I used to pride myself on wasting time, but over the years, I seem to have lost my touch.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
I was born in Brussels. Moved to the Netherlands when I was 8. Studied at the University of Amsterdam, got a Masters in Communications and a minor in International Relations. I used to pride myself on wasting time, but over the years, I seem to have lost my touch.
What do you do for inspiration?
Read novels, books about art, listen to music, visit concerts. And I always enjoy seeing other people's online work.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
A recent site I have really enjoyed: http://changeperspective.saab.com/ I love the way Acne have managed to add relevant interactivity to all the chapters, and the execution is awesome.
Another recent one: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blast/ This site manages to link the real world to the virtual world. There is a certain excitement to doing something on a site, from behind your computer, that has immediate consequences somewhere else in the real world. Innovative, and a noble cause too, that always helps.
A less recent one: www.halo3.com/believe - It's cool when a site isn't completely virtual. This site manages to create a relationship between 'fake' artifacts to a non-existent parallel history/ version of the future, which makes it more realistic. I have a lot of respect for the amount of work that has gone into it.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
The realisation of Pak de Polo, the introduction campaign for the new Volkswagen Polo, which happened in July this year.
It consisted of a social network campaign, which overlapped with the 'real-life' campaign, which was 12 hours a day, for 8 days, live video streams from a car that was driving around the Netherlands. People had to steer the Polo to their postal code and try to flag it down. They then had to try and drive as many miles as possible, before someone else stopped them.
The campaign was our first fully integrated campaign, using television commercials and radio as traffic drivers to the site. We also collaborated with a combination of Dutch blogs which adapted the campaign to their different audiences.
It was great to see that all the pieces came together and resulted in an amazing campaign that generated a lot of attention, on both national and international level.
What software could you not live without?
Software is overrated. Pen and paper for the win!
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
We have quite a couple of cool projects coming up for Vodafone, first one will be llive on the 11th of September. And next to that, we are also working on a special project for Volkswagen. It involves a sneaker, but it's still touch and go whether it will happen or not. A sneaker? Yes. a sneaker.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
I really rate Hi-res. They always make unique / one-off and original creations.
Next to them, there is a lot of good work coming from Scandinavia. Acne produce excellent work, as do North Kingdom. It baffles me to see how quickly they manage to create new standards for everyone involved in the digital/interactive arena.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
The first proper site I did at Achtung! was the Suitsupply corporate site. It was a steep learning curve, but it's still online and has withstood the test of time (if you ask me) from a design point of view (Credits for the designs go to Emile Dekker, one of our Creative Directors).
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
No, I haven't written any books, yet. I think I'll write a book someday, either about the fading border the between on- and offline world, or about cooking.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
I think Flash is the current standard for creating rich media. Like all standards, someday it will be replaced by another. But I think Flash will be leading for the next 5 to 10 years.
What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
Designers can be taught different styles, but each one will eventually develop their own.
What can't be taught, in my experience, is thinking about the purpose of a design. What is it meant to tell or communicate? That is something which distinguishes a good designer from a great designer and generally comes with the years.
What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?
A working miniature replica of the iPhone. The touchscreen has to be handled with a toothpick, but the sound quality is amazing.
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
My favorite jeans are Nudies. My favorite t-shirts are comfortable and colorful. Right now I'm just wearing boxershorts.