Could you briefly introduce yourself?
Well, I’m Pleun, a graduation student at ArtEZ Arnhem.
Pleun, how is the whole graduation experience doing it for you?
It’s been like a rollercoaster ride. One day i’m really stressed out and panicking and the next i’m totally fine. It is exciting and terrifying at the same time. There can be a lot of pressure, but I guess that depends on myself really… and if my rollercoaster goes up or down at that moment.
Would you tell us something about your research project?
I’m building a little local network with a wireless router to start a discussion about net neutrality and control over the internet in general. In my project I try to make people understand certain parts of the structure of internet better because I believe that when you understand something better, you can try to control it better, or your actions with it anyway. I choose a wireless router because it’s one of the smallest nodes in an internet physical structure. By zooming in I hope to make it a less complex problem.
What or who were some important influences for the creation of your project the way it’s constructed currently?
I think my internship had had influence in the way that I’m working on it and the new possibilities I see. And I think the class Network Cultures we had last year also had a big influence. My project subject has an overlap with my subject now and I really learned new ways of researching. Lastly Vincent and Lucas have had an influence, my boyfriend and a friend of mine. They taught me programming and helped with parts I couldn’t do myself.
Do your graduationprojects, to you, feel as like it’s your Mona Lisa of your work so far?
I hope each of my projects are slightly better than the previous ones. So far then yes, but I have a lot to learn still. I wouldn’t dare compare my work to Mona Lisa though.
Onto a new topic then, could you briefly inform us on the subject of your thesis?
My thesis is about two fields within graphic design: research & design and information design. I’m researching the gap between those two and trying to see if parts of the fields can combine into a new one.
Has your thesis had a certain influence on deciding on the research assignment? If yes, in what way?
Not really, but it has influenced the way I look at and use design method in general. I guess you could say my graduation project fits in the new field that I am proposing within my thesis.
To what sense would you like this project, and it’s methodology, to correspond to your practice after graduation?
I think I will look back at my project as a learning process and try to improve the methodology I used. I do like these fields in graphic design, research & design and information design. I can see myself making more projects similar to what I’m doing now.
Where did you do your internship?
My internship was at the studio Catalogtree in Arnhem. They’re specialized in information design and do lot’s of very interesting assigned and free work. I think the biggest change they made is that I try to be more relaxed while doing projects. At Artez I’m often very stressed out, and they were so organized and relaxed. I really try to work more like them. Also they have great inspiration outside graphic design itself and lots of ideas all the time. And of course they learned me a lot about doing infographics, which I’m really excited about.
Did they serve avocado during lunch?
Haha, no, not that I noticed. But that is one of the few things they didn’t serve. The lunches were quite amazing, and we took turns in cooking them. We even tried to come up with theme weeks. We had a ‘circle’ week once, and we were still talking about a CMYK week, but we couldn’t quite figure out what would be cyan enough.
Could you inform us on your partner, client and type of assigment for the practical assignment?
I’m working with Stan the Natris on my pratical assignment for Valiz, which is a small publisher in Amsterdam. They mostly publish books about art, research and critique and we were asked by them to publish a few books out of a series of ten online. We were asked to research the possibilities and choose a method that we thought was most fitting.
The collaboration has been super so far. I think we work quite well together. Although I’m a bit chaotic and he’s super organized, haha.
Five years from now, you’ll be doing what?
I hope i’m working in a small graphic design studio somewhere in the world or collaborating with someone in a studio of my own. But first i’m going to take a long holiday!
Any tips for upcoming graduate students, or for new students?
For new students: DON’T. Haha, or at least be prepared. It’s going to be a hell of a ride, but as I said, it is worth it and you are going to learn a lot and meet some wonderful people. As for graduation students I guess I would say try to pick a topic close to what you already love and know stuff about. And relax! it’s going to be fine in the end.