Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hyper Island student gathers young photographers to create book

In 2006, Digital Media 2009 Stockholm student Ola Möller was going to live in Argentina for a few months and wanted to bring along a book about Sweden, but he couldn't find a book that showed a point of view of Sweden that he could relate to. So he initiated a project to create an alternative that shows the Swedish youth's perspective of Sweden.
With the intention to move away from Ice Hotels, national costumes and traditional red little houses with white corners, Ola reached out to photography interested Swedes all over the country.

- We got in touch with the contributing photographers through Facebook, by putting up posters at photography schools, through friends of friends and by being talked about in the media - the project has been mentioned in Swedish newspapers Dagens Nyheter, Barometern, Västerbottens-Kuriren, design magazine CAP&Design, and photography magazine Kamera och Bild, among others, says Ola.

The result; a book with 64 photos taken by 44 photographers between the ages of 14-32, from high school students to award-winning professional photographers.
- And that's only 4% of all the photos that were submitted, Ola adds. We were looking for photos that told some kind of story. If they were esthetically beautiful, that's great, but what we really wanted was to move away from the romanticized image of Sweden and include original photos that portrayed schools, festivals, life in big cities, suburbs and the countryside, young culture today - what the Swedish youth see and experience themselves.

The book has been translated into seven languages that can be found in the back of the book; English, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, Russian and Arabic.
- Last year we applied to the European Commission's Youth in Action programme through Ungdomsstyrelsen and were rewarded with a contribution that covered three quarters of the print expenses, says Ola.

And now it's time - the book will be released on February 26th!
A release party will be held at Berns Gallery 2.35:1 in Stockholm. All the photos from the book will be displayed and attendees will be able to take a look at copies of the book, and perhaps get to talk to some of the contributing photographers who will attend the party.

Check out the Fotoboken om Sverige website, and join Fotoboken om Sverige on Facebook to find out what's up next for the project.

Great work, Ola!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Said about Hyper Island in the media

What does the media say about Hyper Island? Check out articles about Hyper Island - from Campaign, to Dutch Adformatie, Finnish M&M, Swedish Resumé and more.
Click here!

To view videos and interviews about Hyper Island, click here!

Photo: Andreas Bonell

Read an interview with current Hyper Island student Kasper, at online magazine Fontanel:
- In Dutch
- In English

Crew 11 graduate Rasmus Wängelin was interviewed by digital design magazine Digital Abstracts last year. Read the interview here!

And if you feel like getting sentimental, check out Shift's articles on:
- Three Crew 4-students' Final Project, Project 40 (March 2001)
- Interview with students from Crew 6 (June 2002)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hello graduated Hyper Island student!

Adam Stjärnljus graduated from Hyper Island's Digital Media program (Crew 12) in 2008, and has worked at Waytion since.
Waytion recently released a title sequence for Swedish television program Babel, which Adam worked on. We wanted to catch up with Adam to find out more about the project:

How did you end up at Waytion?
The first time I came in contact with Waytion were back in 2004. I studied at Medieprogrammet in Kalmar and did my 3 month internship at Waytion. I heard about them through the school as a couple of the guys went there themselves. Two years went by and then I started studying at Hyper Island in Karlskrona. I then did my 7 month internship at Waytion, and they asked me if I wanted to stay, which I did. I'm sitting here both as a freelancer and as a part of the company.

How did you come up with the idea of letters floating in the title sequence?
The letter idea was something that we elaborated out together with the producers at SVT. The previous title sequence had letters traveling over the world since Babel used to be a show where they covered authors living all over the globe through interviews from peoples homes and such. The new Babel is more about Swedish authors and is filmed in studio in front of a live audience. We wanted to keep the floating clusters of words and letters but put them in an infinite space which still could be anywhere but close, right in front of you, if that makes sense. That way we kept some of the iconic imagery from the previous work (by StyleWar) and used it in a new context.

What were the different steps in the production process?
SVT were great and let us really get creative and experimental in the production process. Our ambition was to create the whole thing in an analog way. We knew that we would never be able to create the kind of realism and irregularities of the flying letters using a particle system in a computer (or at lest not within the timeframe). We had an open minded approach were we knew that what we thought or hoped we would end up with most certainly would change during the project. Both Svt and ourselves saw this as something positive as it let us get more creative, and also, we couldn't know how the letters would behave or look in the camera.
We bought lots of props, some we needed and some we thought we needed, amongst it a Craft-Robo (printer for cutting out the letters), compressed air, styrofoam and lots more. We also rented a high-speed camera, studio and loads lights for the shoot.

