Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hyper Island students launch Facebook application

On the 17th of December five students from Hyper Island, Karlskrona, launched a competition on Facebook. The application is called Top The Tune and it challenges the public to send in interpretations of classic entries from the Swedish Eurovision Song Contest. Both video- and photo entries are accepted and the users can submit their interpretations by sending an MMS or via the application's file uploader.

The Top The Tune player
The Swedish Facebook campaign is an initiative from the Melodifestivalen 2008 Karlskrona marketing group. They requested a smart and new thinking web solution with user generated content.

The Top The Tune application
The thematic challenges are running in two week-long cycles and there are brand new iPod Nanos up for grabs! The first competition cycle runs between Monday Dec 17 and Saturday Dec 29 2007, the theme for the first round is "Melodifestivalen 2006". It is the users of Top The Tune who elect the winner by rating 'thumbs up' or 'thumbs down' - the most popular entry wins.

The application users can comment and discuss the entries on the Top The Tune Facebook page, it is also here that new announcements, events and prizes will be posted.

The Top The Tune page on Facebook.

Add Top The Tune to your profile and submit your entry today!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas decoration time at Hyper Island

On the schedule: Drinking glögg and taking a few bold steps into the world of marzipan design. The Digital Media and Interactive Art Director programs in Stockholm got together to anticipate the upcoming Christmas festivities creating some marzipan figures. They were helped along the way by two representatives from Dekorera Mera - professionals in cake design!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

LA, SF, NYC and London - here we come!

For the first time Hyper Island will perform a recruitment tour outside Sweden. Starting point for the tour is Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and London. Together with students, some of the Hyper Island staff will tour four world cities in order to meet up with creative people that are interested in becoming Hyper Island students for the fall 2008.

Hyper Island will run the Digital Media program in Karlskrona and the Interactive Art Director program in Stockholm with an international touch. This means that the two programs are open for English speaking people as private paying students.

Dates for the recruitment tour are:

Los Angeles 5th-6th of January
San Francisco 12th-13th of January
New York 26-27th of January
London 2nd-3rd of February

In order to take part in the recruitment tour you have to apply (see how to apply below) to participate in a recruitment day. A recruitment day consists of:

- A personal interview.
- Informal meetings with Hyper Island students and staff.
- An individual creative task.
- A team assignment.

Participation in a recruitment day takes about 10 hours.

How to apply?
If you want to participate in one recruitment day during the recruitment tour you have to send an email to providing Hyper Island with the following information:
1. Full name
2. Address (street and number, zip code, city, country)
3. Phonenumber
4. Email address
5. Date of birth (YYYY-MM-DD)
6. Previous education
7. Choosen city for the recruitment tour (LA, NYC, SF or London)
8. Which day of the recruitment days you apply to take part in
9. URL to your portfolio
10. A personal letter (Maximum one A4 paper)

A pre-condition of having the chance to get admitted to a recruitment day is that you together with your application provide Hyper Island with a URL to your digital portfolio and a personal letter - who you are and why you wish to become a student at Hyper Island.

The personal letter should be attached with your email as a PDF document.

If you get admitted to a recruitment day, an email with more specific information regarding the process and structure of the recruitement day will be sent out to you.

For more detailed information about the specific programs and the conditions of being a private paying student see Digital Media Program Karlskrona and Interactive Art Director Program Stockholm.

Friday, December 14, 2007

London calling: Students wanted

Mattias Hansson, CEO of Hyper Island, with digital guru and organizer Phil Jones at the Digital Podge lunch, the London Arts Club.

London calling: Students wanted

The last few weeks Hyper Island CEO Mattias Hansson has attended two events in London, mainly to keep up the good relations Hyper Island has in the international digital business arena.

Mattias talked about the education of and need for new digital talent on the CLICK 07 conference, arranged by magazine Creative Review. Afterwards there was a queue of people from the world's best agencies, wanting to know how to attract students from Hyper Island. We said as we use to in these situations: "Please come and lecture and share your experiences, and maybe some student will want to spend his or her internship period with you".

The very same queue, only different people and companies, appeared at the exclusive Digital Podge lunch where some of the world's best creative directors gathered at the London Art's Club on 40 Dover Street.

Many of the companies at these two events clearly said that they are dying to get Hyper Island students for internships and showed interest in finding deeper cooperation with the "education revolution" from Sweden. Some of the companies attending were:

(CLICK 07):
Crispin Porter + Bogusky, GT Tokyo, Black Magic Marker, Lowe Brindfors, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Saatchi & Saatchi Interactive, Arc Worldwide & Leo Burnett Ltd, Isobar, Zulu, Wieden + Kennedy, EURO RSCG 4D Digital, Ogilvy One Worldwide, R/GA London and Agency Republic.

(Digital Podge 2007):
Third Eye Design, Acknowledgement, Diesel, Reading Room, Work Club, Brand Union, Åkestam.Holst, Beattie McGuinness Bungay, Bright Digital, Chinwag, COI Digital Team, Creative Social, Free Spirit, Agency Republic, Carnyx Group, Harvest Digital, New Media Age, Proximity London, RMM, Start Creative, VCCP, Virgin Games, Twenty Six

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

William Hall at Hyper Island

William Hall worked with the Digital Media students in Karlskrona on the Visual Communication module. Here is his account of the process:

Having explained my ten rules of typography (the list is below, but the details remain a closely guarded secret of Karlskrona students), I talked a little about my own work, which you can view at

Our projects include corporate identity, website design, and restaurant graphics, but we mostly work on book design. Our book projects include a catalogue for Calvin Klein, a cookbook for Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli, and catalogues for artists such as Robert Ryman, Michael Landy, and Barbara Hepworth.

The Design Process
When we design a book the initial layout is presented to the client in the form of a 'blad' (an acronym for Book Layout And Design), and this is what I asked the students to present. A blad is usually an 8 or 12 page booklet designed to give as clear a picture of the final book as possible.

The blad shows the proposed size, paper, layout, typography, and the treatment of images. We demonstrate how different types of page will look, such as a chapter opener, or a main text page. This is usually accompanied by a book dummy which is the correct size and has the correct paper and number of pages, but is totally blank. (see below the hand made blad for Giorgio Locatelli, the dummy, and the finished book)

The blad is used to discuss the design and possible alterations before the entire book is laid out. It is often also used to take to a book fair (usually Frankfurt) where publishers show book stockists and other trade buyers their forthcoming books.

We would usually have 2 or 3 weeks for this process. Hyper Island students had less than a day, which makes their contributions all the more impressive.

Hyper Island Book Project
The brief was to design a layout for a bilingual architectural book featuring either Andrea Palladio, Le Corbusier, John Pawson, or Zaha Hadid.
The page size had to be 12 x 17cm, and I asked for two spreads, and a cover if time permitted. I wanted the students to interpret the work of their chosen architect and communicate this in a direct or indirect way as they saw fit.

The students were asked to present and defend their work in front of the class, using a webcam to show their printed blads. The results were incredibly varied.

Although most used western alphabets, Arabic, Japanese, and Cyrillic were also used, providing their own technical and interpretative issues. As each design was unveiled we discussed its various merits and drawbacks, and sometimes even the work of the architects: 'I actually hate everything about this architect...' said one.

Shortlisted designs
Amongst the most successful work were Stephanie Lindgren's John Pawson, which used much white space and a short rule to give the book an identity and a strong framework, and Rebecca Berg-Olsson's design for the same architect. Berg-Olsson cleverly started her English and Japanese texts from opposite ends of the book, subverting notional protocols of book design. Andreas Fernhede Dagman's design for Le Corbusier had clean lines and a strong typographic cover.

