Could you briefly introduce yourself?
I’m Stan de Natris, student GDA, living in Arnhem, but in that past during my internship in Berlin, (later on more..) I’m graduating with project about this city… And I’m very old!
How is the whole graduation experience doing it for you?
From first year one graphic design is changing your attitude towards the world in general, but also the workload keeps rising, in third year this came to a peak, but now in 4th year it feels a bit more calm down, working on your own projects, and making your on schedule works for me very well
But than again, this makes you feel that your not doing enough. Well this was the case with the practical assignment, because it was running at the same time when I also needed to work on my research project, so right now I’m fully back on track with my research project and the practical assigent is finished. The projects are bigger, but I am more focused on one thing, you can dig deeper into the topic and the refinement of the design
Anyway, could you maybe introduce your research project?
As I mentioned I was in Berlin for a few months, and before that I was really interested in the city and the process of gentrification, (re)vitalizing a neighborhood, but also very negative, the original inhabitants can’t afford to live there anymore. So then the artists/creatives take over. Then the Yuppies and DINKS. And the more wealthy rich, people with shopping habits extending our wallets. When cycling beyond the former path of the wall brought me into Neukolln, which is experiencing gentrification in am early stage. Lots of the local Turkish people where forced to move more to the outer neighborhoods. All this information brought me to the topic of my research project. I wanted to explain, the process of gentrification, which is sometimes hard to visualize. So I made two giant banners, with all the gentrification symbols, logos and people/organizations involved in Berlin. Next to that I made a city plan in a maquette, visualizing the gentrification plague through the city in a clock–wise circular direction, starting in Kreuzberg, before the wall came down. On top of this, there are empty lots in the city because of construction failures of the DDR–regime in the Eastern part. This part has experienced the hardest gentrification in the couple of years. So it’s a logical spot to make temporary spaces for the people who are being forced to move out of their apartments because of the rising rents. I adverse these spaces, (very small but still big enough for the existenz minimum) by using the walls on both sides, like you see when you walk around Berlin and see what it looks like when a building gets renovated (gentrified). Then, next to the banners and maquette, there is a publication with more background information, poured into a (fictional) interview between a politician and a research–criticaster. In the publication I displayed the advertisements which I put on the giant banners, and there are also photographs of the spaces. For this I went to the city a couple of months ago, to visit each spot. Very exciting! I think that’s it. Of course people looked strange at me, I had to climb some fences and walk into random gardens, but once I got into these places, it sometimes was a really nice experience, especially in the picture I send you for the catalog (they were renovating the thing when I was there). The sequel for this project would be working together with an architect to make a design for the buildings.
What were some important influences for the creation of your project the way it’s constructed currently?
First I was informed about the topic through the book by Andrej Holm, ‘the Berlin Reader’, content wise. But design wise: more symbols, logo’s and recognizable images of the city (berlin). but then transforming them or combining. Adding typography inspired by some of the street typo. but the other typography and guidance is more my own first choice typography style.
Does your this project, to you, feel as like it’s your ‘Mona Lisa’ of your work so far?
I said yes before, and still I think so. But since the project can be extended in the future maybe I feel more as work in progress. The Mona Lisa is quite perfect and finished and my project isn’t. So it’s a mona lisa with no landscape in the background, how poetic.
Maybe you could tell us a little about your thesis?
it’s the linguistic master piece of my time (not). I’m addressing the topic of aesthetic journalism.It explains the modus operandi of artists and designers who use this journalistic approach in their work, ea traveling to places they report about. And also lot of these projects are about the history of certain lands/borders/geopolitics. That’s why I made a map with the location of the topics. also lots of work by Slavs and Tatars the studio I interned, they address the topics of Eurasion culture. The thesis for me felt like a exploration in this field, especially with the artist because i was more aware of the designers than the artists. Also maybe now I realize the two topic that interest me the most (the consequences of borders and the asocial aspect of architecture
you could probably say your thesis has had quite an influence on your research project right?
In this perspective yes. Well the topics are very different, but are the ones I mentioned earlier. But if you compare them, traveling or going to the actual location, has played a major part in both works. not that I travelled for the thesis, but because of the thesis it made me aware
Is this approach is something you could see yourself working with after graduation and in your future practice?
Yes but not in a short term, because I want some more experience in the studio life
Where did you do your internship?
At Slavs and Tatars, a studio in Berlin, more focussing on art and story telling about Eurasia but with lots of graphical ellements, thats where I helped them with illustrations also, on the computer and one paper. no booktypography, which is now, my least developed skill. If I had the chance I would go back, I really like their work, and I was very happy when I was offered a position for a few months. So I recommend every student to go abroad and find the studio you like the most.
did it also change your beliefs on design? doing your internship?
They work different than I did at artez. I was amazed that they had some much time to do revisions all the time, even till the last moment, so sometimes it was lots of work. But still less than 3rd year
did you have avocado’s during lunch?
Yes! we bought it at Kaisers! around the corner
allright, next is the practical assignment, could you talk about your partner, assignment and just the project in general?
We finished last thursday, I did the project together with Pleun Gremmen. We had to find a way to digitise a publication serie from Valiz, the antennae series. We took the indexes as main navigation system (not the table of contents). We found five matching indexes in the books, we displayed them next to each other in rows and when one name/subject was clicked you could see the relation, because of their position in the text (like 100 words in radius from each other)so you get a new kind of view on the topic. When you made the selection you went to the reading page where, every keyword selection was highlighted and the navigation was similar to the main page. It was a very technical approach, more techniques than design, which was sometimes frustrating because it took more time
Do you have some idea of what you would like to be doing five years from now?
No clue, it is very difficult because the job market is uncertain and I’m very mobile, I’m not particularly bound to a place. But what i’m doing is probably design related. Going abroad could be an option, also starting my own studio is a dream, but I’m not ready for that (yet). First some studio experience. Only soviets plan five years ahead.
What are your tips for upcoming graduation students?
Be very passionate about your work (so cliche). But I think the most important thing is that you find your references, and topics that interest you the most. Then in the 4th year you have a pool of things you can work with and are genuine. Aso because artez kind of destroys your previous life, don’t be afraid to make new steps (go abroad)!