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84 minutes w/ kevin kuijpers

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Could you briefly introduce yourself?

I’m Kevin Kuijpers, turning 26 next week, studying Interaction Design

How is the whole graduation experience doing it for you?

t feels like stepping away from the typical school assignments I have had for years and finally getting to a more professional level. The last months I notice I’m making decisions faster and more consequent and I’m not too depended about what the teachers say.

Could you tell us about your research project?

I’m basically making my own life–size hologram. I made a smaller holographic cinema for an earlier assignment and saw there was more potential. Back then I wanted to walk through this holographic cinema and now I’m actually achieving that. Originally I wanted to bring Aaliyah, my R&B idol, back to life. A hologram is a technique that makes this sort of possible and it has been done before, with 2pac for example and recently Michael Jackson. During that project I noticed if you have multiple holograms behind each other, the colours would mix. Now I’m not using a hologram to recreate a singer but the make an immersive installation, based on the properties of a hologram.

What were some important influences for starting this project?

2pac’s concert at Coachella is definitely an inspiration, that’s what started the whole project. Works of LAb[au] and Mike Reinierse about color synthesis also made me wanna go into that direction.

Math is my current guidance, the forms I’m projecting in my hologram are based on geometry.

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

Almost. Most of the time a get inspired by some scientific phenomenon, that’s what the hologram is. My thesis is a critique on how software companies work, that’s also an interest of mine. But there are no information design in my ‘Mona Lisa’. But that’s just how it is. There is no information design in my ‘Mona Lisa’. So where normally my projects are about internet politics, science and big data, big data is not represented in my graduation work.

Could you tell a little more about your thesis?

My thesis is about how and why a designer or artist should loosing him– or herself from the restricting rules mighty companies, such as Google, Apple, Microsoft and Adobe, lay upon him/her. Though we think that software gives us endless freedom, it’s still designed by someone else. Someone else decided what things you can do with the software and what not. Designers should know their tools by heart to use them to the fullest. They should know how these companies work and what influence they have on a designer.

Has your thesis had a any influence on deciding on the subject for the research assignment or not at all?

Short: no.

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

I’m considering using open source software only for my own work. As a coder I regularly visit sites of the open source community and I see that people are really helping each other out. And I may even read the whole license agreements of app. So I know what they can do with my data, and also for laughs, some agreements are linguistically funny.

Where did you do your internship?

At the artist collective LAb[au], in Brussels. They make a lot of audiovisual sometimes kinetic installations. Their work is more about computer generated processes and the art of it. I co–build a work called m0za1que and did a lot of practical stuff like soldering, which I needed. I was spending too much time designing behind my 13” laptop and I needed a break from that. Though I didn’t only learn practical stuff there, I also experienced how a international artist collective works in the capital of the EU.

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

Knowing how much time a single thing cost is pretty important when you’re doing repetitive work. That way you have a more realistic planning. And speaking multiple languages opens doors. Especially in Brussels.

Did they serve avocado during lunch?

YES! haha. And humus and quinoa. Funny story, I actually brought my own food to Brussels, how Dutch of me. They called me Snelle Jelle because I ate those for the first several weeks during breaks. Now I ditched Snelle Jelle for humus.

Could you inform us on your partner, client and type of assignment for the practical assignment?

The head of the master Architecture of ArtEZ Gerard van Heel asked me and Jorian Bekker to make the site for the finals of 2013. There has never been a site, only a printed catalog. The collaboration did not go so well, I ended up doing most of the coding, though now I finally understand javascript.

What will you be doing in 5 years from now?

Hopefully doing small design projects regularly and doing my own research and projects aside, in a large city, preferably abroad.

Any tips for upcoming graduate, or new students?

Do what you always wanted to do in your last year, since it’s a long project and you have to keep yourself motivated even if the critique is harsh.