8 mind-expanding weeks of communication

17 selected students and industry notables joined together in San Francisco. This is our story.

Day 6. It’s Brief Time

The summer session is all fired up - our first real brief is here! The client, the San Francisco startup Bespoke Innovations is not your average client. Our task is to market and promote extremely high tech and innovative fairings; coverings sourrounding a prostetchic leg. We will be targeting both a direct customer and the big masses to gain awareness and change society’s perceptions. Intense, for sure.

/Emily Bjerner

Last night Unit 9 gave us the opportunity to attend an event at Westernized Productions to learn what it takes to create a successful Transmedia project. Robert Pratten held an interesting speach about his experiences in the transmedia storytelling world. It was inspiring to learn more about interactive storytelling, or reactive storytelling as they also called it, and hear the different opinions on the topic from the panel.

Meet the class

Amanda Jensen

My name is Mandy Jensen and I am a Graphic Designer from The Academy of Art University. I have lived in California my entire life and would love to move to New York someday. I love cats, drawing, writing, and FOOD! I am also a bartender and enjoy mixing new drinks. I look forward to working with Berghs this summer!

Sarah Lee Letourneau

After graduating from a French-Canadian art focused high school, I left home to travel the world and discovered my first passion in life: Rock Climbing. After many adventures I was ready and ambitious to pursue my studies. I graduated last June from Berghs School of Communication as a Digital Creative. I am now here, attending the Berghs c/o Academy of Art summer program to take on a new adventure and learn more about planning in order to become an awesome Interactive Designer!

Linda Johansson

I have over five years experience as a Project Manager and strategist, fusing brand insight and a passion for communication into success stories for local, national and international clients. A born problem solver, I embrace my ability to pay attention to details, build dynamic client relationships and motivate the team to keep moving forward. Current employer is the award-winning media and advertising agency Nowa in Stockholm, Sweden, that specializes in integrated marketing strategies. Holding a Master in Political Science, my past experiences include working as a Communication officer at the European Commission.

Lisa Lindgren

An unafraid challenge-junkie, looking for all kinds of adventures whether it is sailing on the Atlantic Ocean, backpacking in the Philippines or wreck diving somewhere along the South African coast. Out through life I have up to now mostly listen to my left side of my brain – What is the logical decision for me to do? This mind-set has led me to, amongst other, a Business degree from Stockholm School of Economics. But lately, my right-side brain have seeked my attention and demanded me to find a way to combine my knowledge and passion for business strategy and project management with my love for communication, creativity and innovation and suddenly there where Berghs c/o Academy of Art.  I saw an opportunity. And I jumped. So here I am. In San Francisco. Squeezed between two halves of the brain there is now only one direction to aim for. That would be up. To the top.

Melissa Lagomarsino

I’m a copy creating and wicked-good multi-tasking Oscar Wilde wannabe.  I dwell in the Sunset District of San Francisco, and have officially left my heart in this whimsical city. I have a keen sense of observation and love to reflect and dream up copy that is grounded in relatable and satirical situations. My love for everything vintage juxtaposed with my iPhone and social networking addictions make me eclectic in nature.  On the weekends, I’m the grounder-grabbing second baseman for my co-ed softball team, The Slammertimes, and love chasing bubbles in Golden Gate Park with my two-year-old, Sofia.  As an advertising copywriter, I want to provoke conversation, one campaign at a time. 

Kamilla Dala

This city had me at hello the last time I was here. That´s why I am thrilled to be spending 2 months in San Francisco this summer continuing my love story with planning and communication. During this spring I studied Executive Planning at Berghs in Stockholm and jumped at the opportunity to participate in this program. Besides planning, I also have a Masters degree in Brand Development from University of London and I have been working with marketing and brand communications for the last 6 years.

Karl Keily

I went to school to be an engineer and was miserable. Then I tried to be a lawyer and was even more miserable. I didn’t want to feel that way anymore, so I decided to become a full-time writer, which had been a dream since I was young. I am happy to say that I am now the least miserable I have ever been.