While prepping for the shooting day we refined the idea and did a more accurate storyboard, after some testing back and forth, while at the same time cutting out over 10.000 paper letters with the Craft-Robo. Gabriella Lundgren helped us out and was a rock in this phase as our project coordinator. Even if the Craft-Robo did a great job, human fingers still needed to separate the letters from the paper, which was hell.

We rented a studio for one day and the shoot lasted for something like 30 consecutive hours. The reason for this was that Tommy Håkansson and I had for one, never worked with a high-speed camera and two, wanted to try as many different ways of shooting as possible with lots of different lightning and ways of throwing, blowing and dropping the letters. We shot the footage in 4000 frames per second and the raw material came out beautiful. Much time was spent on saving and reformat the files the camera produced for even though it captures at super high speeds in HD it was quite the opposite for saving... After the shoot we slept for 20 hours the following day.

The post production part was a bliss. We had tons of footage of letters in complex particle clusters where one second of real time became fifty seconds in 25 fps. After selecting the best sequences we continued with editing the material to different styles of music. We had the ambition to have one or maybe two sequences of this ultra slow images move to an ambient score. While it was tempting to go that way we realized that the feel of the opening sequence didn't really match the feel for the show itself. Babel of 2009 is a live show, with a glamourous theme and we therefore needed to rethink. We where handed a song by the executive producer - "A little less conversation..." JXL remix famous from a Nike commercial a couple of years back. Using this track we started to retime the footage, adding more sequences and thus more speed to the main title. We managed to blend the two into a new whole which in the end was the right way to go. Svt made a full scale pilot show in november last year and we saw everything coming together nicely. We had lots of meetings with the set designer and the editorial staff and found a way to melt it all together to the final production that went live in february.

What type of equipment did you use?
At the shoot we used an Arri high speed camera connected to a laptop. Tungsten lights and all the different props we had gathered. We used After Effects for compositing and grading, working on Apple computers and also some 3D for making additional plates of words animating in and out. Most of it however was captured in camera which was fun. Sometimes it's good to get away from the computer...

What were your sources of inspiration for the project?
We were inspired by lots of things but mainly this film that Tommy found. We wanted the same feel of irregularity and lightning, yet more luxurious. With that feel as a base we developed the idea to the final result.

What's up next at Waytion?
At Waytion it's business as usual (which could mean just about anything! :)

See the title sequence for Babel here!

Thanks Adam!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hyper Island invited to digital round table

The small US hillside town of Boulder is not only the home to leading digital agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky. Tuesday afternoon 17th of February, Mattias Hansson, CEO of Hyper Island, is invited to a round table discussion at the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA.

Jeff Howe, contributing editor at WIRED and author of CROWDSOURCING, will moderate. The discussion will focus broadly on the digital future and is intended, in particular, to explore and articulate what the graduate of the future will need to know to make a contribution as an employee in the digital/interactive industry.

Other participants include Scott Mellin, CEO at Factory Design Labs, Jay Wolff, Owner/CEO at Odopod, Robert Reich, President at OneRiot, Don Springer, Founder/Creator of Collective Intellect, David Slayden, Advertising Sequence Head/Associate Professor at CU, Paul Voakes, Dean of School of Journalism and Mass Communications at CU, and others.

School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Colorado is exploring the possibilities to start up a new digital/interactive Masters Program. Hyper Island is invited to share its experiences from 14 years of producing international high-end learning experiences.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hello IDEO!

Graduated Hyper Island students Juho Parviainen (Crew 9) and Robert Lenne (Crew 7) work at innovation and design firm IDEO in London. Having lectured at Hyper Island previously, the two came back and held a workshop at the end of last year with Hyper Island's Interactive Art Director students.

Why did you decide to come back to lecture at Hyper Island again?
Hyper Island courses always have an interesting group of students with mix of different backgrounds and goals. This makes for an interesting and inspiring trip for us as well.

What do you see in the current students that inspires you?
We were especially impressed by the way students tackled one of the exercises (maximize profits selling mulled wine) in a mere day with the help of YouTube and social networking tools. This shows you can come up with a concept and prototype it in a real and tangible way very rapidly. We were also impressed by the presentations on Friday, which really showed the how students embraced the power of rapid prototyping through role playing and storytelling.

