03/05/2017 17:41

On May 3rd 2017, at 22:47 Roosje Klap (studio)
send the following: hi Michelle, here is my reply!

On May 3rd 2017, at 17:41 Michelle Janssen wrote the following: Here it comes!! So much thanks in advance!!

Hi Roosje, I would have loved to speak with you in person, mainly because that feels more comfortable to me. Because than I can explain my questions a bit better. But unfortunately I missed that opportunity, so this has to do.

Something Henrik told me is actually the reason why I really wanted to talk to you. Once, when I
was explaining my concept for a project, out of the blue he told me: “Oh Roosje is, of maybe was, very active in creating a platform for women in the design world. Because design is still a male dominated field.”

Something else I noticed is, that when I told my classmates that I would really like to interview you. They asked me if I was brave enough to do that.
You could say that you have quite a reputation
in our department. So I was wondering
the following:

Reputation? Euh…? Well I am curious, hahaha!

What is your opinion on the matter of:
Design is a male dominated field?

Well the numbers are not lying. On average at European academies around 70% of the students studying is female. Of those 70% only 30% of them will work in the Graphic Design field. For males the numbers are the EXACT opposite.

How do you handle this? Has this influenced
you in a positive or negative way?

It has been one of the reasons to start teaching and also to become head of the department with Niels. We want to try to create change. Even if it is only for you, the students. More from my own point of view: I want to show you girls that IT IS POSSIBLE! To have a career, and kids, and to do cool things in your free time.
It is all there for you!

Would you say you are very political active in you work?
If yes, how did that happen?

I've always been a politically committed person. I eat the newspaper, read The Guardian and the New York Times online and read the NRC on paper on Saturday. My assignments do not always allow for political commitment,
so I often do it myself. For example my
"Ladies with an attitude" campaign.

I read online that your studio mainly works in the cultural industry and sector. For many designers that sounds a a dream. How did you get there?

I made a lot of vriend on different departments when I was studying at the Rietveld art academy. I have been making a lot of stuff for them since the beginning. These people all became famous artists and they still ask me to work for them. So in short: START networking, it will benefit you in the future!

In the interview I had with Lauren she told me that her work contains out of different layers: Education, Foundland and
Freelance work. Is this the same for you?

Something like that yes, but I do a lot more things, like writing and research. Also for me education is not only teaching but it is also writing and thinking about curriculum with Niels, but alsovmy consultancy at the Van Eyck Academy in Maastricht or being in the jury committees for (eg) the Dutch Design Awards.
In the future I want to publish.

What motivates/inspirers you in you work,
at KABK and in graphic design?

You, the students, de studenten, the tireless and shameless search for identity. That is the only thing Niels, me and the entire team are
working for.

Could you say that by teaching you are very involved in the lives of students? Do you
experience this as a one or two sided relationship?

I am reasonably close to my students, but I always hope to remain at a suitable distance.

How do you experience this big amount
of students each year?

Super nice! One big family 

How are you dealing with the responsibility you have over all these students?

Niels and I are trying to create a safe environment that makes everyone DARE to create, on a high thinking level and work in original and special constellations and the responsibility of the designer in society, can rely on each other (peer-to-peer) and has astonishingly much fun in what he /
she are doing.

Rumor has it that you and Niels are protecting us form a lot of shit from outside of the academy, (Management business, money matters, etc.) could you explain a bit more about that?

No. It is true but it is none of your business.

Lately I have been talking about the fact that before this year, I have never felt as Dutch as I feel now. This is because now I am surrounded by so many international students. Most of them come from a very different culture that they can compare to mine. This means that they often highlight especially the negative aspects of Dutch culture. How do you experience being Dutch? Do you think the cliche ‘the honest Dutch’ is true? Is it also relevant to you and your work?

Haha, yes I understand you!
I think I am kind of the most Dutch person ever.
No bullshit, no time for dicking around, no time to lose: POP! 

The last year I have become more aware of how KABK is shaping me. It shapes me through the resources it is giving me, the things we discuss, the opinions of teachers, etc. Of course I make a selection in what I agree with and what I disagree with. Do you think KABK has shaped you? Could you tell me a bit more about that?

I am shaping the KABK. 

At KABK there is this atmosphere that we are proud of our ‘famous’ teachers from the field. Is this something you find important? Or is there for you flauwe in the fact that someone is a great teacher but not super succesfilm in their work field?

In all teachers there is value, however we think it is important that everyone has a flourishing practice, famous or not. That is because they have to teach you how to move in the work field. Because you are the ‘famous’ designers of the future.

Last question! Which books would you recommend me and why?

To start with a quote from John Cage/Sister Corita Kent: 'HELPFUL HINTS: Always be around. Come or go to everything. Always go to classes. Read anything you can get your hands on. Look at movies carefully, often. Save everything — it might come in handy later.’ (see the manifesto they wrote) During my own studies I read Paul Auster: 'the New York Trilogy'. Which meant a lot to me.

For you, at this moment of your career,
I would recommend McLuhan and also 
Walter Benjamin!

Thanks for your time!

No problem.