crew9.net was the website promoting the students of year nine at Hyper Island. It was launched in late Spring of 2004 and in the first week over 25 000 people visited the site from all over the world.
It was nominated and featured by Cap&Design in the December 2004 print issue (Sweden’s most respected advertising magazine) as one of the top three best sites produced in Sweden during 2004, together with brands such as: Level Vodka, Saab, Volvo, H&M, Fuji, JC etc. The site was also awarded and recognised by a number of design communities from all over the world.
The 69 students of Crew 9 have since done their internships in 14 cities from 10 countries: USA - San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York. United Kingdom - London. France - Paris. Spain - Barcelona. Germany - Berlin. Finland - Helsinki. Sweden - Stockholm, Gothenburg, Karlstad, Karlskrona. Norway - Oslo. Denmark - Copenhagen.
The media school Hyper Island was founded in 1996 by professor Jonathan Briggs, David Erixon and Lars Lundh. They envisioned an environment where students could learn the new media industry in much the same way that one learns to ride a bike - by trying, failing and trying again until everything suddenly falls in place.
Seven months of the education takes the form of an internship/placement period. Every year the students have to market themselves for the internship/placements.
For the year of Crew 9 (2004-2005) there was an internal pitch that four students of the class won. The team was Staffan Lamm (creative / design), Jakob Nylund (creative / design), Isak Wiström (creative / tech) and Oskar Joelson (creative / tech).
The initial idea was to be quite honest about the whole placement thing; it was (is) about selling your skills to a company who can make money out of you. Out of that belief we developed the concept: - seeing Hyper Island as an industry (factory) where we (the students) were the product.
The execution of the concept was quite simple - a web shop that sells human beings (the students) and would hopefully be the first site out there with this type of product. The idea behind the visual execution was to be very strict and clean to achieve the right association with a modern web shop.
It was an experiment that conjured up a number of questions… what would it be like to sell living human beings through a strict/slick website? Has anyone ever tried this before? What will the response be? We realised that if we tried something new, hopefully people would talk about it.
A scenario of a company contacting a student could look like this:
An agency visits the site and looks through the students by description, portfolio, skills etc. When they’ve found students with the skills etc that could match their requirements, they could just add them to the shopping basket and then send a bid in terms of an email.
Then the contacted student could discuss everything that he/she thought was valuable by email with the company and then make their own decision from that. This made it easy for companies from all over the world to have a dialogue with the students.
The fish (most hits of them all).
From the beginning of 2004 there were 70 students strong in Crew 9. Sadly after a few weeks one of them decided to leave and try his luck somewhere else.
That person had a nickname also known as “the fish”. No one knows why. We decided to give him a place on our site in his memory. Ironically, the fish gave us luck and was the most popular amongst visitors to the site. He even got an internship offer from 2advanced Studios in Silicon Valley.
So, for those of you who wondered what the fish is about, now you know.
About the authors:
There’s really not much to say… we’re just four normal blokes from Sweden, we met up at Hyper Island when we joined the Crew 9. Right now we’ve spent 7 months in London at different companies doing internships, it has been great, London is so much good fun!
We already miss the school though, but it’s not over yet. We’re soon (in March 2005) moving back to Hyper for our final project. Don’t know if we will do this one together though, all I know is that we will team up again in a few years to start up a creative agency.
x - Staffan, Jakob, Isak, Oskar.