Johannes Mathisson chose Zaha Hadid and set the companion language in Russian. Responding to Hadid's angular, sculptural constructions, the design uses confident diagonal paragraphs to create a fresh, dynamic and useable layout.

Claes Källarsson broke one of the rules of the brief - as he had been encouraged to do - and chose an architect not listed in the American deconstructivist Frank Gehry. Källarsson's sinuous columns echo Gehry's architecture in both a figurative and a conceptual way, and the two greys used to denote the different languages seem to invoke the metallic folds of Gehry's Guggenheim Museum.

Aina Cecilie Ørebech's Zaha Hadid focused on Hadid's deconstructivist credentials, literally deconstructing the text into concrete poetry and making rorschach type patterns with a monospaced utilitarian font. Perhaps the most challenging design presented, it was also one of the most successful.

In a spirit of solidarity I also answered my own brief, choosing Zaha Hadid and interweaving the two languages with double linespaced columns. Though vigourously defended this was widely panned by suddenly vociferous classmates.

William Hall, London, December 2007

William Hall's Ten Typographic Rules

1. Consider the user and use
2. Choose an appropriate font
3. Use as few fonts as possible
4. Don’t distort type
5. Make black stripes: kerning and tracking
6. Make black stripes: hyphenation and justification
7. Make black stripes: leading and baseline grid
8. Be consistent
9. Separate text and image
10. There are no rules

Monday, December 10, 2007

Hyper Island at the SACO student fair in Malmö

Business Management student Charlotte Hagefors reports on the SACO student fair in Malmö:

We were six students from Hyper Island, Karlskrona who went to the SACO student fair in Malmö the 27th of November. We were all excited, and after a fun three hours journey we arrived to Malmö and finally we found the exhibition hall.

Our place became really nice and it was full of people the whole Wednesday. We got the impression that the concept that Hyper Island is offering fell into lots of students interests. We were all of us hoarse and tired after 7 hours of constant speaking, but also proud and happy over the 580 people who signed up for a news letter.

We had one competition over one Ipod, the winner was Maniel Glyré.

Charlotte Hagefors

Friday, December 7, 2007

Q&A with Fakepilot

Flash Programmer Fakepilot, also known as Mattias Lindberg, says “Don’t rip off my work like Levi’s, Nokia and Usher did, hire me directly instead”. According to quite a few people he is considered the best flash programmer in the world, period. Together with Andreas Lindholm he runs The International Style and he was recently invited to Hyper Island to talk to the students.

What is Fakepilot's mission statement?
Fakepilot's mission? He is the universal soldier. He believes we can end war with war. Terror with terror. His mission is really too dreadful to talk about. He started a news channel called "The Free-doom channel". Watch the first episode on Youtube, maybe parts of his mission is explained there:

What do you want to do with The International Style?
Our goal at the moment is to use our communication, marketing and design skills plus ideas to make this world a little better place to live in. That's what we have been working for all year long and we will do it as long as we can afford it. Now and then – we might work with some other projects for hand picked clients. Help them and their messages for a while. Our goal would be economic comfort and creative freedom.

Where do you think the industry is going in the future?
The Internet has only started to show it's true potential. I believe Internet will become a digital free market and that television will be free from "puppet master claws" as well. Internet is today the only free medium, by that I mean – it's the only place where you can upload videos for others to watch, you can start blogs and write anything you want without getting censured – in contrary with all other big medias of today. Paper form or television. They are all controlled by the power elite, most of them are neo-conservatives. They earn money on war and want to keep people stupid and poor. They don't say that themselves, but their actions speak louder than words. Take that with a pinch of salt. Internet is actually my hope for humanity.

Practically, as the bandwidth expands – this would mean more video and more companies that makes services which benefit each and every one of us. The design industry will keep on moving along, changing trends, like fashion...

What kind of advice did you give to the Hyper Island students?

One advice was to set your goals above the stars. Only then it's possible to become one. I also tried to explain how important it's been for me, to see every person you meet as an opportunity. You can never know where your "loser friend" will be in 5 or 10 years. Every meeting is an opportunity to succeed. It might be a future acquaintance that later tells his boss about you and want to hire you. It might be a new friend. A new colleague or simply – not an enemy. Many people only respects people who accomplished something. That's the wrong way to go. You should get respect by seeing anyone, then they might remember you as admirable. A positive social circle. Contacts is everything. Even more important than skills.

What the Fakepilot in action:

Sebastian Suarez-Golborne

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Lecture spotlight: William Hall

Karlskrona Digital Media student Johannes Mathisson writes about a typography lecture:

One of the most interesting lectures we've had so far during this module has been the one about typography with William Hall. During my studies at Sörängens Folkhögskola I did quite a lot of page layouts. The name of the course was "Linje för skrivande och grafisk formgivning" (Course in writing and graphical design) so it contained a fair amount of typography theory and exercises. I found those lessons very interesting back then. Sorry to say I haven't been doing any "copywriting" since and that's why I found William Halls lecture so giving and inspiring. This reintroduction to typography acted like a small kick start for me to regain the motivation I lost during the Concept and Development module.

Just like many other lecturers, William Hall had a task for us. We were to layout to bilingual spreads using only typography as means of design. No images or other graphical elements were allowed. He also announced a competition were the winner got some rare art books he brought from England. I was quite surprised when he nominated my layout as one of the top 5. After a vote I won the second price, maybe because two of my fellow nominated classmates had left earlier leaving only two to compete with. First price went to Claes Källarsson while Aina Cecilie Ørebech got the third price.

The task was to choose an architect and try to convey his or her style with the layout. I choose Zaha Hadid because I was really inspired by her diagonal shapes. I tried to capture that feeling be using diagonal spacings between the columns on the pages. The angle of the diagonal isn't very big so the text remains easy to read. Although it's difficult to make out in these thumbs I choose english and russian as my two languages. My choice of fonts was Garamond for all text and headers while I used Book Antiqua for the running header.

Johannes Mathisson

Below some works from Johannes Mathisson, Aina Cecilie Ørebech and Claes Källarsson:

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hyper student goes Holland

Karlskrona based Digital Media student Emelie Ivansson reports on the STRP festival:

The traditional festival “STRP – Art and Technology” took place in Eindhoven, Holland and of course some of us hyper students had to check it out. In an enormous industrial area we were able to experience and take part of a crazy combination of art, technology and music performances. In the installations we also could se some similarity to our own Experience technology exhibition, with sound and light as the main content. We actually saw a version of “GraffArt” that one group in the Karlskrona class did, almost exactly the same.

It was a great weekend with lots of interesting experiences and interacting. I truly recommend for the future hyper students or anyone interested in tech and art to give it a visit, it was a big source of inspiration for all of us I believe.
For more information about the festival visit STRP.

Emelie Ivansson

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

IdN: "A new meaning of the word 'impressionism'"

Digital design magazine IdN has a feature on Hyper Island student Simone Magurno in their latest issue. They write: "A new meaning of the word "impressionism" may hit you: though the work has little to do with Impressionism as a school of painting, it certainly impresses!" and claim that he has created "a whole new world with his simple, colourful illustrations, bereft of any fancy composition". We asked Simone a few question about life on Hyper Island.

How did you find out about Hyper Island?