Juho Parviainen
Photo: Linda Gavin

What kind of competences is IDEO looking for right now?
We're always looking for talented people who share a passion for creating human centric products and services. IDEO often hires people rather than skills. What we mean by that is that we care at least as much about the cultural fit and personality as we do about the skills around a specific discipline. Projects at IDEO are heavy on collaboration and team work, so we naturally look for people who are good collaborators and good at sharing their skills with the rest of the community. We look for people who are passionate about something and have drive to get things done. For specific list of skill sets and disciplines that we're hiring it's best to look at IDEO website where we always post our openings.

What type of courses do you think will be needed to fulfill the competence needs of the future?
With technologies becoming easier to use and deploy they are losing the edge as a competitive advantage. It's not enough to have the most features anymore, it's about having the right features. Consumers are moving beyond spec sheets especially when it comes to consumer technology products. As products and brands are moving beyond just individual products to delivering broader user experiences a new kind of designers are needed: Designers with skills to understand people, learn fast, imagine, visualize and prototype variety of different touch points, ranging from in store experience to mobile applications. This requires a lot of collaboration between different disciplines. So the future needs versatile, empathic and collaborative designers who are not only great at what they do best, but also have understanding and empathy to go beyond their own comfort zone.

In terms of technology, are there any kinds of currently used languages you think we'll move away from? Or, are languages no longer part of it, but rather the thinking?
We don't often look for people who know a specific programming language or not. We look for good thinkers and tinkerers. What is important is to know about variety of technologies and to be able to understand their benefits and possibilities when it comes to design. Skill that is most useful is being able to adapt and learn new things alongside normal project work.

The part where actual programming languages such as Ajax or Action Scripting come to play is when we do prototyping. We often try to prototype products and services as early as possible and this is where skills in programming languages become useful. So even if we don't specifically hire based on those skills the more you can build the more versatile you can be. Good interaction prototypers at IDEO generally know many different prototyping tools (programming, producing video, storytelling, storyboarding etc), but are also quick at learning new ones. However, it is good to remember that programming something is often not to best way to prototype an experience. Often times it is more valuable to do a video, act it out, or even do paper prototype.

What recommendations do you have for the students?
Learn and experiment as much as you can. Don't try to do things the same way all the time. Put yourself in situations where you don't necessarily feel comfortable and try things you've never tried before, this is a great way to grow. Then, once you enter work life, don't forget to keep doing all this all the time.

Thank you, Juho and Robert!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Recruitment Tour blog: Kraków

Hyper Island staff member Roger Sjögren and a Hyper Island student completed Hyper Island's Recruitment Tour stop in Kraków last week. Besides meeting potential students, Roger held a lecture at Jagiellonian University for both students and the Polish digital industry.

Photo: Marcin Grochowina

We caught up with Art Director Michal Ozorowski and New Media Designer Maciej Mlynek, both at Grupa PTR, who helped set up the lecture to find out what's going on in Poland.

What's going on digitally in Poland?
Polish agencies are using more and more rich media. It looks like clients at least trusted in the power of motion design, video and unconventional methods of comunication. Now they see how important is buzz in nowadays mass-media.

Corporate blogs are still alive. Many of companies uses them to keep in touch with customers. Our digital world at least understood that new media is not just about nice pictures but it needs to be very comprehensive while working with clients.

Many digital agencies takes over tasks of classic creative agencies. It's because customers can see that they know that enviroment much better and they know how to use their tools more effectively.

Also many people noticed how strong a non-intrusive marketing can be and that internet is the best platorm to use it. 2008 was a good year for TV stations, few of them started their internet broadcasts. Even public television provides many programs over internet.

Most people who works in new media are young, so it's their first working experience. That means that they - we - have to learn a lot about life outside digital world. We've got here cult of working in small creative studios.

How does Hyper Island's type of education match the interests of digital creatives in Poland?
I think many creatives - if they still study - look for an up-to-date school where they can develop their skills and learn something new. Digital media industry is very specific because - as Michal mentioned - people start their work while they're pretty young, often before they start to study. So many times they don't study to find job - because they already have it - they study to get a "paper". I know that it can make people frustrated.