Turner Johnson

Between sipping on diet coke and chugging coffee, it’s all about the thrill of adventure. Crank up the Modest Mouse, mix in some great company, pedal a bicycle all over the country and you have a recipe for entertainment.  Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - I come to the bay in search of better weather and a job as an art director.

Jota Marin

Born and raised in Brazil, I was 14 when the advertising bug first took a hold of me. I went on to study at Metodista University in São Paulo and graduated in 2008. Once I graduated I started working as Jr. Art Director at Full Jazz, a brilliant mid-sized agency based in São Paulo. While I was there I realized that all of the incredible and inspiring people I’d met had spent time abroad, either working or studying. This, I said to myself, is what I’m gonna do next. 3 years and 3 agencies later I’d saved up enough money and all the plans were in place – it was time to say goodbye to Brazil. In June 2011 I moved to Ireland and joined Bloom, a small independent agency that loves punching above its weight. It was fantastic - until I heard San Francisco calling me.

Pontus Reuterswärd

A former drummer, and photography interested 33-year old from Sweden. Born in El Salvador but adopted and raised in Sweden. I draw inspiration from many things, music, photographs, movies and more. I’m curious and I love to travel and meet new people.

Fred Carriedo

Five years ago I was a painter, photographer, illustrator, design enthusiast, and full-time communications assistant. Now, I combine those passions in the field as a Graphic Designer. I’m inspired by concept, and driven by the powerful messages of simple, minimalistic, and practical designs. 

Anna Högberg

After graduating with a master in Computer and Systems Sciences I worked with IT for over 8 years. I have been a database designer, system developer, programmer and the last couple of years a SAP consultant working with people all over the world. Since I love meeting new people and to travel, I enjoyed what I did, but I felt that I wanted to work in a more creative environment where I could use my curiosity in people and events to add actual value to people’s lives. After years of searching and talking to people for insights I realized planner/strategist was spot on for me. The Interactive Communication program at Berghs connected my IT background perfectly with the communication world and I just graduated after an exciting year. I fell in love with San Francisco on my travels back from Sydney last summer and I am looking forward to spending (at least!) two inspiring and exciting months in this beautiful city.

Daniel Kim

I was born in Korea and I came to US when I was 6 years old. I lived in Seattle, WA for about 15 years, and made series of interesting decisions like joining the US Army. Finally got my head straight and figured out what I wanted to do with my life. I’m gonna design the world a new. It lead me to San Francisco and I got a degree in Art Direction-Advertising. That lead me back to Seattle, then New York, and back to San Francisco. Now I’m working on my Web New Media/Interactive Design degree for masters and I plan on becoming an Interactive Art Director with UX/UI and motion design specialization. Life goal and passion is to have fun with design and be able to work from anywhere. Other passions: Food, Technology, and Travel.

Jessica Monack

I am an Academy of Art University student with a communications background and a passion for learning about art history and writing. Having dabbled in sales and marketing positions, I felt that my creativity wasn’t being used to its highest potential and sought out a career path that would allow me to spend more time brainstorming and less time plugging numbers into spreadsheets. I also have graphic design knowledge and enjoy working side-by-side with designers to build ideas into realities. Ever-curious, I was drawn to this program by its international nature and opportunity to work with teams of ambitious peers.

Emily Bjerner

Originally from Sweden, I’m a copywriter with four years of experience in branding, storytelling and lifestyle advertising. I’ve earned my Copywriting diploma in Stockholm, but have also worked, studied and had a lot of fun in both Hawaii, London and Hamburg. I came to San Francisco in search of tons of new inspiration, friendships, connections and even more fun. Personally, I’m always on the lookout for new adventures, glossy technology and the perfect margarita (preferely, all at once).

Victoria Herrera

I have been freelancing for the past couple of years in the wonderful city of San Francisco where I am finishing up my BFA in Graphic Design. I grew up in Guatemala and have traveled as often as possible seeking inspiration. I am fascinated by the world, different cultures and people. I love minimal design and I love meaningful design.

