Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry X-mas!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from everyone at Hyper Island!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Meet Design Strategist Drew Smith of Creative Mornings/London

To stay ahead of your game, you need to constantly transform yourself. Meet Drew Smith, an Australian guy who dreamt about being a car designer and became a brand strategist. Now based in the UK, he works at the consultancy Sense Worldwide and runs CreativeMornings/London. 

What is your background/who are you?
I grew up in Sydney, Australia knowing from a very young age -try 6- that I wanted to be a car designer. Given that my mum’s an artist and my dad’s an engineer, it was pretty much a certainty that I was going to become a designer!

After high-school, I did a degree in industrial design and moved to the UK in 2005 to do my Masters in Automotive Design. After graduating I went to work in an automotive design strategy consultancy in Germany before landing my dream job at Sense Worldwide, a creative strategic consultancy in London.

Tell us about Sense Worldwide!
At Sense, our clients often come to us with a problem –communications, branding, product or even with their entire business- and have no idea where to start on solving it. First, we help them properly define what the problem is and what a successful outcome is. Then using a people-centered approach we embark on a creative journey to find a successful solution, taking our clients on this journey with us.

What do you think is significant for the industry today?
In the last 12 months, we’ve been looking beyond simply offering innovation consultancy to our clients; innovating within a category is simply the cost of business these days. Now clients are realizing that they need to be more than just excellent, they need to change or transform the conversation that’s going on in their sector to stay ahead. Iterative improvement is no longer enough; transformation and creative destruction is what’s really driving the market leaders. 

What is innovation to you?
Innovation is one of those words that’s used a lot these days. Walk into any bookstore and you’ll see hundreds of books on the topic. To me it’s being as excellent as you can be in your category through constantly refining your. Innovation is constantly testing new ideas, breaking them and rebuilding them in a way that allows you to be a category leader. 

What do you think young talent is looking for in companies today?
From a personal perspective, I think it's the kind of organizations that recognize that the way we express ourselves and, therefore, our creative output is incredibly varied. Working in an organization that is responsive to this is incredibly important for morale and for building the kind of flexible, dynamic and project-specific teams that will suit clients best.

I also think that, increasingly, it’s the agencies that offer a truly bespoke, project-specific approach to defining methodologies, strategies and deliverables that are going to be most attractive to young talent. It helps satisfy our urge for creative exploration and also appeals enormously to clients who are disenchanted with the sausage-factory approach that some agencies fall into the trap of.

Finally, agencies that respect our external activities and welcome them into the work environment are winners. In my case I run an event called CreativeMornings/London and Sense Worldwide provide some sponsorship towards the event and allow me a bit of time to build the CreativeMornings presence in London. It helps me maintain a broader perspective on creative practice and also helps develop the networks that Sense draws upon for its work. It’s a win-win situation.

What kind of leadership or what kind of leader do you think the industry will need in the future?
In my experience, where young creatives need the most leadership is in helping them see the big picture. Universities tend to allow students to wallow in the detail of what interests them and they become masters of detail. This is a great attribute when working towards the thorough understanding of culture that can lead to breakthrough strategies. But when you have a finite period of time or budget to develop and deliver a grounded strategy, you need to be able to extrapolate that detail into a long-term vision. It’s this big picture thinking that’s so valuable in agency leadership. 

Also, I think that now more than ever, the ability to provide ongoing mentorship is crucial. We need leaders that can continue to educate young creatives by example. A university education leaves so many creatives not fully formed and lacking the confidence to be as great as they can be. By passing on the passion and experience that has elevated our leaders to where they are today, they give the new generation the confidence to step up and maximize their potential.

What’s your favorite car brand?
I swear that this has nothing to do with the fact that you guys are Swedish but my first two cars were Volvo! They had a brand that resonated so strongly with me, one built on a subtle, beautiful functionality. Their old cars like the PVs, 140s and 240s are not sexy but there’s a profound level of consideration inherent in their design which is deeply attractive. More recently they’re an example of how a brand can completely lose their way (the recent S60/V60 models) and make a triumphant return to what made them great (the Concept Universe).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Meet Crafted Buddies

Today we are featuring Crafted Buddies that is a company evolved out of a Hyper Island project.

Katarina Nilsson, Shumeng Ye, Josefin Bergman & Julia Schierbeck

Hi Crafted Buddies! Who are you?
Hi Hyper Island! Crafted Buddies is owned by us four girls, and we are producing ecological leather cases for iPhones, iPads and Laptops. Our goal is to create sustainable products that will represent an antipode to the fast fashion that is dominating today. The aim is to create products that will become a dear item for the consumer. Hopefully it will become as dear to you as a real buddy!

How has the response been so far?
We have gotten some really good response from the market. People seem to really appreciate the simplicity in our design and our sustainable values, which makes us really happy! We launched our webshop the 29th of November and had our first sale only 10 minutes after launch! 

And your cases are tweeting, what is this all about?
That is correct! Every model of our cases is having their own Twitter account. Since all our cases are handmade after the customer's order, we wanted them to be able to follow this process closer. If the customers leave their name on Twitter when they order on our site, they will receive a tweet from the product when it is entering a new step in the production and logistics process. Don’t think our products can get more social than this! It’s been fun to integrate and use social media in a new way, and the customers have found this very entertaining!

What is your next step?
Next step for us is trying to get awareness around Crafted Buddies on the market. We’ve just launched so we still have a lot of work to do in order of getting the brand known! But we are really looking forward to take on the challenge!

Visit Crafted Buddies to view their products, and find them on Facebook or Twitter!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hyper Island's 10k On Twitter

November 10 was a big day! We got our 10k friend @hyperisland's Twitter. Of course, we had to celebrate this with a cake - personally delivered to Armando Ceron by Jaclyn Ciamillo.

