Out of the mist of the so called Web 2.0 variant of the Internet, most people probably think the world wide web emanates from somewhere deep in the San Andreas fault, under Silicon Valley. Well, Californ-I-A may have been the place to be, but the world’s leaders in all things digital are being forged elsewhere. If we shine the spotlight of cutting edge futures on Sweden, and something called Hyper Island, the new centurions of geekdom may well emanate from Scandinavia.
Hyper Island? It sounds a little bit like my high schools class trip back in “75” to Nassau. In reality though, it is a new age academic environment tailored to super geeks – or the artistically possessed any way. The brainchild of visionary Jonathan Briggs, and his accomplices David Erixon and Lars Lundh – Hyper Island’s methodology is unique, one full of challenge and tough reward systems.
Put bluntly, the curriculum appears lazily self motivated, that is until the challenges and potential for failure are factored in. In essence, my assessment? A condensed school of hard knocks for the very smart, if not brilliant. Companies looking for team players, brilliant and contributory ones? Well, CEO Mattias Hansson says it best:
“The collaborative nature of digital projects forces you to understand what makes great teamwork”
Okay, enough about how “advanced” and digitally aware of itself Hyper Island is. Educating superb talent for the digital and media industry (their dogma here) is what the goal is. Plainly enough, this is being accomplished in spades. Masters program to their shortest leadership offerings, experience learning – particularly what they term (PDF) “reflection based learning,” then tossing in real clients – this is a formula for success (if you have the mojo to succeed that is). Oh, but if they had had such places when I was young!
Educational opportunities are out there. You could go to UCLA! Or even better, tack on a world respected MIT tag (but don’t covet that too much, some of them are imbeciles – sorry). But, when everything is boiled down, in the end, it is the student’s best case scenario that matters. The way I hear it, Hyper Island is striving to actually make education free too? But since I have turned this report into an advocacy for the school, let me go ahead and offer up some accolades, not mine mind you.
“If you are clinging to the mainland, and comfortable with the view. A trip to Hyper Island will alter your perspective. It’s amazing the things you can see from there.”
—Chris Mitton, GCD/CW Ogilvy
From Ogilvy & Mather to Design Week, so many positive things have been said about Hyper Island – it is incomprehensible to me that the system there is not more famous. To be honest, I had only heard tell of the school briefly a time or two. For the reader of this article, peering into the provided video, buying “hook-line-and-sinker” my suggestive, nor any other abbreviated gander at this super cool school is sufficient. I only want you to investigate.
“Swedish college Hyper Island is hugely respected in interaction design circles as an educational force that takes its students beyond academic studies”
– Design Week
In my mind I see some supremely talented graphic design type, only in need of just the right atmosphere, the correct stimulus – and then I see he or she bogged down in some archaic lecture mill – I think this is what Jonathan Briggs may have seen back when? Any way, watch the videos, follow a few of the links, see what’s outside your mental map of education – off the road to San Jose – Err, Menlo Park that is.
Here are some useful links to help you discover this little Island of different.
The Hyper Island Catalog 2010/11, Some Hyper Island videos , Great images from students, the Facebook pages, and if nothing else convinces you I am right – check out the student awards pages. Oh, also venture over to Jonathan Briggs’ personal site to catch up on next gen ecommerce “n” stuff.
Home images cut and mashed from Hyper Islands Facebook photo.