Monday, August 24, 2009

My desk at Hyper Island

This is my desk. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My desk is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I master my life. My desk, without me, is useless. Without my desk, I am useless. I must use my desk true. I must think faster than any other creative who is trying to out-think me...

Sunday, August 23, 2009


The final bit of preparation for the Hyper Island course was a trip to Barnens Ö to unite the team and make an efficient group out of us. After a long bus journey we arrived and mixed into rooms before the first exercise which we called Desert Storm. Everyone was blindfolded and dispersed on a large meadow. The first goal was to search the field for a rope and get everyone to hold it. Without speaking to each other, and obviously without seeing anything at all. The next step, after everyone was holding onto the rope, was to form a square with the rope on the floor. A great experience it was, we made it and learned a lot in the process. The rest of the day was about the course and expectations. The expectations our co-workers have, our expectations of each other, the course, the Hyper Island brand and the expectations on ourselves. By the time we were done with half of this it was rather late and everyones brain seemed to sharing one thought: we need dinner! But nothing's easy with Hyper. Dinner was turned into a task, 55 people need food, we have a kitchen, and products. Mission: Feed everyone, and consider special requirements like vegetarians, people who can't eat eggs, fructose and a dislike of red meat & pork.

Driven by primal instinct and immense hunger leadership was taken and stuff was decided on. I took the role of one of six kitchen chefs. Cooking for 55 people sounded like a fun challenge. With the contents of the kitchen we created a menu for 'Chez Hyper': Thyme marinated Pork fillet, with a peppery onion gravy, together with salty oven baked potatoes and a zingy Ratatouille variation. The vegetarian counterpart was all about Catalan Tortillas de Patatas. All was rounded with olives, cheese and fresh bread and followed by fresh fruits baked with white chocolate and topped with vanilla ice cream for desert. The teamwork was amazing and everyone seemed very happy about the food. For me it was one of the best tasks at Hyper Island so far.

Reflections and more defined expectations filled the second day. It felt overwhelming to gasp everyones expectations and it was rewarding to find and define common goals for the work ahead. Every single Hyper student is now itching, not because of mosquito bites that go hand in hand with outdoor trips but rather because of the great anticipation that we built up. We want to start the next module and gets hand on within interactive media. We are greatly prepared and we won't have to wait long to start. Maybe 9 more hours.


People told me that it's rather tough to find a place to live in Stockholm. They seemed to be correct. All international students referred to the flat hunt as the first challenge of Hyper Island. So after countless long days without a home I joined a group of Hyper students and we found a great house that will serve us as a headquarter to retreat from the screens. It's in the outskirts of Stockholm and it's an awesome place with a lake nearby. Quite a contrast to living in the hectic city if London.

We call it the HyperCastle, and I'm looking forward to the cold winter in this cozy place.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Understanding Group & Leader

The whole of last week we had an intensive course called the UGL (Understanding Group & Leadership) as a preparation for the year ahead at Hyper Island. It was very demanding and intense as we were there for almost 12 hours a day within the same group of people. Yet it was very worth it. There were many individual and group tasks that made us realize how we interact with each other and how we are perceived by others. In between the tasks we reflected on the happenings and the processes. And of course we were fed quite a lot of theory on feedback, leadership qualities and group dynamics.

For me the course was very helpful and if I keep using all the tools learned in the last week I can see myself becoming a much more effective part of a creative group. There are still two days left to reflect on the UGL before we start the next course on Thursday: Team building. All 40+ interactive art directors will go away for two days to a place north of Stockholm to practice group dynamics and become a functional team.

More pictures from last week are here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My current wallpaper

Got the sign from Matt Jones and placed it onto the colours I like at the moment.
It reminds me why I'm doing what I'm doing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Looks like Nike and W+K Portland are also figuring out the magic of Hyper. Quite rad.
They seem to be doing good things recently.

Monday, August 10, 2009

First day of UGL

Sunday, August 9, 2009

First days at Hyper Island

Thursday the 6th and Friday the 7th of august were the first two days at Hyper Island in Stockholm. They were introduction days. We've met our co workers Micke & Sofia (and everyone else working for HI), they will be overseeing the interactive art director program for the next 45 weeks. I say co workers because there are no teachers at this course, no books, no classes, no homework, no exams and no grades. I will try to to recap what it's all about:

We received a lot of information, which will be repeated in the following few weeks with the aim that after this we will not get answers from our co-workers anymore and are only directed towards finding those answers ourselves. At Hyper Island we won't be judged and we won't receive any praise in any form. The education will be experience based and real life scenarios will be recreated as often as possible. We should regard Hyper Island not as a school – it's a job, a company we work at. We will work with real clients, we will have client meetings and a least 40 hour weeks.

There are multiple goals for this program:
  • learn how to learn
  • become problem solvers
  • become innovative entrepreneurs
  • learn about group dynamics
All of those with the most important one always upfront:
We have to be always at the cutting edge of digital communication and thinking.

The challenges we will face in order to fulfill those goals are numerous. We need to handle our expectations and forget the traditional school experience we all made. We need to repair the school damage. We need to be responsible to reflect about our doings and interact with others. We need to get our hands dirty and be as brilliant as we like, no one will stop us. Even if everything we do will have consequences for us we are encouraged to make as many mistakes as possible. And we need to be supportive to ourselves and the other participants of the course. It will be a lot about leaving our comfort zone and experimenting. Hyper Island is a laboratory that we will get access to, we will receive all necessary tools but it's up to us what we make of it.

The rest of the days were about introducing ourselves to the group with a presentation about who we are as persons. It was quite captivating to hear everyone's story – the group consists of some great characters which will make for a very exciting year.

It was all pretty mind blowing and those guys mean business. In order to prepare for all this, on Monday we will start our 5 day UGL course (Understanding Group and Leader). It will be an intensive program all about insight into group dynamics, conflicts, feedback, leadership and personal growth. Read more about it here.

We were told that we won't have time for anything else for the next 5-7 days as we'll be spending every waking moment within our UGL groups. So I'm off to bed and will begin the Hyper adventure in a couple of hours. This is so fucking exciting!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Starting in Stockholm

All was packed and my room was empty by Monday. I took the plane to Arlanda in Stockholm and left my London life behind for now. I still don't realize that I went to a rather random place, Sweden that is. Stockholm is treating me well so far. The summer that didn't really kick in in England is warm and sunny over here. I got a cheap motel to stay the first few days and to fulfill the unofficial first Hyper Island module – finding a flat in Stockholm. And it's a huge mission. Everyone seems to be after a home here, and there are hardly any offers, so I'm still looking for a place to settle for the next 10 months.

I had the pleasure to meet quite a few Hyper students already and they couldn't be more diversified. It seems people came from all corners of the earth to learn the trade of interactive art direction here at Hyper Island. Norway, Lebanon, the United States, Germany, Italy, Spain, Scotland, Denmark you name it, they have it.

Up to now it's been super exciting and I cannot wait as tomorrow, finally, is the first day of the course at Hyper Island.

The city is very beautiful with a lot of water surrounding it

Most of the time we're checking the websites for new flat offers, refresh, refresh, refresh

A bunch of students are renting a house near the city called the 'Hyper Mansion', a great place for parties