Tell us about yourself:
I'm an LA native that went to Art Center to pursue my interests in advertising. As a Sr.Integrated Art Director + Designer, I develop ideas for major brands into experiences that captivate and entertain audiences across multiple digital, social, and integrated platforms. I've worked with various ad agencies, production companies, and client side consulting. My client list includes brands like K-SWISS, Carl's Jr., HTC, Konami, 2K Sports, Porsche, Alfa Romeo, BMW, Lincoln, and Warner Bros to name a few. 

What are you looking to accomplish with your work?
Everyday I strive to create ideas, not ads.

How did it feel to be Hyper Island's "10K" on Twitter?

I heard of Hyper Island when I was at Art Center. So naturally I followed them on Twitter. What do you know, I was the 10,000th follower. To my surprise I was contacted by Jaclyn who told me that I would receive a special gift from Hyper Island. She said she would travel to LA to personally deliver this special gift. I must admit, it was the most delicious Creme Brulee cake I've ever had. The bonus surprise was meeting Jaclyn in person, she's a gem. 

Thanks Hyper Island for the coolest gift a loyal fan could get. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mikael Keussen - Mobile Application Graduate

Today our first class from the Mobile Applications Program graduates. We had a chat with Mikael Keussen, one of the students.

How are you doing today?
I'm feeling great! It's been a lot of fun during the last 3 days, meeting everyone again since we haven't seen each other during the internship. I feel really motivated about the future.
The first day we had presentations about our internships. It was very interesting, especially when you compare them from hyper island way week last year. The difference in the skills and how much we all developed. Yesterday we had reflection and wrap up, looking back on the whole time at Hyper Island. Today we had the ceremony with champagne, talking about all the fun from the last year.

Where did you do your internship?
So, I started at Storify, a start-up in San Francisco in May. Within 3-4 weeks I was working as a full time employee. In September I took a job offer from a company called Prismatic. At Prismatic I'm the only designer and I work with webb, iphone and ipad applications. Prismatic is a fun way to browse and share news with your friends.

What is your strongest memory from the last 60 weeks?
I think I have 3 really good memories.
- The first one was in the module "mobile business", focused on news and publishing for mobile - that's when I realized that I wanna focus on part of the industry! The two companies that I worked at so far are working within this area.
- Then presentations at the end, to see what my classmates has been up to during the internships.
- Lastly, It's my current job. I couldn't be more happy with the job and the position that I am at now.

How would you sum up your hyper island experience?
I would say that its been a great journey, I came here thinking I would be a visual designer, now visual design is just a small part of my job. All the people that I've met, my classmates. A lot of them are friends for life. Being in Karlskrona, you kinda get a 3 year education in one year and I think thats amazing!

What are you doing now that you are graduating?
Going back to San Francisco in a week, continue working with Prismatic and get ready to to launch the product we are building.

Congrats Mikael & Mobile Applications!

72 Hours For Peace - Teaser

72 Hours for Peace is a Creative Commons database featuring ideas for positive global change. The event, involving 300+ Hyper Island students during 3 days, was documented and here is the teaser movie for the full event documentary.

Thursday, December 1, 2011 - The Story Behind the Magic Tweet Beat Machine

What is TweetBeat?
TweetBeat is a magic machine that turns your tweets into musical beats. For the best experience, log-in to your Twitter account or alternatively you can search #hashtags and @usernames to listen to the unique music heartbeat of each single tweet. 

Why did you do it?
Tweets and social media check-in are fast becoming ingrained in our social behavior, ranking up there with traditional forms of produced content much as recording videos and pictures. We relive old memories by looking at old videos and photos but tweets however, due to their rapid half life  are often quickly drowned and forgotten in the clutter. 

TweetBeat’s aim is to let you experience tweets in more than mere word forms, giving them more of a reason to be remembered.

By searching through a database of keywords, TweetBeat analyzes the mood of each tweet and if it matches our lists, an unique beat will be assigned to the tweet. Try search for different mood keywords .e.g. "Happy", "Sad" , "Confused" & "Angry" etc.

What was the group’s key learning experience?
The culture today has moved from talking to doing and borrowing a leaf out of a start up model, our processes included a constant feedback loop internally and externally with the goal of rapidly building a working prototype within 4 weeks from concept to execution.

How has the response been so far?
It's been great, we did this because we just wanted to make something. There have been some buzz on Twitter since we launched. We received traffic from all over the world including many from agencies. It has been a fantastic learning experience and would like to thank all the support and feedback we have gotten along the way.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Get This Viral Out of My System

Is anyone else tired of the word "viral"? Anybody? Bueller? 
In my circle, using that horrid word is a red flag for someone who just doesn't "get" digital. I think it's because the word's origin has to do with viruses. 

As we know, viruses spread between people like wildfire (whether we like it or not!)  If we really reflect on the way the internet works, we find that viral is one of the worst words we could be using to describe this phenomenon.

Content of any kind has no inherent "virility" - a piece of content would stay in the long tail of garbage on the 'net without a conscious decision to share it. It takes someone discovering it, loving it, and choosing to send it to friends that makes it go anywhere at all. 

When clients ask you for a "viral" video, it's important to temper expectations and ask a lot of questions. Nothing... no, no amount of cute kittens will guarantee your stuff gets looked at on the internet. (Unless you buy views, which means your content probably sucks anyway. Not to mention it's inauthentic.)

How Things Spread on the Internet
There are some things you can do to up your chances of going "viral." (It even feels gross typing that word.)

