Monday, June 30, 2008

The Industry Project

Our students work with real clients all the time, but as a part of the first year, they get to work as real companies too. We call it TIP, or The Industry Project. Ola Möller was the CEO of his company, and I decided to ask him some questions about the project.

How was it to work as a real company with real clients?
- We have worked with real clients before but it is always a challenge. Every client is unique and has it's own needs and problems that we need to solve. Our main target has been to understand them fully! Only then we can deliver what they really want (or things that they don't know they want).

What did you do?
- As the CEO of the company my first task was to create a functional and effective organisation. I had an idea of creating a dynamic organisation that made everyone come to their full potential. We chose to work very horizontal when it came to concept and ideas. The production phase was more vertical to maximize our production efficiency. It worked fine as an organisational model. Later I delivered reports to the board, was eg. in charge of group process follow-ups, worked with company strategies and had responsibilty for the budget.

What was that like?
- To work as a CEO is a new experience to me. It's been difficult, fun - a real challenge! I saw myself as a facilitator. After all, my task was to help and make the group work as easy and as friction free as it possibly could. I studied situational leadership and that has been a great source of learning for me. I have learned to adapt my leadership style depending on which phase the company/group is in. Especially when it came to autoritarian leadership in the beginning of the process - that's quite new to me.

Who were your clients and what did you do for them?
- We worked with four different companies. Two publishers, one artist and one IT-security company. The work we made ranged from digital web strategies to web sites to campain videos.
How did that work out?
- No bigger problems. I take my hat off to my co-workers! The company was full of focused and competent people. Thats probably why it went so well.

Were the clients satisfied?
- Totaly! Probably because we understood them and their needs.

What did you learn from this project?
- That my team is everything! Make them happy and motivated. Fix the organsation to fit the team and help them to smash as many of the obstacles as possible. This experience gave me new perspective on how I would like to work as a project manager continueously. Good debriefs, documentation, understanding for the client's needs and to keep a good communication with the client are the most important learnings.

What will you do this summer?
- I've been working with the recruitment for the upcoming Stockholm Digital Media class and the Interactive Art Directors this week. I can't tell you more right now. We are in the middle of the process. I will spend the rest of the summer working with a photo project I started last summer before I got into Hyper Island. We got EU funding accually. The idea is that young swedes send in pictures of how life is in Sweden. We will print up a book with those pictures. Check out (It's in swedish though)

Have you decided where to do your internship yet?
No accually I haven't, but I'm working on it this summer. Feel free to come up with suggestions! And check out my site!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Recruitment day interview

As you probabaly know by now we're right in the middle of the recruitment days here at Hyper Island. One of the many talented people being interviewed today is Johan Dettmar, 22 years old from Helsingborg in the South of Sweden. I asked him some questions about why he wants to study Digital Media at Hyper Island the next coming two years.

How did you find Hyper Island?
- I found you on the Internet when I was looking for digital media classes.

And why did you decide to apply?
- I liked it at once because it looked up to date with the digital media industry. I had been looking for that but didn't find it anywhere else.

Why did you chose the Digital Media programme?
- It has always been a big interest of mine since highschool. I like the fact that you can create and publish something so easily and yet it reaches a lot of people. And I have taken a few classes in webb design and gigital photo. But I also like the management part.

What do you want to work as in the future?
- I'm not sure but I think I want to be a designer.

What kind of project did you do for your application?
- I made a website for a TV-channel. It was like a travelling show where anyone could be the reporter.

What have you done so far during your first recruitment day?
- I have been interviewed. And before that we got to ask questions to the other students.

How was that?
- Interesting. We had a lot of questions. You want to know if everything you have heard is correct. And it seems very good, like I had hoped for, only better.

What have you done before this?
- I have been travelling a lot. The last longer trip was to France.

If you do get in, where would you like to do your internship?

