around the city. One can also check the flow of public transportation on the map. For the content, the service utilizes Helsinki’s open data sources available for anyone.


The services works in several languages: Finnish, Swedish, English and Russian. Officials working for the City of Helsinki can also share their own information on screens, regarding exceptional opening hours, for example. Also, after a user survey, more signage about the touch-screen ability was added as well as little mats inviting people to touch the screens.

Voting for the Christmas lighting in Helsinki

It’s a tradition that every year Aleksanterinkatu is shining with light when the Christmas lights are lit to mark the upcoming holidays. This year, residents of Helsinki also had a chance to tell their view on the Christmas lighting for Helsinki. A campaign introduced people a new set of Christmas light designs to vote from. The results of the voting are utilized by the City of Helsinki Public Works Department when making plans for the lighting in future.

The Lights of Christmas campaign involved people in planning the new lighting of the city. From a pre-set of lightning designs, one could vote his/her favourite in December. The votes were casted at the campaign website (www.valoisajoulu.fi) or via interactive media touchscreens around the city centre. By voting residents got to participate in the planning of the new Christmas lights and pass on their own virtual Christmas light for friends.

Valoisajoulu_Exove Design:Miikka PirinenPicture: Exove Design / Miikka Pirinen

Creating an international image for Helsinki

“Christmas lighting can help us to make Helsinki more attractive and appealing during winter,” says the manager of lighting Juhani Sandström from the City of Helsinki Public Works Department. The lights that are being planned now will be hanged next Christmas. Previously, it’s been vendors and decision-makers who have been engaged in the planning of the lightning, via different kinds of workshops. “Now the Lights of Christmas campaign gives us opinions of the residents,” continues Sandström. The user opinions are going to be utilized in the project during the next year.

Up until now, the Christmas lights in Aleksanterinkatu have been funded and executed by vendor organizations and marketing companies in the city centre. In the future, also the City of Helsinki will be financing the lights. The city is currently preparing a study, which will help to create guidelines for the lighting. With these guidelines, it will be easier for the partners to produce a coherent Christmas lighting for the city.

The Lights of Christmas campaign was a joint effort by Forum Virium Helsinki and the City of Helsinki Public Works Department. It was done as part of the Pinta project, aiming to create and pilot new forms of interactive services in the city. The campaign website and the application were designed by Exove Design.

The original article published in the Forum Virium Helsinki’s website.

More information:
Kaisa Spilling, Project Manager
Forum Virium Helsinki
tel. +358 40 744 8831


Lights of Christmas

When the traditional Christmas lights are lit on Aleksanterinkatu on the 23rd of November, so kicks off our campaign Lights of Christmas (Valoisa Joulu). It is a chance for the residents of Helsinki to participate in the planning of the new Christmas lightning s for 2015,

Valoisajoulu_Exove Design/Miikka PirinenPicture: Exove Design / Miikka Pirinen

Lights of Christmas offers residents of Helsinki a chance to tell their view on the Christmas lighting for Helsinki. The campaign introduces a pre-set of Christmas light designs to vote from. After voting, one can pass his/her virtual Christmas light for friends on Facebook.

The votes for the Lights of Christmas can be casted via campaign website valoisajoulu.fi or by tapping the digital media screens around Helsinki city centre. The voting is on from 23rd of November to 7th of December 2014.

Valoisa Joulu_Exove Design/Miikka Pirinen Picture: Exove Design / Miikka Pirinen

The application is fun and simple to use. The results of the voting are utilized by the City of Helsinki Public Works Department when making plans for the Aleksanterinkatu’s Christmas lighting in the future.


Exove Design / Miikka PirinenPicture: Exove Design / Miikka Pirinen 

The campaign-related touch screens are covered with Christmas wrappings, so you can’t miss them! You can find them on Mannerheimintie, Pohjoisesplanadi, Mikonkatu, Kaisaniemi, Central Railway Station, Narinkkatori and around Kamppi area.

The Lights of Christmas campaign is a joint effort by Forum Virium Helsinki and the City of Helsinki Public Works Department. It is done as part of the Pinta project, aiming to create and pilot new forms of interactive services in the city. The campaign website and the application are designed by Exove Design.