The first is to understand why people share things. MIT/USC scholar Henry Jenkins talks about a few things your content needs to do to get some digital love.

It must:
1) Strengthen my bond 
2) Define our collective identity 
3) Give me status

Know your audience and hit one of those three. The other way to up your chances is to allow the content to be spreadable. A bad idea would be to host a video on your own website. Nobody goes there and nobody cares. A better idea would be to host your video on YouTube and embed it in your website. An even better idea would be to find out where your audience likes to watch videos and host it there. And if you don't know all the hipsters are on Vimeo, then I really can't help you. Be transparent. Focus on relationships. Make content that feels good to your audience first, not you. 

And stop saying viral, jeez.

Written by Hyper Island's Learning Designer Amy Rae - get in touch by email or on Twitter.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Future of Advertising - Cindy Gallop at IAB Master Class, Paris

Hyper Island and IAB France (Interactive Advertising Bureau) held a conference in November 2011 and Cindy Gallop spoke about the Future of Advertising.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hyper Island Speaker Francois Grouiller - More Value & Convenience - Less "Flashturbation"

Who are you & what do you do?
I'm Francois, a brand strategist with a digital background (and, I hope, a creative mind). I'm from France, but I've been living for 8 years in the US. I work as a global brand strategy director at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco (but I miss New York everyday).

What is creativity to you?
I think the biggest misconception regarding creativity is that it is a gift, something that only a few people have. That's not true. I think we're all creative, but some people just don't use this great asset, because of fear I guess, or maybe because they are too conservative: they don't allow themselves to play with and recombine their thoughts. I mean, everyone has imagination - and that's really the ground base you can build your creativity on. The only difference is that some people learn to train, liberate and apply their imagination, and some people don't - they keep it locked inside their head. That said, not all creative people are created equal: the most creative people in the world express their creativity in new, outstanding, brilliant ways. They have the ability connect the dots to surprise us. My belief is that in an agency, everybody, from the strategist to the receptionists, has to be creative - at least, that's how the best agencies work. 

What is innovation to you?
I think innovation is the new frontier in advertising. We're shifting from just being creative to being innovative - it's the new holy grail. In our industry, the goal was to be the most creative and the most clever. Today it's not enough. Today, we want to be the most innovative and ingenious, and we want to re-invent, push the boundaries of what advertising is. By innovation, I mean "applied creativity" with a desire to make things and strive to actually improve people's lives beyond just crafting cute, funny messages. We must help brands make people's lives more meaningful. Innovation is about combining things differently, ingeniously - actually doing things. It's more exciting than old-school creativity, because it's creativity plus something else. It makes us do real progress. While old-school creativity is fun for a moment, new-school innovation has a longer lasting effect.

You say that competition is fierce today in the advertising industry - what do you think this means for young talent entering the industry?
I think there are two sides to this question. For students who are looking for a job, it's hard to get attention from CDs. You need to find new ways, develop your portfolio. The best portfolios are usually very diverse portfolios, that show agility across media, genres, clients, and more. They must show how good you are, but also the width and depth of your skills. The second thing is: how do we help brands communicate and get people's attention, when the competition for attention is more intense. The key here is what some bright thinkers call "return on attention". The principle is simple: since you won't have a lot of attention from consumers, how do you maximize the reward they get in the short attention window they give you. And also, how do you minimize their effort and maximize the rewarding aspect of the experience? I think that's the biggest challenge right now, together with the adoption of all the new platforms out there. I call that other challenge "invent for the context". This is basically a way to say that
ingenuity doesn't just apply in an absolute world. It must be considered "in context", keeping in mind the rules and behaviors native to the specific platform the idea will live in: you can't engage on Facebook like you do on a microsite, or on Twitter, or on Tumblr. It's going to create a new level of complexity to bring our ideas to life. Finally, we need to bring more value and convenience in the experiences: we can't afford to spam people with long loading time, or 3 minute "flashturbation" intro on microsite (with no "skip the intro" button of course). It might be impressive to us, but it's not what people are looking for.

What are the key considerations when building brands for the future?
They are couple of them: first, it will help you focus if your brand has a clear purpose in the world. Once you have that, it's about making an impact, evoking a feeling, in a short period of time - when you get people's attention. 

The other thing you need is an "editorial angle" - which is a way to create coherence versus consistency (since consistency is impossible to achieve on so many diverse social platforms). Once you have an editorial angle for your brand, you don't need to script everything. You can adapt to Facebook, Twitter & Tumblr, be reactive and contextual, while never loosing your coherence. So agencies should help brands stop being obsessed with consistency, and start inventing for the context. That means we all need to reinvent the old advertising process - both on the agency and the client sides.  

Francois Grouiller recently spoke about "Celebrating the Hacking Spirit" for Hyper Island's Students in Stockholm.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Adidas 40h Brief

Earlier this fall, Adidas worked with our Digital Media students for a 40h brief/contest. Here's what happened:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Creative Task 2012 Is Released

Our Creative Task for Programs starting fall 2012 is out and you'll find it on our Programs site.

Friday, November 18, 2011

72 Hours For Peace Ideas Are Online

It's been 72 intense hours and the Creative Commons database with ideas from the Hyper Island students in Stockholm & Karlskrona is now live! Check it out!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hyper Island Students Work With CP+B For World Peace

Today marks the start for 72h for Peace - a project with all Hyper Island students in Karlskrona and Stockholm working with Crispin Porter + Bogusky. Read more about the brief at the site and follow the work process live on Twitter (#72hpeace).

Featured in:
Dagens Media
Business & Leadership
Hello You Creatives
Agency Spy
Creativity Online
Fast Company

Monday, November 14, 2011

Have a Look Inside the Hyper Brain

Have a look inside the brain of a Hyper Island student at featuring a couple of beautiful videos where students talk about their Hyper Island experience.

