Friday, June 15, 2007

Project 40

In 2000, three Crew 4 students' Final Project named Project 40 brought 40 industry talents from the from all over the world together in Karlskrona. We caught up with Lisa Lindström, Maria Nohlström and Henrik Karlsson (all co-owners of Doberman) to find out more:

What was your goal with Project 40?
We wanted to explore the creative process in the new media industry and create a place for creative people from all over the world to meet. Was there something like the "perfect process"? This was seven years ago. The whole idea was actually like a huge live experiment.

How did you come up with the idea behind Project 40?
The three of us had decided that we wanted to do our final project at Hyper Island together. We were very ambitious and wanted the proof of concept part of the project to be something real, not just a prototype. So we brainstormed at Café Gitane (in New York) and ended up with three good ideas. Project 40 was the idea that we thought would be the most interesting. For both us and the industry at large.

What was the most difficult part of setting up the project?
Finding sponsors, co-ordinating all volunteers, delegates and speakers. And live up to our own expectations.

What was the most rewarding part of the project?
That people still remembers it. And that a lot of people who met at Project 40 still keep in contact. Some even work together!

What would you tell students to motivate them to do something similar?
You attend school for a few couple of years, make that time valuable. Create your own dream projects, no one else will do it for you. And if you would like to do something similar... prepare yourself for a lot of work!

We also wanted to find out more from some of the international guests of Project 40:

Mike Abbink, Currently freelance with experience from Method, Apple and Wolff Olins

Where were you working at the time?

When you think back on Project 40, what do you remember most?
Very interested and focused students. Great group of lecturers. Great time at an early mid summer party.

Are you still in contact with people you met at Project 40?
Few. I am very close friends with Erik Engstöm. We also had 5 or 6 Hyper Island students work or intern at Method.

What did you think of Hyper Island after the visit?
Impressed with it. Loved Roger and David [Erixon, co founder of Hyper Island]. Came back for 2 other workshops (logo design).

What would you tell students to motivate them to do something similar?
Great way to bring people with ideas under one roof. Great dialog and a nice way to connect with peple in the industry all over the world.

Simon Waterfall, Poke

Where were you working at the time?

When you think back on Project 40, what do you remember most?
Loads of fun, Tom Roope, Damien and myself jumping off the diving boards at 4 in the morning, the AIDS project almost causing a riot.

Are you still in contact with people you met at Project 40?
Yes loads.

What did you think of Hyper Island after the visit?
I still visit.

What would you tell students to motivate them to do something similar?
The people who organised it all have jobs.

Mat Mejia, Droppod

Where were you working at the time?
I was working for a huge interactive / online marketing agency called US Interactive that didn't make it through the dot com crash of 2001.

When you think back on Project 40, what do you remember most?
I have many fond memories of the trip mainly because it was my first time out of the US. The train ride from Stockholm across the beautiful green country into Karlskrona. The eerie feeling that we were all working out of a former prison in small rooms that were once prison cells. Eerie, but in a cool way. I felt like a fly on the wall in a place filled with extraordinary people from all over the world. It was definitely a culture shock.
Are you still in contact with people you met at Project 40?
I touch base now and then with a few people via email. While I was there a good friend of ours, Jens Karlsson, was going to school there. That was the first time I met him before I reeled him in to come work with us at DNA Studio. He looked like he was 12 then. hah

What did you think of Hyper Island after the visit?
I thought it was a really interesting place. I honestly think that its location and seclusion is a perfect place for young people to study. There isn't a lot of distractions around and I felt that the people there were really passionate about what they were doing.
What would you tell students to motivate them to do something similar?
Any event where students can be exposed to outside influences in the interest of learning new methodologies, processes, style and aesthetic, can only be a rewarding experience.

David Lai, Hello Design

Where were you working at the time?
I was working at Hello Design, which I co-founded in 1999 here in Los Angeles.

When you think back on Project 40, what do you remember most?
I remember after staying up most of the night seeing a few people take a dive into the lake next morning. To be honest, it was a fantastic experience. It was great meeting people from all over the world that had the same passion. We didn’t have any place to really go (it was a prison after all right?) which I think was good, so we all got to know each other quite well in those few days.  I also enjoyed the pickled herring and the beer in the basement.

Are you still in contact with people you met at Project 40?
Yes, I'm still in touch with quite a few people.

What did you think of Hyper Island after the visit?
I was impressed. It really made me wonder why we don't have new media schools like this in the U.S. I have a lot of respect for Hyper Island grads and would love to go back one day to visit.

What would you tell students to motivate them to do something similar?
I've been to a lot of conferences and I must say that Project 40 was one of the best I've been to. It was small but not too small and I think it was smart that you had to apply and be selected to attend, anyone there could have been a speaker! It was also great that we got to work together in teams and not just sit and listen to a bunch of people talking. I think it was this aspect of real collaboration and getting our hands dirty that made it so worthwhile with the right mix of interesting topics to keep us all excited throughout. If there was another Project 40, I'd go in a heart beat.

Adobe article about Project 40 can be read here!

Thank you Lisa, Maria, Henrikk, David Lai, Mat Mejia, Simon Waterfall and Mike Abbink!

Friday, June 8, 2007

A graduated HIM 1 student shares her success story

Johanna Vogelius of HIM1 has made one hell of a journey. We wanted to know more:

What is your view on yourself Before and After Hyper Island?
2 years ago that I applied to Hyper Island. I was an ordinary small-town girl with to many party nights on my conscience. I had told myself to never go back to school again. I wanted do to something but had no idea what it could be. So I went back to school. When I look back at the person I was before Hyper Island it might sound strange but I don't know that person. My view on myself has totally changed. I used to be scared of the big bad world. Now I love the big bad world.

