Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mattias Hansson at Advertising Week in NYC

From left: Darren McCormick, Mattias Hansson, Jeff Benjamin, Scott Belsky and moderator David Michel-Davis

Hyper Island CEO Mattias Hansson was on a panel discussing the Digital Talent and Leadership Dilemma during 2009's Advertising Week in New York City.

Together with a panel consisting of:
Darren McCormick, Digital Agency Cultural Lead, Microsoft
Jeff Benjamin, VP, Interactive Creative Director, CP+B
Scott Belsky, Founder/CEO, Behance
Mattias offered his perspective on if a change needs to happen in the way we educate the digital leaders of the future. The panelists also discussed what they are doing about it and what must be done as an industry to find and develop the thought leaders of the future.

An excerpt from Boards Magazine's capture of the discussion:
"Asked by moderator Webby Awards executive director David Michel-Davis whether there was a lack of talent, the speakers agreed the problem was not talent per se, but rather finding it.
When Michel-Davis asked where the most demand for his students came from, Hansson was quick to answer: 'The most need [for our students] is from agency networks,' said Hansson, 'but it's not where they want to go.'

Hyper Island, which does not follow a formal curriculum, encourages its students to find their own voice by taking up creative pursuits outside the school's walls, a practice that, he intimated, is not always fostered at agencies.

Hansson added that many agencies try to resolve the digital brain-drain by simply parachuting in digital talent in a bid to magically effect change. Those types of hires are frustrating turn-offs for young graduates, especially if the agency does not also devote resources to retraining existing staff."

Click here to read the rest of the Boards Magazine article!

Right now at Hyper Island

Photo: Stefan Leijon, Digital Media 2011 Stockholm

The Digital Media and Interactive Art Director students in Stockholm are listening to a lecture about the zone between art, technology and biology by Lucy McRae.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Digital Media 2010 Karlskrona student's NYC video

Digital Media 2010 Karlskrona student Frederico Philips is currently doing his internship at Tronic in New York City. Below is a video he's made during his time in NYC:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Web Designer interview with Digital Media 2010 Stockholm student

Digital Media 2010 Stockholm student Sanna Wickman tells Web Designer Magazine about her class' promotion site 53 Colors.

Says Sanna; "To get attention by the digital media industry it just isn’t enough to shout as loud as you can, you have to have something important to say and say it in a creative way. (...) The challenge for us as students was also to find that exact tone of voice that is suited for our target audience; the industry, and to be present not only on our own site but also where the industry already is: in social media and forums that they visit every day.

The short term benefits is that the project gives all of the students a chance to be exposed and promoted in the industry, so that we more easily can get internships and get to know the industry and the people within it. The long term benefit is that we through the process learn about marketing and promotion, by actually doing it! We learn the tools of branding, strategy, and public relations, which will be useful throughout our coming careers."

Click here to read the rest of the interview!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hyper Island graduate wins MTV VMA

Hyper Island Digital Media 2008 graduate Markus Lundqvist and his colleagues at Chimney Pot just won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Special Effects for Lady Gaga "Paparazzi".

What were your first thoughts when you found out you'd won an MTV Video Music Award?
I was proud for all of us at The Chimney Pot working on the project. It was good milestone :).
Great that Chimney got some direct international attention for all the music video work we've been doing for so many years. Often the people actually making the video are forgotten in the public eye.

What was the most interesting aspect of working on the project?
The most interesting aspect of working with the video is of course the client, Lady Gaga. You know that when it leaves the house it's going to be seen by millions and there's not really room for failing.
We did the VFX, look and graphical design at Chimney but the video wouldn't be that great without excellent work from everyone else in the production.

What's it like working with Jonas Åkerlund?
Jonas is a great guy to work with and easy to talk to. He usually has quite a good idea of what he wants but we often try new things and give input on how to make things even better.
We have been working for years with him at The Chimney Pot so the trust between us is quite strong when it comes to make the film as good as possible.
Still it requires loads of hard work and all the extra time you can put into the shots. Often that means weekends and long days. We usually work until 5 minutes before deadline because all the extra bits and pieces you can push yourself to do makes the video better.