I think that Hyper Island is the right answer for this kind of demand. This is the place where you can learn beside people from top agencies around the world, and more - education is not aimed at teaching you computer programmes but more at teaching you how to communicate with other people. I think it teaches you this business in a very creative way. For me, good thing is that is only one or 2 years ;)

As a head of digital agency I can tell that we haven't got enough of creatives who understands all aspects of that work. That's why HI experience would be very valuable for them.

Photo: Marcin Grochowina

Why did you arrange a lecture at Jagiellonian University?
I wanted to make the most of your coming to Kraków. I am an initiator, organizer and host of the meetings called "Witajcie w realu" ("Welcome to reality") that actually are inspired by your school. Almost once a month (from May 2007) during academic year we invite people from the industry to give a lecture about chosen subject. From the beginning it was my dream to invite you and arrange such meeting, also for professors to come and be inspired. Actually, I have only sent the invitation to my faculty's secretariat but thanks to my friend, one professor from Kraków's Academy of Arts attended the lecture. I don't know about this professor but I know other people were inspired by the meeting.

I can say that my dream came true. I personally hope that it will be one of the factors for making our digital media education better.

What do you think the lecture attendees learned about Hyper Island that they may not have known before?
That it's not so easy experience as it seems. That being there is hard and sometimes frustrating work. And that Hyper Island is not about design (i think that many of attendees before lecture thought that HI is some kind of design school).

Similar to Michal, I think the attendees (including me) learned that Hyper Island is - as I wrote before - not only a design school but it lets you know more about yourself, teaches you character and how to communicate within the group.

Photo: Marcin Grochowina

Why do you personally like Hyper Island so much that you decided to get involved with our visit in Poland?
I can say that me and Hyper Island met each other somewhere in 2003 ;) I found the Crew 7 site first and from it I found your website. I was 19-years-old that time, I have started my design career as a 15-years-old rookie. Hyper Island looked as a perfect place to study. Excluding the fact that the studies were only in Swedish, there were few other reasons that I haven't decided to apply. That time it was more like a dream than a real decision: "yes, let's do it".

The passion have endured and Hyper Island is still my ideal educational institution. That's why I didn't hesitate a while to write to you and actually in some way persuade you to come to Krakow rather than to Warsaw (forgive me, friends from the capital!).

What do you hope to see in the future for digital work in Poland?
More confidence from clients and bigger budgets. Rest is in our hands :)
Fulfilling of those conditions will allow us even to send our people for training in Hyper Island!

I hope that we will have more and more creative and high quality works and that clients will trust the agencies more which will be a benefit for both sides.

We really have many creative talents over here, so if some of them study at Hyper Island, be sure they come back ;) It would be also great to have some Hyper Island students doing internships in Poland. You're all invited!

Thank you Michal and Maciek!

One of the attendees has written about the lecture on his blog.
Read it here! (In Polish)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hyper Island students reaching from cyber space to outer space!

Hyper Island graduates from Interactive Art Director 2009 make it possible for everyone to reach out to space! The education is world leading within the field of interactive communication and new media. Interactive Art Director ’09 consists of experienced creatives with a burning passion for concept thinking and innovative ideas. The students primarly strive to evolve efficient solutions in the communication and marketing of tomorrow.  At Hyper Island there is a tradition for every class to create a class site prior to graduation and now is the time for the Interactive Art Director ’09 to launch theirs!

- In an ever changing world, it’s a great tradition that our Hyper Island students in such a practical manner show off the creative heights of the education. The fact that every class creates their own site and throws a release party where they invite the whole creative industry is strengthening the connection between Hyper Island and prominent business representatives, Mattias Hansson, CEO Hyper Island, proudly explains.

This year’s class site serves as an interactive forum where anyone can submit a written message which is then published on the website. All messages will thereafter be gathered and sent out to space -  the real space. This is made possible through a collaboration with Esrange, Swedish Space Corporation and their rocket Rexus 5, which will launch out of Kiruna, Sweden in the turn of the month march/april filled with the public’s messages.

- This enables everyone to join in and affect the impression we leave in space, Dennis Rosenqvist, spokeperson for Interactive Art Director ’09 declares.
- In these days, it’s getting more and more difficult to reach out with your messages. There is an overload of advertising and communication in the world. This is why we are reaching for new heights to spread our messages, and we found our space in outer space! Dennis eagerly continues.

