93 minutes w/ joëlle terlouw

Category: Project
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Could you introduce yourself?

Yes, I am Joëlle, 22 years old.

At the moment I live in Kootwijkerbroek (Gelderland)

How is the whole graduation experience doing it for you?

I think it’s all pretty cool actually. You get a lot of freedom and it seems that this creates much more opportunities… Choosing your own project instead of getting an assignment from a teacher is much more motivating somehow. You are really responsible of successfully finishing your own ideas. I find that exciting, good and very interesting!

Could you tell us something about your research project?

Yes, I’m researching autonomy. Autonomy is a much used word in descriptions of art and graphic design en is being used in many ways. But those ways are very much contradictive to each other. First, I researched the use of the term ‘autonomy’ in literature. I found all sorts of conflicting uses, which I think devalued the term. Which is a shame, because autonomy is such a beautiful, powerful word. In my research project I want to raise awareness for the ambivalence of autonomy, to revitalize the discussion on autonomy (like how this happened a few years ago with The Autonomy Project in the VanAbbenmuseum).

Autonomy is not something physical, or something tactile, and this is why there is so much to be said about it. For instance, on one hand you could say that autonomy is aesthetical, that is it about the beauty of something, or the use of materials and the experience of that. On the other hand, you could say that when the aesthetical values of an artwork are playing a too big role, this artwork cannot be autonomous anymore.

This is just one of many discussions which is involved when it comes to autonomy. That discussion, ironically but serious, is something which I want to bring to the surface and show. Doing that, I will stay neutral. There is already so much said about it, I don’t feel the need to add another opinion to that.

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

By having talks with teachers, other students and the authors of the articles on autonomy, I found out that the autonomy of art is comparable with the ‘Is there a God?’–matter within religion. Doe autonomy exist or not? Autonomy is, just like a God, physical, not touchable. Everyone has their own opinion on the (non) existence of it. This creates an endless discussion which also applies to autonomy. I found this quite exciting, it motivated me even more to research all the facets of the autonomy discussion. That is how I realized that autonomy is a sensitive subject. Which I had to approach rather seriously, with some irony. Because the discussion on autonomy is absurd, but because of that, very interesting as well.

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

It definitely is a project which is close to my interests. In that sense it feels more ‘balanced’ than other projects. And the assignment is not officially given by school, but by yourself. That feels kind of awesome… This project is among other things based on research, which I like, and now you’ve had the time and space for it. That deepness is what makes the project really interes– ting. It contains a certain urgency, which makes this project more valuable than other past projects.

Could you tell us something about your thesis?

My thesis has the same base as my research project. Like I said before artworks are often labeled ‘poetic’ or ‘autonomous’. In my thesis I focus on poetry. What is poetry? Wat does poetry mean in this period of time and how can a graphic designer insert poetry in his or her design?

This thesis has a basic structure of a gradient. It begins with the poetic text (a poem), then fades into visual poetry (words and letters poured into a certain shape), and from there it fades into the poetic image (images) and eventually this all comes together in a poetic design. A graphic designer uses words and images as base material. Poetry communicates in a very special and often ambivalent way with these materials, what can be very interesting for a graphic designer!

Has your thesis had a certain influence on deciding on the subject of the research assignment?

The subjects are relatively close to each other, and the starting point of both subject is also king of the same (the question of what the word actually really means and how it’s been used in the world of art and graphic design). The way of looking at and researching of the subject in both projects have definitely influenced each other.

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

I find the research minded approach very important and valuable. I definitely want to continue that, but than maybe in way that is even more combined to my personal style. ArtEZ has a very own style, throughout the years you certainly pick up on that a little. But I want to emphasize my own style and combine this with a research minded approach. Enthusiasm, focus on a certain design and studying while researching.

Where did you do your internship?

My internship was at Buro Reng in Groningen.

Buro Reng does both commercial as self–initiated projects. I find that to be a very pleasant combination, because I wanted to learn in both fields. Hans Gerritsen and Pascal Rumph are the owners of the studio. At the moment they work a lot on websites and other digital applications.


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

Communication is a very central thing at their studio, and they’re very good at it! They are honest, open and direct. They have definitely inspired me as to becoming aware of words. And they also encouraged me to keep doing what feels good to me. It’s less stressing for both yourself and in the communication towards the client.

Did they serve avocado during lunch?

Haha, NO! not even! They did have a lot of other good food though!