What other projects have you worked on at Chimney Pot?
I have worked with artists like Pink, Lady Gaga, Animal Kingdom, Madonna, Rammstein, Dizzee Rascal and more.
In terms of commercials the latest clients has been Alecta, Mercedes, Tele2, McDonalds, H&M, Unibet and Boxer.
Also I've done a bunch of shots for recently Swedish feature films such as Wallander & Falk.

What advice do you have for those who dream of working with VFX?
Learn everything you possibly can but don't get hung up on software. 
It's not the software that will make you a good VFX artist, they are all just tools and nothing else.  Still If I would point out one program you should learn it would be Nuke.
Keep yourself updated what's happening in the industry and new technology.
Get a long-term internship or a nightjob at a VFX house to be able to work on some big projects and build up a good showreel.
Don't be afraid to call companies and offer extra help.
Prepare to work long and hard :).

How has what you learned at Hyper Island helped you in your career?
To take on projects even if you don't know directly how to solve them even if it means working 24/7.
Since I'm working as VFX / Autodesk Flame artist most of my time is with a client/director in the same room and Hyper Island really improves your social and communication skills.

Click below to view some of the projects Markus has worked on:
· Lady Gaga "Paparazzi"
· Dizzee Rascal "Bonkers"
· H&M Summer 2009 Matthew Williamson
· H&M Christmas 2008 Most fashionable gifts
· Unibet Play

Thank you, Markus!

Monday, September 21, 2009

This week is Motion week for Digital Media

Here's Digital Media 2011 Stockholm - looks sponsored, but isn't:

For more snapshots from Hyper Island - follow us on Twitter!

Hyper Island student workshop: Programming

Several Hyper Island students have initiated their own workshops recently. Below you can view a presentation about programming, conducted by Interactive Art Director student Cas Lemmens:

Part 1 (the presentation starts approximately 9 minutes into the video):

Part 2:

Looking forward to sharing additional student lectures and workshops!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Catching up with Interactive Art Director 2010 students

We were curious to find out what the Hyper Island Interactive Art Director 2010 students have experienced since beginning the program in August this year. Here's what four of the students had to say:

Paula Kreuger from Brazil

How did you find Hyper Island?
Google and destiny. :) I was searching for inspiration last January, and I found the DM09 website. At that time I had no idea about what Hyper Island was, but I was very curious, so I went to the Hyper Island's web page and the more I read about the school and the programs, the more I felt I had to be a part of it. I don't regret my choice at all, I'm loving the Hyper Island experience.

What's been your two biggest learning experiences so far?
There is a continuous learning experience about how to work with groups. This experience is so great because it is useful not only within the Digital Media world, but you can apply in whatever group you are part of. We learn a lot about ourselves and others, become more tolerant with differences and start to see them as a positive aspects of life. Our class is based upon diversity, and that is a great learning experience: people from different countries, cultures, ages and backgrounds, sharing their knowledge and life experiences. More than interacting with technology, we learn how to interact with people, and that is something very valuable.

What was the first module about? What did you learn?
The first module was about understanding group behaviour and leadership, and how to build teams. It's a deep experience, since it is based upon a lot of reflection and feedback and this is something that we usually don't learn at school, at least in Brazil, where I come from. I became more aware of my attitudes, enhanced my perception of how other people behave and became more tolerant. I also learned how to give and receive feedback, not avoiding conflicts but actually learning how to deal with them, which is definitely not something easy to do but extremely important.

What's the new module about and what's your group working on?
We have a great client for this module, a really challenging one: IKEA. In the next 7 weeks we will be working full time in order to find an interactive and digital solution that can attract more people to IKEA's stores. This is great, since the company is successful, open-minded and global. How to take something great to the next level? We shall find out the answer to this question by the end of the module.

Most exciting thing at Hyper Island this week?
Hyper Island has always something exciting happening, whether it is coming from the staff or the students. :) For example, this week we started with workshops, organized by the students who are experts in a certain field and are willing to share their knowledge with the rest of the school. We have no teachers, no books, no homework, so this is a great opportunity to try something new and take the initiative to teach, to research more about what you love to do or always wanted to know about, to improve presentation skills, share and raise the good vibe among the students and of course, have fun! This week, we had workshops about Programming, HTML and CSS, Processing and a lot more are scheduled for the coming weeks.