A student project by:
Sandra Stadelmann @s_stadelmann
Richard Herries @richardherries
Ana Cecilia Boman @anaceciliaboman
Patrik Lythell @patriklythell
Matilda Dackevall @matildackevall
Johanna Wignell @johannawignell
Gian Carlo Belleza

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Interactive Media Management Students Catches Milk Thieves

Four Hyper Island students at the Interactive Media Management program in Manchester have created a tool to catch milk thieves after experiencing problems at Hyper Island's Manchester campus.

Visit Milk Busters and learn more!

The Team:
James Peacefull
Olga Medennikova
Dan Grocock
Mitchell Pierce

Monday, November 7, 2011

Digital Media Students Builds Bridges Between Traditional Magazines & Digital

During the Final Project for Digital Media 2012, before going on internships, a group consisting of six students was asked to help Condé Nast to create new experiences for two of their leading magazines, GQ and Vogue. The students developed concepts that would bring the magazines into the future of using digital tools and social media. 

Vogue Enhanced
For Vogue the students created a concept to bridge the analog and digital reading experience of the magazine, without altering the existing magazine. Utilizing augmented reality and the wide spread of smart phones, the students wanted to add value and introduce new tools to a hard to reach target group. They created an augmented reality mobile application with connection to social networks, e-commerce and videos.

What's Your GQ IQ?
For GQ the students aimed to improve the magazine's status in social media with an online game that allows the user to measure their manliness against their GQ IQ. The user is faced with questions, challenges and scenarios which shapes the interactive story and makes the game highly personalized. The user also connects with Facebook to gather data which is used throughout the whole story.

The Team 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"Most Hated" Service Experiences 2-Day Workshop

Hyper Island's Interactive Art Director class had a therapeutic two day workshop where they vented about their "most hated" service experiences: everything from Windows Vista to the voting system. Workshop leader Lauren Currie of Snook tasked students to re-imagine the flawed systems with a digital service design lens. She taught the IAD group to use Snook's toolkit, including emotional experience mapping, primary interview research, and storyboarding.

The two-day workshop wrapped up Wednesday with thirteen engaging group presentations. The audience laughed, they cried, they threw pieces of recycling through a basketball hoop. An overview of a few presentations is below. For more detail about the workshop process and service selections, check out Lauren's blog post here - It's awesome.

⁃ Finding housing can be a miserable experience. is a website designed to match tenants with landlords, almost like a dating site. Tenants can submit personal videos, desired neighborhoods, rent, and references. Landlords get an interactive dashboard with housing price information, contract creation tools, and rent tracking.

⁃ Trashket Ball makes Sweden's great recycling system better by incorporating game elements. Multiple levels of baskets exist at different locations, including the recycling center. Citizens literally throw recycling through a basketball hoop and compete to win prizes. This interactive experience makes recycling fun for the whole family, and gives everyone a reason to bag it up and schlep on over.

⁃ YourDash is the new SCAS. Hyper Island students rejoice! Download it to your desktop and choose the widgets that meet your needs. It's completely customizable. The simple, clean tool allows students to do innovative things, like "check in" to course hand outs, an alternative to handing out papers in class. Oh yeah, it's also available on mobile!

Written by Hyper Island's Learning Designer Amy Rae - get in touch by email or on Twitter.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Hyper Island Loves Manchester

Everywhere you go in Manchester today you see posters and signs declaring “I Love MCR”. They have been appearing since the summer ‘riots’, which saw minor disturbances on the streets of several major cities across the UK. They are a demonstration of the resolve of a population that is deeply proud of its city, and a passionate, action focused energy that has been driving brilliant people to do amazing things here for centuries.
Read more and watch a great Manchester video at our programs site.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Oy Mexico iPad App

Oy Ahoy is a Scandinavian design and development studio, that makes cultural learning experiences for kids. All team members are graduates from Hyper Island. They just released their first app in a series of app’s to introduce kids to different countries and cultures. The App is called Oy Mexico and is inspired by the Mexican tradition Día De Los Muerto - the Halloween of central America.

Oy Mexico, illustrated by talented Wilmer Murillo, gives the kid a more positive picture of what happens to us after we pass away, and makes the subject much easier to talk with your kid about. Sounds, fun interactions, and great illustrations are the components Oy Ahoy uses to engage the kids and to inspire conversations between parents and their kids. Jump on board and travel to Mexico, Oy Ahoy!

It is yours for $1 here:

The team gives great thanks to everybody who has made this possible. Hyper Island, all the coworkers, and Module leaders.
And a special thanks to our outstanding collaborators.
Daniel Rosquist (Sprite Animations)
Joakim Keussen (Web & CSS)
Seth Benson (Motion graphic)
Prince Talhaoui  (X-code)
Mikkel Gomard (Sound Design & Music)
& Wilmer Murillo (Illustrator)

The Oy Ahoy Team!
Sandra Stadelmann (Mobile Applications) - @s_stadelmann
Fredrik Karlsson (Mobile Applications) - @fkarlsson86
Daniel Grönlund (Digital Media) - @SirGronlund
Mikkel Krøijer (Mobile Applications) - @mikkelkroijer

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hyper Island Playground in Toronto

Hyper Island invites you for a Playground in Toronto, Thursday October 27. RSVP soon to Lucas Stoffel.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

David Erixon at Hyper Island Vision Week

During Hyper Island's Vision Week, speaker David Erixon explored and discussed values in connection to current and future business trends.            

