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So I failed my graduation, but I have to say I wasn’t sad for lang. I saw this failing as an opportunity to do better. And also I failed not because I sucked but made the wrong choice.

I hoped that they would appreciated my technical effort more than an shiny story, but they did’nt. They liked my plan B of a prototype en a chase movie more than, my simpler but really working platform. I guess that is what advertising mostly is; presenting and selling a shiny story and then making it real. Deep down I knew that I was making the wrong choice, but for myself I wanted achieve the technical prat more than the story. Now that I have the re-do I have the chance to do both. But failing also means, no expo, no graduation ceremony and no last school holiday.

But I was mostly sad about the no expo, it supposed to be a stage for students to show their work to the world. Failure is a big part of art. So why does the academies remove the failures completely from their graduation shows??

I think that is wrong, and shows weakness, I think that failure is an important part of art school and shouldn’t be hide away, but shown. That’s why I want to give failure a stage.

Me and some fellow failures are trying to organize an expo for the failures of the WDKA, where we can show our new and improved work (that is probably even better than most of the work you will see at the graduation show) and we can show the world; that failing art school is not something to be embarrassed for, but something that is part of your learning process.

The expo is called Finald_def_2 (the designer will recognize the name), our second change to do better.

Human system

Human system

I figured out my “why me”, it’s my fascination with the system, any system.

The system I was looking for in the graduation the system, the human aspect in the “lo and behold” system (the internet), panopticon the system of being watched, the circle (movie)

and also the system I was looking for in a project in the second year on income inequality (I toughed that the power created the inequality, but we as humans need that overlooking system to function.)

So the conclusion is, every human needs a system (whether it is to break free from or to live by), and every system need a human to function. And that was why the graduation system came to me, it’s a system made by humans, to guide humans. And I want to bring that system, to the other system (the internet) to let other humans form it to the next level.

Every time I found the motivation in my project back, it was because of the clashing between human and system (digital, or designed by human, but again digital is also designed by humans). One time was when I figured out that a computer could not see, and that we had to tell it what it see’s. The whole internet together as one is telling the computer what a dog is or a cat, and what that cat is doing [link]. And by researching that i figured out that on almost the same time the human brain was figured out, the first idea for the computer was there [link]. So I had no idea what i was researching but apparently it was the relation between system and human, and human and system.

So what I do as a data designer is trying to bring the system to the front. Giving humans a insight on what is going on, by showing the system (and mostly it’s data). I did that with my inequality project, my wifi project and even with my first data project. My vision as a creative/designer is that; giving people the tools to figure out their own conclusions and most of the time I do that by building a system or exposing a system. And this time i’m gonna do booth. Building a system that will expose the system, and people can than figure out by themselves if it is a good or a bad thing.

I want to end this by letting you watch this video on how computer can be creative.


Connecting the dots

Connecting the dots

Thank god, i’m back at my original idea. It maybe sounds strange, but “kill your darlings” is not something creative people like to do. And i’m most definitely one of those people. I killed my first idea (i’dont know) four weeks ago, and i’m so happy it found it’s way back to me 🙂

So how did that happen you might wonder? Well I guess I “connected the dots” and filled in the blank spot, thanks to my research. Yesterday evening when I couldn’t sleep, I wonder off and started writing down my thoughts in my phone (see picture).

I was thinking “I don’t want to break the school system, but the creative/uniek student system”. Because “panopticon”, we will act differently when we are being watched. And that is what happens to students graduating, students will still keep in the back of there mind that the will be grated. So they do whatever to fit the bill. So there is some sort of system a student learned. They learned how to make choices, create their own vision and translate that both to their work. This system is called a curriculum.

It’s funny but two days before this I interviewed the dean of my school, and he asked in the and what I was hoping to hear from him, I told him that is was looking for a system, but couldn’t found one. He immediately react, I think there is a create system the curriculum. And my response to that was no more like a graduation system, and he was like; “oh yeah, we don’t have that”. But as you can see his first response was wright, the curriculum is the system I was looking for.

So what am I going to make?

1) A learning algorithm, that creates a graduation project together with the internet.
2) The algorithm is based on the curriculum
3) The algorithm learns from the people of the internet (a students learns from their surroundings)
1.2) The output is: Research question, anwser to that question, personal vision and a image/concept or idear.
1.3) the system creates a grade based on the amount of input from that day.
2.1) Why the internet? Because one student needs ±4 years to graduate and learn, and with all the input from the internet we maybe need four minutes.