I discovered Hyper Island one year ago just browsing thought the personal portfolio of Markus Karlsson. I got immediately interested in the school, as i was already astonished by its student's works, so i promised myself to try to apply once i had finished university, which happened in March of last year.

What have you learnt at the school?

I'm learning a lot on how projects develop through the different stages of their production: how human resources are divided on different kind of projects, depending on size, expertise and final goals.
I've developed a better understanding on the importance of good planning and management when working on a project along with other people.

Where would you like to work in the future?

I'm not sure of where i would like to work yet. Definitely some cities and agencies are more attractive than others, but i believe that its going to be the career perspective of the bureau which will pick me which will be the the most relevant influence on my choice. I keep a list of agencies where i would like to work tough, you never know i might get lucky.

Check out more of Simones work at

Sebastian Suarez-Golborne

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hyper Island CEO: "Our method is freeware and open source"

Check out this article that Hyper Island CEO Mattias Hansson wrote for industry magazine Dagens Media’s Opinion page. It is written as a (somewhat tounge-in-cheek) letter to new Berghs School of Communication CEO Pär Lager describing the Hyper Island modus operandi.

Read the full text below (swedish only):


Välkommen i gänget Pär. Eftersom du nu är ny VD på landets mesta reklamutbildning kommer våra vägar säkert snart att mötas.
Ni är ett fint komplement till oss. Sida vid sida. Tillsammans kan vi hjälpas åt.
Vi kan hjälpas åt att utbilda de nya svenska kommunikationstänkarna, de som tänker förbi Guldäggsnomineringar (och arbete kring Stureplan). Du har säkert en idé kring detta som du kan knåda till att vara en färdig produkt om några år.

Hyper Island har i tolv år utvecklat en metod för att fostra duktiga kommunikatörer i den nya digitala medieverkligheten. Vår metod är i grunden enkel, den är free ware med öppen källkod.
Men som en hjälp på traven kommer här några av de grundläggande knepen:

• Noggrann uttagning.
Branschen tjänar inte på att många personer utbildas. Därför har Hyper Island en mycket nogsam utvalsprocess för att gallra ut de mest lämpade som ska få börja hos oss. De studenter som tror det räcker med att betala skickar vi vidare till andra skolor. (Dessutom är vår KY-utbildning gratis för svenska studenter!).

• Gruppdynamik.
En duktig tänkare (och utgörare) måste förstå hur en grupp funkar. Det är A och O. Första månaden hos Hyper Island är en crash course i gruppdynamik. Alla studenter genomgår bland annat en veckas UGL och två dagars teambuilding. Det är dyrt men det är värt det. Vi arbetar stenhårt på att eliminera dysfunktionella arbetsgrupper. Slutkunderna (byråer världen över) älskar det. Det bjuder vi på.

• Upplevelsebaserat lärande.
De som genomgått Hyper Island lär sig genom att verkligen göra uppdrag åt riktiga kunder på ett verkligt sätt. Vi välkomnar studenter till sitt ”nya jobb” inte till sin ”nya skola”. Därför kan studenterna börja arbeta samma dag de börjar i arbetslivet. Byråer världen över tackar oss för det. Varje vecka.

• Med världen som arbetsplats.
Hälften av utbildningarna på Hyper Island bedrivs i dag helt på engelska språket. Om några år är alla på engelska. Och kanske på mandarin. Och arabiska. Vi förbereder studenterna på en verklighet som är global och internationell. Ett resultat av detta är att många studenter hellre gör praktik (och får jobb!) på utländska byråer, då de ibland kan tycka att svenska byråer är hopplöst efter i utvecklighen.

• Skippa böcker, datorer och lärare.
Vi har ett annat sätt att se på lärande än de traditionella skolorna har. Men det kan jag berätta mer om när du besöker oss i gamla Kronohäktet på Stumholmen i Karlskrona. Eller om du sätter dig på tunnelbanan till förort och besöker oss i Ericssons gamla lokaler på Telefonplan i Stockholm.

• Kanalsammanhängande.
Vi tror att det inte finns något som heter kanaloberoende i den nya drastiska medieutvecklingen. Nu har slutligen webben gått upp i täten bland alla mediekanaler. Det visar att tron på att all media snarare är kanalsammanhängande stämmer. Och då måste man kunna förstå och styra i relationer och grupper för att klara sig.

Välkommen till Hyper Island. Pär Lager. Här är kaffeautomaten alltid på för dig. Vi har inga hemligheter. Vi lär gärna ut.

Mattias Hansson

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Attend the Pixar presentation at Hyper Island

This is good: we will be offering a free presentation by Pixar Technical Lead Director Ziah Fogel on Thursday 29th of November. Ziah Fogel is invited as part of the North Kingdom-led Interactive Art Director module and will be talking about Pixar and the making of "Ratatouille".

Click here to apply for the free presentation.

Lecture spotlight: Ziah Fogel on Pixar

Technical Director Ziah Fogel has been working at Pixar Animation Studios for seven years. This week she has come to Hyper Island to give a presentation about her workplace and their latest work “Ratatouille”, for which she was the crowds supervisor. We sat down with her for a quick chat about one of the great success stories of our times.

What technical limits do you face when working at Pixar?

Well, the technical side has really gotten very far lately. It used to be that the animators would say “hey, can you do this?” and then the programmers would panic and try to come up with a way to do things. But for every movie there has been one new development – like Sulleys fur in “Monsters Inc” and the water effects on “Finding Nemo”, and now we can pretty much do anything the writers want us to.

What kind of software do you use?

- We use a lot of inhouse software. For crowds we use a program we developed for the “Cars” movie. But we also use some external programs – like Maya for modeling and explosions. And for “Ratatouille” we used Massive, which was written for “Lords Of The Ring”.

What are you looking for in new recruits?

- Most people that we hire have no idea of how these things are done. Sure, you can be really good at LightWave 3D or Maya but we are actually rather looking for the ability to learn. Our animators have often never even touched a computer before coming to Pixar.

There is a trend in the industry right now to have employees with a very broad palette of know-how. Pixar seems to be structured differently.

- Yes, that is true. There are generalists but most employees are specialized on a pretty specific thing. So it is setup as a pipeline with small work done at different stations. So, for instance, our animators are strictly animators – that is all they do. We say it is good to be really good at one thing and… kind of good at another, but you can’t be doing everything. In the beginning it was different, then everybody was working on everything. But now, on “Ratatouille”, we had maybe 3-400 people working on that.

Sebastian Suarez-Golborne

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hyper Island visits the Saco Student Fair (UPDATE)

We will be presenting our programs at the SACO Student Fair, Swedens largest forum for post-secondary education. Check out our booths:
22nd - 23rd November in Stockholm
28th November in Malmö
Head over to the SACO website here.

UPDATE: Read the Hyper Island press release regarding the SACO Student Fair here (swedish only).

Monday, November 19, 2007

Judge a book by its cover

In a typography workshop led by former BON Magazine Art Director Christoffer Wessel the Digital Media students in Stockholm were asked to design a book cover for a Richard Avedon book. Here are seven of the resulting book covers, which one do you think is the best?

Program Check: Business Management Karlskrona

Business Management student Anu Lyra writes about the latest module, Building a Brand:

We first year Business Management students in Karlskrona have been engaged in a module called Building a Brand. Four weeks of intensive work with several projects, and it feels like time well spent. The different projects have made it possible to look at branding from different perspectives and it's safe to say the whole class feels we've learned a lot with all the work we've done.