Cas Lemmens from Belgium

How did you find Hyper Island?
My dad's company worked together with some students from Hyper Island. So he gave me the link.

What were your expectations before beginning the Interactive Art Director program?
I was really looking forward to work with passioned people, people who lived for digital media like me. And besides that I had really high expectations on the lectures we would get, and the study methodology Hyper would have.

What was the first module about? What did you learn?
In the first module, we researched the current digital industry and tried to make a vision of the future. It was something I wanted to do for a long time, and finally gathering all the information I've been researching in the passed few years together with the research of the other group members, really gave our group good insights. It became clear you had to do this almost every year, so you could keep track of the trends, and keep in my mind what really is the future.

What's the new module about and what's your group working on?
In the second module we have to come up with a new idea for Ikea on how that can improve their services in the future. We're still in an early process and figuring out the bits and pieces. At this moment, we're doing research, learning more about Ikea, the company, the future, the competitors and their marketing in order to find holes or malfunctions where we can work on.

What's been your two biggest learning experiences so far?
The first one was the UGL. It made me realize reflection and feedback are really important when it comes to working in a team. And besides that I got to know myself a lot better.
The second one was the first task we had: the research task. I worked together with really interesting people who taught me to expand my boundaries and think further than I normally do. I made me smarter in some kind of way...

Most exciting thing at Hyper Island this week?
I think that would be the workshops that are going on. I gave mine yesterday, and was really pleased with the result. And I'm curious about the coming workshops since it will handle the material I've been wanting to learn since long.

What do you think you can learn from your classmates?
A better question would be: what can I not learn! The people here are great, they all have their experience, knowledge and own interest. I haven't met anyone yet who couldn't give me an interesting talk. I think the best thing you learn from your co-students, is the fact that you'll see a solution from different angles, which helps a lot!

Sougwen Chung from Canada, pictured with the rest of the LapOfLuxury™ group

How did you find Hyper Island?
I found Hyper Island after watching an animated flash self-promotion video by one of the Digital Media students in the previous crews. I think that was about 7 years ago. I was excited to come here after I attended their recruitment tour 2 years ago, I recommend the experience.

What were your expectations before beginning the Interactive Art Director program?
I wasn't sure what to expect, actually. I described it to people as "a digital experiment: what would happen if you stuck x-number of creatives in a room for a year and had them make a handful of amazing projects."

What did you learn during the first module?
The first module included the UGL course. It was helpful in gathering insights about self vs self, self vs group, and the Collective Experience. I wrote about it here.

What's the new module about and what's your group working on?
The current module revolves around 7 weeks of ideation for furniture giant, Ikea. In addition to conjuring up some forward-thinking and fun ideas for the brand, our group is making creative "webisodes" (web+episodes) documenting the process of working together. Check out the teaser and the first episode of our show, LapOfLuxury™ here or follow our daily progress on our website here.

Most exciting thing at Hyper Island this week?
Aside from LapOfLuxury™, I'm probably most excited about all the wonderfully executed programming workshops by some of the Hyper Island students. Today we cover the Processing language, I'm looking forward to it.

What do you think you can learn from your classmates?
Aside from learning skills, I'm looking forward to the discovery process of what I can learn over the next few months.

Thomas Björk from Sweden

How did you find Hyper Island?
I heard about it a few years ago, that it was a really good education, but I never really understood what they where doing. Last year a friend of mine went here and I heard from him what they did and how they did it.
I went to a few "Open Houses" and got really impressed.

What's been your biggest learning experience so far?
Importance to actually practice how to work in groups. It's hard sometimes, but the only way to master it is to practice.

What did you learn during the first module?
I learned so much about myself. And how people around me see my actions. To change my own behaviour I need people around me to tell me what I do.

What's the new module about and what's your group working on?
We are working on a new way for Ikea to communicate with their customers.

Most exciting thing at Hyper Island this week?
When Mary got lost at IKEA and Fatih had to call her on the speaker system. Hilarious!

