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.