The two main projects we worked on, in small groups, were quite different from each other. Partly we have studied existing brands, each group picking two examples within a field of business - a big (inter)national company and a smaller, local company. Comparing these two, they're goals, visions, missions and values. And how well they're achieving what they were set out to do. The other project got us involved in creating a brand from scratch. So it was all about creating a concept and figuring out a way to communicate it to the others. Branding, essentially.

We also had two side projects, both to do with branding as well. We've been thinking about and creating our own personal brands as well as one for our class. Both of these projects will continue and keep us busy at least until Christmas. The point with both of these is to prepare us to communicate our goals and aspirations to eventual internship-places. Personal brand will be part of our portfolios and class's brand will eventually materialize as a homepage - with the kind co-operation of Digital Media students.

We're looking forward to launching the site and our brand in December, hopefully - more news on that will surely follow!

/Anu Lyra

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Some news from the main homepage:

Hyper Island is starting several new programs and want a project manager who can run
the PR work with regards to student recruitment. The employment will be between December 2007 and March 2008.

Read more in the Work at Hyper Island section.

Students: Are you a future Hyper Island student? Sign up after the jump if you want to get more information. Click here.

Companies: Would you like a Hyper Island intern? Fill out the form to express your interest. Click here.

Industry magazine Resumé reports on the "Advance Interface Design" module in the Interactive Art Director program in Stockholm. Design firm North Kingdom has developed the module and invited international top names from Wieden + Kennedy, Pixar and Goodby Silverstein and Partners as speakers.
- We are in charge of the module and want to give the students the chance to learn something. It is also an investment, they are next generations' working colleagues, says North Kingdom creative director Daniel Ilic.

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Student Report: Elin Johansson in Japan

Elin Johansson, student of Hyper Island Business Management 06, has given us an update about her visit in Japan. She’s there for internship interviews - but also to get inspired by meeting new people, discover an exciting culture and see things she haven’t seen before.

One of her scheduled interviews is at IKEA and she hopes to become a part of their business development team. Between interviews she also has had the time to do karaoke, eat squid by mistake and practice her poor Japanese.

Japan has been on her must-visit-list since long time ago. And Tokyo definitely measures up to her dreams. She thinks that the best part of the trip so far was walking up and down at the streets in Harajuku. But she also likes to visit the arcades or sit at a café in rush hour watching all the people run by and just dream away. She is fascinated by the consumption that exists in Japan and tries her best not to exceed the 23 kilo luggage weight limit.

She is filled with thoughts about the working culture and sees a big difference between what she learned and practiced at Hyper Island and real life in Tokyo. Watching business men sleeping on the subway and at the same time read that they spend about 4 minutes every day with their children gives her lots of ideas about how to develop company culture.

Read more about her experience in Tokyo on her blog.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Program check: Interactive Art Director

Stina Norgren, student at the Interactive Art Director program in Stockholm, tells us about their latest module:

At the moment we are in the end of an 8 week module called Interactive User Experience. The main goal for this module is for us to understand the main process, digital tools and the trends related to an interactive user experience.

That’s what the course plan says but what are we really doing? Everyone is really busy at the moment since our class got one big challenge ahead of us. This is the first year that our class exists; there haven’t been any Interactive Art Director classes before us. And on top of that Hyper Island got the school at a totally new location, Stockholm… This brings us one big problem to solve. How are we going to let the world know that we are here? And how do we communicate ourselves and why should anyone care? This undertaking is really important considering that we are the first class of our kind.

Working with this task simultaneously as we are working on one sharp project from Doberman can be a bit confusing from time to time. But in the end the feeling of playing creative is so worth it. Coming up with new ideas and solving problems is a big kick and that’s why we are here.

Lots of love
/Stina Norgren

Friday, October 26, 2007

Lecture spotlight: John Lester on Second Life

John Lester, known as Pathfinder Linden in the Second Life virtual community, has worked with Second Life’s creators Linden Lab since 2005. In 1993 he pioneered the use of the web to create online communities for supporting patients dealing with neurological disorders, as Information Technology Director in the Neurology Service at Massachusetts General Hospital. He visited Hyper Island in Karlskrona to talk about how Second Life can be used as a platform for education and general learning, focusing on strategies for success. Digital Media student Erik Jonsson reports on his visit:

Lester was grabbed in passing to give us a lecture about the Second Life network. It’s an online social role playing world where users are given avatars, designed and named by themselves. What makes this online world different from others and thus motivates a lecture to the Hyper Island Digital Media class is the freedom of creation the platform offers.

The concept of the online world is built on a grid where users with their avatars can walk around and create their own reality as far as visual content and sound goes. Scripts can be applied to their homemade environment as well with semi-advanced building tools supplied to make constructions like buildings and vehicles possible. This is more or less what you expect from any system like this online. What makes it really interesting to us students currently involved in a module about business ideas is the economy.

Second Life comes with an monetary economy of its own where you exchange your US dollars into the world’s own currency. Thus making it possible for anyone taking part in the network to realize their own ideas, may it be selling or buying, renting or lending user created content. As there are literally no rules of engagement in this world and content in a users property is moderated only by the owner of the land visitors set foot on possibilities to some seems unlimited.

If you can make your online idea appealing enough to visitors, whether it might be a programmed game, a concert hall or just a tranquil garden, it’s still yours to profit from. Theoretical examples Lester brought up on this is to mention just a few; education, live music, co-developing and online meetings. Practical use of these might be e-learning classes for students spread around the world, an architect realizing a blueprint into a 3dbuilding together with a colleague or whats come to be the most popular Second Life event yet, Artists making live appearances.

As stated this network offers a multitude of services either free or payed for with real money. Issues that seems to bother us students overhearing this lecture where the more or less obvious downsides to a system like this. For starters a world built on user created content can’t be pre-stored locally on users computers. Its streamed live from servers which puts a pretty heavy quality threshold on the graphics. As far as we are concerned it might have been an application from 2002 and not present. Knowing that fancy uptodate graphics might not be the primary need for Second Life:s user base this could be overlooked.

What disturbs us more was that people tend to pick a to most people offensive looking avatar as their physical representation in the world. Offensive in this case meaning a big pink robot wearing a tuxedo or a dwarf in a bikini. Knowing that this is just extreme examples these characters still make out the bulk population of the world. A direct reaction to this is that it might be hard to take someone seriously given the factor of the looks added to the already harsh filter on humanity online-mode is to us.

Which brings me to the third issue of the expanding world of possibilities second life is. The ever ongoing digitalization of our social life. To most people text chat or as of late voice chat to replace regular telephony suffices as far as digital communication goes. Being in this very module, oriented around online marketing and services generating economical revenue, these are of course not great obstacles to overcome for a young creative constantly on the lookout for new areas and platforms to spawn ideas into. It’s just that the lecture about Second Life, the possibilities, the looks and the inhabitants left us a bit reluctant and puzzled.

All in all the environment felt perhaps too unmoderated for our Scandinavian (with some exempts) culture. Perhaps too colorful to take serious or to withstand the test of time. Which might be illustrated in a current example with the exodus from previous social networks with more user created content to the syndicated environment of Facebook. After a brief inquiry in the class following John Lester's lecture just a handful had ever tried Second Life and not many saw it as a lasting medium for planting business ideas to grow.

