Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A virtual road trip, pt 4

Tadaa! It's my first day at Hyper Island and this is my first post ever on this blog. From now on you will see much more of me, since I will be in charge of the website. Which I think (hope) I can handle - I just went through the technique with Micke. Other than that I don't know. I kind of know how to get decent coffee out of the machine and I think I know where the printer is. Everything else is still a bit confusing. Luckily my co-workers are kind enough to answer all my silly questions.

Anyways, I have been asked to present the next stop on our virtual road trip and here it is!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A virtual road trip, pt 3

One of my responsibilities as a co-worker at Hyper Island is to be the contact person for students who do their internships. Our goal is always to meet with the students in person, but this can be hard to achieve when the students are spread out all over the world. For example. the first Interactive Art Director students who are doing their internships right now, are everywhere from New York, Sydney, Montreal and San Francisco to Peking, Stockholm, Amsterdam and Barcelona. In fact, we've got an Inteactive Art Director student on all five inhabited continents in the world.

One of them is Stina, who is at Poke in London. One of Stinas colleagues during her internship is Nicky, who also has a blog about sock monsters, typography, web things and other stuff that strikes her fancy. Nicky's also been kind enough to host the third stop in our virtual road trip.

Allright, I'm off for my first class in Japanese!

Monday, April 28, 2008

A virtual road trip, pt 2

For all of you non-Swedish people who are thinking of applying to one of our Diploma Programs, it can be good to know a few things about the Swedish culture and Swedish customs. One way is to read "How to learn Swedish in 1000 difficult lessons", an excellent blog about Swedish culture seen through American eyes.

I'm going to borrow Francis (that's the guy who writes the aforementioned blog) idea for a while and tell you about a very Swedish word: "klämdag". It's what you call a working day that's in between two holidays. For example, this Friday is a "klämdag" since it's between 1st of May (which is a public holiday) and a weekend. It's not unusual that people take these "klämdagar" off, to get a longer time off from work.

Even if you don't take this Friday off, this week is short because of May 1st. However, deadlines do not care about holidays, public or otherwise, and next week the students at Digital Media are ending their second specialisation. This means several deadlines to meet, and the activity level is high.

While we're busy working and making up for the "klämdag", you can have a look at the second part in our virtual road trip over at The Strange Attractor.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A little reading list

It takes me about 30 minutes to take the subway from Telefonplan, where the school in Stockholm is situated, to Danderyds Sjukhus, the station where I live. In the mornings, I spend that time reading the newspapers. On my way home, when the newspapes are read I either do the crossword (working out the brain is important) or read more stuff using my iPhone. The other day it hit me that there must be a lot of great Hyper Island blogs written by students. So I sent out an e-mail requesting the students to URL me with their best shots. And boy, did I get some great reading stuff.

I'm thinking some of you might be interested as well, so I'll put up the blogs I gathered right here on the Hyper Island offcial blog. Some of the blogs are in Swedish, so I'm listing the language as well.

Business Management blogs
Class blog (English)
Calle Möllerström (Swedish)
Peter Hagander (Swedish)
Maria Nilsson (Swedish)
Natalie Bemerholt (Swedish)
Rasmus Bjurström (Swedish)
Michaela Modig(Swedish)

Digital Media blogs
Technology specialisation blog (English)
Jimmie Österberg (English)
Emelie Ivansson (English)
Carin Nilsson (English)
Kasper Kuijpers (English)
Aina Cecilie Ørebech (English)
Johanna Boäng (English)
Emil Rydberg (English)
Tove Lindqvist (English)
Stephanie Lindgren (English)
Yvonne Lu (English)
Andreas Widman (English)
Andreas Levin (English)
Madonna Arsan (English)

Interactive Art Director blogs
Internship blog (English)
Christian Lampa (English)
Rasmus Fogelström (Swedish)

I'm sure that there are even more blogs out there, but until the owners URL me with them, these will give me something to read on that half hour trip.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Stairway to creative heaven

I'm pretty sure that if you asked the students which Spice Girl I would be, many of them would say Sporty Spice. Not because I'm often found singing and dancing wearing a track suit but because I have a past in the fitness industry.

I've mainly been working with project management and web programming, but back in 2003 I took a time out and did something different: I started working as a gym instructor and personal trainer at a gym. Although I quit in 2006, I still haven't left fitness behind totally. I still work as a group fitness instructor, teaching classes like Bodypump, Bodycombat and Bodyjam. And I still think about stuff like daily exercise.

Aside from instructing people in the use of dumbbells, leg curl machines and treadmills, I also lectured about motivation. One thing I remember was reading about how exercise boosts creativity. I thought to myself "This exercise thing is really neat. Not only does it make us age slower, prevent or delay outbreaks of diseases like Cancer and Alzheimer's, but it also makes us more creative".

I make a point about avoiding elevators and escalators whenever I can. That's why I know that there are exactly 88 steps from the ground floor up to the fourth floor where Hyper Island Stockholm is situated. When walking up those stairs, it hit me that this is a great thing to encourage creative people to do: daily exercise.

