Helsinki-Tallinn Area Design Hackathon

December 11, 2018 Sini

Helsinki-Tallinn Area Design Hackathon

Happy Textiles Bazaar was among other attendees hacking the future built environment of Helsinki-Tallinn area and its future train stations in the FinEst Bay Area Design Hackathon last weekend. The hackathon was held in the heart of Finnish innovative design, at Aalto University’s “Design Factory” in Otaniemi, Espoo, and organized by the famous Helsinki-Tallinn train tunnel project ambassador Peter Vesterbacka and his project team.

The hackathon attracted a great amount of bright and open minded people from various industries. Present were among others Fira, Pöyry, SSA and Crazy Town representing smart city design, construction and facilities, several tunnel building and infrastructure specialists, and also providers of various digital design tools. HTB’s role in the co-creation process was to open discussion on innovative and smart surfaces in the built environment.

The hack-crowd was divided into two groups focusing on usability, experience, collaboration and happy citizen solutions around the above ground station areas, and in the below ground tunnel planning. HTB was naturally attending the first group. Both down to earth and wild ideas were brainstormed and written down for further pondering.

As an already technologically fully possible example, photonic textiles where optical fibers, LEDs, sensors and controls are combined, could result in new kinds of interior lighting solutions for public, semi-public and private spaces. With smart interior textiles the lighting could be automatically adjusted to the changing environment around the space. The atmosphere of the spaces, e.g. train stations or hallways, could this way be changed according to the amount of daylight, daily weather, seasonal themes or for example commercial campaigns.

All in all HTB’s introduction of the new textile technology platform and role as the messenger of new materials and smart textiles got a very positive acceptance among the participants. There’s a lot of curiosity and thirst for knowledge on the rather new industry. Spreading information is really needed, when companies from different fields (such as facility management or city planning) are considering new ways to build the cities and buildings better for us everyone.

Want to hear more about the tunnel hack or join the next one? Ideas for the spaces and surfaces around us? Contact us through and follow the FinEst Bay Area Facebook page for announcements!

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