In connection to the site launch on february 5th Interactive Art Director ’09 are hosting a massive party to celebrate the start of the project and the launch of the home page.

Interactive Art Director 09 encourages everyone to visit the class site - - to interact with and keep up with the process. From february 5th the site is open for the public to submit their messages. This continues until the end of march when the rocket launches together with all gathered messages for space. The rocket launch will be documented by a camera team and the whole process can be followed at the website.

Space is the limit.

Digital Media students to paint graffiti in Berlin

A group of Digital Media 2010 Stockholm students (Maja Bergstrand, Johan Blomborg, Peter Jonasson, Viveca Forsblom, Nicolai Lydén, Nicklas Högberg, Fredrik Weinestad, Henning Sillerud, Erik Öhlen and Alicia Smith) are going to Berlin to paint graffiti on a 15 meter wide wall. Alicia Smith tells us more:

When entering the module Marketing & Promotion, we felt that this would be a good time to do something just for fun, with the benefits of marketing our class and the school. We wanted to create our own project where we set up our own limits and goals.

Berlin feels like the perfect place for this kind of project. Graffiti-painting is very appreciated there and the mentality of the people welcomes these kind of projects. Berlin was also the city where we were given the opportunity to use a wall. Thanks to connections and good people we're now going to Berlin to finalize the project.

What do we want to accomplish? We want to have fun, try something we never did before and engage people with other skills then ours. The goal is not only to get the motif on the wall, it's also about having a great trip, learning more about graffiti-panting and the culture, getting companies to sponsor and of course being seen. From the start, we knew we didn't have much time and there are still many things we hadn't decided on, and things we needed that we can't afford. But like any other project in school, we have a deadline when everything has to be done and good. So we just have to make it happen. Sounds very cliché but in this project it's very obvious. Besides, we all work better when under pressure.

The event will take place on Tempelhofer Ufer 36 on February 14th.

Join the group on Facebook and get updates of photos of the wall, before and after, as well as an upcoming film about the project.

Thank you, Alicia, we can't wait to see the result!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Right now in Amsterdam

Digital Media 2010 Karlskrona students are currently focusing on the specialization of their choice; design, management or technology. Mathias Olofsson has chosen management as his specialization, and is currently in Amsterdam with six of his classmates on a shadowing assignment. Mathias tells us more about the assignment and how he found Hyper Island:

My Hyper Island story started in Australia actually, I was doing a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design at the University of the Sunshine Coast. During my second semester I had a German design teacher who asked me if I had heard about Hyper Island before going to Australia. So in a way I had to go across the world to find out about the school that is 2 hours away from my hometown! So I applied from Australia and went home for the recruitment days and a couple of weeks later I got the e-mail that said I had been accepted, happy days!

I am doing the Project Management specialization at Hyper Island and I am currently at Sid Lee in Amsterdam doing a work shadowing assignment, which means I am following a Project Manager around here to see how they work both internally at the agency and externally with clients and other agencies. After being here for a couple of days I have totally fallen in love with the atmosphere and the people here. The little Sid Lee collective shop right next door is awesome and the blackboard wall café is just a great idea. Every couple of weeks they get a local artist to come in and draw a piece of art all over the cafeteria walls which are made of a blackboard surface, so here artists create masterpieces with a piece of chalk. Guests can make their own little art pieces in the bathrooms. So after being here I am tempted to apply for my internship here, Amsterdam is a beautiful city and the atmosphere is just amazing.

What Hyper Island has given me the most is the ability to see challenges instead of obstacles, meaning that I critically and analytically try and solve problems instead of regarding them as obstacles to hard to get around. Instead I view them as a challenge I will learn something from. Of course learning how to give and accept feedback has been a huge part of the learning experience as well.

When I am done at Hyper I would like to work being a Project Manager, working with group dynamics and the client/agency contact is something I like doing. And the feeling after a big project you have led is finished is just great. Seeing people work on a project with a huge amount of energy just keeps yourself motivated to go on.

If you are a self-managing person, or want to be, Hyper Island is a great opportunity. Digital Management is a two-year long experience you go through with a lot of stress, frustration, and of course good times too. After two years, if you have managed to reach your learning goals and expectations, you will be ready for the work environment in a totally different way than any other education can prepare you.

Thank you, Mathias!