So we came up with a competition. We created a pot with 47 movie tickets, one ticket per student and co-worker in Stockholm. Then we challenged ourselves and the students: everyone who avoids the elevators for two months gets a share of the pot. Everyone caught using the elevator forfeits their share. Right now we have about a month left, and about half of the students are still in the competition.

This is the reason I'd be Sporty Spice: I'm actually happy whenever I see a student coming up the stairs.

Another thing that boosts creativity is seeing the Apple logo. Question: Is exercising while watching the Apple logo the equivalent of doping in creative contests?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Do you floss?

Backing up data is kind of like flossing. It's boring, and most people I know are slackers on both accounts. Now, it may be that I only know careless persons with questionable mouth hygiene, but I'm guessing that most of us neglect backing up data (and flossing) like we should.

Most of the time we get away with it, but when the "manure" hits the "device to move or agitate gas", things get ugly, painful and really expensive.

I personally think that backup should be one of those automagic things. It should just happen without me having to think or worry about it. When Crew 10 student Björn Andreasson began his studies at Digital Media backup wasn't really on his list of future careers. He chose the design specialization, and got an internship at the company where he would end up as one of the creators of Safecube, a smart box that does just this: Automagic management of all your backup worries.

This is the magic thing about Hyper Island. You never know where you'll end up once you become a student.

Now, I'm waiting for one of our students to do something about the flossing.

More reading about the Safecube in Swedish newspaper Metro Teknik.

A few bangs on our own drum

It's hard to write about this without sounding as if we're bragging. Mostly because we are. We cannot help feeling proud as peacocks when our students, former or current, do well in competitions.

This time it's Rasmus Wängelin, Johan Törnkvist, Anton Robsarve and Hampus Hansson from Crew 11, aka Team Torsk, who won the 2008 Webdesign International Festival.

More than 260 teams from all over the world entered. 40 of them qualified to the finals. These top of the crop teams gathered in Limousine (the region in France, not the car) and had 24 hours to create a prototype of what a communication site could look like 2008. Team Torsk's prototype was chosen as the winner.

Congratulations to Hampus, Anton, Johan and Rasmus!

By the way, did you know that the car type "limousine" got it's name from the long cloaks worn by the shepherds from the region Limousine? No? If you ever happen to win "Jeopardy" or "Who wants to be a millionaire?" with this knowledge, feel free to send a complimentary gift to us here at Hyper Island.

More reading (about the competition, not limousines in any form) in Swedish newspaper Resumé and on Swedish blog Reklamfeber

Monday, April 21, 2008

Babe of yesterday

Christian isn't just one of the co-workers here at the school in Stockholm. He's also a former student from Crew 5 and the singer in the rock band "Fibes, Oh Fibes!".  Yesterday he also was babe of the day in Swedish evening paper Aftonbladet:

I'm not a translator, mind you, but the geist of the text is basically this: 
"Babe of the day:
This thing with a constantly open mouth looks, well, not so smart. But Fibes, Oh Fibes!-singer Christian Olsson has a cryptonite charisma, nice style and a magically delicious voice. Christian, Oh Christian!"

Chris has always been our babe of any given day. Except maybe Fridays, which I'm trying to claim as mine.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A virtual road trip, pt 1

It's April 18th. 

You'd think it's a regular, run of the mill April 18th, when Valdemar has name day and there's spring in the air both in Karlskrona and Stockholm.

Celebrating name days isn't a big thing in English-speaking countries. In Sweden it's kind of a routine. It's not uncommon to hear "happy name day, Micke" if your name is Michael and the date is September 29th, or "happy name day, Maria" if it's February 28th. Come to think of it, it is slightly uncommon to hear the latter if your name is Michael. 

Anyhow, what's special about today is that it's less than a month left to apply to our programs starting this fall, and our virtual road trip begins. Last Saturday, we had an open house in Stockholm, so that those of you who are interested in Hyper Island could drop by and talk to us, our students and listen to people like Jonathan Briggs and Fakepilot. For those who are in the southern parts of Sweden, and couldn't drop by, we are arranging road trips. We cannot promise that we bring mr. Briggs and Fakepilot to you, but we do take a bit of the Hyper Island feeling with us. If you'd like the road trip to swing by your school or event, drop us an e-mail and we'll do our best to be there.

Then there's all of you who don't live in Sweden. Since all of our programs are open to international students starting this fall (and we're also starting a couple new ones), we thought it'd be nice to meet you too. That's why we're stopping by ten different blogs with different video clips, each telling a little bit about what you learn and how you learn it when you're a student at Hyper Island. 

We call it "The Virtual Road Trip". The first stop does include mr. Briggs and is over at FormFiftyFive

PS. We cannot promise Fakepilot on the virtual road trip either, but you can catch him in Japan at Youtube.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Competition galore

The creativity flows at Hyper Island. First, Emil Rydberg at Digital Media won "Made on a Mac", a competition by Swedish Mac-magazine MacWorld. 

Now Grafiskt Forum has a competition together with Peace Quest, a non profit organisation, where three students from Digital Media are among the 20 finalists. The site and competition are in Swedish, but you can enjoy the posters even if you don't speak Swedish. Go ahead and check it out