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hyper Island's Digital Media 2012 student Madeleine Matsson, aka Madm Fia (portfolio), has an exhibition in Stockholm at Urban Outfitters this Friday. Ana-Cecilia (portfolio) from the same class asked her a few questions.

Hi Madm Fia! First of all, who are you and what are you up to right now?

MadmFia is an artist, a female, a symbol of combinations of different worlds and perspectives. Madeleine Matsson is my given name, but I have always been called Fia by the Swedish side of my family, hence, MadmFia was born.  At the moment, I am getting ready for my exhibition on the 14th. Im also participating in a charity auction this Thursday at the Young Art gallery.

How are the plans going for your exhibition at Urban Outfitters this Friday?
There is a lot to be done. Picking up alcohol, sending out invitations, cleaning fingerprints off of the frames, finding a car.  And all the while I need to make sure that communication is clear between the manager of the store and me and everyone else involved.

What can we expect to see at the exhibition?
Drawings, paintings, prints and maybe an interactive piece...if I get it to work. It's an experiment. Oh and FREE DRINKS!

How did you use your experience/education at Hyper Island for your exhibition?
I could never have done all this work, preparation for the show, without my Hyper support and all that I have learned. Everyone around me has a different expertise so no matter who I speak with about the show, they will come up with new suggestions, recommendations, etc. things to think about.  All the sponsors I got were recommendations, where to print, the layout/design, help with copy.... Just having such knowledgable people around me, eager to help and give feedback is such a nice change from my art school background that can be a rather individualistic and competitive environment, in my experience.

What or who influences your art?
Life. Thats a rather cliché answer but the title of the show is Impressions. I am showing realistic pieces, those that are easy to understand, next to more expressive pieces that need more time to translate. People are like that. Our first impressions are always the most superficial: blond hair, etc. But once you get to know a person, things become more complicated; more abstract.

Other artists inspire me; going to galleries, exhibitions. Magasin 3 is one of my favorite galleries in Stockholm. The Reina Sofia in Madrid is probably my favorite museum of all. I love artists like Francis Bacon who can combine controlled skills and technique with chaos and movement.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Close to the beach with a pet llama and a huge studio in an old warehouse on the top floor with windows on the ceiling.

If you could travel to any place right now, where would you go?
Buenos Aires.

Lastly: broccoli or avocado ?

RSVP for Madm Fia's exhibition at Facebook!

Monday, October 10, 2011

What Is Your Hyper Island?

We're looking over the Hyper Island brand and we're inviting you to join! Head over to and answer a few quick questions, see what other people have said and share your thoughts!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Digital Media Students Working With Non Violence

A group of Digital Media students gathered under the agency name Birthday are working with Non-Violence for their final project. We asked them a few questions!

Who are you?

We are a group of students from Digital Media 2012 in Karlskrona working with the Non-Violence Project as our final project. A part of the final project was to choose group and brief in the class. We got our first choice when choosing before we  actually knew who the client was. We chose this brief because we wanted to work with something that makes a difference and could mean something to people. The brief was about reaching out to one billion people and to educate. The client wanted us to digitalize their education in order to reach more people and stay in tune with new technologies. 
After we had chosen our brief we got the client and the full brief and it really lived up to our expectations!

Tell us about the project?

We've decided to create One Billion voices. One billion voices is a global education platform where students and teachers educate each other in how they solve violence around them. The users will create a creative version of the problems they face, it could be a movie, a play or a piece of music. We want to inspire people to find new solutions to violence and use creativity as a weapon. One billion voices is a platform where the users stir the content in order to educate each other in culture and non-violence. The One billion voices platform is connected to Imagine One billion faces for peace, which is the world's largest call for peace initiated by The non violence project.  (It's in the production phase for the moment)

What was the biggest challenge during this project?

The challenges was to create something that could appeal to all cultures and differences around the world, and still make it digital. 
In the beginning the brief was quite big and blurry and we had a hard time capture it. This resulted in a few communication issues in our group, since we're all really good friends we might thought that we had come further in the group process. This stopped us from working dynamically. But we solved it though discussions and different communication models. 

What did you learn?

We tried to change our working environment and mix our work with having photo shoots, playing basket and baking cakes. We believe that this is extremely important in order to create a dynamic and functional group. It's also really important to talk about problems, motivation and expectations in order to keep everyone at the same level of motivation. 

What's happening next for you guys?

After this part of the final project we continue with the second part of the final project module at Hyper Island. In this part we have to choose our own clients or project. After that we're all going to different cities in the world for our seven month internship as a final part of the Digital Media program at Hyper Island. 

Check out the group's site over here & don't hesitate to ask them more about the project, or other things: Carl Nordell (Project Manager), Matilda Lindblom (Strategist/Co Project Manager), Christian Persson (Creative Developer), Fanny Nordmark (Designer), Maria Maleh (Blog Queen & Designer & Amanda Jönsson (Designer).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

5 Questions With Creativity Inspirer Fredrik Härén

Fredrik Härén is a renowned writer on business creativity. He recently spoke at Hyper Island during the "vision week". We asked him 5 quick questions.

Was there anything specific that inspired you to become an "expert" in sparking creativity? 

2 reasons:
1) I have always (as long as I have remembered) been interested in creativity
2) I was working with Internet from 1995-1999 and saw the power of creativity when it comes to develop new businesses, solutions and products

What is the most notable creative thing so far this year in your opinion?

Democratic moment in Arabic countries - "Arab Spring".

Creativity is perhaps something constantly desired, but are there also trends in creativity you've noticed concerning you work area and if so, which ones?

My last book - The Developing World - was about creativity in developing countries. My next book will be on global companies. I think those areas are of interest (obviously since i am writing books on it) :)

What inspires you the most and nurtures your creativity on a daily basis?