What do you think you can learn from your classmates?
If I have a question I ask the classmate with best knowledge about it. Almost whatever I ask them about, we are so many people with different backgrounds and knowledge.
More important, I learn about myself by receiving instant feedback all the time!

Thank you all! Can't wait to see what your groups come up with for this module.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Anders Sjöstedt is Hyper Island's new representative in New York City

Hyper Island is proud to announce that Anders Sjöstedt will be representing Hyper Island in New York City.

Up until recently Anders has been in charge of Sweden's largest cubator "Minc" and he’s also been running the management consultancy "YalaYala" in Copenhagen. Anders works as a writer and is frequently hired as speaker on the subjects innovation and growth around in Sweden. He also holds the position as director of "Swedish Creative Industries".

Starting September 14th this year, Anders will be responsible for all Hyper Island activities in New York City.

"This means that we’ll be able to work really close with what looks like the next big Hyper Island branch. The presence of Anders in NYC will help to keep our service level high in the city of cities", says Hyper Island CEO, Mattias Hansson.

Hyper Island already has a partner in the US; the new education effort Boulder Digital Works at The University of Colorado.
Read more here: http://bdw.colorado.edu

Hyper Island students have chosen to go to the US for internships and to work at agencies for more than 14 years now.

"In many ways, Hyper Island has a stronger brand in New York than in Sweden. The fight to succeed in the world's most important market will be a challenge, but many doors are already open for us here", says Anders Sjöstedt.

The first education effort for Hyper Island in NYC will be a Hyper Island Master Class for Executives together with the One Club on October 15th - 17th, 2009.
Read more here:

For more information, please contact Anders Sjöstedt:
+1 917 981 0302


Hi Anders! What's your view on Hyper Island and why did you choose to get involved?
Hyper Island has an aim to be the best in the world at what you do, you constantly improve yourselves and the brand is very strong internationally. To be involved in such a context is always great. I was trained at The KaosPilots, a Danish management school, and their way of challenging students is very similar to how Hyper Island works. I feel at home!

How's the business climate in NYC right now?
Everybody always struggles in New York, whether the threat is competition or recession, but the current situation leaves space for new solutions. Most people tell me that they have just as much work as before, maybe even more, but that they are asked to come up with more clever and less costly solutions. That requires creative skill, which is good for every city.

Why is there a need for Hyper Island in NYC?
Despite what one might think, most training in the US, even on advanced levels, is very traditional. The teachers talk and show, the class listens and copies. All training at Hyper Island aims at boosting individual skills, which requires teamwork, hard-core client cases and a focus on the participant's personal goals. This makes Hyper Island unique.

Where can those interested visit Hyper Island in NYC?
We're scouting for a location for the new school. Until that is settled, you can meet us at The One Club on East 26 Street. Me, you can usually find daytime at 11th Street Café, evenings at the free tennis courts on Essex street and nights at Joseph Leonard on Waverly.

Anders moved to New York in February 2009 because it's the best city in the world. When he doesn't work for Hyper Island, he tries to improve his tennis skills, consults the cotton industry on Barbados and checks out his B&B in Spain. He's a proud Aquarian, speaks six languages and has a very cute boyfriend.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Student Work: Interactive Art Director 2010 student group

One of the Interactive Art Director 2010 student groups present a glimpse into the future of digital advertising:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Young Leaders Visitors Program participant tells us about his experience

In May 2009, Hyper Island and the Swedish Institute for a second round of the Young Leaders Visitors Program. Participants from eight Arab countries and Sweden were invited to to learn certain leadership and organizational skills, and how to use social media tools to advance social change.

One of the participants, Mohammad Azraq, has written about his experience at Global Voices Online - click here to find out what he and other participants had to say.

Click here to view a video presentation about the program, featuring Hyper Island's Roger Sjögren and Åsa Silfverberg.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hyper Island students find out about the future of digital work

Hyper Island students have reached out to some of the leading digital agencies in Sweden and abroad with questions about the future of digital work. Check out some of the answers from agencies below:
· Iain Tait, Partner at Poke
· Walter Naeslund, CEO at Honesty
· Joakim Jardenberg, CEO at Mindpark (scroll for English)

And from last year;
· Rick Webb, Co-founder & COO, Barbarian Group