101 minutes w/ britte hietkamp

Category: Project
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Could you introduce yourself?

My name is Britte Hietkamp, 23 years old and one of the students of Graphic Design who will graduate. (Of course otherwise you wouldn’t ask me)

How is the whole graduation experience doing it for you?

Euhm.. Like a roller coaster, it’s going fast, it has his ups and downs. But is nice to work on your own project with all it’s freedom. And it’s nice to work within a group of students who are very supportive. There is no competitive feeling to each other, everyone is wiling to help an other. It’s doing good to work in such a nice atmosphere.

Could you tell a little about your research project?

My project is about ‘the convertibility(?) of people, especially of an individual. I started my research with my profile. Four years a go I left my home, Leek (Groningen) and moved to Arnhem. I went back after those years and searched for the people who took over my routines. For example; Dieuwertje Bijnagte and Enrico Wardenier were hired to take over my hours at the restaurant where I worked. Another example; My little brother moved to my room. In total I found sixteen people – I call them the ‘identities’ – who filled a piece of me. Those identities together are a representation of the profile… how, not ready yet.

Those identities together are a representation of the profile, the personage. So; Profile= Identities= Personage. What will be shown at the exhibit is the search to the identity of the personage. For this I used a database which I made of facial parts from the identities. With my database you can make over millions different ‘new’ people. But imagine that when you have a little bigger database you could make every person in the world, with relative smalla database.

What were some important influences for the creation of your project the way it’s constructed currently? Any particular designers or artworks or books or anything that you consider inspiration for this project?

Hans op de Beeck was a big inspiration for me. Especially the artwork ‘Staging Silence (2)’. Actually, the introduction text of his show besides his work was a starting point for my project.

What do we create to provide ourselves an identity and to make ourselves comfortable? How do we cope in a world that is increasingly difficult to understand and in which a human being seems to be replaceable?

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

haha, maybe it does.

Could you briefly inform me on the subject of your thesis?

My thesis is about how individual authorship is making collective authorship within (graphic design) studio’s and (graphic design) collectives.

Has the subject of your thesis had a certain influence on deciding on subject of the research assignment? Or are they not related at all?

It wasn’t my starting point but in a certain way it’s very related. It’s both about making one identity from individuals.


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

After graduating I still want to explore the little stories and invisible phenomenons within my free work. And I also want to use and explore a lot of different mediums, materials and technics

Where did you do your internship?

I did my internship at Kossmann.deJong in Amsterdam. It’s a big office and they call themselves exhibition architects. Their clients are mostly museums like the ‘Gemeente Museum Den Haag’ but they also work for Schiphol (they do the interior design) and the biggest project they worked on during my internship was the for the National Military Museum’. Most of those projects have a duration of multiple years.

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

Ehm.. I am more organized and structured now but the most important thing I learned is to stand up for my own opinion and beliefs. The beliefs itself didn’t change.

Did they serve avocado during lunch?

Haha, yes they did… and now I’m addicted to it. They’re at it’s best when they are a little bit smooth on freshly baked brown bread with a fried egg on top.

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

Together with Joëlle Terlouw I designed a catalogus of the archive of announcement posters for the exhibition from the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. We used 700 posters and came up with a structure to use two ways of navigation (date and alphabetical). When you read the book on a normal way you’re following the navigation ordered on date. The alphabetical posters are turned 90*, so when you turn the book you can follow this way of navigation. The outcome of this structure is that when you’re looking for a poster of let’s say Wim Crouwel, you can be surprised with a poster next to Wim Crouwel from a total different designer of another year. So the reader can explore, but the book also functioned as a good research book because you can choose the context of a poster by choosing the navigation. The three indexes are very useful to navigate, look things up, but als give you a nice overview of the amount of posters. The collaboration with Joëlle couldn’t be better and I am very proud of the result.

What will you be doing in 5 years from now?

Well.. I hope to do a combination of challenging design projects and teaching/give workshops to teenagers and children. But first I want to explore myself more as a Graphic Designer by a nice studio.

Any tips for upcoming graduate students? or for new students?

Be true to yourself and explore!