Erik Jonsson

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Report from Designboost

Digital Media student Johanna Boäng visited Designboost , that took place between the 17th and 19th of october in Malmö. Here is her story on the event:

As a student of Digital Media at Hyper Island in Karlskrona, I was invited to go to Malmö last week to take part in Designboost, a new, annual meeting between different types of practitioners within the international design industry.

It is a new concept on the Swedish design market, where participants spend day one on the boost meetings to discuss current issues (this year focusing on sustainable design), day two at the boost chats, and day three visiting the boost show. The boost meeting are open to invitation only, while the boost chats and boost show are open to the public.

Designboost is an initiative by David Carlson, who works as an consultant with design and brand development issues, and Peer Eriksson, who has his own communications agency, together with City of Malmö and Region Skåne.

- It’s important to look upon things from a new perspective and be given a push forward, which is exactly what the word boost means. When it comes to sustainable design it’s likely that things need to be questioned. Since the world is constantly changing and the maps rewritten it’s impossible to sit around and wait, says Peer Eriksson.

-There are plenty of design events in Sweden. We want to create a different and unique arrangement that will function as a creative arena and meeting point that gathers people, companies, organisations, institutions and schools that all work with design, in one way or another, David Carlson says.

Personally I had a very exciting three days, and I feel very fortunate I got the opportunity to attend. The first day, the boost meetings, were held at the top two floors of the Turning Torso tower in Malmö. We were 10 groups with 7 participants in each (though at least one person was absent in each group), having discussions in three rounds of 2 hours and 15 minutes each, changing groups for each round. My three groups got to discuss the following subjects:

” Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want. How can the consumers best use this power to take active part in the development of a sustainable future?”, “How can we use design to create a sustainable society?” and “How can we define sustainable design?”.

The second day took place at Europaporten, and consisted of a number of interesting lectures, most of them 18 minutes long, and some of them extended to about 40 minutes. It gave a new dimension to the meetings the previous day, especially as many of the people talking had been in my discussion groups. It was a day full of inspiration and interesting view-points.
The Thursday was concluded with dinner at the beautiful town hall of Malmö where we could continue conversation, before some headed back to their home countries and others to the after party at a nearby night club.

On the Friday the boost show opened at Fridhemstorget in Malmö, displaying different types of products that have been produced with a sustainable future in mind. Entrance to this exhibition is free, and if you happen to visit Malmö before its closing day November 17, you really should check it out.

What did I get out of this experience myself? Well, it opened up my thinking to new possibilities for the design of the future, rather than restrictions, and I feel highly inspired. I added to the philosophy of my own design work a kind of fourth dimension. Instead of as usual thinking in 2D or 3D when designing, why not think in 4D? Sustainable design starts with a sustainable thought process, and a long-term perspective.
Cheers to David and Peer for their work with Designboost!

Johanna Boäng

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Hyperisland Blogosphere

Besides this place, the official Hyper Island blog, the blogosphere is filled with Hyper Island related stuff.

There are right now over 50 individual Hyper Island student blogs, where the students are documenting their work in a first-person narrative.

If you are interested in the Hyper Island education these blogs have lots of valuable information, but keeping track of them all is pretty hard so we've made it a little bit easier for you.

At the bottom of the right sidebar (and below in this post) you will find a widget showcasing the RSS feeds from the Hyper Island student blogs, as well as a link to the Yahoo Pipes page we use to parse all the blog feeds.

PS. If you have a Hyper Island blog and we've missed you, let us know!

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Experience Technology Movie

Well, we gave you the Experience Technology blogs, we gave you the Experience Technology magazine, but your life will not be truly fulfilled before you've seen the Experience Technology movie. Check it out:

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Experience Technology Magazine

The Digital Media students in Stockholm and Karlskrona collaborated on a magazine documenting their Experience Technology module. Check it out here!

Pics and movies from the Digital Media exhibitions

Last week the Digital Media students in both Karlskrona and Stockholm had exhibitions , showing off their projects in the "Experience Technology" module. All in all nineteen groups made interactive projects and presented them for the public. Check out some of them below.


Group 3: Sound Memo, an audial version of the classic Memory game.

Group 4 showed their scary Star Trek abstract noise cube:

Group 7: Marble’s Inferno, a javascripted interactive physical marble track.

You can read about all the projects from the Karlskrona Digital Media students following the links to their group blogs here.

Also check out a feature on the Karlskrona exhibition by Swedish national radio here.


Group 2: The Beamograph, a tool for creating electronic music.

Group 4: Style Win, the digital dressing room.

Group 5: Myoa, which records motions and transforms them into colour on-screen.

You can find links to all the Stockholm Digital Media group blogs here

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Interview with Tim Guest

Journalist and writer Tim Guest has been documenting the rise of new virtual communities for magazines like The Guardian and Daily Telegraph as well as in his own latest book “Second Lives”. Last week he came to Stockholm to hold a lecture for the students at Hyper Island and we sat down for an interview with him.

What concept is hardest to get across to people with no experience with communities?
- Probably just how enchanting these virtual words can be. It is like cinema – it is easy to understand that you play still images really fast and you get a sense of movement – but it is much harder to understand how magic that can be.

As a kid the car racing video games that had real advertizing felt much better than the others, would you say that commercialization of the new virtual worlds only validates them in the same way?
- In the eyes of people who have no experience of them, yes. It condones the space. Some people are of course complaining about it. When [pioneering design agency] Rivers Run Red moved in to Second Life and bought an island there were a few people that went to that virtual island with signs to demonstrate against it. I am not so worried about this commercialization as there is no scarcity in Second Life – a company’s presence does not exclude others to be there as well. Also it is much cheaper to build something in Second Life than in the real world. Almost anybody can have their own building but not many could do that in the real world, so that is a leveling effect.

What is the difference between Second Life and Myspace?
- Well, there are two ways to answer that question. One: When you go to someone’s profile on Myspace or Facebook it is like going into someone’s living room when they are not there. On places like Second Life you have a direct connection which is very different.
- The other way of answering is of course that there is no difference at all. Even now we see virtual worlds that are implementing Facebook-like features. Vside is one example of that. As time goes by these two things will blur together.

What else do you see in the future?
- There will be a fundamental shift as to how we perceive virtual worlds. Right now they are supposed to be different from the real world – Second Life even says so in its name. But what we will see is how these two worlds will merge. One example: Maybe you will have your sunglasses react to your surroundings. You can look at a hotel and you’ll get ratings for that hotel shown in your glasses.

Like The Terminator!
- Yeah, why not? That technology is not that far away. Or you’ll just hold out your phone and get the information there.
- Whenever there is a new paradigm it is really hard to predict what will happen. It is like a new music genre, until you hear it it is hard to understand how it will sound.
- At the Hyper Island party I met someone who showed me this Pacemaker thing [Tim brings out a flyer for the Pacemaker DJ tool]. Obviously it is more than just a new kind of mp3 player - there is an idea about sharing and a community that makes the product just a part of the whole package. I’m just guessing but what we will see is probably where the network and the physical come together. This Pacemaker thing is already on its way towards that.

Sebastian Suarez-Golborne

Monday, October 8, 2007

Program check: Digital Media Karlskrona

In Karlskrona the Digital Media course is running on full speed. On October 11th they will showcase their projects at an open exhibition at Båtmanskasernen, Stumholmen. Carl Bergman is a student there and tells us this about the course:

What is happening in the digital media industry? After the first engaging Information Society module the students of Hyper Island Digital Media in Karlskrona are diving even deeper into the business by kicking off the Experience Technology module.