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

I did my practical assignment in collaboration with Britte Hietkamp. This collaboration went very well and the assignment that we got was very cool. We had to make a design for a graphic design file catalog. Beautiful posters! Very nice material to work with, that alone made the project just awe some to work on. What became kind of an interesting matter was the fact that the Stedelijk Museum really wanted us to make them a very basic research document and that our guiding teachers at ArtEZ wanted to see us experiment a lot. After a lot of considerations, we found a good and cool compromise, which of course was kind of exciting during the final presentation. We showed them the final publication and they loved it!

What will you be doing in 5 years from now?

Very likely I will be doing a masters or working at a graphic design studio to gain some working experience, and next to this I will probably be working on self–initiated projects.

Any tips or advice for upcoming graduate or new students?

Let yourself be guided by the teachers, but mostly: stay true to yourself and your own ideas!

73 minutes w/ rianne hulshof

Category: Project
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Hi, could you briefly introduce yourself?

Hi! Yeah, sure. I’m Rianne, 24 years old and I live in Velp. In my sparetime I like all things an art academy like ArtEZ hates.

So Rianne, how is the whole graduation experience doing it for you?

Maybe it’s kind of cliche to say it like this, but it’s pretty much the best time of the entire education. It’s nice to finally do something I want to do and research instead of finding a way in an assignment a teacher gives you.

Would you tell us about your research project?

My research project is about the North Pacific Garbage Patch, which is an area in the Pacific Ocean where all the plastic in the world ends up and defragments into smaller and smaller particles. The media often describe the Garbage Patch as a ‘soup’ or an island and that’s what got me. Of course it isn’t really an island as such, but what if it was? So out of an entire ocean of reports I picked the most reliable information and created a scenario of circumstances out of it, under which I designed an island. That island is —due to wind and sea currents— floating to the Economic Zone of Hawaii, where, after crossing that border, the plastic becomes America’s problem. Of course America doesn’t want the plastic, because it’s expensive to clean, etc and not all of it is coming from America. Then I found an article about a Dutch company who developed a machine that can produce oil out of plastic. And that’s really interesting, because that would mean that the plastic isle would become some sort of floating oil field.

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

I studied a lot of nautical charts and a book called ‘The Pocket Atlas of Remote Islands’.

Other books that inspired me where ‘Hyperobjects’ and ‘Moby Duck’. And what also really helped me was talking to as many people as possible, varying from teachers and classmates to my family and friends.

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

Haha, ehm, well I haven’t thought of it like that, but yeah in some way it does.

Well, let’s move over to another project. Could you briefly inform us on the subject of your thesis?

The subject of my thesis is collective authorship and the way your role as author, either as a designer or an artist, shifts when you let your audience participate in your work.

Has your thesis had a certain influence on deciding on the research assignment? If yes, in what way?

No not at all. I think the projects couldn’t be more different.

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

Well, I would like to specialize more in making maps and continue researching the subject
of my thesis.

Another subject: Where did you do your internship?

My internship was at Atelier van Wageningen and their typefoundry Novo Typo in Amsterdam.

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

I learned to not be afraid to stay closer to myself.

Did they serve avocado during lunch?

Hahahaha, no.

But Mark did offer to serve avocado though, because he didn’t want me to miss out on my classmates.

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

My partner for the practical assignment is Dominiek Kampman, our client was the IABR (International Architecture Biennial Rotterdam) and we had to design a publication on Carbon Added Tax.

Carbon Added Tax is an interesting subject and I have some sort of scientific background, so I enjoyed combining ‘science’ with graphic design.

What will you be doing in 5 years from now?

Work as a graphic designer, I hope.

Ok. Last question: Any tips for upcoming graduate, or new students?

Pick a subject that’s close to yourself, because you’ll get a lot of comments from a lot of people and then you still have to stay enthusiastic about your project. Train yourself to stay awake all night, haha!

207 minutes w/ maartje de goede

Category: Project
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Hi! Could you briefly introduce yourself?

Hi! I’m Maartje, I’m 21 and live in Utrecht. I think you can call me a graphic designer even though
I still don’t know what that means. Through my work I try to make the world a nicer place.

So Maartje, how is the whole ‘graduation experience’ doing it
for you?

It’s less stressful than expected! I haven’t even done an allnighter yet and only had the occasional ‘oh my god, what will i do with my future!’–panic attack. It’s fun. And I really like the free printer in our own classroom. Also the plant.