Ups and downs

Ups and downs

So I totally lost my motivation and passion for my graduation project for the last couple of weeks. This because I already tried recover from a blockade that made me start this blog as a result, but that wasn’t enough to get me back on track. And now I hit a very low in motivation and passion. The down started with me realising I underestimated my idea. The research is way more than I had guessed in the beginning and the insight where i’m hooping for to find, to build the rest of my project on, is not falling in it’s place what makes it hard to take the next step (the building part). And than I want to much, and maybe other people want to much of my project. The bar is ferry high for this project, myself and people I talk to see potential for my project turning into something awesome. But because of that I shut down, I always had that, when people expect something of me, i’m afraid of letting them down and then I shut down and do nothing. But also with this project I want to much myself, this project can go so many places, and because I don’t know what I really want to achieve with this project I don’t know which direction I have to push it.

Before my assessment and after the talk with Ruben I realised how important the “why me?” question is ferry important. And I have trouble answering that, I don’t know where the passion for this subject came from. Somewhere in the third year I already wanted to do my graduation project about graduation it self, and I wanted to research on how my classmates were graduating to graduate with that. Than this year I came with the idea of letting the internet create my project. So what does this say about me? That i’m lazy and I like other people to do my job?, or that draw inspiration out of other people’s creativity?, or that I find the process of creativity it self interesting? Or that I belief that everything happens for a reason, and that even do we want to control the outcome, the bigger system will make the choices for you, and you will do something that is expected of you anyway? Or that I always wonder why, because why is the school system the way it is now, how do other people work under that system? I guess it could be all of the above.

Starting this project made me already understand more off myself and what the school system want’s. I feel that my way is the ultimate way of graduation. I think about every step that I take, and compare it to my classmates. And see which steps are normal to struggle with what the system want from us, even if the system doesn’t know it does that to us. Like this down i’m having, ‘m not the only one, almost every classmate struggles with this on this moment.
So whats next? Well I guess I will keep on struggling because that’s part of the process. And I need to talk to the system of the school, and see what they hope the outcome will be for alumni. And see how they see the process, and how they try to control the outcome with the proces.

Meeting day

Meeting day

Today I had a meeting with my teachers, first with my advertising teacher and after that with my research/data design teacher.

The first meeting was very interesting, the teacher has trouble following my process but respects what I’m doing. What most of the time ends up with me leaving more confused, than I already was before, but I think that’s also an important part of the process. Today I introduced him to my blog and talked about the lecture from last night. And talking out loud about what I have done the last two weeks (since I last saw him) made me realize how all over the place I am in my research. Because of my blog I realized that I maybe don’t want to make an algorithm that’s going to create my graduation project and I also realized that I need to focus more on the research on the school/law system for graduation than the actual technique. I saw in the teachers face he was struggling what to say about my struggles, sow he came with the smart idea to ask a random girl that was passing by “what do you think, what type of graduation project she is going to make?” (I don’t know the girl at all) and she answered “uhmmm I thinks something rebellious” Then he asked; if you had to ask her two questions on what she’s going to make what would that be?” (I saw where he was going to with this question, because I really don’t have a form yet) and the girl struggled to find the questions and she answered “sorry, no idea”. But the question already helped me; I needed a form. And that’s where we ended the conversation with, he told me to draw on a big piece of paper every visual idea I came up with, till I would find a form.

Then up to my research/data design teacher. I told her that I was a bit struggling with my research because I was all over the place. I was kind of on two research tracks, the technical part and the researching of the school graduation system. She said that the other data design theater also said that I’m doing two things. My research on the school graduation system is a project on its own, and the crowdsource idea is also kind of a project on it’s own.

She drawed up what I’m doing right now (see my version of the image down below). The pink circles show the things I’m researching right now and the rest are possible outcomes of that research, with a dot on the and showing my goal, that isn’t there yet. She told me to focus for 80% on my research on the school system, and let the technique serve on the background.
1.    Meta ‘niveau’ (level?) research
1.    Primary data
2.    Overall school system
2.    Sampling (make it smaller/scoping)
1.    Only advertising
2.    ‘Drempel’? (Doorstep?/barrier?.. iets anders?) price nominees
3.    Enquete (inquiry/investigation/poll??)
So thats what I’m going to do now.





Update (16-01-17/1-03-17)

Update (16-01-17/1-03-17)

Ok where to start……

Let’s start with, when the idea of graduation with a graduation system came to me.

16 January 2017

An idea was born.

[For the record the official kick-off for the graduation is in three weeks from now]
Because I was bored I was scrolling through Netflix and stumbled upon the documentary “Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World” by Werner Herzog. The film caught my eye because it was about the internet and its history, two things that I like ;). So I started watching it with a big bag of Doritos chips. During the film the project EteRNA came on as a subject. The project shows really the power of the internet used for good. EteRNA is a project made by The National Science Foundation. The group ran into the problem that they found a molecule that could fix their problem, but that specific molecule was able to be folded in many many ways and they were not quite enough people to try it all out. So they made a game where all the people on the internet could help them fold the monocle. And that gave me the idea to create my graduation project together with the people of the internet. So I would be the director and the internet will give me the content.