- In New York. I was there not tooo long ago and felt that I have to live and work there for at least a year of my life. It is such a cool city.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A break from recruitment days

We're right in the middle of the recruitment days. I'm in an interview team together with two wonderful people: André, a psychologist from Karlskrona and Jessica, an (ex-)student from the very first batch of Interactive Art Directors. A total of four teams consisting of one co-worker, one student and one leadership consultant or psychiatrist are meeting potential students. We're talking to really interesting, wonderful, talented, brilliant persons. It's an exciting process, but sometimes you need a break from even the most superb things.

A great thing to do during that break is to head over to Knitware Blog and watch Doc Roger's interview with David Erixon, one of Hyper Island's founders. David's no longer directly involved in the school since he's busy being global brand manager at Vodafone, but he loves Hyper Island none the less. Just like we feel for him.

Allright, time to go to sleep. Tomorrow we're meeting a whole new batch of eager would-be potential Hyper Island students.

What will you do next Stina?

Last week our first Interactive Art Director students graduated after a year at Hyper Island. After the ceremony I took Stina Norgren aside to ask her some questions about the future and her Hyper Island experience.

Hi Stina! How does it feel to graduate?
- It is sad to leave the chool and everyone here, we have gotten veryclose during this year. but at the same time it feels good to be through with school and to be able to make real money.

What are you gonna do now that you have graduated?
- Look for a good job.

Are you worried or hopeful when you think of the future?
- The future feels very bright at the moment! I am not worried.

Where did you do your internship?
- At Poke in London. It was so much fun.

Many of our students end up staying at the place where they do their internship. Why didn't you stay?
- I would have loved to, but I missed Sweden too much.

What do you think of your Hyper Island experience?
- It has been the best year of my life. I think it has changed me a lot. I feel much more confident now.

What was the best part?
- The UGL-clas in the beginning, and of course the internship.

What was difficult?
- It is always a little bit difficult to come to a new place, but when I look back it doesn't feel difficult, it feels really good.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Master Class for She Creatives gets media attention

Unfortunately there are not many female creators in the digital media industry today. Hyper Island wants to change this and one way of doing so is to co-operate with She creatives, a network of women who work as creators. This fall, Hyper Island will have a special Master Class for the members of She Creatives. For those of you who read Swedish, have a look at what the media magazine Resumé has to say about it here.

Sweden’s best year in Cannes – ever!

Last week Hyper Island visited the “world championship in advertising” in Cannes, France. I asked Hyper Island CEO Mattias Hansson to write something for the blog and send some photos. This is what he wrote:

About the Cannes Lions much can be said, but one thing is for sure – this year Sweden finally proved that we are up there with the biggest nations in the world, receiving more Lions than ever before. Of course (!?), Sweden has always been up there in the Cyber cathegory, but this years we were all over the place, winning in lot’s of different cathegory’s. For a full list of the winners, see

Hot trends at this year’s Cannes Lions:
- “Green” and “responsible” advertising.
- The Information Super Highway advertising (finally!).
- The Design cathegory (really, really “finally”…).

A big CONGRATUALTIONS to all agencies (many with former Hyper Island-students) that showed, as we use to say in Sweden, “where the cabin shall be placed”. See you next year!
Pictured here is “Svålen” from our friends at Great Works surrounded by custom’s officer’s at Nice Airport confiscating the Lion when he tried to bring it in his hand luggage. (He was later forced to check in the prize statue).

Mattias Hansson, Hyper Island, just landed in Cannes.

Annika Grundfors, Hyper Island, ready to party in Cannes.

Christian Olsson, Hyper Island, climbing the walls of Cannes.

Christian and Annika inside the Microsoft boat in Cannes.

Ukranian students at Hyper Island

Our students come from different parts of the world. Two weeks ago two Ukrainian students, Julia Demchenko (24 years old) and Anton Dubina (23 years old), graduated from the Digital Media program in Karlskrona. I took them aside to ask some questions about how they made their way to Hyper Island and what the digital media industry is like in Ukraine.

Where in Ukraine are you from?
Anton: Kharkov in the eastern part of the country.

How did you find Hyper Island?
Julia: We were looking for a web design school outside of Ukraine on the Internet and found Hyper Island. In ukraine I studied economy and Anton studied computer science, but we wanted to learn and do things on our own. We liked that at Hyper Island you learn by doing. In other schools you learn things in theory.

