Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers, where science and art meet technology and business. By merging three leading Finnish universities in 2010, Aalto was founded to work as a societally embedded research university. In a short space of time, the University has since become a forerunner in its key areas. In the field of Arts & Design, Aalto University currently ranks as number 7 in the world (QS Rankings 2020).
This is the story behind the creation of a Virtual Campus Experience for this prestigious University.
Aalto University campus is located in Espoo, Finland and is known for its lush green areas, refreshing nature, breathtaking architecture, and multifunctional facilities. The University was looking for a solution, such as a 360° customized virtual campus tour, that would enable users to experience Aalto University’s campus and its atmosphere in an immersive and interactive way, regardless of their geographical location. This would significantly help many prospective students, exchange students, and faculty, who are considering where to study or work, but cannot visit the campus due to time, financial, or pandemic travel constraints.
Considering University’s prestigious reputation and strong visual identity, it was of high importance to make sure that the virtual campus tour reflects and enhances the Aalto University brand.
Answering a brief to fulfill Aalto University’s concepts, an Estonian virtual tour producer TUUR won a tender to create a one-of-a-kind virtual campus experience in collaboration with the UX/UI designers from Bitfiner – who had developed a great synergy through previous projects alike.
Fast-forward to several months later, after trips to Finland on tight restrictions, many UX/UI iterations, and user tests, and the tour is now ready to wow audiences, who can experience it via mobile devices, VR headsets, or desktop devices.
Every little detail, from 360° photos and videos, audio, text, intro animation, visual style, graphical elements, and interactions, have all received tremendous attention from all project parties, and have been combined in a unique way to attract new students and professionals.
Going back 15 years ago, Lauri, the lead designer of the Aalto University virtual campus tour, could not have imagined designing a virtual campus experience for a prestigious University in Finland, as he was just rejected from a local art and design school in Estonia. Four years later he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences but he never used it, and worked in sales and marketing instead. In 2016 Lauri came back to his passion and founded the design studio Bitfiner, where he learned everything the hard way – through trial and error.
Today, he gets to work with his amazing team/partners, and has projects from over 20 countries, together with around 10 high recognitions and design awards. Getting to work with Aalto University, as a non-Arts & Design graduate but a very hard-learner and creative thinker, is one of the highlights of his career.
Dedication, passion, and perseverance simply matter. We hope this inspires all the designers and soon-to-be designers who can relate.
Thank you, and hope you discover Aalto University campus in ways never before seen. And keep on thinking boldly.
TUUR & BITFINER & AALTO UNIVERSITY
- Creative Directors Lauri Post, Lauri Veerde, Anastasia McAvennie
- Art Directors Lauri Post
- Designers Jan Kondtar, Elias Retsen
- Illustrators –
- Photographers Lauri Veerde
- Editors Lauri Veerde
- Copywriters Aalto University
- Developer/Producer TUUR
- Animator Franz Krusenberg
- UX/UI Design and Animation Bitfiner