What is modern technology used for today? How will this change in the future? By creating new products out of today's hot products the students are challenging the everyday use of modern technology. What possibilities lies under the white cover of the Nintendo Wiimote? Is there anything you cannot do with an Arduino board?

Also feel free to read the Project Blogs:

Group 1
Imagine yourself running through the rain forest with chittering monkeys around you, or maybe swimming at the bottom of the sea. All of this - possible in our surround room!

Group 2
The WiiMote is communicating with the computer while inside the cube[...]

Group 3
It was a long time I had a saw in my hand but after awhile I was used again. It felt really good, almost like back in the days, when you was a kid.

Group 4
For this to be possible we have to have figured out a way to transform our keyboards buttons in too much bigger and more sensitive touchpads.

Group 5
...our sound generator/simple synth patch prototype is finish and have been working together with the photoresistor to create the fundamental light string trigger.

Group 6
Our idea is to project a wall on witch you will be able to do some graffiti with a simple LED. You will stan some meters away, facing the wall, and paint.

Group 7
We probably got the brightest, reddest red color you could find, and with such a colorful expression we are surely likely to catch everyone attention at the exhibition. Its certainly going to be hard to miss us.

Group 8
I'm working on the sketches for the construction and I intend to send them to some construction companies (such as Beijer) and ask for sponsorship.

Group 9
I've done some tests generating random motion based on the sensor measurements and it works pretty good.

Group 10
Take a break from your computer and the IT-world and just break it, hit the drums!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

More Tim Guest related stuff

Check out this little documentary about Tim Guest who is giving a lecture as well as appearing at the Hyper Island party this thursday:

Our own Tim Guest interview will be up on the blog sometime next week.

Subscribe to the Hyper Island blog

The Hyper Island blog is updated roughly three times a week, spotlighting the going ons at Hyper Island as well as giving an insight to worldwide developments in interactive media. If you want to keep track of the blog you have several options, subscribe through RSS or through E-mail. You can find both links in the sidebar.

Program check: Business Management in Karlskrona

The Business Management program in Karlskrona is a two year program, graduating students for a future career as managers. The main focus of the program is to educate students to meet the upcoming needs for modern and visionary management in companies, organisations and projects. We caught up with Sofie Andersson, project manager in Karlskrona, for a quick chat.

What are the Business Management students doing right now?

- Finding a Mentor, coaching, process leading and work shop training are some of the things the Business Management students in Karlskrona are doing in the module called "Coaching and Mentorship".
- When designing this module I wanted to give the students an opportunity to put some of their knowledge in to practice. So one assignment is to coach one person within Hyper Island and one external. The coaching is based on solving problems, reaching goals and together make an action plan on how to reach them or just listen and be a sort of mentor. Jörgen Jonsson, a consultant from the communication agency Imagine, gives the students valuable and inspiring tips about coaching all through the module.

And what about the "mentor" part?
- I also would like every student to find a mentor that they can keep for at least one year after graduating. By doing that now I think they'll create a bridge from school out in to the work life. The mentor should preferably be a person that complement the student and its skills and knowledge. In that way, I think, it will be a win-win situation for both student and mentor.

What else have you been up to?
- On top of all assignments (seven!) the module of course also has some lectures. Last week the students (well, us co-workers just had to go as-well!) went to see Kay Pollak give his famous lecture "To choose happiness". It was inspiring, fun and worth considering! Actually, the best part of the whole lecture was afterwards, when I asked a student what she thought of the lecture. She said: "Well, it was good and fun but what Kay was talking about, that you are in charge of your own life, that's what we are practising at Hyper Island all the time.

Sebastian Suarez-Golborne

Workshop: Juho Parviainen and IDEO

Former Hyper Island student Juho Parviainen made his internship at world renowned IDEO back in 2004. That internship led to a full-time job at the agency, which according to Business Week “redefined good design by creating experiences, not just products”. For the “Interactive User Experience” module he came back to Hyper Island and held a workshop for the Interactive Art Director program in Stockholm.

What is the atmosphere at IDEO like?
- We are 500 people working at IDEO. The company prides itself in having an open, non-hierarchical culture. IDEO is all about collaboration – we work in multidisciplinary teams throughout our projects.

What kind of qualities are you looking for in an IDEO employee?
- At IDEO we are what we call "t-shaped" people. You need a deep knowledge of your expertise area, like interactive design, but also a broad understanding of many different disciplines. And you need to be humble to be able to collaborate with people with different kinds of knowledge. IDEO is definitely not the place for the lone genius designer rock star.

What would you say your approach is when it comes to design?
- Design is not longer about just making something look pretty. What we at IDEO do is help organizations innovate and grow through design.

- There are several aspects you have to take into account for successful product and service innovation – the business needs, the technology and whether or not the product or service is desirable from a consumer perspective. Traditionally companies have focused innovation around technology – a new technological breakthrough. They have then looked at the business viability – how do we sell this? – and finally delivered a product to consumers to ask them whether they like it or not. At IDEO, we use a human-centred approach to reveal people's latent needs and bring to market new products, services and experiences that respond to those needs.

How has your Hyper Island education helped you at IDEO?
- The way that Hyper Island teaches is very good, as it is aimed at learning how to work in a group. I think that is absolutely crucial and specially for a company like IDEO , where collaboration in the teams is essential.

- Another nice thing with Hyper Island is that teaching focuses on teaching you how to learn. You're encouraged to find, learn and try new ways of doing things, not just stick to one technology, tool or way of doing things. This enables you to become flexible and versatile designer.

Sebastian Suarez-Golborne

Thursday, September 27, 2007

New addition to the Hyper Island Oktoberfest

Virtual world expert Tim Guest is coming to Stockholm to hold a lecture for the Hyper Island students on the 4th of october. Today we can announce that he will also participate in the grand opening party in the evening, where he will be interviewed by Resumé's Viggo Cavling.

Tim Guest is one of the main authorities when it comes to describing our brave new world. He has written extensively about the internet phenomena in The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph and has recently published his latest book "Second Lives" about internet communities.

Don't miss the chance to meet one of the great thinkers of today. Sign-up here.

Check out the Digital Media student blogs

The Digital Media students in Stockholm have been asked to start blogs as part of their "Experience Technology" module. Follow their work at the following adresses:

Grupp 1
"The intuitive thought is to smash the arduino board and tell it to fuck off"

Grupp 2
"And then it was time to do some magical brainstorming. A slow start resulted in a bunch of really crazy, crazy!, but fun, ideas. We also planned how to work the rest of this week."

Grupp 3
"Today we got our main task. To our disposal we have a wireless keyboard and mouse. We started taking apart the keyboard and the mouse, it was interesting to see how things worked under the surface. Once taken apart the keyboard shrunk to a tiny little chip."

Grupp 4
"Thanks to all the research we did yesterday we managed to find a source code very similair to what we are looking for."

Grupp 5
"Our idea is to make colorstrokes from movement of a person filmed by the webcam. And by letting the strokes have a long delaytime, many people can join and togheter make an artpainting. The funny part is that we wont let the people know that they’re making motionstrokes."

Grupp 6
"Since the WiiMote is so associated with playing games we have talked about doing something outside the box and really make something useful and interactive, that for example handicapped people can use for amusement or learning."

Grupp 7
"at last we found a cool piece of software called GlovePie. It enables interaction between the computer and the wiimote with very few lines of code. Unfortunately the software is for windows (and that sucks, because me hate window$) but that will do for now."