And how did you like the time at Hyper Island?

Anton: It has been a great experience. We learned about teamwork, about the industry and how to work with clients. It is a very creative surrounding and here you don’t have to be afraid to do mistakes. In fact they encourage us to do mistakes, becuase that’s how you learn things.

What were you doing before you came here?
Julia: We worked with these things and we always wanted to start a company of our own. But to start a company you need a network of people and possible clients and Hyper Island gave us that.

Where did you do your internship?

Anton: We worked for a small company based in San Fransisco but we did it from Sweden and communicated with the people there on skype.

Would you recommend other foreigners to apply to Hyper Island?

Julia: Yes we recommend it all the time. A lot of people, especially from Russia, contact us and ask for our opinion on weather they should apply or not.

The program is free for Swedish students but foreign students might need to find other ways to finance it. How did you solve that?
Anton: We worked really hard to save money.

Do you like living in Sweden?
Julia: Yes very much. We even studied some Swedish to be able to apply to Hyper Island.

Are you going back to Ukraine now that you graduate?
Anton: No we are starting up a company here in Sweden where we will design and develop different services. We will also look at selling our Final project that we did here at Hyper Island.

What was your final project about?
Julia: SugaRSS is a non-obtrusive smart service that sits behind your RSS reader and filters out news for you. It “understands” topics of your interest by looking at your reading habits and tracking things you like and dislike. Finally, it applies some clever algorithms and voilà — you're spending less time reading what's going on in Intertubes.

What is the web design industry like in Ukraine?
Anton: It is not developed like here, but it is starting to happen. I think it is better developed n Russia.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hyper Island in Resumé

Hyper Island students are winning amazing awards in Cannes at the moment! And Hyper Island is mentioned again and again in the media. Have a look here for example. (Only in Swedish though. Sorry!)

Mattias interviewed by the Knitware Blog

Hyper Island is often mentioned in the media all over the world. The british Knitware Blog recently interviewed Hyper Island CEO Mattias Hansson about the school and if you are interested in what we do, you should really check it out!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

IAD graduation photos

Our first Interactive Art Director students are graduating today. Here are some photos from the ceremony at Hyper Island on Telefonplan. Congratulations to all of you and good luck in the future!
Flowers, strawberries and champagne!
Roger hands out compliments!
Thoughtful faces!
Gifts for everybody! Cheers!
Ball, means cool in Swedish and this is a word the class used to describe each other.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hyper Island at Hultsfred, pt 2

My co-worker Maria took some photos on her Hyper Island summer tour stop at the Hultsfred music festival. And we decided to let you have a look too! Read more about what Maria and the students from Hyper Island were doing there in yesterdays blog entry.We brought everything we could find, stuffed it in the car and took off to Småland!
We shared a tent with Piraja where we gave the festival visitors a boring little white card, and asked them to make it more interesting and fun. They could use whatever they wanted to use. Like crayons, sticky tape, hair, a used tissue and so on.

The visitors were very creative!
During the amazing The Hives concert we were seriously cold, but jumped as much as we possibly could too keep warm!

Hyper Island at Dreamhack

Our summer tour has moved on and three of our students are currently hanging out at Dreamhack, the worlds biggest LAN-party with 12 000 visitors and a lot of events and computer game tournaments. I e-mailed Niklas Palm some questions about the event, and this is what he replied:

Hello there! What is it like at Dreamhack?
- It's a totally new experience for us three here and we have never seen so many computers at once before.

Are people sitting quietly in front of their computers or are they socializing as well?
- Most of them are actually sitting at their computers. There is a little expo area here as well which can be pretty crowded when there are no events going on.

What are you doing there?
- We have a little booth in the expo area trying to inform people about Hyper Island and handing out catalogs and collect e-mail addresses.

How is it going?
- Since the average visitor is about 14 years old or younger and there is a lot of stuff going on its quite hard to get them interested in a school for people in their 20's and above. But we are doing our best.