The reason I travel the world to do creativity speeches is that I get paid to travel to go to conferences in all kinds of industries to hear what they are working on at the moment (I did 140 speeches in 17 countries including Iran, Sri Lanka, Russia, India, China and USA last year)

Do you have any concrete tips for a quick creativity fix for our readers?

Surprise yourself!  It is amazing how creativity is triggered by being inspired so go and do something you have never done before and get inspired.

Thank you Fredrik! Of course, Fredrik's available on Twitter for any questions and/or random input.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Meet Film Maker Gustav Asplund Who Worked On "Jägarna 2"

We had a chat with Digital Media student Gustav Asplund who just started his second year of the program. Gustav recently worked on the movie Jägarna 2, follow up to Swedish classic "Jägarna", which premiers today.

Hi! So tell us - who is Gustav Asplund?
Who knows? I'm a tall guy trying to have fun while making films, and collaborate with other happy people. Expressing myself through moving images has been a way to expose my inner emotions. I'm a dreamer, but focused when the shoot comes around.

How did your interest in films start?

At the age of 21 I was attending film school (De Anza College) in San Jose, California. We did everything within film-making: Scriptwriting, Directing, Cinematography, Editing etc. Then I moved to Los Angeles to grip UCLA shoots to learn the craft on a bigger scale. I have had room to make mistakes and it's important to grow with them. My specialization is directing.

What's the best moment for you, in making films?

To grow with people around me and create the feeling of being a family. These are the best times and I believe it's every ones responsibility to try to reach this point.

What was your responsibility in the production of "Jägarna 2"?

I worked with the editing legend, Thomas Täng. We choose to cut in the application Lightworks (editor's note: open source beta available for free) which is extremely rare in Sweden. I received the footage 3 days after the shoot. Then I synced it with the on set sound. The film wasn't shot in chronological order, so the separate shots I put in to the right scenes according to the script.

 The highlight of the job was to see Peter Stormare and Rolf Lassgård pull off a believable performance in every take.

What would be your dream project when it comes to films?

Create an environment where people would only go in their imagination. Imagination is the strongest force we have and a surreal fairytale would emphasize that. I am a huge fan of the scenery in “The City of Lost Children” or “Dark City”.

What are you working on right now?
1. Final project (Digital Media 2012) - A concept for a communication company.
2. Editing a very ambitious Hyper Island film me and my classmates shot before the summer. It's called, "Ovetande" ("Unknowing"), a 20 minute long thriller drama.
3. Preparing to camera operate a UCLA thesis film in Greece at the end of the month.
4. Looking into internships, they start in November.

Lastly - what are you wearing for the premiere of "Jägarna 2"?

A Chewbacca suit. 

Check out Gustav's work here and let him know if you want any tips on how to get your film production on! Oh, and Gustav is available for internship in November together with the Digital Media 2012 classes!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hyper Island Students Speak at Webbdagarna

Digital Media students Richard Herries & Patrik Lythell will join Webbdagarna in Gothenburg, September 21-22 2011. They will be accompanied by several prominent industry professionals, speaking about their experiences and knowledge in web and digital.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

1st Day Impressions - Sebastian Höglund, Digital Media

This week, we welcomed new students to all programs in Sweden from all around the world. We had a chat with Sebastian who just started the Digital Media program in Stockholm.

Hi Sebastian, how was the first day?

Very good! There was so much excitement, and I was trying not to be too nervous this morning. I'm very tired at the moment though - we are 52 students in our class and today we all shared our stories to get to know each other better. That's a lot of stories. Now, at the end of the day, it feels like I have a new family.

What did you do today?

Basically we focused on getting to know each other and Hyper Island. We talked about group dynamics, Hyper Island's methodology, the values and how to share and talk more freely.

What was the most fun?

The Energizer (Editor's Note: energy boost exercise, here's one example) - because I like to play! And hearing other peoples stories, from all over the world.

What was the most difficult?

Asking good questions to the people presenting themselves. It's aways hard to come up with a good and somewhat unique presentation, especially when we are so many.

What are you exited about, looking forward?

You see all the possibilities about what you can learn from everyone else in the program, through group dynamics and in the projects that are coming up. I can't wait to start working!

Why did you choose Hyper Island?

It is a school with a methodology that fits me perfectly. I love to try to do things that I can't do, to test boundaries and go out of of the box, with no wrong or right. This is the perfect environment for that!

Lastly, what are you doing tonight?

I'm going to skateboard and probably gonna have a beer to relax.

Thanks a lot & enjoy your Hyper Island experience! If you'd like to get in touch with Sebastian, you can find him on Twitter or email.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Meet Interactive Media Design & Management Student Jonathan

We had a chat with Jonathan Barnes, student at Hyper Island's pilot program Interactive Media, Design & Management in Manchester.

Hi Jonathan, tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

I grew up in France from the age of 5 until 18 and have English parents.

I would say that the things that have defined my life are sports, (I played Squash for France), coaching sports (to people of all ages and standards) and travelling.

The people who have influenced my life the most are my parents, my Squash Coach, Steve who I used to work with and a few famous people (such as Ricardo Semler).

I also spent 4 years at The University of Manchester and Manchester Business School which has made me love my new city. I love old music, being inspired by visionaries, trying to inspire others and Nutella.

Why did you apply to the Hyper Island program Interactive Media Design & Management in Manchester?