Grupp 8
"Yesterday, at app. 16 o’clock, we finally got our lego robot and today we have been brainstorming on what we want the robot to do. We’ve had many ideas and it eventually felt like as we could build something really cool.
Right now the boys are sitting down by the table and building the robot from scratch, just to be able to understand it fully and test it on what it can do."

Grupp 9
"Yesterday we took a field trip to the Stockholm Technical Museum. We were disappointed. The show looked like it hadnt been updated for at least ten or so years, and was very focused towards children. They did have a mind game, in which the two participants put on sweatband, wired to a table with a narrow plastic strip on it. A ball is placed in the middle of the strip, and the aim of the game is to get it to the opponents side. This is done by relaxation. The wired sweatband reads your “brain waves” (alpha and theta) and the lack of them pushes the ball away. highly overrated."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Internet City!

As part of their first two-week module "The Future Digital Industry", the Interactive Art Director students researched future trends of the digital industry.
The students have been working on future scenarios within areas such as productivity, e-commerce and entertainment. The module was developed and run by Great Works (LĎK), one of Swedens top digital agencies.

Read the students' future scenarios here:
The Mountain is Mohammed
Anything Anywhere
Pirates Will Triumph
The Facts are Fiction
Tightening the Fist on Open Handshakes
Productivity in New Media
eCommerce 2

Code-mod Workshop

The Digital Media students in Stockholm have been busy customizing code. Here is what they say:

On the 20th of september we were introduced to a workshop called Code-Mod. The main purpose with this workshop was to give us students a feel and understanding for programming in general. We were handed a task were each student would experiment with an already constructed game and from that change the code into something slightly different. The programming language used was processing and the original game was a basic breakout-clone. Most of us had no experience with object-oriented programming prior to the workshop.

Grand Opening Party at Hyper Island Stockholm

On the 4th of October 2007 Hyper Island will be celebrating it's opening of the facilities at Telefonplan. Come and see our new home in Stockholm, meet former and present students, watch their work and mingle with colleagues. Drinks and a light snack will be served - and a lot of interesting people will be

The evening is arranged together with Swedish advertising weekly Resumé, as part of their Resumé Bar evenings. It’s editor-in-chief, Viggo Cavling, will conduct interviews with Hyper Island CEO Mattias Hansson and the world top creative Martin
Cedergren, of the interactive agency AKQA Amsterdam.

It all starts at 5 pm and ends at 8 pm in the evening.

Register now at the Resumé Bar site.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lecture spotlight: Nick Marsh on service design

Nick Marsh is a service designer for Engine Service Design in London. This monday he held a work shop at Hyper Island in Stockholm for the Interactive Art Director program about service design. He is currently working with Nokia and airport company BAA helping them improve their services and their customers experience.

How does service design differ from traditional ways of thinking about interactive design?

- At Engine, we see service as the act of helping someone do something. This clearly covers a very broad set of activities and actions! It's this breadth that often challenges newcomers to service design. Service design uses similar user centred research tools, visualisation methods, prototyping and project management approaches to all the major modern design disciplines, including interaction design - but it also has some of its own unique approaches.
Service design often cut horizontally across established business units and practices, which means service designers need 'business design' skills too - and great relationships with senior figures in the client organisation.

Is this "the customer is always right" on steroids?
- Service design is very user and customer focused, which means we do spend a lot of time listening to and understanding customers. Mapping the various touchpoints where they encounter a brand is also a key activity, but that doesn't mean customers are always right! Understanding how to take customer insights, and translate them into new, exciting service designs that people want to buy and use is the challenge - If designer's just did what users and customers told them to the world would be a very boring - and badly designed! - place. I guess what I'm saying is that even in process driven, user centred practices like service design there's still a lot of room for designer's passion, insight and craft.

You have mentioned Apple as one company that take service design seriously. What do they do right in that area?
- Apple have a brilliant ability to combine complex product, service and marketing offers into very simple and beautiful objects - I suspect their focus and vision comes in a large part from their hyper active CEO. Apple's products are very vision driven, and you just can't get that type of focus without support and inspiration from the very top.

What other companies are taking service design seriously?
- Obviously, our clients do! Despite the bad press they've had this summer in the UK, I've found that BAA, the airports company, are very comfortable talking about and commissioning great service design. Perhaps this is because they always see what they do in terms of journeys? Orange are also service design pioneers, and they bankrolled several UK service design consultancies in the early years.

What kind of education and know-how are you looking for at Engine service design?
- We're always looking for new people. Everyone at Engine has a background in something other than service design, and I think the things we look for are quite abstract: A keen sense of process, a passion for thinking big with an ability to focus on the details. Good communication skills are vital.
- Perhaps the most important thing is to be comfortable with ambiguity, and being happy to let others 'design' the service for you. Being able to let go of your craft is very hard for a lot of designers, but to create great service designs you have to accept that your services are ultimately 'designed' by other people, over and over again every time they use or provide them. This, for me, is the most interesting, and rewarding part of what we do - helping other people help other people, the best they can. You can't really design anything more valuable than that can you?

Sebastian Suarez-Golborne

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hyper Island students join Lowe Brindfors trainee program

Swedish media industry magazine Dagens Media report that famous ad agency Lowe Brindfors has started its own trainee program – a first for the Swedish advertising sector according to Lowe Brindfors. Out of seventy applicants four were chosen for the program . Two of the four trainees come from studies at Hyper Island.
- We have accepted two trainees from Hyper Island. Their competence regarding digital media is very interesting as it is a growing market, says Håkan Engler at Lowe Brindfors.

David Lundgren and Elin Eriksson are the two Hyper Island students at the trainee program, which started last week.
- The first days have been hectic. The four of us have all begun on real projects from the get-go, says Elin Eriksson.

Håkan Engler at Lowe Brindfors claims that advertising schools alone cannot fill the demand for talent that the advertising business needs:
- Talent is the key for the successful advertising agencies. During the last years agencies have faced harder requirements, we have to be able to handle more kinds of media. We can’t count on the advertising schools to provide all the talent anymore.
- We want to attract talent. It goes without saying that the goal of the trainee program is to recruit all four of the trainees once the program is finished, says Engler.

Read the full story at Dagens Media (Swedish only).

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

First ever Digital Crayfish Party

We caught up with Patrick Gardner, one of the Perfect Fools who staged the Digital Crayfish Party at Restaurant J Gåshaga in Lidingö last weekend.

Who is Patrick Gardner, really?
- Just a working fool. I started out in digital at EF Education in Stockholm, where we were launching multimedia language labs in developing countries in 1994. One of our suppliers was Reference Interactive. I really liked their approach, which was unusual in those days - much more focused on the work and craftsmanship than world domination.
In 1998 I switched sides and went to work for them as a project leader and interactive scriptwriter. Towards the end of 1999 my current partner Tony Högqvist and I, along with several others, left Reference to start our own agency within A-Com: Houdini Digital Creations. Houdini lives on today, but eventually Tony and I decided we wanted to try our own wings in a fully independent agency.
On April 1, 2002, we joined forces with our old colleague from Reference, Tony Sajdak, to launch Perfect Fools. Today we have offices in Stockholm and New York, and our clients include companies like Samsung and AEG-Electrolux, as well as a long list of the world's top advertising agencies.

What is the Digital Crayfish Party?
- It's an attempt to get a small, informal and fun forum going for the Swedish digital industry.