When I applied to Hyper Island I had no idea that it would change my life. Not only work wise but also personally. Hyper Island changed me in a way I couldn’t even imagine. Honestly, I had no hopes of getting a job because I had no idea what I wanted to work with. But during my time at Hyper Island I found my passion and then started working towards getting to work with what my heart told me was right.
Hyper Island thought me about hard work and knowing that nothing is impossible. And that's the reason why I am where I am today. I think that if you combine hard work whit a lot of passion nothing can go wrong, and if I does - fix it.

How did you get the position at Makeupstudion that you hold today?
My passion for makeup, hair styling and beauty made me decide to go to Stockholm for my internship. I made a long list of companies I wanted to work for and sent all off the CEOs letters about myself. One afternoon I picked up the phone and called Birgitta Lagerholm, CEO of Makeupstudion. She invited me to Stockholm for a meeting. I went to Stockholm and after 1 hour at Makeupstudion I had my dream internship. I packed up all off my things, flew to Stockholm and worked my a** off for 13 weeks. Today I am Birgitta’s right hand and help her to run the three schools around Sweden.

Why would you recommend Hyper Island to potential students?
I would recommend the school to anybody who wants to learn by doing. Not learning by reading about how you do it. People learn from their mistakes and Hyper Island thought me to love making mistakes. I would recommend the education to anybody that has a genuine interest in group dynamics, thinking outside the box and challenges. Hyper Island is a challenge in itself and it changes people like me and turn them into great people.

What are you looking forward to in your future professional life?
I have a lot of hopes and dreams for when "I grow up". Hopefully I can continue to grow with the company I work for right now. I have a wonderful life because I have a job I like. I have an inspiring boss who teaches me new things and I have great co-workers who have shown me a new world. I will hopefully have the opportunity to se the company grow and as myself get stronger, better and bigger.

Follow your dreams. It might sound silly but that is the best advice I think. Follow your dreams and work hard. Nothing is impossible. Believe in yourself and remember to have fun, have a cold beer and be with friends.

Thank you Johanna!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Hyper Island in Dagens Industri

Hyper Island CEO Mattias Hansson was interviewd by Dagens Industri regarding the Hyper Island Stockholm branch - seen on page 17 in today's paper or online here! (in Swedish)

Friday, June 1, 2007

Hello Andreas Müller!

We've always loved the four seasons. Crew 4's Andreas Müller visualized them beautifully through code in "For All Seasons", released in 2004. We wanted to find out what he's up to these days:

Where are you working now?
I run a company called Nanika, we do interactive work for "not the web", so retail spaces and the like. Nanika means "Something" or "Something Else" in Japanese, which is exactly what I wanted to do.

Previous to your current position, what have you been doing since graduating from Hyper Island?
After graduation I had a job lined up at the company where I did my internship, Oven Digital (who are not around anymore), so I moved to London to work at their office there.
After 6 months or so I left them and joined design firm Hi-ReS!, where I worked for about 6 years before starting Nanika with them as a separate company.

What made you get into programming?
I think at a very basic level it has to do with the drive to see things that I haven't seen before.

How did you learn to program? 
Google, lots of it, I guess AltaVista back in the day, and of course other people. Jon Kindell from Crew5 taught me what "Arrays" were (that took a few days..), thanks Jon!!

Your "For All Seasons" interactive piece (still available on k10k) has attracted attention for years, what kind of feedback have you received?
It's been great, I get lots of nice emails, it seems to bring out the best in people.
The most common question I get is what I programmed it in, some seem genuinely curious, some I get the feeling are hoping I'll say I used a trial version of "Dynamic Typography Studio Pro, Seasonal Memory Edition" or something like that.

What tips on how to keep up to date would you give to developers just getting started in the industry?
Well, if you truly love what you do there aren't really many tips I can give you, you are going to do great.
One thing I would say is that it's a marathon and not a sprint, so while you might be able to get some pretty things up and running fairly easily, learning how things work will serve you for the rest of your life, so don't always take the easy way out.
I learned that the hard way back when I was trying to learn some other languages after having used Flash for a long time, it turned out I actually knew very little about externalizing my ideas using a computer. Flash is better now I'm sure, but Processing is a great starting point and will grow with you.
Any life lessons you would like to share?
Off the top of my head:
1. Try. There is no reason not to try.
2. The problem is not too difficult, it's just that you are missing some bits of information/knowledge in between, so take a few steps back, everything decomposes into a series of very simple things.
3. Do it now and worry about it later. (Great when used in moderation.)

Thank you Andreas!

Mocoro scores a FWA for Cicatriz!

Mocoro is a new company based in Berlin, Germany. Founded in 2007 by Hugo Ahlberg ("Cricke" from Crew 9) and Eduard Prats. Mocoro has been way too busy to make a portfolio, but stay tuned:

For Cicatriz Clothing, Mocoro created a unique and memorable shopping experience, rewarded with a Favorite Website Award on June 1st 2007.
The fully integrated web shop is built in Flash, presenting their latest collection in a hectic/lo-fi/broken video interface. The collection is limited so hurry up and buy some slick clothes!

Hyper Island & Karlskrona

Annie Leibovitz and Mario Testino were busy. We decided to take our own photos:

Häktet (The Prison)