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51 minutes w/ styn geurts

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Hey, could you briefly introduce yourself?

I’m Styn, a 26 years old male.

Recognizable: the dude with a black shirt.

Ok, so how is the whole graduation experience doing it for you?

It’s going “great”, love it!

Positive thoughts.

Would you tell us about your research project?

My research project is about the struggle which I have with my smartphone and how it controls me.

Or how I control it and I’m trying to translate it back to a machine.

In the proces its hard to translate it to a form that wouldn’t become really judgemental. I don’t want to tell people “put your phone away!”, I just wanted to slow the dialogue we have with the device and how we revolve around it. Do we control the device or does the device control us?

What were some important influences for the creation of your project the way it’s constructed currently?

The biggest influence was me, that I really did not want to make a book. There is so much cool stuff going on in the whole open source DIY scene. I want my graduation project to be an experiment in that scene.

I can’t control all of the variables of the thing I’m building. Because I don’t know enough about it, but I don’t mind. I like the journey in it. To create a tool that tells my concept in a more or less “original” way.

Does your graduation, to you, feel as like it’s your ‘Mona Lisa’ of work so far?

Oh no. More like a the work of a toddler who’s trying to create the mona lisa, and has fun while doing so. It’s all about the journey. I’m less interested in the total outcome. I want to see where I stand as a designer. It feels like I’m testing myself. What kind of a designer I am *em dash*.

Onto another project: could you briefly inform us on the subject of your thesis?

My thesis is about drawing machines and whether or not a machine that is capable of recreating, has got aura.

So, your thesis has had a certain influence on deciding on the research assignment I guess?

To be honest, not really. I had to write about something I guess.

To what sense would you like this project, and it’s methodology, to correspond to your practice after graduation?

I hope to keep building stuff in the future. I don’t want to become a designer that sits at his desk 24/7.

Where did you do your internship?

My internship was at EDHV in Eindhoven.

In what way has the experience of doing an internship changed you, or your (design)beliefs or (work)habits?

What I learned at EHDV is how important it is to really look at your own work and filter it for what it’s worth, and if you are researching to go as deep as possible, to blow your client away.

But the most important thing I learned by EDHV is how I would not run my business. Don’t get me wrong, I have a massive respect for Remco van de Craats and for how he made EDHV a successful company. But I wouldn’t wanted to do the way he does it. I never felt at ease there.

Did they serve avocado during lunch?

Only if Raw Color was there.

Ok, next project. Could you inform us on your partner, client and type of assigment for the practical assignment?

I am working with Jolinde. Our project is to make a reference book for Facing Pages. Facing Pages is a magazine festival here in Arnhem. It went well, we had a lot of fun. The assignment is nice because you are working with beautiful magazines and we got free tickets to Facing Pages!

Could you perhaps elaborate a little on your whole ‘GDA Experience’ as to how you’ve experienced over all in the last 4 years?

It was ok. It’s a miracle I didn’t die of a caffeine overdose. I wish I started in the first year now, instead of 4 years ago. And maybe then, I would start studying Interaction Design. The lessons they get now seem really awesome with all the programing stuff.

Five years from now, you’ll be doing what?

Designing the new identity for McDonald’s or Burger King.

Last question; any tips for upcoming graduate students, or new students?

A 6 is comparible to a 10. They’re only grades. In the end they are worthless.