But why do we need it?
- This is a great group of people - honestly quite admired around the world for their collective work. Up until now there hasn't been a small forum that brings leaders from these agencies together to share experiences in a relaxed and informal environment. We have Guldägget and other parties - but they're not quite the same thing.
We can learn a lot from each other, and have more to gain than lose by being open. This seemed to us like the right opportunity to create a setting where that can happen.

Will it be back?
- Yes! We are already talking about getting year two rolling. My hope is to attract other agencies into the organizing process - so it can be an even better event next year and feel like something the whole industry owns, rather than something just put out there by one group.

Who can attend?
- The event is primarily for Presidents, managing directors and creative directors. Within traditional agencies who work a lot with digital we generally invited their top digital people. And then there are a number of folks with unique and long-standing profiles within the industry who were there as well. So it's a mix but the focus is on people who are setting the tone within digital.

What is the next big digital thing to happen?
- The 2nd annual Digital Crayfish Party - at the end of the summer 2008!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Hyper Island on stage

Hyper Island is soon on a stage near you. Listen to Hyper Island CEO Mattias Hansson as he speaks October the 23th at and/or listen to Mattias as he leads the discussion about One Minute Media at in Stockholm the 17th to 18th of September.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The new picture of China

This is pictures from the creative ad agency DMG in China, Beijing office. Read interview below.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

On and on and on and on, Metropolis

Recently graduated Crew 11 students Johan Gustafsson, Rasmus Sjöborg, Rickard Roslund, Patrik Blohmé and Hugo Aronzon created this music video as their Final Project.
We had a chat with one of them, Patrik Blohmé, who told us:

While I was in the states doing my internship I came to the conclusion that I wanted to do a massively moving final project, and started a discussion with Rasmus Sjöborg who worked in Sweden at the time. A music video felt very right since we both love music and a music video is something you rarely do once you're staffing at a company since there's no money involved most of the time.

Next step was to bring in the talent. We looked around and found that a lot of the people we were interested in had other prestigious offers; to do their final projects in Barcelona, to be part of the WESC-project but I think we managed to sell the project pretty well and we managed to get the people we wanted - Johan, Hugo and Rickard.

Since everybody was working hard in different time zones we started up a work-blog where we posted thoughts, ideas and inspiration for us to use once we would meet a couple of months later. This was a good platform for us to start up on and once we met back in Karlskrona everybody was on their toes and ready to work. But still we hadn't got a band or an artist. We had spoken to a few, mostly no-name bands that were interesting but we didn't feel that we had anything solid.
Fortunate for us, our good friend and classmate Patrik Berg is well connected in the Swedish pop-industry and hooked us up with David Pagmar, also known as Montt Mardié. His second full length album was about to be released closely scheduled to our deadline. It worked out perfectly. We made the call and he was really optimistic and wanted to cooperate.

In the beginning of the project the whole team met up with Montt Mardié a couple of times to discus ideas and logistics.
After that it was mostly our project leader Hugo, who worked the contact with the artist and also the label, which we others were quite happy to miss out on. :)

We are all really happy with the result even though our laptops didn't supply us with the brute power needed to work HD-res and massive After Effects 2,5D. The artist and the label were also very satisfied, both with the video but also the kick ass website, which concluded in us doing other work for them as well.

Thanks Patrik!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Hello Syrup NYC!

Syrup just won the Adidas Fanatic VI soccer tournament in NYC. Congratulations!

What does it take to be on the team? We tried to find out by talking to Co-Founder Robert Holzer and Design Director Erik Jarlsson:

What do you look for in employees?
We look for excellent thinkers - those that show that they have a unique vision and can develop new ideas and make these ideas palpable for people to understand. This goes for designers, account people and programmers alike. It's not enough to be a great designer because one needs to be able to communicate a thought - hopefully an original thought.

Also, a curious nature is key to becoming a successful designer, as a lot of the work involves getting inside the head of clients and putting yourself in their shoes.

How did you first find out about Hyper Island?
It was many years ago, but our first contact came from students who reached out to us to apply for internships. Also, Jakob (our CD) is Swedish as you know and had heard of the school.

Our Design Director Erik actually applied to Hyper Island in '98 but was not accepted! In a stroke of revenge he was however later asked to come back to give a lecture :)

What do you think makes Hyper Island students unique?
I think Hyper Island gets very specific in teaching the skills that are very relevant to working in an interactive or integrated agency. This is a big advantage against other "art" or "design" schools that are much more general and teach a more abstract version of design that doesn't allow the graduating student to hit the ground running like the Hyper Island students seem to be able to do.

The key to succeeding at anything is your personal motivation level, the students that attend Hyper Island are not only very talented but highly motivated and interested in learning and understanding new things (although a few of the students do seem to have a chip on their shoulder coming from such a renowned school, but they soon realize there is a big difference between the safety of a class room and the real world).
What do you see in the future of the Digital Media industry?
Wow - big question ...well we are certainly living through another huge push forward much like the late 1990's.  The difference today is that the push is not coming from start-up dot-com ideas, rather a fundamental shift in the advertising industry. Budgets are shifting to interactive - online, web media and emerging media - and this is a trend that won't go away soon or explode in a bubble-like environment. While there may be adjustments, the facts are that a company's media mix is forever changed and the change is a shift away from a dependence on TV and print towards online.
This is of course great for students who will be coming out to a very healthy environment that will receive them. The downside is that the formulas are not figured out just yet and new employees need a vast range of skills to excel in this new environment order to figure out the new world order, its going to take more than simply good design skills - the leaders will excel at marrying great design with great conceptual development.

Starting this fall, non-Swedish speaking international students are welcome to apply to Digital Media in Karlskrona. Why would you recommend young Americans to apply?
Good schools mean you are surrounded by good students and this above all you learn in class will always propel you further in your education. Hyper Island seems to be the place to be surrounded by other very talented people that will push you further. Its also important to be exposed to an international group of people so you can learn about cultural pulses from places other than your own - this is critical to being a great thinker and communicator.

What's happening at Syrup?
Wow - another big question - well, really what isn't happening at Syrup! We are growing very quickly and are taking on more and more exciting projects and clients. We have developed into a true integrated agency, executing campaigns across multiple media. From filming on location around the world for GE's Ecomagination project and bringing these films to the web, to fashion advertising campaigns for Lycra, Syrup's clients remain diverse and the projects seemingly even more disparate.
However, for the trained eye, its pretty easy to find the common thread with us - no matter the client or the media, the concept remains king around here and we are always searching for the best way to communicate our clients' messages in a way that will be compelling for the audience. We also get bored easily so having a broad range of clients keep things interesting around here also doesn't hurt that they are some of the biggest companies in the world with enough work to keep us busy :)
Why should Hyper Island students apply to Syrup for their internships?
This is an easy one - they should come to us because in the space of 6 months or a year, they'll get 3 years worth of experience. We don't have interns answering phones, they do actual work and get involved in everything. We have no ability to have people sitting around for fluff so everyone has to perform - its that kind of environment. The same holds true for interns - we choose them very carefully as we can't have too many, and we expect them to be 150% dedicated (like the rest of the team here).
Through the course of their internship they will be challenged at every turn and will be completely integrated into the creative or programming team. "trial by fire" has a great way of making people perform at their best :) ...It's also New York City - the greatest city in the world ...oh, and we party as hard as we work ...oh oh, and I have to mention our ping-pong table - you have to come with or develop serious skills on the ping-pong table. ;)

Thank you Rob, Erik and Vida!