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Creative concepts for travelling by land

Reducing flying is an easy way to decrease your personal carbon footprint. The Matka Nordic Travel Fair 2020 showed new solutions for how to encourage travel by land.
usvainen vuorimaisema, jossa menee gondolihissi
Nexo by Ella Eskola offers traveling experiences also for those, who cannot travel themselves. matkustaa.

Today, environmental consideration, sustainable development and ethics are strong trends in the tourism sector, too. Alternatives to flying are being sought. But how can we encourage people to switch from flying to trains and buses?

The Finnish Tourism Association, along with the Maata pitkin travel fair organised a competition of travel information for students. The eco-tourism concepts created by Aalto University students were victorious.

Three concepts: Nexo, Train Brag and Vojaz  

Ella Eskola ja Iina Silventoinen pitelevät käsissään voittoplakaateja ja seisovat matkamessujen maata pitkin -osion lavalla
Ella Eskola (left.) and Iina Silventoinen at the Matka Nordic Travel Fair 2020

The winner of the competition, Ella Eskola's Nexo concept brings the world's renowned attractions to anyone in an ecological and accessible manner. The application utilises augmented reality technology and offers various sensory impressions.  The solution allows the tourism experience also for those who have no opportunity to travel abroad.

Eskola understands her own privileged position, which acts as a leading theme in her design work. “We have a duty to do well. If we do not offer accessible opportunities, who else would do it?” 

The Train Brag concept was awarded an honorable mention. It leverages the augmented reality face filter collection and encourages users to boast train travel and hang out of flight shame on social media.

The application is designed by Anni Tolvanen, Iina Silventoinen and Akseli Manner. It combines gamification and humor with Instagram tools and provides a stimulating communication tool. The creators of the Train Brag will continue to discuss possible cooperation with the VR group.

Vojaz, a passenger's interactive multifunction package for the Russian railways, focuses on the comfort of travel, fluency and the exploitation of boredom. A passenger can track his or her journey in real time from a customisable app that supports communication, information about the destinations and cultures of the route. Podcasts from other trips bring amusement to the long train journeys, as well as filling out the Vojaz travel book. The concept is made by Pinja Mäentaka, Yulia Soloveva and Pihla Lemmetyinen.

Train Brag -sovelluksen avulla omaan kuvaansa voi lisätä kasvofilttereitä Instagramissa,
Train Brag application leverages the augmented reality face filter collection and encourages users to boast train travel.

Social Influence and activism 

The concepts were created at a course led by Lecturer Tarja Nieminen. The course called Koe: Muutos (Experienxe: Change) is part of the bachelor’s degree studies of Visual Communication Design. 

“The Visual Communication Design acts as a means of social influence in the tourism industry as well. We deal with the influencing communication from a civic and design activist perspective where inclusion and activism play an essential role,” explains Nieminen. 

The founder of the marketing agency Måndag, Arto Sivonen, was the visiting tutor of the course. He sees tasks of this kind a way to create new concepts quickly and gutsy.

“In the rapid pace of creative industries, it's important to stick to projects aiming at real design processes, not just test assignments.”

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