Crispin Porter + Bogusky at Hyper Island

Last week Hyper Island had a visiting lecturer from Crispin Porter + Bogusky, one of the biggest agencies in the US. The vice president, Mr Winston Binge, came here to talk about the agency and give the students some advice for the future. I asked him some questions between his meetings with the students.

What do you think of our students?
- I have a lot of respect for Hyper Island students and the work they do here. I definitely want to work with your students.

How did you hear of the school?
- If you work in this business in the US you know of Hyper Island. People talk of the talent. You guys are world famous.

And what kind of people are you looking for?
- Smart people who likes to have fun, who like pop culture, who have passion in what they do. Team players who like technology. And people who can innovate the industry.

What is going on in the industry at the moment?
- There are a lot of demands from clients at the moment so there are a lot of opportunities.

Do you have any advice for our students?
- Dare to change the business. Be entrepreneurs, and don't settle at being the best at only one thing. Try different things and find out what you really love to do. You don't have to do it all the time, but work towards it.

And what do you think of Sweden?
- Well this is my first visit and it is great. We don' have much time for sightseeing because we've been at the Moving Images convent in Malmö and to Hyper Island in Karlskrona and Stockholm, and now we are going back home. I wish I could stay longer.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Hyper Island at Hultsfred

Our grand Hyper Island summer tour has just begun and the first stop is the music festival in Hultsfred. My co-worker Maria went there with some students and I decided to ask her some questions about it for our blog. This is what she replied:

Hi Maria! What are you up to?
- We are encouraging people to be creative, we share a tent with Piraja where we give the festival visitors a boring little white card, and ask them to make it more interesting and fun, they can use whatever they want to use.

How is it going?

- Great! We had condoms, crayons, sticky tape, hair, a used tissue, you name it and someone did use it. It was wonderful to see how creative they were!

Is there a lot of people?
- Loads in our tent, but I've heard the organisers had hoped for loads more...

Are you having a good time?
- Always!

What is the weather like?
- The weather isn't the best, a bit rainy from time to time but that doesn't keep the visitors in their tents - Hard core!

Have you had any time to listen to any good bands or musicians so far?
- I saw Familjen on Thursday and it was amazing, so amazing I had to sing to every song and I have now lost my voice and can only whisper - well boring. The Hives & Babyshambles was really good too, Pete Doherty shocked everybody by showing up! Bad bands..... hmm, yeah Mange Schmidt wasn't so good.

What will be the next stop on your Hyper Island summer tour?
- The next stop has already started in Jönköping where three of our students from Karlskrona are spending a few days.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Crew 12, Graduation, pt 3

Crew 12 Graduation, pt 2

Crew 12 graduation, pt 1

Crew 12, our Digital Media students in Karlskrona graduated yesterday after two years at Hyper Island! Congratulations to all of you and good luck! Here are some photos from the big day.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hyper Island in Cannes

Hyper Island co-workers Christian Olsson, Annika Grundfors and Mattias Hansson will spend the beginning of next week in sunny Cannes. If you are in the area and want to know more about Hyper Island or for any other reason want to meet up with them, give Mattias a call on this number: +46 735 00 00 01.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Virtual road trip, last stop

Crew 12, our Digital Media students in Karlskrona, have made it all the way to graduation. Congratulations all of you and good luck! There will be more information and photos from the graduation tomorrow!

At the same time our Hyper Island summer tour is beginning at the Hultsfred music festival and it seems like a good time to finish our virtual road trip through the Swedish blogosphere.

In this video, a Digital Media student talks about her last project - Arvika DJ Camp. Arvika music festival is one of the biggest music festivals in Sweden and the site that the students made for their DJ contest is really cool!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Final project presentations

Stuff to do: Line Matulac, Stephano Dinamarca Fernández and Peggy Hung.

Our Digital Media students in Karlskrona are back from their internships and are about to graduate on thursday. But first they have to present their final projects. One of the groups have
developed an application called "Stuff to do" based on an iconographic language, to help people achieve their goals. I asked one of the members, Line Matulac about the project and her time at Hyper Island.

How did you come up with the idea to make a site that help people achieve their goals?
- My group brainstormed around the words flower pot, cat and chocolate, and came up with this concept. We don't even know how we got from point A to B, but it had to do with somehow growing goals visually.