Would you tell us about your research project?

I’ve researched the impacts that our society would suffer if we’d go from being a welfare state to
a participation society, as our current government would like. As a response to the things that would deteriorate, I’ve come up with inventions. They’re products that help people participate in society, Dutch citizens can build them themselves with the manuals I produced. The collection of inventions is shown on a website* and will keep growing with suggestion that people can submit themselves. During the graduation expo I’ll show all the products that have been invented till then.


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

I think ArtEZ itself was a big influence. I have never really found my way in graphic design… aaand… the school has shown me that as well. I’m not just that into typography and ‘contemporary design culture’. I’d decided I wanted to make something fun and I didn’t think school was fun last year, so I took a big leap and made my most non–graphic design project ever and that really worked. It’s what I want to do. My internship** has been another big influence, over there I learned how to make art projects real and get the public to participate in them.

** Circus Engelbregt

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

Nope, very much not the Mona Lisa in terms of aesthetics. It is my most real and accesible work so far though, and since that’s what I aspire I guess you could say it feels like my best project.

Ok, well let’s go to another topic. Could you briefly inform us on the subject of your thesis?

I could! My thesis is about aesthetics in grapheme synesthesia–visualisation, which probably makes most people none the wiser. Grapheme–synesthesia is a condition which I have that makes people read in colour: all digits are connected to a specific colour in the mind of a synesthete. For example, in my mind I see the letter A as a forest green, and the number 3 as orange.

This has helped me a lot with learning languages and could help people that have trouble with reading and learning languages, because it adds another factor to help remember words. People have tried to visualise this experience in both science and art for ages, but it’s never exactly right. In my thesis I look for a way to visualise this form of synesthesia on the border of art and science. The thesis is a source book for typographers who wish to make a coloured typeface that can visualise synesthesia and in that way help people with readingproblems.

So yeah, it has absolutely nothing to do with my research project.

Has your thesis had a certain influence on deciding on the research assignment?if yes, in what way?

It hasn’t had any influence. I briefly thought about making a synesthesia–font as my research assignment but then I remembered that I don’t really like typography and that there are people around that are way better than me at that, that’s why it’s a sourcebook.

To what sense would you like your this project, and the methodology used, to correspond to your practice after graduation?

Oh dear, here come the future–questions, I’ve been trying to avoid them for weeks. I do think about them, there’s just so much I want to do!

I would like to make more projects like this one. I’d like to work together with people who care about the same things as I do, and create things in which people can participate, and projects that get their own life after they’ve been introduced to the world.

Where did you do your internship?

At Circus Engelbregt, former EGBG, the studio of Martijn Engelbregt in Amsterdam.

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

I have learned so much during my internship! It was an amazing experience. I’ve come to realise that a lot is possible if you just act like it’s a normal thing to ask, do or make. I still have the same ‘designbeliefs’ but they’re expanded to the belief that I can do whatever the hell I want if the story’s good enough. Spoken and unspoken design rules are very breakable if you break them consciously.

Also: yoga and holistic worldviews!

Did they serve avocado during lunch?

Hahahaha. Yes, all the time. I’ve come to appreciate avocado very much.It’s the ultimate designerfood.

Onto another one of the projects of graduation: could you inform us on your partner, client and type of assigment for the practical assignment?

I worked together with Vincent Hammingh for the IABR (via Catalogtree), we made a publication about Carbon Added Tax, a great solution for climate change problems.

The corporation went really well, I think we complement eachother well in our work! (Fortunately, Vincent is very good in typography and I in turn can handle lots of data) The assignment went great and smoothly. Besides that, it was about saving the world, or at least the climate, so that’s great anyhow.

We had a lot of fun (Oh! And if I can I’d like to thank Walter from the printing work place here for his patience with all our weird printing technique–wishes).

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


Okay… I’ll either be singing in a traveling folkband in Scandinavia, or be chained to a tree somehwere, or be making extremely succesful art projects or I’ll have written ten books and will live in a castle with all my friends and adopted pets and actually I have no clue whatsoever, but I hope I’ll be saving the world in some way.

And last but not least: any tips or advice for upcoming graduate students, or new students?

Run away, run away! Or the all–time favourite: be yourself, or at least try to find out who you are and what you want and don’t let anyone tell you that that’s not enough. And be healthy, sleep and sanity are more important than good grades. If anyone says otherwise: screw ‘em.