Martin Loistl

24 August – 10 October 2006
University for Art and Design, Halle

A few days after my arrival back in Germany

Someone: Hi Martin, I heard you have been to Moscow for your internship. Me / Martin: YES, exactly. I have been to Studio Lebedev for my product design internship.

S: Why did you choose Moscow and how did you know about this studio. I don’t know it. M: Yeah me neither, untill I heard from their optimus keyboard. A friend of mine went there also because of this keyboard. This friend told me about their “habits” in the studio. He told me about “the Brain”, newsletter system, the homeworks and their philosophy in productdesign. While I was browsing through their website I saw that these people have humor too. So I wrote an email to them.

S: and … ? M: After a few days I got the message: “We can offer you an internship for this period.” Very uncomplicated and quick.

S: How did you manage the visa stuff and all this buerocracy? M: Good question. I didn’t know exactly how everything will continue after their OK. I just provided a invitation, visa and flight. This invitation procedures was a bit suspect to me (The requirements at the embassy were a kind of arbitrary.) The whole process took that long that it seemed sometimes to me that I will never get to Russia.

S: Did you search for a accomodation from Germany? M: Yes I tryed, but I didn’t find anything. My family thought I am crazy, going to Moscow without any place to stay. But I heard that it is possible to stay at the studio for a few days. In fact ther are several places to sleep. There is a shower, a coffeemachine, some couches and a relaxing area. What else do you need more? …but I was also very happy when I found a room for a payable price.

S: How was it at work? M: I participated on a several projects where I got the opportunity to make purposals for concepts and first sketches. I also had a few own cool projects. Unfortunatly the time was not enough to finish them all. The functioning of my co-workers were different, but not that different like I expected. For me this was the challenge to learn as much as possible and to take advantage of the good equipment. For example I grabbed one of the “wacom” tablets to improve my digital sketching skills. Timur supported me very much in this way. Apart from that the studio is very well equiped (I got also the possibility to try their new “Optimus Mini Three”). The “brain”, a pool for ideas where everybody can post ideas or inspire himself for new ideas. I also posted some ideas of mine. The newsletter system is also a very good way to improve the studio communication. For lunch, I went with the “guys” (from product design) either to “F.A.Q.” or “Viet” cafe. Both are better than the cafeteria. At six there is another “butterbrot” time. During the breakes you can have a coffee, playing tabeltennis or table football and relax at one of the several sofas. At studio there was always a good working athmosphere and I spent more time at work than the usual eight hours.

S: How was life in general in Moscow? Wasn’t it dangerous? M: No idea if it was dangerous. Probably it’s not more dangerous than Berlin. Actually I never felt really threatend because there were so much police. Maybe the police threated my purse ;-). For western people it’s quite strange that people on the streets are not showing emotions. That means the people (just) look very serious.

S: How were the people you have met? M: I got the impression that if you get in touch with Russians, you will experience real hospitality. I have been to different countries, but the greatest hospitality I experienced was in Russia. Of course I got also with people in touch, who think you are a kind of “cashcow” because you are foreign.

S: Do you speak russian or how did you communicate? M: Unfortunatly I do not speak russian. But russian is not a language which you can learn within three months. But I learned reading cyrillic, which is unavoidable, and some helpfull phrazes. But in the studio a lot of people are speaking english. Some perfect, some not so perfect. What a pity that even people who understand and speak english are afraid of making failures and avoid to speak it at all. My main problem was, if there were any discussions about projects, the discussion was in russian and I was lost. … Hey sorry, but this report is getting a bit long …

S: .. ok, but I still have a lot of questions. I talk to you later. M: I just want to say, that this internship has broadended my horizon in many different ways.

“Dankeschon” to: Timur, Anya, Bogus, Alexey, Alsen, Dima, Vadim, Anton, Anna, Mascha Diana, Tolya, Natasha, Anastasia, Nina, Bertrand, Michael (Tawaritsch) Jonas, Ekatarina, Katja, Mascha2, Anna, Kristin, Nikl, Chris, Dima, Anja, Andrey, Dimitry, Locha, Julia, Tema and

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