I applied to Hyper Island because I got the impression I had finally found a place that shared some of my views of the world. I don't really believe in fate but it was a very strange coincidence. I was backpacking in Guatemala with a friend of mine and I was thinking about two things which I think I could do to change the world. First of all, I felt that by going into businesses that are stuck in the past and consulting them in regards to participative cultural change I could empower people and change their lives whilst also delivering far more creative environments for people and businesses alike. The second point was that I feel that for the most part, the education system is in serious need of reform as it doesn't empower the natural instinct that children have to be creative, to be engaged, to be interactive and to participate through doing.

And it was a day in El Salvador when I finally formed my opinion that these were the two things I could contribute to the world, that I received an email about Hyper Island. An application and Skype conversation later with Jo Schofield and David McCall and I was so excited and I had the impression that I had found an organisation for me. I can confirm almost 3 months later that I have.

What has been the hightlight so far during your time at Hyper Island?

Difficult one. Everything!
I have met some extremely inspiring people such as David Erixon and Andrew Shoben but the most impressive thing is that I feel a part of something. Too many times in my life, I have felt like the lone wolf, the outsider, almost crazy at times. But here at Hyper Island I feel that I am in a class full of people who get me and we are all on the same wave length. So I guess the highlight for me so far is the confirmation of my beliefs that my peers share in terms of participative culture, creative and innovative environments and underlying belief that we can all change the world in our own ways by remaining open and reflective.

What has been most unexpected?

Exactly that! I've never spent so much time surrounded by people who could one day be forces for positive change. I was shocked at the conversations I was having with people simply because I would share my beliefs and not be looked at like an alien. The people here think a lot, about themselves, about the people around them and about the impact they could have on the wider world. It's very refreshing.

How do you define creativity?

I think in the past I was stuck in an old mindset that creativity was something visual. Hyper Island broadens my definition of creativity by the day. So whilst my definition is a constantly evolving thing, I'll have a stab at it: "A mindset for positive change driven by the intent of thinking differently". :-s I'll try to improve that as I evolve...

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In ten years time, I would like to be in control of my own time. I would like to have travelled a lot. I would like to be in a position to create important change within small settings that would serve as examples for wider societal change moving forward.
A part of this is that I would like to hope I would be a force for change in eduction and business in regards to empowering human beings to meet their potential. I'm not sure what the vehicle for this will be yet, but it will involve my own business, maybe consulting and maybe even a form of alternative education (I say "alternative" but my aim would be for others to qualify it as "progressive").

Lastly, what's up next? (you can interperet this question as you would like, this weekend, in a month, privat/non-private. Up to you!)
Next?! Well I really think that our upcoming internships will be important in defining a direction for us.
So, remaining the eternal optimist, I would hope that next, I will find a company that is open minded, open to positive change and that would be open minded enough to see me as an opportunity to be a potential catalyst for positive, participative and creative change within their organisation. That's in the immediate future.
For 2012, I would hope to cement really strong relationships with like minded people I have met through my Hyper Island journey and pursue adventures with them as well as personally.
Finally, to be an advocate for this incredible experience. I'm only half way through, but I feel that this is something I will always promote to others and that I would like to help fly the Hyper Island flag in the future.

Thanks and good luck! Drop Jonathan an email if you'd like to get in touch for more info on the Hyper Island experience, internship possibilities or anything else!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Meet StrawberryFrog's Executive Creative Director Suzana Apelbaum

Here's a nice summer read for everyone! We had a chat with StrawberryFrog's Executive Creative Director and Hyper Island Master Class speaker Suzana Apelbaum about the creative world, successful campaigns and more.

Hi Suzana! Who are you?


I started to work in advertising back in 1995, in Rio de Janeiro. I started in a traditional agency as a copywriter and soon I went to one of the first digital agencies in Brazil. By that time interactive advertising was just beginning so it was a great time of discoveries, explorations, trials, learnings. Since then I’ve been working as a Creative Director in some big agencies like AgenciaClick, JWT, and Africa, and creating campaigns and websites for brands such as Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Unilever, Red Bull, among others. Also I had my own agency called Hello Interactive. The latter merged with another agency so I decided to change my plans and accepted the invitation to come to StrawberryFrog in NYC to create cultural movements for brands. I love advertising. But I must say that my real passion is theater. I’m a professional actress, I’ve worked in theater and TV for almost 10 years, and I’m always trying to find a way to conciliate this with advertising.

Wow, that's a rather unique background! Does your pro acting skills help you any in your work nowadays?

It definitely helps, in different ways. Theater is all about storytelling, pretty much like advertising. My background as an actress helped me to learn how to observe people and to create genuine characters and dialogues. This is interesting as well in the copy process: think of a brand as a character: you have to know well what is its voice and behavior, so you can write it in a compelling way and bring it to life in a way that gets people really engaged. Also, the fact that I’ve already been on stage and have improvised a lot in big theaters help me to feel more confident and to really enjoy presenting work to all kinds of audience.

What campaign impressed you the most so far this year?

It was the Old Spice Response campaign, where they created 186 video responses to users who were talking online about the campaign. It all started with a TV spot – with a great strategy, a great creative idea and an amazing execution. It was already brilliant and successful, so they could have stopped in there; but the client and the agency really took the campaign to the next level and were able to make more than generating excitement about the brand: they established a valuable relationship with the target, which they can really leverage for the next communications and business efforts.

What do you think lies behind the success of such a campaign?

Two main things: the quality of the creative work, with a hilarious character (‘The man your man could smell like’); and—from the agency and client side—the understanding of how the audience behaves in today’s world, of how they expect to be heard by the brand and want to interact with it in a deeper level. This campaign gives power to the users and even surprises and delights them with a brilliant creative execution.

How has your Master Class experience influenced you in your professional life / eg how do you apply it at Strawberryfrog?