 “I grew up a modernist. Decoration is a sin.”
-Frank Gehry

Team: Anna, Melissa, Fred and Jota 

Day 5. Surviving the first week of creative madness

So, here we are (well, most of us!) - one week later. Tired but super excited about our new learnings, new friends and tons of new inspiration. We ended our first week with an unconventional midsummer celebrations at Off The Grid, where we might not have had herring and aquavit, but funky tacos and spiked margaritas turned out to be just as great.

ps. individual presentations of us all are coming up, as well as video presentations of the first project (nope, the naked guy is not on video, sorry!), so stay connected!

/Emily Bjerner

Yesterday was presentation day. All the teams introduced a vision of their own dream agency and it was so inspiring to see all the clever and creative ideas of start up companies. Unexpectedly, I started to have faith in tomorrow’s world!

Here is a taste of the work presented yesterday.

Team: Kamilla, Emily, Belen, Turner, Sarah - Agency: OddIsee

/Sarah Lee Letourneau

Day 5. Presentation Day

Today was D-day for presenting our first brief of defining our dream agencies and recruitment campaigns for future employees. Some teams were truly burning the midnight oil working on their presentations until  4 am, and today it really became clear to all of us that we are a powerhouse of creativity. We were blown away by the amount and quality of work we were able to pull off during only 2,5 days, but also how different we had solved the brief. A true ´make it work´moment. We will be posting all the campaigns here on the blog for you to see for yourselves.

/Kamilla Dala

Day 4. Create your reality

As project “Dream Agency” moves along, it becomes clear just how different we all are. The groups we are divided in are a mix of not only nationalities, but disciplines, cultures and personalities. Our associations, references and preferences are all different (some actually eat wasabi seaweed. Some actually eat Swedish herring. Some wants to name the agency something that’s really dirty in French). Even the most trivial things come into play when creating something, anything, that an entire group can not just agree on, but be super excited about. Considering we all met less than 48 hours ago, it’s quite a challenge. But an extremely fun one.

The task of creating a Dream Agency - and a recruitment campaign for it, surely is a fun, and intense, ride. Most groups are working around the clock (perhaps accompanied by a beer or two) and we are all really excited to see what comes out of our first collaboration.

For the group me (Emily) and Kamilla were in, we decided to define our agency personality using simple references. Turns out, our agency is somewhat of an eagle, a pair of toeshoes, and a fish taco. Things are just getting interesting.

/Emily Bjerner

Day 3. The gloves are off

Yesterday we received our first brief; to create an innovative recruitment campaign for the agency of our dreams that we have to present on Friday. In order to create a campaign strategy we first needed to establish our agency culture, what makes us unique, our manifesto and lastly our logo.

But before we could dive into the various tasks we had to individually and collectively go through the ‘Preject’, which will serve as the foundation of all our assignments during the program. The idea behind the Preject is to define and map out expectations, goals, motivations, burning questions and fears both for yourself but also for the project group that together will form a social contract between all group members. An idea that was very much appreciated by all of us as a project tool. 

/Kamilla Dala

Day 2. Getting out into the real world.

Although the morning’s introductions proved we had quite an interesting piece of the world within the four walls of our classroom (we will share a bit of this too as we go along) - it was time to explore even more creative ground. It was field trip time! Today, this meant visiting R/GA, one of the world’s top digital agencies, at their SOMA office. Here, we not only got a glimpse of Sweden winning the Euro 2012 soccer game against France, but also got to meet Executive Creative Director Mark Shewmaker. What a day.

Mark took us on a interesting journey of R/GA’s global work and shared some insights of the smartness behind integrated campaigns like awardwinning Nike+ and Nike Fuelband. We learned about the working process and team dynamics behind these type of major campaigns, and also what an employer like R/GA was looking for when hiring new talents. Let’s just say a lot of notes were taken.

/Emily Bjerner

Photo credits: Lotta Saxe Blomberg