I understand you all live in different parts of the country. How did you work on this project?
- We tele-communicated through Skype and used google docs for all the texts and sketches.

How did it work out?
- All of us worked great together and we are proud of the result. Some things we could have done better, such as time estimation for the last few weeks. But we were disciplined all the way throughout the project.

What do you think of your Hyper Island experience now that you graduate?

- Hyper is a great school and I find myself recommending it to anyone with an interest in the creative field.

What was the best part?
- It's a tie between the UGL and the internship. The UGL opened my eyes to group dynamics and leadership skills, and being able to apply it all during the internship was priceless.

What will you do next?
- I'm going to start looking for a job in NY.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Super funny football film

With the European championship going on, there is a lot of talk about football and the Swedish football team in Sweden. Apparently our players are a bit older than the players in other teams and this inspired my co-worker and former Hyper Island student Christian Olsson to write a song. Together with two friends he made this video. I love it so much, I have already watched it three times and thought you might wanna see it as well! Please enjoy!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Virtual road trip, pt 9

Watch out, we are getting close to the end of our virtual road trip. This is stop number nine and in this video a student talks about a film he did called Face of Aids. Have a look here.

One brand, one trademark equals good business, or how does it work?

As you know by now, our students run a blog of their own while on their internship. But I asked one of the students to write something related to his internship on this blog as well. This is what he wrote:

"I'm Rasmus Bjurstrom and I have the brilliant opportunity to do my internship at Essen International, Sweden's largest branding agency located in Stockholm.

Last week we had a lecture/education for the personal in brand-law and guidelines, not the silly Kottlers five p's or AIDAS, but the real deal.
In the office we have two lawyers specially educated in brand law, so I thought of sharing some good to know facts that I myself recently gained.

Do you know the difference between a brand and a trademark?

Trademark = a legal term for name, symbol, design etc that differentiates one company's products/services from others. The trademark can be registered and become an exclusive legal right for its owner.

Brand = is the communicative dimension of the trademark that represents the associations a beholder affiliates with the TM.

To register your trademark there is a demand for differentiation:
You cannot register a TM. if it indicates the;

- Sort (generic description – COFFEE for coffee)
- Nature (describes the product – FAST for a sports car.)
- Amount (6-pack of bear – for bear.)
- Area of use (FISHING – for a fishing pole)
- Geographical origin (MILAN – for clothing)

Bewildering, yes.
Exciting, without a doubt!
But you can't imagine all the fun and creative processes going on in a branding agency. That's all for now,
Peace out"

Monday, June 2, 2008

Hyper Island summer tour 2008

This summer Hyper Island will be present on the biggest festivals around Sweden, and we want you to come and see us! We will join our Learning Partner Studentmedia during Hultsfred, Peace & Love and Way out west. You can also meet us at DreamHack in Jönköping. So get your wellies out and come and see us!

Martin about his internship

Our students write about their internships on their own internship blog, but I decided to ask one of them a few questions for this blog as well. This is what Martin Persson replied:

Hi Martin! Judging from your latest blog entry you seem to be very happy with your internship. Why is that?
- I get to work on a lot of different and interesting projects and there are so many experienced and talented people here that you have so much to learn from. They are so good at what they do so sometimes you just feel like a very stupid beginner and to me that is only positive because I'm here to learn and develop. But to be honest, the best thing is the location... New York.

Has it been this good all the time or was it scary in the beginning?
- Well, at my first day I got this big quite boring and formal introduction and before I learned the complexity of it, I didn't like my chair. But I was never scared.

Do you get to use the things you've learned at Hyper Island before going on your internship?
- Yeah, at hyper island I think I brushed off half of the dust covering my potential.

What has been the best part of your Hyper Island experience?
- I'm quite in it right now. Hyper islands strongest part to me is definitely the ability to do your internship at world famous agencies.

And what will you do now that you graduate?
- From now 'til I graduate I will wake up every morning hoping that they want me to be a part of their office permanently. I have six weeks left of that painful waiting.