My Master Class got me even more excited about learning from students. In Hyper Island there is such a special group of people with such rich backgrounds, so during the classes they raised interesting points that lead us to really high level discussions and insights. They made me think about things I hadn’t before. Also, the Class helped me to get to know people that I would really enjoy working with some day.

How do you define a good creative?

A good creative is essentially a very curious, open minded and sensitive person. Someone who has an interesting and unexpected point of view on all things in life. Well… I think that’s it :)

Finally, any tips to creatives out there looking to take it to next level and become the best at what they do?

I would tell them to remember that advertising is about people, rather than only about products. So the more they get connected to society and its cultural movements, the bigger are the chances of them to come up with ideas that can make a real difference in the lives of people and brands. Also I’d tell them to keep studying as much as they can, embrace digital tools, and to really invest in practicing what they are passionate about, because this will keep them inspired and will ensure they will be unique in their approach to advertising. More than anything, I’d say: Enjoy life, work hard, and be nice to people :)

Thanks Suzana! Connect with Suzana on Twitter or meet her at Hyper Island's Master Class.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Meet SheSays Co-Founder & Hyper Island Master Class Speaker Alessandra Lariu

Here's another piece of summer reading joy for everyone! We had a chat with Alessandra 'Ale' Lariu who is Co-Founder of SheSays as well as a Hyper Island Master Class speaker. Ale comes from a background as Creative Director at McCann New York, Agency Republic in London and Framfab/LBi in London. In 2010 she was picked by Fast Company magazine as number 29 of 100 most creative people in business beating the co-founder of FourSquare. Her work has won various awards like Cannes Cyber Lyons, OneShow Interactive, D&AD and NY Festivals.

Hi Ale! What is Shesays & what's the story behind it?

SheSays is an organization to further women's careers in digital. I started it with Laura Jordan-Bambach in London in 2006. Since then, the group grew to over 3000 women in 10 cities around the world. We run free monthly events and a free mentorship scheme called 'Who's your Momma?'. We have an early award scheme in London and in New York and, at the later, we have started running courses and managing people's careers by giving them advice and finding them great jobs in digital.

Why do you think the imbalance of sexes is so prominent in creative departments of digital agencies?

I don't think there is an imbalance in creative departments for those starting or in mid-career. But when you start looking at more senior positions then the ratio changes. Women have different management style ( a better one according to Fortune magazine) which is not recognized by the male bosses promoting them. It's a legacy thing.

What can agencies do to improve the situation?

Agencies, specially the male bosses need to recognize that the best replacement for them is not someone like them i.e someone with a bossy attitude. On the contrary, it's someone who's going to nurture and grow the work force keeping them motivated through self-respect and not fear.

Are you seeing any increase of females in the creative departments of digital agencies since the 3 years Shesays been alive?

At the top the pace has been slow but steady. Today I meet more women CDs than five years ago. And you if want to be one of those we have a job opening at our site ; ) - shameless plug!

Let's say a female creative who'd like to work in a digital agency reads this but experiences the difficulties you've identified. What can you do for her?

My very practical advice would be come to our events, contact us for mentorship and let us manage your career.

One piece of advice for the women studying at Hyper Island?

Do first, ask later. If you see something wrong, don't moan or talk about it, do something about it. That's exactly what we did when we started SheSays. We saw an imbalance and we are doing everything we can to change it. I know we are called SheSays but we should actually be called SheDoes ; )

But overall, making stuff happen, doing things, is the best advice I can give. It goes for anybody in digital, creative or advertising. I see many people say that a great idea is what matters. I disagree. A great idea is nothing without a great execution.

I'd also say be curious, enthusiastic and never, ever, stop learning. These qualities are irreplaceable, everything else can be taught.

Get in touch with Ale on SheSays or get the chance to meet her at a Hyper Island Master Class soon!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hyper Island Student Summer Stories

The end of the semester is here for our Hyper Island students in the Digital Media Program. We had a chat with with students André and Sebastian for a quick chat about their summer holiday.

André - student at Digital Media Program

What are your plans for the summer?

I'm working three weeks as an Art Director Assistant at Björn Borg in Stockholm. I worked there as freelance for 3 months, after that I started working there like 1-2 days a week, helping out with different projects. It's perfect job on the side, very flexible, so if we have a lot do to at Hyper island I work less. I get to do all types of different designs like promotion material, packaging, banners and website updates.

How do you use your education at Hyper Island in your work?

I'ts mainly the mindset, the Hyper Island way. Primarily I use a lot of feedback, by taking constructive criticism and turning it into something good. I am better at putting words on what I feel in different work situations, like a stressful sitauation. In a creative way I feel that I have learnt a lot of tools that I can use when I work. I think in a different way now, more out of the box and one step further, I think more about the end-consumer and usablity than what is hot in the industry right now.

What are you doing besides work?
I'm planning a last-minute trip down to the mediterranean somewhere. Otherwise I will most probably spend my time drinking beer while fishing pike.

Lastly, hammock or deckchair?
Easily hammock!

Sebastian - student at Digital Media Program

What are you doing this summer?
Relaxing - I'm going to Bali for 3 weeks, for some sand and surf together with my girlfriend. We are going to Kuta beach but also traveling around Bali and to islands like Lombok and Gili islands. At the end of summer I'm also visiting the music festival Way out West in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Best surf-movie?
Point break is a classic.

What are you looking forward to this fall?
I'm looking forward to both the final project and the internship that starts in November. My dream client would be Nike sneakers, I really love shoes and especially sneakers. For the internship I'm thinking of working with design and concept development, in New York or San Francisco. I don't know which agency yet though.

Finally, sunrise or sunset?
Sunset, in general it is more beautiful with more colors and more romantic.