31 January 2017

The start of putting my mind into words

Fifty percent of our graduation is/excists of the competency assessments, where we explain in a report who we are as a designer, and that we are competent as a student (fixed by law) to get our diploma. This week I started writing down mine. Each portfolio (read, text document) contains seven competencies; Creative ability, Ability to reflect critically, Ability to grow and change, Organisational ability, Communicative ability, Context awareness and Collaborative ability. In this portfolio it was the first time I had to write down what my graduation project was going to be. So I had to put my idea that I already had for a few weeks on paper. This is how I did it; Inspired by the documentary I thought why wouldn’t I crowdsource my graduation project. First I need to advertise my project so that as many people as possible will see my project and hopefully give me enough data input for me to work with. This is the ultimate way for me to combine my two powers (advertising and data design). For my research I want to look into alumni and school/law criteria in the hope I would find a common theme which I can fit into my crowdsourced project.


1 February 2017

First thoughts

I want people to make their own choices, so they will see how the data is created. In my end result is it important that people can trace back which decisions were made, and how people gathered more information.


08 February 2017

Feedback after first talk whit graduation adviser Hans

He likes the idea.
He asks me if I could graduate tomorrow if I had the answer to the right question.
On which moment do I want to communicate to which people?
What do I expect from the crowd?
Be careful that your question doesn’t become your main subject.


09  February 2017

Interview with Ruben van Dijk

When I first told my idea to my teacher (I sad that I wanted to graduate with a project about graduation), they said that a few years back a student advertising already graduated with a project about graduation and that student was Ruben van Dijk (this is his project)

I decided that day to contact Ruben so I could see what he did and most of all why he did it. Ruben now works at JWT (an advertising agency in Amsterdam), so we decided to meet there. Ruben’s project is quite bold, that’s something that I would never do. So he asked me to show him some of my work. Looking at my work he could see that my graduation project would be more of a way to give people insight than to shock people. This is when I realized how important the competency assessments are. You need to know who you are as a designer/creative, to figure out what works best for you during your graduation project.


13 February 2017

What’s on my mind??

I now think the most important thing of graduating is the “why me?”, why should I make this project, why is this project so me? And the process off it all. I feel that because I’m studying graduation I’m far more aware of each step that I take. If you could show who you are and why you make the choices that you make as a designer I think you are graduated. I think all the people that struggle with graduating, just didn’t figure out who they are and what they wanna tell to the world. I think that after four years of art school, you didn’t learn to be an artist but you learned who you are as an artist. As my school loves to call us “creating pioneers”.


20 February 2017

50% of graduation completed

Today I had my competency assessment, where I have the chance to extra defend my report. So the examiners already read my report and now I had to present it for 10 min and then answer some question for 10 min. Than I had to leave the room and wait for 15 nerve wracking minutes to hear if I made it or not. When I was called back in I couldn’t be more happy with what they told me. They said that I made it with a 100%. They saw how much I had grown the last year and they were happy that an advertising student finally was going to make a real data project (I still kind of wonder today what they meant by that).


23 February 2017

Another win

A few weeks ago I also applied for the young talent spinawards competition, and today we had to present our work. I had competed with my project the Crowd Counter.

After everybody had presented and the judges came to a conclusion they told us that there was one winner and one wildcard winner (meaning you have to earn votes to get to the finals). And jeeej I won the wildcard, but also Oh oh, now I have to win some votes. Between 1st and 15th of March I had to win the votes. Spamming all my Facebook friends and family, I sadly did not win.


24-28 February 2017

Holiday to Sweden

Just stop and stare for a little #sweden #strysöbratten #toerist

A post shared by Anouk (@noukum) on

1 march 2017

Interview with Esther Jong

A week before the interview I was looking through the school library and found the graduation books from the school. There was only one book that caught my attention and that was the one from the year ‘09/’10, the book had small data visualization next to the student’s name. Which make me think there would have been a system to gather that data. I googled the creators of the book and saw Ruiter Jansen. His portfolio had a lot of data visualization, so I emailed him first hoping that he could tell me more about the data. He replied that he was very busy till the 9th of March and that I had to try the girls (Joany and Esther). So that’s why my first meet-up about the book was with Esther Jong. She now works at Fabrique (Rotterdam), I made an appointment with her over there at the end of the day. Preparing for the interview I took a look at her work and soon figured out that she was as much digital driven as me. That’s why talking about my project, with her really helped. She had the same idea I had, like; that my end-project would change every day and that the end result could be really ugly but that’s ok. She also gave me the book so I wouldn’t have to drag it around from school to house all the time (the school library only let me borrow the book for one day, because they only have one). That book became my data bible, because it was the only whole database of students and their graduation work that I could find (and the other books of course but they were older). Because sadly enough after 2012 the school stopped making the books.